A small Daily News article gives us an early look at the owner-in-waiting, and Spidey should be euphoric. Steve Swindal, George’s son-in-law and lucky heir, is a Tar Heels fan; and he can’t stand those bastards from Durham. I wonder if A-Rod’s time with the Bombers is winding down. Also, this makes the reality of Steinbrenner’s departure that more real. And I’m not sure about you, but I’ve got some mixed feelings about that.
Tuesday, February 28th, 2006
Here’s the first bit of really good news to emanate from Spring Training. Hopefully the extra rest will allow Foulkie to really blow guys away once he returns, and we’re thrilled that the Sox have not allowed Foulke to pitch for like 7 months now. So friggin’ smart, that Theo.
Mueller’s a Dodger. Millar’s an Oriole. Damon, as we all know, is a Yankee. There will be no Fab Five makeovers in Ft. Myers this year. Yes, says Jayson Stark, it’s the “end of the idiocy.”
Monday, February 27th, 2006
Just wanted to nip this one in the bud before certain Sox fans or Yanks doom-and-gloom types felt the need to bring it up: Mariano Rivera is again going to be dominant in 2006. In fact, count on him being the Yankees’ closer for the next 60 years. He’s related to Nosferatu (if you were interested in the biological reason). The technical word for what he’s done in his career is Wowza! Enjoy him while your grandchildren are applying to graduate programs.
The Herald is running a story about the Nationals rumored interest in one of the Sox gazillion starters. Brian Lawrence is out for a few months and they want to make up for his loss. Rumor is they have their eyes on the troubador Arroyo or hairy-chinned Clement. The Sox could be asking for Soriano in return for Clement, as they’re equally expensive, or Nick Johnson or Ryan Church for Arroyo. Of course, this is just a rumor, and one that doesn’t spell out whether the Sox are willing to talk. In any case, Boston fans should be encouraged; if Jim Bowden wants to deal with you (and your name is Theo Epstein), that’s very good news. I say the Sox hold out until Bowden sends them Nick Johnson, John Patterson, Chad Cordero, part ownership of the Nationals, and an all expense-paid trip to the Bahamas for all Fenway staff for the injured and disgruntled David Wells. It’s not out of the realm of possibility.
Lament of the sports editor: “I spent airfare and hotel money to send my columnist to Tampa, and all I got was this lousy column.” Yes, Newsday’s John Heyman wants to swap Sheff for Manny: “Perhaps there’s one crazy way that baseball’s bitterest rivals can help themselves, and if they absolutely have to, help each other. Here’s my fanciful idea: Trade one mixed-up malcontent straight-up for the other.” Spare us.
I demand a moratorium on describing pitchers’ stuff as "filthy". It’s catchy and it sounds kind of cool, but it is, like Dick Cheney’s liver, overused. I therefore put the kibosh on baseball writers using this term (that means you, Horrigan. And you too, Gammons), and propose that hurlers’ hard-diving sliders and tailing cut fastballs from now on be described as "begrimed". As in "Schilling utterly confused the spastic Giambi with a begrimed splitter". That or any other word that is onomatopoeiac.
So Carl might begin the season on the DL, according to reports this morning. I guess this is just more good news for YF, seeing as the rest might do Pavano some long-term good. On the other hand, being HEALTHY would probably be better news, but who am I to nitpick. I imagine I would have been slaughtered by commenters on this website if I claimed that "we’re excited that Manny and Schill aren’t healthy, as they’ll be excellent May additions to the club". And at what point does the Yankees’ (and some of their fans’) nonchalance with regards to Pavano’s health problems turn into genuine concern? This is a $40M pitcher we are talking about, not a mid-price, mid-rotation kind of guy. Lastly, I wonder if Pavano is suffering from the Dizzy Dean effect, where one injury leads to another compromised body part, a cascade nearly impossible to reverse without serious changes to one’s pitching style and/or abilities. Can the Yankees can ever really count on a return to 2003 form?
Sunday, February 26th, 2006
Buried almost offhandedly in the bottom of this Red Sox Notebook is the fact that David Wells can’t place any weight on one of his two legs, which limb it is is not specifically identified. I assume that’s quite a bad scenario, considering pitchers are known for occasionally needing those things to be effective. Not that it deserves screaming headlines, but what’s next, a nonchalant quip from Gordon Edes that "Manny has lost sight in both his eyes"?
Friday, February 24th, 2006
[Brian Cashman] has incredible intelligence, but he has those Machiavellian skills as well, which you need in that town.
-Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane
If Billy says it, it must be true. But SF and plenty of Yanks fans in the stathead community disagree with the hero of Moneyball, and idol for many armchair general managers. So who’s right? The architect of those wildly successful and low-payroll Oakland teams or those ivory tower critics?
I grew up loving the Yanks because the first baseball game I went to was at Yankee stadium. I was seven years old, the year was 1985, and I watched with bated breath in anticipation of Rickey Henderson pulling off a dramatic heist in broad daylight. You see, my older brother had gone to a game a month before and in his excited detailed recap of the game, he had mentioned that this thief named Rickey Henderson had managed to "steal" 3 bases during the game. So when I ended up going to a game with my mom’s friend, a librarian, and her daughter, I was fixated on this player named Rickey who so brazenly stole bases in front of crowds of people. I kid you not. I was not the brightest kid, a stubborn literalist and not yet familiar with the oddities of the baseball lexicon. What’s more is that the librarian and her daughter did nothing to demystify the word for me. You’d think someone who read as many books would be sensitive to a young child’s confusion with the complexities of a word. I remember asking, ‘Is Rickey Henderson going to steal more bases today."
As you might recall, we’ve promised a series of changes on this site over the next couple of weeks: a new design, new features, and most importantly, new voices. We’re pleased to introduce the newest of these, and in fact no introduction is really necessary, as the latest addition to the YFSF masthead is this site’s most prolific poster, Nick [REDACTED]. If you’re anything like SF and me, you’ve been enjoying his incisive commentary and good humor on this site for a long time; it seemed only appropriate to bring him onto the “editorial board.” Goodness knows, with some serious new responsibilities on my plate, I could use a little help defending the forces of good against SF and the rest of RSN. In any case, please join us in celebrating Nick’s new role on the site. Give him heck.
YF & SF
So Mrs. SF has jetted off with a group of friends to warm climes, for a weekend of fun, sun, snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, and, we hope, scouting the next great middle infielder. I sent her south with suntan lotion, a bathing suit, a primer on local history, a map to the best sandlots, and $18K in unmarked twenties accompanying a boilerplate form for her use. On Monday I find out if she’s as good a scout as she says…