Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Baseball playoffs

George Steinbrenner was smart to keep Joe Torre as the manager of the Yankees. It would have been nuts to get rid of him. He is an incredible manager and I imagine about 90 percent of the teams in baseball would have been ready to snap him up had Steinbrenner given him the heave-ho.
You don't just ditch a Hall-of-Fame caliber manager because you don't win the World Series every single year. I just remember what happened to my beloved Cincinnatti Reds in the late '70s when they decided to get rid of Sparky Anderson. They didn't make it back to the World Series for more than a decade and they had to sit back and watch Sparky take his new team - the Detroit Tigers - all the way to the top.
The Yankees' problem right now is that they have a lot of talent, but they are lacking the chemistry or the spark that makes it all gel together. That chemistry is more important than having superstars. The Yankees of 1998-2000 proved that when they dominated the game for three years with a bunch of unknowns like Scott Brosius, Paul O'Neil, Tino Hernandez and Chuck Knoblauch. The only guys left from that era are Derek Jeter and Mario Rivera. So they still have to find that spark again that they lost around the time that they got rid of Knoblauch. But they sure won't find it any faster by dumping Joe Torre.

As for the playoffs, now that the Yankees are out of it I can whole-heartedly back the Detroit Tigers. They are long overdue for another championship and they have put together a heck of a good team with one of my favorite players - former Texas Ranger Ivan Rodriguez leading the way once again. Pudge is reunited with his Florida Marlins manager Jim Leyland who, kind of like Sparky, seems to find a way to get to the World Series no matter who he is coaching.

I'm rather indifferent as to whether the Cards or the Mets should win the National League championship. I was pulling for the Padres since they are the new affiliate for the San Antonio Missions, but now I'll just root for the Tigers all the way.

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