The 2nd winningest team in baseball history…
Congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals for their World Series championship over the Texas Rangers. It was a thrilling World Series, especially the three home run game by Albert Pujols and the edge-of-your-seat Game 6 that saw the Cards eliminate two 2 run deficits with two outs and two strikes in the 9th and 10th innings. The Cardinals now have 11 World Series Championships, only 16 more needed to catch the Yankees…
2005 Astros and 2010 Yankees were nice, but…
A year after experiencing play-off failure with the Yankees, Lance Berkman achieved his first championship and played a significant role for the team. I wish the Yankees could have seen the Berkman that played in 2011, rather than the 2010 version, but it wasn’t meant to be. Berkman made the right choice in selecting the Cardinals over the Rangers in the off-season.
I kept wondering how Arthur Rhodes felt after spending the majority of the 2011 season with the Rangers before being released in August, only to sign with the Cardinals and help them to the championship over his former team. Sweet vindication…
I liked the Cowboys, Mavericks and Stars…
I lived in Dallas for 14 years, however, I could never embrace the Rangers. I am not quite sure why. I don’t care for the Arizona Diamondbacks after living in Phoenix, but I can attribute that to how rudely fans treated me during the 2001 World Series. I am not a rude, “in your face”, obnoxious type of fan, but that’s how I was treated simply for wearing a Yankees cap. Still, I am not sure why the Rangers bother me, but I just am not a fan. I would prefer to see any of the AL West teams succeed over the Rangers. So, I did take some satisfaction that the Rangers were SO CLOSE, but ultimately SO FAR AWAY in their quest for the organization’s first championship. Of course, they’ll be a contender again next year so I recognize that their time may still come.
A signing that makes sense…
It was good to hear that the Yankees and GM Brian Cashman have apparently agreed on a new three year deal that will be announced on Monday. Wrapping up Cashman before the expiration of his contract was essential for the Yankees to have a successful off-season. Next up is re-signing CC Sabathia before he exercises his opt-out by midnight on Monday. I really do not want to see CC hit the open market because it will take away the Yankees focus in finding other pieces to the puzzle.
Plus another signing that would make great sense…
As for free agents, I do hope the Yankees pursue C.J. Wilson. I recognize that he lost Game 7 of the World Series, however, he is a talented pitcher and I think that he’d excel under pitching coach Larry Rothschild. A top three rotation of Sabathia-Wilson-Nova would be very competitive. It’s too bad that Phil Hughes took such a step back this year, and that A.J. Burnett continues to under-achieve. But I really do not want to go another year relying on the aging arms of Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon. The Yankees have to improve the rotation, and I do not believe that Dellin Betances or Manny Banuelos are quite ready for the challenge yet.
Admittedly, a sense of relief…
Congratulations to Jerry DiPoto for being named the new GM of the Los Angeles Angels, but I still think it’s an injustice that Kim Ng doesn’t get stronger consideration. She is as well qualified (if not more) than her male counterparts, and she’ll make a terrific GM one day. If I owned a team, she’d certainly be on my short list of people to hire. As for DiPoto, it had seemed like he was destined for the Baltimore Orioles just a few weeks ago. I don’t think they’re top candidates, but I’d hate to lose either Billy Eppler or Damon Oppenheimer to an AL East rival. So, hopefully, the O’s will either go with an internal candidate or select someone without ties to the Yankees. I do hope that Eppler and Oppenheimer get recognized for their great contributions, but I’d prefer to see it happen outside of the division (well, except for the Rangers).
Have we seen the end of the term ‘Lovable Losers’ in Chicago?…
I have to admit that I am anxious to see how Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer put their stamp on the Chicago Cubs. I hope it doesn’t involve signing free agent slugger Albert Pujols, whom I really hope finishes his career in St. Louis. But someone like Prince Fielder might make great sense for the Cubs. I am sure that they’d love to find a way to get out from under Alfonso Soriano’s contract. While I can’t say that I am thrilled about Alex Rodriguez and view the weight of his contract as an albatross, the Yankees made the right decision in parting with the free swinging Soriano and of course it eventually opened a spot for the Yankees true MVP, Robinson Cano. I expect Epstein to be aggressive and it will be interesting to watch the 2012 Cubs take shape. I just don’t see how manager Mike Quade survives, but I could be wrong. I believe that Ryne Sandberg would be the best field general for the Epstein regime.
My favorite NL team continues to be the Los Angeles Dodgers, primarily because of manager Don Mattingly, but I’ll definitely be pulling for the Cubs as well. I would like to see them win a championship in my lifetime, well, so long as the opposing team is not the Yankees.
Bright Lights, Great City…
When the Minnesota Twins played their final home game at the end of the regular season, I knew that I was going to miss the magical lights of Target Field from my downtown Minneapolis home. I don’t know why, but the lights were on at the stadium a few days ago and it is amazing how much they enhance the already beautiful Minneapolis skyline. I am looking so forward to the lights next April. However, I recognize that there is still about 50 to 80 inches of snow that stand between me and those lights. Let the Hot Stove League begin…
What’s on TV?…
With the Yankees at home for the year and an AL team that I don’t care for still playing, I have to admit that I have not been watching the World Series this year. Of course, that cost me the chance to watch history last night as Albert Pujols showed why he is a living legend with three home runs, ala Reggie Jackson. Somehow that huge contract that he’ll get in the off-season just got a little bigger. I am not saying that the Yankees should try to sign Albert (I’m satisfied with Mark Teixeira at first and feel that the money is better served for weaker areas like starting pitching), but the Yankees do need someone like that who is capable to singlehandedly taking over a game. I have no doubt that Robby Cano is that type of player, but with the deteriorating skills of Alex Rodriguez, it puts so much pressure on the rest of the lineup to pick up the slack.
Back to Albert, I do hope that he continues his drive and helps deliver another world championship to the city of St. Louis. As much as I would like Albert on my team, I really hope that the Cardinals do what it takes to keep him in the organization for the duration of his career. To this day, Stan “The Man” Musial is still a huge part of the Cardinals and their history, and Albert would have that same impact for years to come. If he departed and played a few years for, say, the Chicago Cubs, it would definitely taint his Cardinals legacy.
If there are no concerns, why am I concerned?…
I keep hearing that there are no concerns about getting a new contract in place for GM Brian Cashman, but as each day passes and we draw closer to the end of the month, I do grow a bit more concerned. Given how difficult the Derek Jeter negotiations were last year, what if the team tries to short pennies on Cash? What is Plan B if Cashman opts to leave? With Damon Oppenheimer and Billy Eppler talking to other teams, the best in-house talent could be gone. I doubt if both of those guys leave and from the sounds of it, neither one is the leading candidate for the Angels GM job. Still, a team could turn to one of them. I’d really prefer to go to Oppenheimer or Eppler should Cashman leave in order to maintain the continuity within the organization. That’s very similar to what the Red Sox will be doing by promoting Ben Cherington to GM to replace Theo Epstein.
Can he replicate the success of Larry Lucchino?…
I do wish Theo Epstein and soon-to-be GM Jed Hoyer the best of luck in Chicago as they try to end the World Series drought for the Cubs. I know that the road is much more difficult than it was when Epstein became the Red Sox GM, but I’ve certainly learned to never under-estimate Theo. He has made his share of poor decisions (such as signing John Lackey), but that only means that he is not afraid of making difficult decisions. Some will pan out, some will not. I am sure that there are a few moves that Brian Cashman would like to undo. But I’d rather see a GM make the bold moves and potentially uncover great talent and chemistry for the betterment of the team. Given that Theo will be bringing a few of his guys to Chicago, I wonder when manager Mike Quade gets the ax. It would be interesting to see if Theo and Jed would go for a top managerial candidate with Red Sox connections like DeMarlo Hale or go to a Cubs legend like Ryne Sandberg. I think either move would be sound should they decide to part ways with Quade.
It’s only money…
Put me in the category of those who would like to see the Yankees pursue Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish. I know that the past success of Japanese pitchers has been mixed, but I really feel that Darvish is a special talent. He would like great in the middle of the rotation. I am also anxious to see what pitcher Hector Noesi can do in winter ball. As much as I thought Freddy Garcia did everything asked of him, I’d really rather see the Yankees develop a younger arm in the rotation. Just like last year, A.J. Burnett will come to camp as a question mark. Plus, there’s the potential that CC Sabathia opts out and takes an offer from another city despite how well he has adapted to New York. I have come to not rely upon Phil Hughes, so that means the only certain reliable starter at the moment is Ivan Nova. I would aggressively go after Rangers starter C.J. Wilson regardless of whether CC stays or goes. I wish the Yankees could find a way to unload Burnett, but it’s probably not going to happen. The Red Sox will probably have better luck getting rid of John Lackey.
You have the right to remain silent…
As a lifelong Minnesota Vikings fan, I’ve faced my share of disappointment over the years. I have never had to deal with losing Super Bowls like I did as a kid, but that’s only because the team has never been back. I think character is a quality component to building team chemistry and unity, and the Vikings have had more than their fair share of poor off the field decisions. Now we have the latest news that starting cornerback Chris Cook is in jail for the weekend on domestic assault charges. This is very disappointing news.
The Vikings certainly have their hands full this weekend as they will be facing the undefeated Green Bay Packers with a rookie QB (Christian Ponder) making his first NFL start. It looks to me as if the deck has been stacked against Ponder, but hopefully, he’ll show why he was a surprise, but great, early selection in the first round of the last NFL Draft.
Waiting for the Hot Stove League to start…
I think the longest point in the off-season for a Yankees fan is from the day the team exits the play-offs until the conclusion of the World Series. The shorter that gap, the better. Unfortunately, it was not to be this year with the team’s departure after the opening series loss to the Detroit Tigers.
The saddest part of 2011 is that the Yankees could have beaten the Tigers, and I think they would have been very competitive with the new AL League champion Texas Rangers. Texas pulled the perfect play-off card in getting the unexpected wild card Tampa Bay Rays who had been left for dead by everybody except themselves. In the ALCS, they avoided the Yankees, or the top clubs that didn’t make the play-offs, the Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels. I have long been in favor of expanding the divisional series from 5 to 7 games, and this year is just another reason why. The Yankees, with the best league record, were unable to start against the weakest team in the play-offs, the Rays, because they are from the same division. So, that pitted the Yankees against the stronger Tigers in a shortened series. I am not saying that the Yankees would have won it had the series been in the 7-game format, but at least it would yield a more truthful result.
I am a former Dallas resident but not a Rangers fan…
I am not a fan of the Texas Rangers so it’s hard to feel any satisfaction in their team reaching the World Series for the second year in a row. However, my son is a Rangers fan and he’s certainly excited about the team’s success. We lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area when my son was small, and after a Rangers game, we had gone to a nearby restaurant for dinner. There weren’t too many people in the restaurant at the time, and my son must have been about 2 or 3. On the other side of the restaurant, then Rangers pitcher Nolan Ryan was having dinner with his family. We told our son who was at the table, and a friend walked him over to the table to introduce my son to Nolan. My son was wearing a Rangers cap, so Nolan took it off and signed the bill of the cap. My son is now almost 22 years old, and he still has that signed cap with him. He remains a Rangers fan to this day, despite his dad’s loyalty to the Yankees.
The team with the second greatest World Series success…
While I think the World Series will be competitive this year, I still think the National League will emerge victorious again. I don’t really see the Milwaukee Brewers getting past the St. Louis Cardinals, so it should be the Cardinals in the World Series against the Rangers. It’s too bad the Cardinals don’t have Adam Wainwright in their rotation, but the team is certainly on a mission. I think the Cardinals will end the NLCS with a Game 6 win tonight in Milwaukee.
Strike quickly with full force and focus…
I am anxious for the World Series to conclude so that we can move on to the Hot Stove League. I really hope the Yankees can re-sign GM Brian Cashman to a new deal before the end of the month and before the start of the free agency period. This off-season is about timing and the Yankees need to move very quickly to secure Cashman and hopefully re-negotiate with CC Sabathia so that they can turn to free agency and the trade market with full and heavy focus. My wish list for the off-season is an improved starting rotation, strength on the bench, and perhaps a heavy hitter to offset the declining production from Alex Rodriguez in the batting order.
But I thought beer and hot dogs were part of baseball…
I am not quite sure what to make of the situation in Boston. I think former manager Terry Francona has taken too much blame, and I was a little surprised to see GM Theo Epstein leave his hometown and his favorite team to take over as GM of the Chicago Cubs. Granted, he’ll have greater authority in Chicago, and it would be tremendous to be the GM responsible for the first World Series victory for the Cubs after their historic drought. But it leaves Boston without a manager or a general manager. Obviously, when the Red Sox move Ben Cherington to GM, they’ll maintain the continuity and Ben will do a fine job. However, the Sox will definitely have a new look in 2012. It will be interesting to see what moves they make with the roster in the off-season if they intend to place greater priority in character. Jon Lester has been one of my favorite pitchers, so I am hopeful that he is surrounded by better influences going forward.
Missing the view…
Living in downtown Minneapolis, I have to admit that I miss seeing the lights of Target Field at night. It created a great view from my place, and there’s definitely a void now that the ballpark lights have been shut off until next spring. So, as a newcomer to Minnesota, the obvious question to me as how many inches of snow will I have to deal with before those lights come on again? 😉
The Yankees are playing an elimination game, so of course, I need something to take my mind off the game! 😉
Maybe we’ll see the new White Sox manager run toward the Texas Rangers owner’s box in a fit of rage…
I was surprised to hear the announcement that former Yankees third baseman Robin Ventura had been named the manager of the Chicago White Sox. I think Robin’s a great guy and he should be a good manager, but he’s definitely the anti-Ozzie Guillen. I thought that Jerry Reinsdorf and company would go for a more experienced manager. Personally, Terry Francona would be at the top of my list but I am sure that Reinsdorf had good reasons for taking a chance with Robin.
I have not done any research to see what Ventura has been up to in recent years but hopefully he’s prepared for the rigors of managing in a big city with high expectations. If the Chicago Cubs somehow managed to land GM Theo Epstein and/or Terry Francona, it would put pressure on Ventura to produce quickly in the Battle of the Windy City.
Now you see them, now you don’t…
I was equally surprised to see the quick exit from the play-offs by the Tampa Bay Rays. After they successfully caught the Boston Red Sox in September and captured the Wild Card, I did think they were a team of destiny. They certainly have the starting pitching to contend, but it was not meant to be. Red Sox fans were so hoping for the ouster of the Yankees and Rays on the same night. Fortunately, they were disappointed. I really hope the Yankees get the chance to play the Texas Rangers in the ALCS to, hopefully, avenge the play-off loss last year. Texas has an incredible offensive machine, but they are not unbeatable.
Weren’t the Cardinals left for dead just a month or so ago?…
It is interesting that all division series, except Rangers-Rays, have gone the full 5 games. I don’t expect the St. Louis Cardinals to beat the Philadelphia Phillies, but they’ve certainly shown they can play on the same field. The Phillies remain the team I think will win the World Series, but I’d be foolish to underestimate the heart of the Cardinals. The Arizona Diamondbacks were able to dig out of a 0-2 hole against the Brewers, but I don’t really expect them to beat the Brewers in Milwaukee on Friday night. I think the NLCS will feature the Phillies and the Brewers, with the Phils advancing to the World Series.
The Vikings are dead…
Football has definitely not been fun this year as my team, the Minnesota Vikings, have lost all four games to open the season. Every game has been close, but the Vikings simply do not know either how to win or how to close out games. Is that the coach or the players? I really want to see Head Coach Leslie Frazier succeed, but I am not a big fan of QB Donovan McNabb (he will never again approach the success he enjoyed in Philly). Also, I was not a fan of Mike Singletary when he was coach of the San Francisco 49ers and now he has Leslie’s ear as his chief confidant and close friend. Perhaps Frazier would be better off without Singletary and with Christian Ponder as the starting QB…
Thanks for my iPod…
The Yankees and Detroit Tigers are getting ready to play Game 5 so I’d better cut this short. But before I go, I’d like to say my condolences to the family of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. His passing this week was difficult news to hear. Somehow it seems as though we’ve lost a great friend and the world will never be quite the same. He is missed by so many and rightfully so. When he stepped down as the CEO of Apple in late August, I didn’t realize that he was so close to the end. Nevertheless, he lived his life his way and on his own terms. He left a legacy for all of us to learn from. If we could accomplish 2% of what he did, we’d be wildly successful…
The crowd begins to gather…
Whew, a series win!…
The Yankees were able to pull out a series win over
the Chicago White Sox, thanks to the great pitching of rookie Ivan Nova. Nova, who won his first major league game,
went 5 2/3 innings, giving up only one run and give hits. He walked one and struck out 7 White Sox
batters, and got help from the bullpen as the Yankees defeated the White Sox
2-1 on Sunday.
The series started with a loss on Friday night, as
Chicago drubbed the Yanks, 9-4. It was
another pathetic performance by A.J. Burnett, who is making the remaining years
on his contract look very painful for the Yanks at this point. It’s a difficult situation because the
Yankees do need him to win in October, so it is imperative for A.J. to put
August behind him and return to pitching like he did late last year.
In Saturday’s game, CC Sabathia didn’t have his
best stuff but didn’t need it as the Yanks put their bats on display in the
12-9 win. They had a big lead and had to
hold on late, but it still went in the win column.
The series MVP was clearly Marcus Thames, who
homered three times in the series including two on Saturday and once on
Sunday. He struck out in his only
appearance on Friday night, but clearly made up for it as he figured heavily
into both Yankee wins. At a time when
Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Lance Berkman are on the sidelines, you need
for others to step up and Thames certainly answered the call.
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/MCT
Other heroes of the past three days include Nova for his great pitching on
Sunday, Mariano Rivera for just being himself in picking up two saves, and Eduardo Nunez who had 4 RBI’s on Saturday.
I wasn’t pleased to hear that Major League Baseball
is investigating Ivan Nova and pitcher Wilkin De La Rosa for allegedly
injecting each other B-12 shots at Double AA Trenton last season. Hopefully, the investigation will prove no
wrongdoing on Nova’s part and the substance was purely B-12, which is not a
It will be interesting to see what changes in the
rotation manager Joe Girardi makes upon the impending return of Andy
Pettitte. Javier Vazquez and A.J.
Burnett are clearly the more accomplished and experienced starters, however,
they have been unable to match the recent consistency of Dustin Moseley and
Ivan Nova. I remain hopeful that Vazquez and Burnett will
return to the success they achieved earlier in the season, but for now, it is
good to know that others are there to help the team during times of
Mark Teixeira has missed some playing time the past
few days with a bruised hand, but hopefully, he’ll be back when the Yankees
return to the Bronx on Monday night to face the Oakland A’s. With A-Rod (and Lance Berkman) still
sidelined, the Yankees definitely need Teixeira’s bat in the lineup. As the calendar prepares to change to
September, it’s time for the team to get on a roll and Tex is obviously a key
Congratulations to Albert Pujols for his 400th
home run last night. He is definitely
moving into the land of Legends, and we’ll look back one day and be very
appreciative that we were able to see him play.
As much as the media would love to see Albert play in New York, I feel
that it is only right for the St. Louis Cardinals to find a way to ink their
superstar to a long-term deal. I
remember attending my first major league game as a kid at the old Busch Stadium
and running into former Cardinal great Stan Musial. Musial means so much to the Cardinals
organization, and of course, Pujols is in the same category. It would be wrong to see him wear anything
other than a Cardinals uniform.
Scott Rovak/US Presswire
I can’t believe that I am actually pulling for the
Tampa Bay Rays to win tonight’s game against the Boston Red Sox (which would
keep the Yankees in a first place tie with the Rays). But then again, there is simply no way to
pull for the Red Sox…