Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Roman Empire

Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the perpetual drama of the Yankees

The Roman Empire has fallen, again. Right now there is much tearing of hair and gnashing of teeth, and there should be. The poor decisions of management have come back to haunt the franchise and Joe Torre will have to bear the weight of having to manage a team which boasted pitching luminaries like: Jared Wright, Carl Pavano, Mike Mussina (he of the 3.96 ERA during his tenure with the Yankees), Kyle Farnsworth, a broken down Roger Clemens and other blunders which lie squarely on the shoulders of management, not the manager. When your best pitcher can't crack the league top 10 in ERA you have a problem. Torre is perpetually granted free passes by the New York media, and yet he has presided over three straight flameouts in the 1st round. Surely, he is somewhat culpable for this trend of under-performance?

The Alex Rodriguez watch begins in earnest. Will he stay or will he go? Yankee management's tone has struck a very reconciliatory note. The hardline Cashman had set earlier in the year is a thing of the past. Steinbrenner has made comments that he wishes to re-sign the slugger and perennial MVP candidate. It only makes sense. The man is a gold glove at multiple positions and one of the five best offensive players in the majors. He is on track to hit at least 700 home runs and in the next 6 seasons could challenge Bonds' career home run mark. If he's not the marquis player in the majors, he will certainly hold that position over the next five years. He will likely establish himself as the top draw in the game.

A-Rod didn't have an execrable playoff. Going 4 for 15 with one home run was better than almost everybody else on the team (notably Jeter) and nothing to wring your hands about. My guess is that A-Rod gets re-upped at $30 million a year and stays a Yankee. What's hilarious about all this, is that the fans who booed him mercilessly for the last few years, are trying to be as positive and encouraging as possible so as not to drive away A-Rod.

In a bit.

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