My reaction? See ya later, fellas. It’s been nice, but so long.
Abreu will be 35 next season. He has driven in 100 runs six straight seasons, but he is a horrid defensive outfielder and his on-base percentage has been declining in recent seasons. At most, the Yankees should offer him arbitration and see if he will come back for one year. If they simply let him walk, I am OK with that, too. No way they can give him three years.
Mussina is 39. Yes, he just came off the only 20-win season of his career but I find it unlikely he ever pitches that well again. Same as with Abreu. If he wants a one-year deal, fine. If not, have a nice retirement, Mike.
The Yankees simply have to stop tying themselves to lengthy contracts with aging players. They gave too many years to Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Alex Rodriguez last winter. I think GM Brian Cashman understands this, and I would be shocked if Abreu or Mussina get that type of lengthy offer from the Yankees.
Great piece about Manny Ramirez the other day by ESPN’s Bill Simmons. Kudos to Bronx Banter for pointing it out. It’s looooong, but incredibly insightful. Simmons, by the way, ends the article by making his case that Manny will be a Yankee in 2009.
So, how will this play out? I see Manny leading the Dodgers to the 2008 World Series, breaking their hearts and donning pinstripes next season. He won’t feel bad, because he’s Manny. The L.A. fans will feel bad. I will feel worse. It will be the single most painful sports transaction of my lifetime. It will make me question why I follow sports at all, why we spend so much time caring about people who don’t care about us. I don’t want to hear Manny booed at Fenway. I don’t want to root against him. I don’t want to hold a grudge. I don’t want to hear the “Mah-knee! Mah-knee!” chant echoing through the new Stadium. I am not ready for any of it. You love sports most when you’re 16, then you love it a little bit less every year. And it happens because of things like this. Like Manny breaking the hearts of everyone in Boston because his agent wanted to get paid, then Manny landing in New York because the Yanks offered the most money.
There is part of me that thinks that would be fun — for a while. Manny would play like hell, for a year or so. Then, eventually, he would begin doing to the Yankees what he did in Boston. He’s a great hitter, but I want no part of him in pinstripes.
Boy, Joe Torre sure has lost his post-season touch! Yep. Watching him manage the Dodgers the past few days and I am absolutely certain all the Yankee failures in recent seasons were his fault. I mean, he couldn’t get any of the Yankees to execute a hit-and-run, or get a bases-clearing double. And he could never hex the opposing infielders into all making errors in the same game. And he couldn’t get the pitchers opposing the Yankees to walk the ballpark. Yep, Joe was to blame for everything. Shame he can’t manage anymore!
No offense to the Tampa Bay Rays or anyone else still playing. I think we are headed for a Dodgers-Red Sox World Series, though. And how much fun will that be, watching Manny and Torre try to beat the Red Sox for the big prize?
I am interested in how the New York Mets’ post-season plays out. They have kept GM Omar Minaya and maager Jerry Manuel. They will keep their nucleus intact. They will probably sign closer Francisco Rodriguez. Bob Klapisch is predicting a bidding war between the Yankees and Mets for CC Sabathia. That would liven up the off-season, that’s for sure.