Monday, April 23, 2007
How Sweep It Is To Be Gloved By You
Excuse the Marvin Gaye/James Taylor pun, it's been a long weekend. So the big sports story from this weekend was the Red Sox sweeping the Yankees. I can't wait to hear the hoopleheads call into Mike and the Mad Dog today talking about how the sky is falling, proclaiming to be the worst team in the history of baseball. It promises to be knee-jerk reactionism at its best. Sure their starting pitching, as currently constituted, is as intimidating Sanjaya in a sundress (1 point for topical humor!) and their bullpen makes me look fondly upon the mid-1990's Mets bullpen made up of such luminaries as Doug Henry, Jerry Dipoto, and some guy named Mauro Gozzo. But they still have arguably the best lineup in the majors (as well as the best hitter in ARod) and as long as the pitchers can hold the opposition to six runs or so (a fairly daunting task at this point) the Yanks will still be in a good position to win the game. Plus there is hope on the horizon with Mussina and Wang coming off the DL, but that's assuming that Wang and Mussina can roughly replicate last year's performance and as we all know it is very difficult to maintain pitching success from year to year. As far as the bullpen goes, Mariano will be fine despite his two recent meltdowns. There have been several times over the past few years that he has hit a rough patch and he has always summarily recovered to become well...Mariano. The rest of the bullpen is a huge liability however, as Farnsworth is a mess and Proctor appears to be severely missing Captain Harris. Maybe a call to Houston inquiring into Brad Lidge's availability is in order? The big winner in all of us? Well there are a few. First Red Sox and Met/Sox fans, as well as all Yankee haters. It sure is satisfying to bask in the afterglow of the team with the highest payroll in baseball being embarrassing swept by it's hated rival. (Note: I don't want to hear "But the Mets and Sox have payrolls over $100 million." The gap between the Yanks and the Red Sox is roughly $52 million. Pittsburgh, Arizona, Washington, Tampa Bay, and Florida all have payrolls of $52 million or lower. There are 12 teams that fall into the area between $143 M- $90M- a $53 M gap.) The other big winner is none other than Roger Clemens as long as the pitching deficiencies remain. If the Yanks are in contention but scuffling along in June/July, I'm sure Mr. Steinbrenner will be more than willing to open up his checkbook and give the Rocket whatever he wants, which Clemens will then use to leverage the Astros into a even better deal than he had last year- maybe $25 million per start, all you can eat bbq in the clubhouse, and a Mike Piazza dummy for him to throw at would seal the deal?