Oct 20

TALKIN’ BASEBALL: We have a series in the AL.

There is nothing quite like the drama that is playoff baseball, where seasons fade and stay alive with a swing of the bat. There is an ebb and flow of emotions in baseball unlike any other sport and we saw them all last night when the complexion of both series changed on the game’s final play.

The Dodgers, one pitch away from tying their series at Philadelphia, are now in life support and face elimination tomorrow night. The Angels, who stared at the end of their season at the beginning of last night’s game, have fresh life.

SABATHIA: Going on three days rest.

SABATHIA: Going on three days rest.

Last night Jimmy Rollins sent the Dodgers closer to winter, and hours earlier the Angels turned the ALCS from a blowout to a series that could be for the ages. After gift-wrapping two victories to the Yankees, the Angels are alive and in position where they could knot that ALCS at two games apiece tonight after Jeff Mathis’ two-out double in extra innings Monday.

The Yankees could regain control and send Los Angeles to the brink of elimination with CC Sabathia on the mound or the Angels can get us back to square one behind Scott Kazmir.

“This is the type of series we expected it to be,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

KAZMIR: Pitching to keep Angels alive.

KAZMIR: Pitching to keep Angels alive.


Sabathia, who will be going on three days rest, is 6-7 with a 4.42 ERA in 15 career starts against the Angels. The Yankees are going with a three-man rotation in the ALCS meaning if there is a Game 7 in New York, Sabathia will get the ball.

Kazmir, who represents one of the worst trades made by the Mets, is in position to be a postseason hero for the Angels. Kazmir, who gave up five runs in six innings against Boston in the ALDS, was acquired from Tampa, Aug. 28, and went 2-2 with a 1.73 ERA in six starts for Los Angeles. He is 6-5 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 career starts against the Yankees.

Regardless of what happens tonight, Game 5 is Thursday at Anaheim.

Oct 07

Halladay not happening ….

Roy Halladay would make the Mets a better team, but much like Johan Santana, I don’t believe he will put them over the top. Toronto had its chances to trade him last summer but got greedy. Now, the price could go down and it is possible the market could fall back to the Mets.

It’s possible.

However, I still am doubtful the Mets have what it takes to get Halladay in terms of prospects plus the annual salary, which will be in the $20 million range. Hell, he’s better than Sabathia. He’ll cost in prospects and money.

Considering all the Mets’ holes, is he worth it?

I’m saying no, because with what it could cost in just salary, the Mets could fill at least two positions, and maybe more if you throw some of it in the direction of the bullpen and bench.

As far as the prospects are concerned, the Mets have them, but are they willing to part with both the quality and quantity to get such a player as Halladay? I’m thinking, because Halladay by himself won’t put the Mets over the top, that they should spend their resources plugging a variety of holes rather than making the spectacular buy.

Nov 23

Open those wallets.

Do you remember a few weeks ago Commissioner Bud Selig asked the sports’ owners and general managers to be fiscally responsible as to be sensitive to the public during these tough economic times?

As unemployment spirals and prices rise, will the public be receptive to the sport’s shopping season?

Selig wasn’t telling teams not to indulge in the free agent market, but be cognizant and feeling to a public struggling to survive. He couldn’t tell teams not to spend because, after all, that’s collusion and the Players Association already won that battle.

Then the Yankees offered $140 million to CC Sabathia and talk about signing anybody not nailed down. But, this isn’t a Yankees’ rant, as they are only the poster child for the economics of the sport.

Mediocre players – read Oliver Perez – are about to make untold millions, and over the next few weeks teams will announce ticket prices for the 2009 season. Care to guess how many of the 30 teams will lower prices?

It’s not hard.

It’s easy to be cynical of Selig’s plea because he’s always talking about keeping salaries down, but he’s not about to throw his “best interest in baseball weight” around, because baseball’s best interest, at least to the short term thinkers in the sport, is today’s bottom line.

How nice it would be for the sport to place a moratorium on ticket and concession prices for next season, perhaps cut them five percent. That would be a gift to the public who always gives to the game, in both heart and wallet.

That won’t happen, because he can’t order a team to set prices. It won’t happen because he knows the players won’t take less.

It doesn’t work that way. Players are under pressure from the Players Association to take the best deal because it helps other players.

Sabathia, for instance was offered $100 million to stay in Milwaukee, but even if he were giddy happy there, he won’t re-sign and leave $40 million on the table. It’s easy to say, “how much is enough?” But, you’re not the one leaving money on the table, and the truth is, if in the same position you’d do the same.

It’s never enough.

Baseball doesn’t know the meaning of enough as it expands overseas with the reach of a poker player leaning across the table to pull in his chips. The players will get their millions because teams can afford it, and they can afford it because you always foot the bill. Whether it be tickets, or T-shirts, or watching on TV, the public always pays.

And, does so willingly.

Nov 03

Mets Chat Room: Gathering around the Hot Stove

What's on your mind?

What's on your mind?

Pat Burrell turned down $22 million over two years from Philadelphia and CC Sabathia is about to turn down over $100 million from Milwaukee.

All signs are pointing toward the Yankees getting Sabathia. They don’t appear to have a ceiling. The same can’t be said about the Mets. They’ll have money coming off the books with Pedro Martinez, Orlando Hernandez and Moises Alou going, but they’ll be giving raises to David Wright and Jose Reyes.

Their payroll last year was $143 million, and I don’t see it going much higher.

We can discuss all of that tonight.

Oct 18

Brewers to make a run at keeping Sabathia.

Sabathia: Brewers will make strong run.

Sabathia: Brewers will make strong run.

The foregone conclusion is CC Sabathia will sign with the one of the Coast monsters, either the Yankees or Dodgers. The Mets will make agent contact, but aren’t believed to be big players. Then again, they weren’t supposed to be players for Johan Santana, either.

However, Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin said today in a conference call that the Brewers will try to retain the lefty who put them in the playoffs.

Sabathia, who was 17-10 with a 2.70 ERA, will command big bucks which lead to the conclusion the Brewers wouldn’t challenge the market.

“At least we have a chance, whereas before, we wouldn’t have any chance with a pitcher of CC’s caliber,” Melvin said. “I do feel we will make him an offer, and at that point, it will be in his court.”