Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tuesday A.M. Quickie:
NLCS, Piniella and More

NLCS Game 5 PPD to today: We're all better off being able to see Glavine and Weaver on full rest, rather than the potential for T-ball that last night's game portended.

Meanwhile, who wants to bet that MLB seeded the clouds in St. Louis to ensure that they wouldn't have to go head-to-head with Monday Night Football? Because that, my friends, is a battle MLB would lose.

Is Pujols' hammy hurting? That's the speculation. My bet is that it wouldn't keep him from smacking home runs if he could.

Piniella to Cubs; A-Rod next? Naturally, the first question after Lou Piniella signed on to manage the Cubs is: Are the Cubs going to try to bring in A-Rod, reuniting him with his Mariners (and first) manager?

I've said it for a while: It's in the best interests of both the Yankees and the Cubs to morph him from "A-Rod," being booed at Yankee Stadium to "A-Wrod," being cheered at Wrigley.

Get him out of the AL, as far away from his past as possible. Put his power in Wrigley's friendly confines for 81 games a year. Get him back to shortstop, his natural position. Put him together with Piniella, who knows how to handle him. Give him a fresh start with great fans.

Meanwhile, the Yankees lose his $16 million salary, which they can immediately apply to getting better pitching; it's not like A-Rod's bat stood out in that lineup full of stars. More importantly, they lose his distraction. And if they can replace him with Aramis Ramirez, all the better.

See the Comments section for my new definition of "VORP": Value Over a Rodriguez Problem.

Melee in Miami, Cont'd: It shouldn't surprise anyone that the poster guy of the Miami-FIU brawl, Anthony Reddick, was suspended an extra game for his part in the brawl.

You might remember Reddick for his star turn on camera, swinging his helmet at an opposing player, in a move many blog analysts have likened to a woman swinging a purse.

Forget the suspensions: The only truly just karmic come-uppance for The U. would be a short-handed loss this week vs. lowly ACC doormat Duke. Now THAT would be satisfying punishment.

Speaking of Duke, rising sophomore PG Greg Paulus, one of the most unlikeable players in college basketball, is out indefinitely with a foot injury.

(This might be a good time to announce that I find myself, for the first time, finding a reason to root for Duke. But only slightly. Trust me. Despite my strongest objections, my favorite high school player in the class of 2006 – Jon Scheyer from Glenbrook North (IL) H.S. – will be on the Duke squad this season as a freshman swingman. You might remember Scheyer as part of the magical GBN team that won the Illinois state hoops title in 2005 with a starting five of all Jewish players, coached by Illinois coach Bruce Weber's brother. I can root for Scheyer's success without rooting for Duke, can't I? How about 20 ppg on a sub-.500 team?)

A's fire Ken Macha: When was the last time a team that went to the ALCS fired its manager a few days after losing? It couldn't possibly have been ALL Macha's fault (or even SOME Macha's fault) that the A's ran into the Tigers buzzsaw. It had to be the fact that he and Billy Beane haven't gotten along in years. And what Billy wants Billy gets.

More MLB managerial notes: The Nats are reportedly zeroing in on Joe Girardi. But what if Joe is holding out for Torre's job, when he's inevitably gone after the 2007 season?

Jared Jeffries out 3-8 weeks (wrist): Of COURSE the player who Isiah seems to think is the most important to his coaching re-debut would get hurt and put a hurt on the team's chances of getting better.

NFL Trade Deadline: Honestly, unless Randy Moss is traded to my Jags, I can't possibly see anything interesting happening. This ain't MLB. And it ain't even the NBA, which is saying something, given how lame the NBA trade deadline has become.

Mike Tyson to fight a woman boxer? It's horrifying, but admit that you'd be intrigued enough -- even if out of disgust -- to watch. My bet? It never happens. Simply too much trouble than it's worth for a fight promoter. Or is it?

For those of you who wear jerseys, you might want to note that college hoops uber-frosh Greg Oden, the presumptive top pick in the 2007 NBA Draft and many analysts' preseason first-team All-America will switch from his h.s. number (50) to his youth-ball number (20), which was originally his first choice as a prep, but the only jersey that fit him was the ones made with numbers in the 50s. In college, they don't have that problem. And OSU, I'm sure, is busy printing them out. This is likely of interest only to me.

"Dancing with the Stars 3" update: Sara Evans is out of the competition. Now, this might not mean anything to you, but please allow me to explain why: She's filing for divorce from her husband, and I guess she can't stay focused. Still bored by this paragraph? Let me quote from the New York Times' coverage of the news:

"Ms. Evans accused her husband of adultery with the couple’s former nanny, excessive drinking, soliciting sex via an Internet site and maintaining a library of pornography that included pictures of him having sex with other women." Guh! There's the payoff for your patience. Sounds like a real catch, that guy.

-- D.S.


Christian Thoma said...

Ummm...are we going to be seeing another post for last night's game?

Jake C said...

No chance there would have been more people watching MNF than pivotal game 5. MAYBE once word spread in the 4th quarter and game 5 was over/nearing the end it would have switched...but no one was really that interested in the game before the end (because no one thought the Cards has a snowball's chance).

Of course ARod to the Cubs would be great for him. However, Aramis is no clubhouse favorite, and I am not sure how much the Yanks would really want him. Plus, the package initially discussed (Figgins, Santana, Shields, and a mid-level prospect) from the Angels is WAY WAY better.

Anonymous said...

Vivica Fox was screwed last week anyways, Sara Evans should be out!

I'm still waiting to see if UM matches FIU's integrity and starts booting people off their team.

Rex Grossman killed my fantasy team.

Send A-Rod to the Reds! We can't afford him, but he could team up with Junior for a year.

Dan Shanoff said...

Just posted a separate item about MNF -- come on! Give me some credit!

Christian Thoma said...

Sorry, Dan, usually you mention in the title or subtitle that a topic will be discussed in another post.

Christian Thoma said...

I think Macha got fired because he was a negative clubhouse presence -- and seeing what Jim Leyland did only drove the point home. A small-market moneyball team can't afford to have a divisive manager in the dugout; they need a uniter.

Anonymous said...

Girardi to the A's would be interesting.

SexyRexy killed 16 of my FFL teams.

Bears were lucky last night, real lucky. 2 missed FGs, and 3 DEF/SPECTEAM TD's? Can't count on that every week.

How about Urlacher saying "bitched us out" on SC? Think they were scrambling to find the delay button?

Denny Green gets meltdown of the season. That is up there with Herm Edward's "You play to win" tirade, Or AI's "Practice".

Are you seriously updating Dancing with the Stars? I mean really, have you looked between your legs lately Dan? Do you still have a set?

john (east lansing, mi) said...

jake c -

I think a second-quarter score check would have made the MNF game very interesting.

Your logic is hard to follow - "The Cards are up? By 20? Pretty boring. Just like I thought, they don't have a snowball's chance."

I do take your point - Fox probably wasn't too worried about Game 5 vs. Bears-Cards MNF, before the games started. But I think the MNF game would have gained its appeal late in the first, maybe in the second, rather than in the fourth as you suggest.

TJ said...

When was the last time a team that went to the ALCS fired its manager a few days after losing?

3 years ago? Of course that was a completely different situation. This is more like if the Colts lost the Super Bowl this year and then fired Tony Dungy.

Christian Thoma said...

She's filing for divorce from her husband, and I guess she can't stay focused

Actually, her press release stated she was doing it to be there for her kids. How selfish can one get?

I like Sara Evans, she has a great voice. Didn't realize she was on the show, guess it's too late now, though, huh?

Jake C said...

John - you may have had some switch over at that point. But like many, I assumed it was over at halftime anyway. Given a close game 5, you would have had the majority switch right back IMO.

Jake C said...

Oh, and trade clause or not...ARod WOULD and WILL welcome any trade (to a decent team) if it comes.

whocares said...

You have a favorite highschool player?? Really??

Jared said...

What don't you like about Paulus? He's completely silent on the court.

Marco said...

Because FIU started the fight

Anonymous said...

FIU also forced Miami players to swing helmets and stomp on people while they laid on the ground.

Ben K. said...

Because A-Rod is going to agree to a trade to the 96-loss Chicago Cubs just because Lou Piniella is going to be their next (ineffective) manager...yeah right. And what would you have the Cubs give up in return? Carlos Zambrano?

Dan Shanoff said...

At this point, don't you think that the Yankees would take 50 cents on the dollar for A-Rod just to jettison him? I do.

You make the mistake of thinking that the Yankees would demand the mythical "equal value" for him. First of all, NO superstar is ever traded for equal value (one exemption: Jimmy Johnson's larceny on the Vikings for Herschel Walker, and even that took a package of picks that ended up panning out).

Second, isn't it fair to argue that there is "value" in getting rid of him? Distraction value, $16 million payroll value, lack of production in the playoffs value...

I'm going to suggest that the traditional VORP stat (Value Over a Replacement Player) be changed to Value Over a Rodriguez Problem.

The Cubs don't need to come up with THAT great of a package -- taking A-Rod off the Yankees' hands is already several steps toward giving the Yankees some value. Would the Yankees take Rich Hill? Would they demand Aramis Ramirez?

Who cares? I think that an 85- to 90-loss team is precisely where A-Rod would be the most comfortable and get his head screwed back on correctly.