Monday, October 29, 2007

Monday 10/29 A.M. Quickie:
BoSox Champs! A-Rod Opts! Pats Roll! BCS Yes!

Today's Names to Know: Boston Red Sox, Mike Lowell, A-Rod, Joe Girardi, Tom Brady, Ohio State and Boston College, NBA Awards and More!

Red Sox sweep Rockies for World Series Championship, Boston's second title in four years. Man, the Red Sox sure know how to suck the drama out of a World Series, don't they? Two straight sweeps, eight straight wins.

Anyway, congrats to baseball's Team of the Decade, the first to nab two championships in the 21st Century, doing it with an ideal combination of scouting and SABR, guts and gobs of cash, pricey free agents and home-grown youngsters. They are (gack) the model franchise.

Thus is won the first component of what could be known as the Grand Slam of the Apocalypse: Boston teams winning titles in baseball, college football, pro football and pro basketball -- all way too possible. If that happens, the rest of us might have to either quit being sports fans or force the Boston teams (and fans) to secede from the rest of us.

As for the Rockies, it was a "miracle" run that ended miserably. Was it that 8-day layoff between NLCS and World Series that turned the hottest team in MLB history into a limp, lifeless loser? It doesn't matter: Colorado's fantastic finish goes up there with the '95 Seattle Mariners, among others: Locally, fans will remember how amazing it was forever, but without the championship, it will be lost to history.

A-Rod opts out of his contract: The savvy observer might note that Scott Boras' announcement during the World Series that A-Rod would opt out of his contract is the closest A-Rod has ever gotten to the World Series.

Did Boras think he was doing his client a favor with that classless move? Sure, we're all talking about him today (as Boras would say is all that matters), but all people will be saying is how douch-ish it was to co-opt the World Series for A-Rod's personal gain. It was right out of the WWE textbook.

So: What next for the player presumably about to win the AL MVP – and more than arguably the best player in baseball?

Where: Will the Yankees go back on their earlier sentiments and try to re-sign him? Will he go to a would-be contender like the Angels? Will he go to a team that desperately needs a superstar (San Francisco)?

How much: Will anyone be willing to pay him the payroll-crippling $30 million a year that Boras is demanding?

You know where A-Rod is a perfect fit, right? Boston. And you just KNOW they're thinking about it. (It's not like they haven't before.)

But, as they proved last night, the Red Sox hardly need A-Rod: Why, when they have World Series MVP Mike Lowell playing 3B? What an amazing pair of symbols: Boras interjecting A-Rod into the World Series, while Lowell smacks a HR to lead the Red Sox to a Series title, just before Lowell himself goes into free agency.

I can understand the lure of A-Rod (the tantalizing prospects of him in the lineup must make the SABR contingent get very excited), but despite the massive payroll, the Red Sox won this title using financial brains, not just brawn. As much as I'd like to see the Red Sox sign A-Rod, if only for the entertainment value, unlike most every other team in baseball, they don't need him (even if they are one of the very few that can afford him).

Meanwhile, the Yankees are set to announce their managerial decision today, and speculation is hot that it will be Joe Girardi.

UPDATE: The offer's been made. I know you all think I necessarily must renounce all Northwestern-related interest, but I have to say that it's exciting to see a fellow NU alum get that kind of job. (My favorite NU Girardi story: In the football weight room, where all athletes worked out -- me, too...imagine that scene! -- there are lists of weightlifting records, and the only non-football player ANYWHERE was in the squat, where Girardi was the all-time king. Northwestern loyalty won't make me root for the Yankees (save your snark), but it's nice to see it working out for another NU person.

NFL Wrap: Pats roll on to 8-0, and it's arguable we have just witnessed the most dominant first half of a football season ever (including the '85 Bears, who would be my gold standard for a first half). Tom Brady accounted for 5 TDs (again), with 2 on the ground for himself this time. So for those of you who have Brady in your fantasy leagues, you might get those extra points for rushing TDs (not that you need them, with Brady -- is he having the most dominant fantasy season for a QB ever?)

UPDATE: There's definitely a lot of talk about sportsmanship and the "classiness" (or not) of the Pats seemingly running up the score. Screw that: It's the NFL. I think it makes the Pats infinitely more interesting that they are not just winning, but ripping the soul out of the opponents, the rest of the league and the game itself as they go.

NFL in London: It was a great piece of ambassadorship, if the story we wanted to export was "The NFL sucks." Makes it hard to argue that the NFL is better than the EPL when the game features roughly as much scoring as a bad EPL game.

Rams, Dolphins remain oh-fer-season: It's a race to see who wants the top pick in the NFL draft. But in a QB-heavy draft, neither team really needs help at QB, and both teams already have very expensive "franchise" RBs, so a draft featuring Darren McFadden doesn't help much either. I suppose they're both playing to draft LSU's Dorsey.

Chargers lift up San Diego's spirits with a blowout home win: As long as the Chargers are scoring 35 in a half, can I get at least 1 TD for Tomlinson?

Random Notes: The Colts' 7-0 start (3rd straight season of that) has been complete eclipsed by the Pats. Good thing we'll have the Game of the Year next week when New England goes to Indy... Is Derek Anderson headed for a Pro Bowl appearance?... So who's picking up Quinn Gray as a fantasy QB?... Welcome back, Drew Brees and Marques Colston. Is it too late for a second-half surge to the NFC title I predicted them to win?

CFB BCS Rewind: Ohio State, Boston College remain 1-2, with BC the computers' favorite and OSU and Arizona State tied for 2nd by the PCs, after all four BCS-conference unbeaten teams claimed "prove-it" wins this weekend.

Arizona State rides the PCs to No. 4, while Oregon gets more love from the human pollsters. Given that they play next weekend, something has to give. If ASU beats Oregon, I would eye them for the Top 2, but that's a huge "if" I don't think will happen.

Of intrigue, unbeaten Kansas is still stuck at No. 8; Georgia is the highest-ranked 2-loss team (No. 10) and look at that: Michigan is sitting there at No. 12. (I am much more bullish on UConn than the various polls; I have them in my Top 10.)

My 1-2 this week are BC and Ohio State. I know I had Ohio State at No. 1 last week, so it looks like I'm dropping them from 1 to 2 after thumping Penn State in Happy Valley, but I think that BC's win at Virginia Tech was more impressive. At least I didn't put them behind idle LSU, too.

(It's not worth griping, OSU fans: You don't have to worry. OSU is a lock to play in the national title game if they win out, and I'll be ready to put them there as soon as they finally play – and beat – a really good team, which based on their schedule wouldn't come until the season finale in Ann Arbor.)

NBA Preview: Awards Predictions!
MVP: Kevin Garnett (Obvious)
(2nd: Gilbert Arenas; 3rd: Steve Nash)
Rookie: Kevin Durant (Zzz...)
(2nd: Al Thornton; 3rd: Al Horford)
Coach: Doc Rivers (Whaaa?!)
(2nd: Eddie Jordan; 3rd: Mike Woodson)
Breakout: Al Jefferson

Your NBA awards picks in the Comments.

-- D.S.

215 comments:

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Sparty said...

@toddthejackass

it is a pipeline dream i have.

So who is cleanup next year, Cano, Matsui,Giambi, Posada(if he returns)?

Michael said...

When I heard the news that A-Rod Opts Out of his contract with the Yankees I was so happy! He deserves to play in a town where the fans care about him. Where they will embrace him at every turn. A place like San Francisco!

Sparty said...

natsfan74,

that is exactly who i was thinking about last night as soon as the A-Rod announcement cameout...
Go get Cabrera! Get him up here, get him to stop eating all the time, and watch him become a stud in NY.

As for the Rose record, Jeter will get that before A-Rod ever does.

marcomarco said...

Good, send him to San Fran then.

ToddTheJackass said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GuyInTheCorner said...

todd-

I think the Twins would take Ian Kennedy, Bronson Sardina, Humberto Sanchez, and Melky Cabrera.

That sounds fair.

ToddTheJackass said...

Sparty, I'd guess Matsui would bat cleanup, but I still wouldn't rule out A-Rod coming back. A Miguel Cabrera trade is possible, but it would also cost at least a Joba or Hughes. Part of the problem with actually having good prospects is that no one will trade great pieces to you unless you give up your prized prospects. The Hanley + Anibal/Beckett + Lowell trade is a perfect example of this, or the Teixeira for Saltalamacchia deal.

The Yankees also largely kept out of the Free Agency thing last year, although the Clemens in-season thing I guess sort of ruins that.

CMFost said...

I would like to see the Red Sox send Coco, Lester, Bowden, Masterson and maybe one more low level prospect to Minny for Sanatana. I would even be willing to swap Bucholtz into the deal if you take out Lester

ToddTheJackass said...

I dunno Guy, I really just don't think they'd settle for that package since there isn't that blue chip, ceiling #1 pitching prospect to replace Johan.

I like Ian Kennedy, but I just don't think that he's better than a #3 in the AL East at best, possibly having the upside of a #2 in the AL Central. Humberto is a wild card, great stuff, but major health concerns. Melky I think is good and solid, but probably never will be an all-star level player. And Bronson Sardinha is sort of a joke I love to add in as it seems like a lot of Yankee message boards always throw him into some kind of deal, even though he's the absolute definition of a marginal player.

Put it this way, I think if that's what the Yankees offer, I think they could get something better from the Mets, Dodgers, or Angels.

Sparty said...

i think the Yanks could make it happen with Cabrera for Kennedy, Horne, and maybe they give up Tabata. Everyone is high on him, and he is still a few years away from playing. The Marlins also though Lowell was done, oops.

ToddTheJackass said...

I'm higher on Austin Jackson than I am Tabata at this point. I just don't think Tabata can stick in CF, and I feel like so much of his hype just has to do with him being so young, and hoping that the power will emerge... I dunno, just a concern I have with Tabata. Throwing in Tabata would help, but still I think the Dodgers or Angels could definitely offer better deals, involving true top of the rotation caliber prospects in Kershaw or Adenhart.

The Dodgers could make a huge splash by signing A-Rod and trading for Johan. A deal of Kershaw + Andy LaRoche would easily be enough for Johan as well. Considering they could have Matt Kemp, Chad Billingsley, and James Loney being cost controlled for awhile, I think they could afford to splurge, especially as the Angels are encroaching on their fan base steadily.

GuyInTheCorner said...

The problem that nobody mentions with A-Rod gonig to Dodgers/Angels/Sox/Cubs is that those teams already fill the seats so there isn't as much money to be made as there is if he goes to a middle market team.

ToddTheJackass said...

Guy, I could be wrong, but I think the Dodgers far from sell out all of their seats. It would be a huge boost, especially in LA, where we know that people love star power, of which the Dodgers are currently extremely lacking. Not to mention they could use a big middle of the order bat, of which the Dodgers are also currently extremely lacking.

I'm telling you, growing up in SoCal, don't underestimate the power of the fairweather fans out there. There are tons of fans that will only support winners, which is why there is a sudden swell of Angels fans there. The Dodgers need to make a good PR move and generate more interest in the franchise, taking away some of the support that the Angels are currently receiving.

miniml said...

Congrats Red Sox on not running up the score.

marcomarco said...

Looks like Boras pissed off more than just SOx fans with the Arod crap...

MLB Blasts Boras

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