Hard life in the big city, Judge Sonia saves the day, Bud can't believe he forced the whole thing, plus news and notes from around the game.
The most important question facing anyone hired as manager of the Yankees or Mets is if they can handle New York, and Jerry Manuel is doing just fine in his first full season as the Mets' manager after being promoted from bench coach last June to replace Willie Randolph. Manuel has won over the New York media with his easygoing demeanor, friendly nature, and quirky comments. The experience of having managed the White Sox in a large market for six season from 1998-2003 has certainly helped.
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Tonight is the night for Johan, and a brief op-ed piece on instant replay.
Let's make one thing clear: that the 2008 Mets blew a 7-0 lead and lost to the Phillies, 8-7 in 13 innings, to fall out of first place, has absolutely nothing to do with 2007, has nothing to do with anyone's character, and does not determine who will win the NL East this season.
Willie Randolph wasn't the only manager fired this week, but the manner of his dismissal caused an uproar.
Nearly a week has passed since the Mets fired manager Willie Randolph, and egg is still being wiped off the organization's collective face. The Mets have been castigated inside and outside the industry for the way they handled the move, having Randolph take a cross-country flight from New York to Los Angeles after last Sunday's doubleheader with the Rangers at Shea Stadium, then dropping the ax on him after a win over the Angels.
Is pinch hitting good or bad? Guest writer Andy Dolphin uses the 2005 Phillies as a point of departure and takes a closer look.
A strong bench would seem to be one of those indispensable elements of a successful team. After all, if you need to generate some offense late in a game, you need players on the bench you can count on. (Not to mention, of course, the need to give players a break and have replacements for injuries. For this article I'm just looking at pinch hitting.)
The 2005 Phillies seemed to have just what they needed, in the form of four quality outfielders: Bobby Abreu (.286/.405/.474) in right, Pat Burrell (.281/.389/.504) in left, and Kenny Lofton (.335/.392/.420) and Jason Michaels (.304/.399/.415) sharing time in center. This must have been a manager's dream, right? Lofton or Michaels on the bench, able to come in and get on base to keep a rally going? Let's see how it worked out.
Mark Grace steps out of the clubhouse and into the broadcast booth. Ron Gardenhire is offered a two-year extension. Barry Larkin continues his tenure in Cincinnati. Mike Lowell is activated for the playoffs. And the Pirates aquire Cory Stewart to complete the Brian Giles trade. All this and much more news from around the league in the most recent edition of Transaction Analysis.
Adam Riggs gets a well-deserved shot with the Angels. The Braves aim to avoid the mistake made by the '93 Phillies. Neal Cotts could end up being the prize in the Koch-Foulke deal for the White Sox. The Royals and A's designate Febles and Piatt for assignment, drawing mixed reviews. These and other transactions, Chris Kahrl-style, in this edition of Transaction Analysis.
The Cubs made a steal of a deal; the Expos are getting Vladimir Guererro back, and not a moment too soon; the A's are investing their money unwisely; the Cardinals take another hit in losing Matt Morris; and the Padres get a small-scale boost in regaining Phil Nevin. All this and much more news from around the league in your Tuesday edition of Transaction Analysis.
The buzzards are circling over Jerry Manuel, the Cards wouldn't gain much by swapping Vina for Alomar, and the Rangers' pitching woes continue. Plus news and notes on Billy Koch, Eli Marrero, and Colby Lewis.
Placed RHP Al Levine on the 15-day DL (shoulder tendinitis), retroactive to 6/27; recalled RHP John Lackey from Salt Lake. [6/28]
I don't disagree with the idea of bringing up John Lackey to move into the rotation. Lackey is the organization's best upper-level prospect, and he's obviously ready to go.
"If you have kids who might [grow up to] be major league baseball players, we're fighting for your kids, possibly. If I work for your newspaper and you're in the union fighting for your equality and rights, sure I would strike, and so would you..."
--Barry Bonds, Giants outfielder