Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Nightly Notes

I have some wide-ranging things to talk about tonight, so the old "Nightly Notes" column seemed like the right format to go with. Here goes nothing:

1.) I have to start with the ALCS, don't I? Josh Beckett was his amazing self tonight, and C.C. Sabathia was pretty good but not great. As a result, the Sox live to fight another day. With Curt Schilling going against Fausto Carmona in Game 6 in Boston on Saturday, the Sox have a good chance to push the series to Game 7. I believed strongly that Beckett would be solid tonight -- but I still think it was a mistake not to start him in Game 4 -- and I still think that the Indians are going to win this series.

2.) It seems as if Tim Wakefield was going to pitch Game 5 if he hadn't pitched Game 4, and that mystifies me almost as much as the decision not to start Beckett in Game 4 in the first place. Curt Schilling pitched Game 2 of the series, and with the two off days and two games between Game 2 and Game 5, he would have been able to pitch Game 5 on full rest. The whole idea of having Beckett go in Game 4 would have been rendered idiotic if you then turned around and started Wakefield in Game 5 -- but was there any reason that Schilling couldn't have gone in Game 5, with Daisuke pitching Game 6 and Beckett coming back for Game 7? There's something here I just don't get. Ah well -- the Red Sox will either make Terry Francona look very smart by coming back in this series, or they won't. We'll see what happens.

3.) I have been a big fan of South Florida ever since they beat Auburn, but they lost to Rutgers tonight to continue the ridiculous streak of ranked teams losing to unranked teams. This is good news for Big East haters -- an undefeated South Florida squad would have had an excellent chance of finishing in the BCS top 2 to earn a trip to the National Championship game. As it is, we're into somewhat absurd territory anyway -- can you say Ohio State/Boston College? If I had to guess, BC will lose at some point, and LSU will end up facing Ohio State for the title. Honestly, thought, this season has been so ridiculous already that very little would surprise me. I'd laugh pretty hard if the championship game ended up being, let's say, Hawaii/Boston College.

4.) About that Joe Torre situation -- I don't know who to believe here. Tom Verducci calls the Yankees cowardly for making an unfair offer to Torre; but fellow CNNSI columnist Jon Heyman says the offer was perfectly fair. Peter Gammons and Tim Kirkjian , meanwhile, says in this video piece that Yankee was Torre was mistreated considering what he had done for the organization. The questions just keep piling up: was the offer fair? was it made in good faith, or did the Yankees make an offer that they knew Torre would refuse? Did Torre have any intention of returning, or did he just want to make the Yankees look bad by rejecting an offer that he probably had some indication was forthcoming?

Ultimately, I think that Torre deserved the right to walk away on his own terms, and the decision by the Yankees to guarantee just one year on the deal was probably the deal-breaker. Many analysts tonight made it quite clear that the lame duck status of Torre throughout 2008 would have been a tremendous distraction, and Torre made the move that was right for the players. Ultimately, I have no idea what went on in the meeting between Torre and the team, or the organizational meetings that came before. I can say definitively, though, that I wouldn't want to be taking over for him -- it seems like a can't win scenario (well, almost -- a World Series title in 2008 would pretty much constitute a win; nevertheless, I think the Yankees might be in for some transitional shock in '08, especially if a few free agents walk). I'm sure that there will be much more on this in the days to come.

5.) Just a very quick Arizona Fall League update -- Matt Macri, acquired from the NL Champion Colorado Rockies (boy, does that look weird), is one of the hottest hitters in the AFL. In 23 AB's, he's clubbed a couple of homers and is hitting a robust .348 -- gotta like those numbers. On the pitching side, the most notable performance thus far has been turned in by Eduardo Morlan (who spent most of the season with the Miracle) who has pitched 3 innings and is yet to allow an earned run.



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