Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Throwing Stuff Against the Wall

I'm amused by this time of year. It really is the most entertaining part of the baseball season. Baseball writers just throw stuff up against the wall because every once and a while - they'll be right. I bring this up because of Ken Rosenthal's (and the AP's) report that now the Yankees want A-Rod back at third but also want to sign Mike Lowell to play 1st.

In no other area of journalism can you make the kind of claims sportswriters can make during the hot stove season. It would be akin to me having a friend who is a registered Democrat saying that Hillary should tab Colin Powell as her running mate and me running a story saying "sources inside the Democratic Party say that Hillary may make a run at Powell for VP." Then when Hillary picks someone else - completely forgetting I ever wrote anything about Colin Powell. During the hot stove season rumors of barely a scant chance of becoming real are reported as breaking news. It happens every year.

Sure its true that someone in the Yankees has probably considered Lowell at 1st and maybe that person has even talked to Lowell's agent about Lowell's willingness to play 1st. Its also true I've talked to friends about leaving my wife to hook up with with Jessica Alba. And I think if I were Hank Steinbrenner I could hook that up, too. I bet Jessica Alba digs dudes with money.

Sometimes I think baseball writers have a Yankees version "Jump to Conclusions" mat. If the Yankees bring back A-Rod and Lowell is the next best free agent available then let's all jump to the conclusion that the Yankees will obviously have to make a huge offer to Lowell and put him somewhere other than 3rd base.

The funny thing is that if the Yankees were to overpay Mike Lowell and sign him to a 4-year contract to play 1st - most Red Sox fans would be disappointed but in no way heartbroken. They would sincerely wish him well. I know it must seem contradictory for me to say that on one hand I really want Mike Lowell back but on the other not mind him being overpaid by the Yankees and leaving for the Bronx but that's the way it is.

Mike Lowell's swing was made for Fenway Park. Yankee Stadium? Not so much. Lowell knows that but if the money is overwhelming - then what are you going to do?

Most people who follow baseball know that if the Yankees developed home-grown talent and then coupled that with strategic big free agent signings - then that is when they are at their most dangerous. It's no coincidence that the Yankee dynasty came with the emergence of home grown stars like Jeter, Pettitte, Posada and Rivera. It's also no coincidence that the failure years came with the meddling Steinbrenner at the helm putting together a roster of top free agents willy-nilly.

If Lowell is over-paid to play 1st - then its a sign that the clearheadedness strength through the farm system of Brian Cashman is being replaced by the whims and tantrums of the new Steinbrenner on the block. That's good news for Red Sox fans. Under Steinbrenner the ratio of people to cake is too big.

I'm especially amused by the wrinkle of Hank Steinbrenner wanting to deal with A-Rod without agent Scott Boras being involved. I can just picture the way that he explains his reasoning for wanting to deal with A-Rod directly; "Well look - I already told you. I deal with the god damn players so the agents don't have to. I have people skills. I am good at dealing with players. Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?"

Hey Brian Cashman you going fishing on Saturday? "Nah, Hank Steinbrenner's going to have me come in on Saturday - I just know it."

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