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Sitting Shiva October 9, 2007

Posted by Jim Berkin in Baseball.
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So much for 2007. So much for the crumbling remains of the late ’90s Yankee conglomerate. I think it’s pretty much smashed up now, and ready for the birthing of a new and different Yankee team.

The firing of Torre seems like it’s coming up, and it’ll be a classless act by Steinbrenner if he does it. Steinbrenner had the courtesy of keeping his mouth shut the past few years (which led to rumors of Alzheimer’s) but had to chime in the other night about Torre’s future and return to the levels of uber-douchebaggery we saw dramatized in The Bronx Is Burning recently. Torre is a hall of fame manager who worked miracles with the Yankees considering their pitching woes, and while I’m in the camp that believes he overworks the middle relief, a managerial change should not be made as a punishment to Torre. If Mattingly gets to manage the team, it ought to be via Torre voluntarily retiring and handing it off to him.

There’s talk of Joe Girardi and Tony LaRussa as well. Eeh.

I’ll go along with a lot of what this guy says about who will stay and who will most likely go, but I disagree with him on Pettite – I see Pettite staying and becoming the elder tutor to the young guys who will make up the future starting rotation (Hughes, Chamberlain, Kennedy, DeSalvo). This still leaves openings in the badly needed middle relief department, as well as a replacement closer for Rivera (whether or not he leaves, they need to find a replacement closer since Rivera is going on 38 and is not the overpowering game-over that he used to be).

They need to resign Rodriguez and groom their young hitters: Cabrera, Cano, Duncan & Phillips. They ought to hang on to Posada who had his best season this past year, out of respect and loyalty, as well as his ability to help those young pitchers develop.

And finally, they ought to be patient enough to develop those young players to work together as a team, to reach their primes together with Jeter & A-Rod setting the pace, and then just sitting back and watching the glorious results.

Or, Steinbrenner could go crazy and dismantle the entire team, trade all the young talent for over-the-hill marquee names, and blow a pile of money on free agents who will crap out. Hey, is Ron Kittle still available? How about Kevin Brown? Ugh.

I and every other Yankee fan will be hoping for the former and cringing at the idea of the latter, and we’ll have the next few months to see which way it will go. In the meantime, Go BoSox! (Yes, I’m one of those rare Yankee fans who does NOT hate the Red Sox.) And since a friend of mine at work is a Rockies fan, I’ll pull for them as well.

The last time I sat shiva, people brought food over. There were bagels, deli trays, pastries and some amazingly wonderful potato latkes. But where are they now, I ask you?? I’ll have to make my OWN latkes tonight. Is there no end to my suffering?

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