The Giants Don't Win the Pennant
Remember, I said pennant.
Let's not broadcast this please, but I'm actually rooting for the Atlanta Braves. Go Bravos. Knock yourself out, Tomahawk chop all you want. Lose in the next round. Go Buffalo Bills on your fans later, just take care of Frisco first, as quickly and with as much humiliation as is possible.
I hate the Giants. I absolutely hate them. We need more of that kind thing in Los Angeles. San Franciscans know how to hate the Dodgers. Course, they have more reason to hate Los Angeles, what with the jealousy thing, and the grand total of zero World Championships since the first Eisenhower Administration, and zip, zilch, nada on the West Coast.
Keep the streak going, will ya Braves, please. And Bonds and Baker are 0 for the post-season. Neither has ever taken even one series. It's another fine record worth keeping...
Anyone who says he knows how this October will turn out is full of BS. Any of the eight teams can win it. Yes, even Minnesota, even Arizona, minus Luis Gonzalez, and God forbid, even Frisco. And no, the Yankees aren't automatic. Not this year...
AL MVP: Miguel Tejada. It won't bother me a bit if Soriano is selected. If Rodriguez wins, it will, a lot. It's an old argument, and if you don't get it, I'm not gonna spend much time explaining it to you. So Texas loses 100 games without the guy instead of 90 with him. BFD. Player of the Year, maybe, talk to the Sporting News. MVP? No way.
NL MVP: Look, I hate to say it, but it's Barry Bonds, steroids down. Should be unanimous. A solid second place for Albert Pujols, definitely, and Shawn Green, a distant third. Or Lance Berkman a distant third.
AL CY: Barry Zito.
NL CY: Randy Johnson, again. No one else close.
AL ROY: Eric Hinske.
NL CY: Jason Jennings.
AL Manager: Art Howe. It's time he got some credit. It's not all Billy Beane.
NL Manager: Tony LaRussa. Never one of my favorites, but this year, congratulations on your accomplishment, Tony. Jim Tracy, a close second. It's been established that Bobby Cox is a great regular season guy, but the NL East was so completely lame this year, it's not much to be proud of. No award for him.
AL Executive: Beane. But like I said, it's not all him.
NL Executive: Dan Evans. See below if you need an explanation.
Mini post mortem, Los Angeles Dodgers:
No excuses here, just the facts mame. I'll be brief.
92-70 is a step in the right direction, but third place is third place.
Brian Jordan is ten times the man Gary Sheffield is, and Odalis Perez makes the biggest trade of the winter worth it. Totally. No regrets there.
Kevin Brown has had more crap heaved on him than he deserves. There's nothing wrong with a driven professional athlete longing to compete. It's the doctors' and management's job to make the calls, and they did, all of them wrong, for two seasons running.
Darren Dreifort and Andy Ashby are Kevin Malone's creation. His mess. If Dan Evans can extricate his club from that one, he's a stud.
And you know what, he is a stud. Evans did more in a year than anyone could have expected. A ton. For the first time in decades, I'm confident going into an off-season. Los Angeles actually has a General Manager smarter than me, uh, I.
If Evans decides to go after Jim Thome or Jeff Kent, fine. If not, I trust him. If he can bring Marquis Grissom back as a fourth outfielder, great. If not, I trust him. If Omar Daal leaves, bye bye pal. See ya. If Evans wants to bring two or three new starters to Spring Training to see what shakes out, fine, go for it. Scotty, you have the conn.
This talk about big contracts limiting the Dodgers' chances for success next year is more BS. Yes, they're stuck with Brown and Dreifort, but with a little ingenuity and creativity, the other multi-year pacts can be dealt with. There is a solution.
Jim Tracy managed well again this year. He ran Shawn Green and Paul Lo Duca into the ground by playing them too much, buried Tyler Houston for no apparent reason when he could have been a help, and stayed with Ashby too long, but made the right moves on a regular basis, and in general, just plain gets it. Tracy's great.
It's painful to lose to the Giants. There's nothing worse. But the Dodgers made large and long-needed strides in the clubhouse and on defense, and improved in the rotation, in clutch hitting, on the bench, and of course, at closer with Eric Gagne. Game over. Season over. More later...
A word about the 2002 New York Mets. This was not an underachieving ball club. Stop calling them that. The Mets did not underachieve. They achieved fine. They're just a bad team...
Mark Davis is off the hook forever. Two years into his contract, Mike Hampton is now the worst free-agent in baseball history...
Angels? Sorry, I still don't care. They're not my team. 40 miles is a ways, OK, and I just don't care...
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Remember, glove conquers all....
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