Monday, October 25, 2010

Musings and Happenstance

Good morning fellow readers.

With the Orioles' season over and my day job in full swing life has torn me away from the internet. This morning, however, I find myself with some time to rattle off some of the thoughts that have meandered through my baseball mind the past week. Meandered like a shallow stream through an autumnal glen; or a small child lost in the mall.

You pick.

-If I hear the phrase, "Great series - no one will watch it," one more time I am going to need bail money. Yes, we get it. Texas and San Fran are not the markets of Philly and NYC. We get it. We get that West Coast teams not based in LA are largely ignored by the national mind with its rather large Eastern bias. But guess what, the networks only really care about four maybe five teams anyway so odds are there is going to be a series every once and awhile that "no one" will watch. The snark behind that comment always drives me nuts. The people in San Francisco will certainly watch it as will all of the people in the greater Dallas-Arlington-Fort Worth metro area. That is who we should be worrying about. Don't these teams deserve a chance to play on the big stage just as much as the Yankees, Phillies, Red Sox and Angles?

-As you all know by now the Yankees lost and were knocked out of the playoffs again. I know I am just all broken up about that. Haven't been able to sleep for days. Neither has the NYC press which has been, delightfully, all over the Yankees. What does this have to do with the Orioles? Because as Mike Lupica in the Daily News and the Joel Sherman in the NY Post bring up - the Yankees are getting old. Next season Jeter will be 37, Posada will be 40, Rivera will be 41and as these players have aged everyone has expected them to finally succumb to age like EVERY player - especially Posada. But the problem is they never seem to do it. After the lackluster performance in the ALCS people are starting to seriously look at this Yankee team and wonder how it will go on from here. This is great news for the Orioles.

The Yankees simply have to bring back Jeter and Rivera. I mean, I think Yankee fans could deal with Posada going and even Pettite but not Jeter. Jeter is Ripken. In the Sherman piece linked above he likens Jeter to Ripken as both a blessing and a curse. The difference here is that as Ripken aged he was able to shift over to third to keep from being anything less than a defensive asset to the team - Jeter and the Yankees do not have that option with a soon to be 36 year-old A-Rod and his albatross-like contract parked at third base. The Yankees have to bring him back he is the international face of a near-trillion dollar empire, but in the sense of good baseball it is probably a bad idea, but they are stick with him.

Again, great for the Orioles? Because if the Yankees have to trot out an older version of Jeter 162 times a year that makes them just that much weaker. Going out and getting Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford can help but the Yankees are getting old quickly in key positions with next to no help in the minor leagues and huge contracts that no other team could take on in a trade. The more questions the Yankees have this offseason the better. I think we are seeing a team finally on the downswing.

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