Tuesday, October 10, 2006


It warms the cockles of my heart just read about the fallout in New York (which promises to get worse, with more acrimony, finger-pointing, backstabbing, and all the other fun issues associated with a team in upheaval). A sampling of the blame game is below:

It is no news bulletin that A-Rod wants to be liked, accepted, loved, however
you want to say it, by his teammates, especially Jeter. And the captain hasn't
budged on the matter, to the point where an ex-teammate, who wouldn't use his
name for fear of crossing Jeter, said yesterday it creates a certain tension at
He won't let Alex in, the former Yankee said of Jeter. Everyone in
there knows it, and it bothers Alex and impacts the clubhouse. John Harper:
New York Daily News 10-9-06
Some MVP! Jeter is the divider, not the uniter. Hmmm. Harper goes on to compare how Jeter threw A-Rod under the bus while with Jason st eroid abuser Giambi, he bent over backwards to throw his support to the cheating, shrunken-testicle abuser.

* * *
For the Yankees to have any chance of getting back to the World Series, they
must address their starting pitching, which sabotaged Torre as much as his
hitters against the Tigers. In that regard, their own Philip Hughes has the
stuff to be a dominant starter but has been held back by Yankees minor
league pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras, who had him on gradually
receding pitch counts all summer, then shut him down at 146 innings.
Scouts who saw Hughes at Trenton this summer agreed he's ready for the
big leagues now and even Yankee officials on the major league level, Gene
Michael for one, were dismayed that Hughes wasn't allowed to finish the
season at Triple-A. Now, as one scout told me: "This kid is a stud, but what
good is he going to do them if he's been programmed to pitch five innings?
They're turning him into Jaret Wright." Bill Madden:
New York Daily News 10-9-

Nice to see that the blame and dysfunction extends all the way down to the minor league pitching coordinator. So now the Yankees are ruining their only pitching prospect? Beautiful!

Amazingly, I feel like the only person in America who remembered that teams do not slug their way to the World Series, they pitch their way there (Marlins in 03; Red Sox in 04; White Sox in 05. None of those teams were what you would call an offensive juggernaut, although the 04 Sox could score runs, they won due to Keith Foulke in the pen, and Curt Schilling anchoring a staff with Pedro and a rejuvenated Derek Lowe.). This Yankees squad won by scoring runs. Torre burnt out his bullpen by August, Mussina and the Big Eunich did their usual fade job, and then in the worst managerial move of the past ten years, Torre threw out Jaret Wright instead of his only good starting pitcher, the Wanger.

* * *

We were worrying about all of that stuff, and we still had a game to play. If
I'm on the other side, and all of a sudden they're putting Rodriguez eighth and
putting me or Jason on the bench, you wonder what's going on. Those guys [the
Tigers] were asking me about it. I think it boosted their morale. It gave them
confidence they didn't have, Sheffield told the USA Today. ESPN 10-9-06
Of course, the player on his way out the door lobbing bombs at his former manager and team. To think, Johnny Damon thought he was going to a calm, collected, less rambunctious situation.

* * *

Dysfunction in the Bronx:

Truly this is the surest sign that the time of Regular Joe leading the Yankees has come to a bitter end. They had a great run in the late nineties, but it is clear that the Dynasty has been dead for a number of years. I think that if Brian Cashman can take control of the team, he will make sure that the organization blows the team up and he can get back to building a team built around pitching, defense, and hitters dedicated to wearing out opposing pitchers. Cashman is smart enough to want a team of over-achievers instead of a collection of superstars. Of course, I doubt he is powerful enough to get his way and the Yankees will continue to meander on, content with 90 win regular seasons and post-season collapses.

* * *


Arizona at Atlanta

Yeah, Arizona is not sneaking up on anyone or winning anything anytime soon. Time for the youth movement for the tenth straight year.

Dallas at Tennessee

Poor Vince Young. This was supposed to be about his flashes of brilliance, but instead it is the game where Albert Haynesworth stomped a defenseless Andre Gurode on the head. Classless, senseless, and stupid move. Suspend him, and suspend him a long time.

Indianapolis at NY Jets

Another valiant effort by the Jets that comes up short. If anyone has a game plan against Manning in his back pocket, it is Eric Mangini. Just too bad he did not have Hank Poteat to throw in there and thwart the Indy comeback.

Miami at Houston

Miami has the defense, make no bones about that. But Daunte Culpepper is not the answer. Ugh. An ugly loss for the team that was supposed to take out the Patriots this season.

Minnesota at Buffalo

Very simply, the magic ran out for Minnesota. Of course, it is never easy to play in Buffalo, no matter who the team is and how bad the Bills are at any time.

New Orleans at Carolina

Carolina: 3-0 with Steve Smith. 0-2 without him. Yah, it is going to be tough to pick against Carolina from here on out.

San Diego at Baltimore

Ugly game. Ugly offenses. Ugly coaching.

San Francisco at Kansas City

Damon Huard, bee-yotch! Running up the points for my fantasy team. Yet again, my strategy of staying away from QBs early pays off as David Carr and Damon Huard carry my team week-in and week-out.

Detroit at St Louis

I will continue to pick against any team put together by Matt Millen for the rest of my natural life. Actually, an exciting game, but I just cannot believe that Detroit can beat anyone (except maybe for the Raiders).

Cleveland at Oakland

Right now, Romeo Crennel is petitioning the league to get more games with the Raiders on the schedule. Leave it to the Raiders to blow a 21-3 lead at home against a crappy team.

Jacksonville at Washington

Now this was a wild finish. Santana Moss up, up, and away! To think the Jets gave him away for Lavernius Coles. Yikes.

New England at Cincinnati

Maybe Cincinnati needs to win a Super Bowl before they start strutting around. It has been easy to be the big man on the block beating up on Cleveland in September. I think the Patriots sent the NFL a message that they are not dead, are not down and out, and are not going anywhere. Somewhere, Bill Cowher is writing a thank-you note to Bill Belichick for the game plan he devised for Sunday that the Steelers can build upon for their next match-up with the Bengals.

Seattle at Chicago

Why do I pick against the Bears in Soldier Field? Why? Why? Why?

Green Bay at Philadelphia

Yah, I said Brett Favre should have hung it up a long time ago. He looks so bad it is sad. Now Philly screams en masse: BRING ON T.O.!

Record for the week: 9-5

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