Didn’t take long for those hot stoves to heat up. Rumors have it that The Boss wants Cashman to remain in NY, and in Boston it seems negotiations between Theo and the Sox have left the parties separated by a wide margin. And we all still wait for some comment from Joe Torre, in the wake of Mel Stot’s departure and Congratulationsgate—perhaps the most tepid Steinbrenner controversy ever, and how sad/bizarre/ironic would it be if this were to result in Joe’s departure?
Meanwhile, Tom Gordon doesn’t think he’ll be back—rejoice, Spidey!—which clears the way for a broad bullpen restructuring (BJ Ryan?), and it seems that Matsui has been offered a three-year deal for roughly $35 million. That’s a big check, but the Yanks, one suspects, can afford it, and he’s been a real joy to watch—the new century’s Paul O. That still leaves centerfield and some kind of DH to deal with in the offseason. And there’s some good news: the minor system now has several excellent prospects at its lower and middle levels. They may not be as close to the Majors as some of the Sox kiddies, but you never know, and their trade value should be high.
As for those Sox, they’ve got all kinds of issues to address. We’ll let SF discuss those in depth, but we would not be as sanguine as he appears to be were we given his shoes. Damon will likely bail. Manny wants out. The bullpen is a disaster. The rotation is a mess. Varitek and Nixon ain’t gettin’ any younger….
Finally, let us address the whole “blame game” issue. A-Rod has been taking it hard in the press for his ALDS performance, even though his OBP was up over .400. Yeah, he had a shitty series. And he’s a sensitive guy, so it seems it upset him. But let’s not saddle with him with the blame for this loss. It took the entire team to lose. Sheff and Matsui and Randy all had lousy series as well. But mainly let’s blame management. With better pre-season planning, they wouldn’t have been stuck pitching Johnson so deep into a game on the 2nd to last day of the season. Anyway, whatever. How many days till pitchers and catchers report?