Expectations And More Minor Leaguers
My apologies for my negligence here of late. It’s been busy.
I hope to expand on each of these items separately in the next week, but watching the Rays, Rangers, and Reds flourish (as predicted in March/April) I’ll get cocky and make a few late-season and off-season forecasts:
The Red Sox got so hurt that the Yankee late-season fold (also predicted here) can’t be so bad as to include sliding completely out of the playoff picture. But if they don’t at least get back to the Series I would now expect pitching coach Dave Eiland to be dismissed, and possibly manager Joe Girardi with him. Take the bizarre pitching decisions of this Tampa series and add them to the skid Girardi steered them into during the playoffs against the Angels last year, and you have an issue that seems to become a crisis when the chips are really down.
I also would not be at all surprised to see both New York teams have new shortstops next year. Given the number of Gotham reporters and their traditional fixation with the bad, it really is amazing how little has been written about the deterioration of Jose Reyes’ defense. The Mets will at least try to trade him this winter. And in the Bronx, if it were anybody but Derek Jeter, reporters would’ve tried to run him out of town by now. Jeter has completely collapsed offensively, and is, from what I’ve been told, not handling it or the attempts to correct it, very well. At the present rate of decline he has no bargaining position in the free agent winter ahead and his best hope to stay in New York is on a one-year deal at a (comparatively) low salary and some kind of token, face-saving mutual option. If not he will be an offensive question mark picked up by a team hoping to capitalize on his reputation and his past.
Venturing further afield, I am beginning to suspect Ryne Sandberg will not get the Cubs’ managerial job. There is a future for him at Wrigley Field if he wants it, but the internal reviews of his work running Cubs’ farm clubs these last few years turns out to be far less sanguine than I had been previously told.
Now, for your dining and dancing pleasure, a few more of those wonderful minor league baseball cards of current big league figures:
Yes, it’s General Managers – three current, one former/possibly soon-to-be-again. That’s Doug Melvin of the Brewers on a Neil Sussman set of the 1975 Fort Lauderdale Yankees of the Florida State League, Billy Beane of the A’s from ProCards’ Portland PCL set from 1987, Kevin Towers (formerly of the Padres, perhaps next of the Mets) in the same company’s Las Vegas PCL set from a year later, and Philly’s Ruben Amaro in his pro debut at Salem of the Northwest League in ’87.
I have to disagree with you on Derek Jeter. Keith, you are taking this slump to an extreme. It is the worst in a career of relatively consistent performance. I think he’s earned a mulligan from the Fans and the Yankees, and his history has proved that he rebounds well from lows. Even this season he was hitting over .330, was getting RBI’s and showed enhance power going into May. Then in the Middle of May the slump started. Does it make sense that this was a sign of decline or a result of an undisclosed injury? I will bet you that after the season ends we will hear about a surgery to correct some kind of muscle tear and with rehab he’ll be back to normal.
Long time Cub fan here. Don’t laugh, ok? I’m not that discouraged if Sandberg doesn’t get the job here. He was a fine player but as far as manager well I just don’t know. I haven’t seen or heard enough. I’d like to see Bob Brenly get it. The 2001 world series is my all time favorite. That’s who I hoped for before Pinella. More importantly I’d like to see them spend their money more wisely on players that will actually help us and not on just some big name big money free agent. Soriano’s not the first one, or Milton Bradley. Other names in years past come to mind. We desperately need a lead off hitter. PLEASE. I think I’m slightly more concerned with our G.M. When we do get in the play offs it seems the other team’s pitchers are a little better than ours. Plus our hitters can’t seem to hit them. We need contact hitters and not just big swinging occasional home run hitters. I’m sick of it.
If the Bernie Williams saga is any indication, you might be onto something here, Keith. Of course, Derek Jeter has meant so much more to the Yankees and their fans but the front office did not show much sentimentality in their latter-day dealings with key figures like the aforementioned Bernie or Joe Torre.
Then again, as dudestein1958 pointed out, Jeter is having his worst year “in a career of relatively consistent performance”. Unfortunately, the timing of his offensive collapse–at age 36 and in a contract year–is terribly off. Others have raised the possibility of the Yankee captain playing with an undisclosed injury, but if the Yankees make it to the post-season and Jeter rises to the occasion…who knows? Either way, it should make for an interesting winter, negotiation-wise.
So the Yankees are 89-58 and are “folding” while the Rays, Rangers, and Reds are 88-58, 82-64, and 83-65 and are “flourishing?” Even if the Rays end up winning the east by a couple of games, this statement is just insane.
I know Keith has watches that Yankees more than other teams because he has season tickets and I think this has made him notice all of the Yankees flaws while ignoring that every other team has them too.
Also, there is no chance that either Girardi or Jeter will not be back next year.
Just please stop saying insane things about baseball Keith.
Well, forgive the lateness of my reply. Been busy here too!
Jeter: Please, just not SF or Oakland! Please please please.
Minor League cards: Keep ’em coming! I’m enjoying the heck out of them for some reason.