Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Good-bye, Roger. Good-bye Derek and Johnny and Alex. Good-bye Jorge and Mariano and Robinson. Good-bye, Yankees, it was fun, but we're moving on, and you all have some locker cleaning to do.

It was an amazing night. Just before the Cowboys kicker booted two game winning field goals, the Yankees succumbed to the Cleveland Indians in Game 4 of their ALDS match up.

Somehow the Yankees didn't beat the ever-loving crap out of Paul Byrd and his myriad of 78 mph fastballs, slower changeups, sub-changeups, slow-sub-changeups, super-slow-sub-changeups, and well, you get the picture.

Byrd throws a bunch of junk. He's basically Eddie Harris from the movie Major League. ("Up your butt, Jobu.") Yet, just as in the movie, the Yankees couldn't do much with him, and the Indians survived with an improbable 6-4 win, taking the series 3 games to 1, and advancing to the American League Championship Series to face our Boston Red Sox, this Friday at 7pm EST.

(An interesting side note: Did you know that the role of Yankees slugger 'Clu Haywood' was played by former pitcher Pete Vuckovitch? Yeah, I didn't either.)

So thats it. Indians/Red Sox. I'll post some predictions here later in the week for the ALCS and the NLCS, but right now I just want to talk Yankees here for a few seconds.

What are the Yankees going to do this off season? They’ve been knocked out of the first round of the playoffs for the third year in a row. George Steinbrenner, despite having fewer working brain cells than our president, issued a warning before Game 4, threatening to fire manager Joe Torre if the Yankees didn’t come back and win the series. They didn’t, so will Torre be fired? If so, what will that mean for impending free agents Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada who have played under Torre their entire careers and (from what I hear) see him as a father figure? Will they chose to look elsewhere now? Will the Yankees pick up Bobby Abreu’s $16M option, or pay his $2M buy-out and let him walk? Will A-Rod opt out, and if so, will Brian Cashman go back on his word and not attempt to resign him? Will Brian Cashman even have a job at that point?

The Yankees are looking at the potential loss of their manager, GM, starting third baseman, starting right fielder, starting catcher, and their Hall-of-Fame closer.

Of course I don’t have any answers to these questions, but they are juicy ones to think about for sure. There are no free agents who come close to A-Rod or Abreu’s hitting ability. There are no free agent catchers who can compare to Posada, and no free agent closers who can hold a candle to Rivera. That said, A-Rod is going to command a huge contract extension from the Yankees, and $16M is a lot to pay for one year of Bobby Abreu considering his lack of power over the past year. Both Rivera and Posada will officially qualify as ‘old’ next season, but both will likely be looking for lucrative long-term deals considering their recent successes.

If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say…

Cashman will keep his job, but Torre will be fired. Rivera will re-sign with the Yankees on a two year deal with a player option for a third at good money. Posada will flirt with the Mets, but will ultimately return to the Bronx as well, but for more money and years than the Yankees would have liked to pay (say 4 years $50M). The Yankees will pick up the $16M option on Abreu simply because theres nobody else better to waste it on, but will explore trading him like they did with Sheffield last winter.

As for A-Rod, the evidence is compelling that Boras will take his client onto the open market. This will release Texas from having to pay the remaining $21M of A-Rod’s salary that they sent along with him when he was traded to New York. This means that re-signing A-Rod to the same contract that he’s currently playing for will cost the Yankees $21M more than it does now.

It seems that A-Rod is not long for New York. In his last at-bat for the Yankees in the ninth, he fittingly swung at a pitch just outside the strike zone and hit a fly ball to the warning track in right field. The effort was emblematic of his time in New York so far. A good effort, and close to the promised land, but ultimately not successful.

That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if somehow he ended up staying with the Yankees. In either case, it will be interesting to see what happens. Depending on how much turmoil is swirling in the Yankee front offices, there might not be much time to negotiate an extension in New York


I’ll be previewing the ALCS later this week, and writing more about the Red Sox and maybe even the Yankees, so stay tuned to FPE, and as always, thanks for reading.

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