As a follow-up to what I posted yesterday, Buster Olney from ESPN.com is reporting that the Twins are asking the Mets and Red Sox for their best offers for Johan Santana, with a decision coming as soon as today (although with the way this has dragged on, I wouldn’t count on it). This is where we find out if the Red Sox are serious or not with the Yankees not presently engaged in talks, and if they aren’t, if the Twins are willing to accept the Mets’ deal without Fernando Martinez. There’s a chance they’re going to hold onto him until spring training, or even the trade deadline, so the Red Sox bowing out would not necessarily mean that the Mets are annoited the victors, but it would sure help. Hopefully, the next thing I post on MiracleMets.net is “Mets trade for Santana, and there was much rejoicing.” We’ll see what happens, but in the meantime, I’d recommend keeping your eyes peeled to all the major sports news sites, and also MetsBlog.com (who seem to be the most connected in the Mets blogosphere) for more on this.
Archive for the ‘Follow Ups’ Category
Sorry to keep talking about this, but I really am fascinated by the whole Alex Rodriguez storyline with the Yankees. Only Yankee fans could turn one of the top five baseball players who ever lived into a “failure.” Anyway, Joe Sheehan over at Baseball Prospectus wrote a fantastic opinion piece that I wanted to quote from here. To read the whole thing, you need a Prospectus membership, but if you’re into analytical baseball talk, it’s well worth the money.
At just about any point along the way, one of the two most visible Yankees—Joe Torre or Derek Jeter—could have come forward and said what should be obvious: Alex Rodriguez is a great, great player, and in the worst season of his career he’s a star. Defining his season by his lowest points is doing him a disservice, and the constant focus on his play is an insult to the other members of the team. Whatever Rodriguez’s performance issues, such as they were, his overall contributions were valuable. Beyond that, he’s one of the game’s model citizens, with barely a controversy to his name in a time when so many others have been tainted.
That statement, completely true, would have done more to alleviate the pressure on Rodriguez than anything else. They didn’t do so, instead allowing petty nonsense like his desire to please people (heaven forfend) and his performance is varied subsets (in Boston, in the playoffs, against a small handful of pitchers, in 20 at-bats in July) to substitute for real information. They didn’t defend their teammate, and by allowing, even stoking, the situation, they absolved themselves and every other Yankee of blame for their fortunes. If they lost, it would be Rodriguez’s fault, no matter how the rest of them played.
Torre’s handling of the Rodriguez situation is perhaps the blackest mark on his record. Going so far as to bat him eighth in a playoff game, a move guaranteed to make him a point of discussion, would have been the nadir if he hadn’t already reached that in the pages of SI. Torre made his bones in New York by keeping controversy out of the clubhouse; he committed a boner by turning his clubhouse into a circus this year.
As far as Jeter goes, any claims to a captaincy or leadership skills are and will remain in doubt. His refusal to provide a full-throated defense of the player whose willingness to take his Gold Gloves to third base allowed the illusion of Jeter’s defensive prowess to grow to a point where he could get his own hardware is as much to blame as Torre’s sudden open-mouth policy. He could have stopped this with 50 well-chosen words. He didn’t, and it’s fair to wonder why.
That’s the best take I’ve read on the A-Rod situation to date. Fantastic sports writing by Joe Sheehan. And that’s the last you’ll read about A-Rod here for a while.