I don't have to remind everyone that I picked the Indians and the Rockies to make it to the World Series back in April, right? Well, maybe not April, but I did predict them to face off in the World Series when the playoffs started. However, while touting my picks from the start of the playoffs, it is worth nothing how miserably I failed to predict the playoff participants.
NL: Mets; Brewers; Diamondbacks
Wild Card: Braves
AL: Boston; Detroit; Angels
Wild Card: Cleveland
Those were my picks and exactly half of them made it into the playoffs. My insistence on banking against the Yankees bit me in the ass once again and why I ever supported the Braves is beyond me. I completely forgot to incorporate the intangibles of the Phillies which led me to pick the uninspiring Braves over them.
As for the Mets and the Brewers, I stand by those picks. They should have made it into the playoffs but they simply did not hold up their end of the bargain. Next year, I cannot even see my picks changing much with the exception of the Braves not being the Wild Card and the Brewers being switched out for the Cubbies (I'm not discounting the Brewers as the Wild Card just yet though). Of course there is a long off-season to go, but I just see a few teams as having a sufficient amount of a lead in talent to be prohibitive favorites at this point even without knowing what everyone will do.
Jeff (NYC): Girardi or Mattingly? If Torre goes of course...
SportsNation Jim Callis: I'd go with Girardi. Turning over a contender with a lot of expectations to someone who has never managed before, no thanks.
Hmmm...sounds strangely familiar. Of course the Mets in '05 and the Yankees in '08 are extremely different animals, but the Mets were on the verge of contending and handed over the team to a guy who had zero experience and zero credentials. He was best known in the coaching realm for his nickname of Windmill Willie. Guys like that can start on clubs with no real chance at winning and good teams should stick to guys with managerial experience. And yes, minor league experience is just fine as available guys with big league experience that you would actually want heading up your team are not all that plentiful.
Here is some more on Torre so DG can get his daily fill....
The word was mum for Girardi on the topic of him replacing Torre.
Bill Madden says this silence is not good for Torre's aspirations to return back as the Yankee skipper.
...and the second best first baseman of New York during his era chimes in with exactly what we all would have expected him to say.
"It's pretty much a no-win situation for someone coming in here, to be able to live up to expectations and live up to what (Torre did)," Mattingly said in a recent interview. "So as far as someone coming in and taking over this job, it's not necessarily a great situation."
Again, Mattingly could be a massive trainwreck. It really seems like the best thing would to bring in an outsider for at least one year and axe him for Mattingly. Girardi would be a long term solution and not an interim one and probably would never keep the seat warm for Mattingly.
Also, while on the topic of managers, Rob Neyer just threw out an unsubstantiated guess as to some figures that I have been a big proponent of for a while. There are only a few managers who positively impact a team, a majority who do neither good nor bad over the long haul, and some who detract from the overall result. He said it was 10% good, 65% marginal, and 25% bad. I'm sure there is a margin of error there, but I wholeheartedly agree with his observation. We know where I think Willie fits in, but I'm sure Neyer would say he is part of the majority that has virtually no effect on his team's overall performance. However, I think that would be premature until you watch 140+ New York Met games, which I doubt he has.
An Indians-Rockies World Series is just about guaranteed to lead to a headline we just can't wait to read:
"World Series Ratings Lowest Since 1906"
But you know what? Bring it on. Who cares? A Cleveland-Colorado World Series wouldn't be a bad thing for baseball. It would be a great thing for baseball.
We've gone through payroll information all the way back to 1977, which essentially takes us back to the beginnings of the free-agent era. Here's the big news:
We've never had a World Series that matched two teams from the bottom eight in the sport in payroll -- in the entire free-agent era.
In fact, the only other World Series between two teams that were even in the bottom half of the payroll bin was 1991.
That year, the Braves ranked 19th of 26 teams (or seventh from the bottom), according to USA Today. The Twins ranked 15th (or 11th from the bottom).
So if there's anyone at MLB shedding tears over this matchup right now, here's our advice: Stop it. It's a sign of this sport's health, not its demise -- no matter what the ratings might suggest.
Preach on brother Stark!