Yankees, Mets, trade rumors, free agents, off-the-wall predictions and other MLB musings.
The Championship Series, Brian Cashman, Jim Riggleman, Bud Selig and Frank McCourt
No big thought today, but a few little ones, so let's go at it Jackie Harvey style.
Item! The Rangers defeat the Tigers in extra innings to capture ALCS Game 2 and jump out to a 2-0 lead.
Erik Boland leads his game story with the anonymous sentiments of a scout who trumpets the greatness of Texas. Two more wins for the Rangers, and they'll be the first repeat American League pennant winner since the 2000-01 Yankees.
Yeah, the Rangers have established quite an impressive organization.
Anthony Rieber wrote the other day that the Yankees should bid adieu to CC Sabathia if Sabathia opts out of his contract and wants more than one additional year added on to his currently remaining four years, and he mentions how Texas has done just fine after losing Cliff Lee to the Phillies.
I'll contend that the Rangers were better prepared to handle such an absence than are the Yankees. They had C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis coming off very strong 2010 seasons, and they had exciting young arms like Matt Harrison, Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando.
(They also faced an easier schedule because they reside in the AL West. Just sayin'.)
The Yankees' cupboard is far from bare, but there's no doubt they got to 97 wins this year on the backs of people from whom they can't expect much next year. Yes, I'm looking at you, Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia.
Kids like Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances could be ready to help next year, and Brian Cashman showed this year that there are multiple ways to put together a winner, but in the challenging AL East, losing Sabathia would still be a big blow.
Item! The Cardinals thump the Brewers in NLCS Game 2, evening the series at one game.
MLB hasn't experienced a Game 7 since the 2008 ALCS between Boston and Tampa Bay. And not in the National League since Carlos Beltran looked at Adam Wainwright's curveball in 2006.
In this East Coast-less postseason, MLB could desperately use a Game 7. Brewers-Cardinals in particular would appear to be intriguing programming to the casual crowd if they can get to that winner-take-all game.
You've got a rivalry fueled by hard feelings, two Midwest cities with distinct character and a pair of superstar players (Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols, of course) who are impending free agents.
That should get the needle moving a little bit. If it happens.
Item! Cashman told Boland that talks have yet to begin for Cashman's next contract.
Eh. At this point, it would be a significant surprise if Cashman didn't re-up. He enjoys the challenge of managing the industry's largest payroll under intense scrutiny, and Hal Steinbrenner thinks Cashman does a good job and trusts him to do right by the organization and the Steinbrenner family.
Item! The Mets will interview Jim Riggleman tomorrow for their bench coach opening.
A bench coach should complement his manager. No, not like, "Hey, Terry, your hair looks great today!" That's compliment with an "i."
(Sorry. That was obnoxious.)
Anyway, Terry Collins initially chose Ken Oberkfell last year with the idea that Oberkffell's calm would complement Collins' fire. That the Mets have dismissed Oberkfell, once viewed as a potential Mets manager, displays that they didn't get enough from him as hoped.
So does it make sense to go with Riggleman, the accomplished pro? It probably makes some sense, yes. I wouldn't worry about Riggleman's infamous resignation from Washington earlier this year; that's sort of a non-factor here. At this point, what would best complement Collins is someone to back up his authority in the clubhouse and also contribute to discussions on strategy.
Item! Bud Selig says he isn't worried about the $25 million the Mets still owe to Major League Baseball.
Take note that Selig didn't protect the Wilpons and Saul Katz as much as he could have; he could've fully declined comment on whether the loan has been repaid. He didn't mind publicizing that yeah, the Mets are still on the hook for that $25 mil.
Having written that, as Selig indicated, the Mets will pay back the money when they pay it back. There's no litigation coming up. It helps to have friends in high places.
Now, if the Mets ask MLB for more money? That would be interesting. There's no indication of that occurring, however.
Item! Great column by T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times, who tears apart Dodgers owner Frank McCourt.
It's always fun to compare McCourt and the Wilpons, whose problems aren't as disparate as Selig likes to make them appear to be. It is true, though, that the Wilpons have chosen better avenues to try to beef up their finances, looking for minority investors rather than a questionable TV contract.
In any case, Simers nails McCourt's biggest problem: He hasn't made himself visible and taken ownership of the mess he has made of the storied Dodgers franchise.
The Wilpons have similar issues; we're still waiting for Fred Wilpon's public apology for his disses of Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes and David Wright in that New Yorker story. But compared to McCourt, they're Ed "How'm I doin?" Koch.
Item! Joe Girardi will address the media today at Yankee Stadium, in his annual post-mortem.
I'll be there and will check in here afterwards.