Jeff Weaver and the Cardinals polished off the Tigers on Friday night, winning the 10th World Series title in franchise history.
The winners of the DVD contest are:
Paul C., Brooklyn, NY: Cards in 6, 26 runs, MVP Chris Carpenter
Ashley B., Liverpool, NY: Cards in 6, 25 runs, MVP Jeff Suppan
Michael S., Livingston, NJ: Cards in 7, 25 runs, MVP David Eckstein
The Hot Stove has officially been lit. Let the madness begin!
Any Alfonso Soriano fans out there? Well, today’s your lucky day!
To raise proceeds for the third annual Arizona Fall League Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award, MLB.com is auctioning off a photograph autographed by Alfonso Soriano, who will be inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame this year.
The bidding is already open, and it will run through next Monday, Nov. 6. The winning bid will provide funds to be donated to a charity chosen by the winner of the Stenson Sportsmanship Award.
The award is named for Stenson, a 2003 player in the AFL who was tragically killed, and will be given to the AFL player who best exemplifies Stenson: a quiet, hard-nosed player who does his job without complaint and plays the game the way it’s meant to be played.
Get a nice collectable for yourself, and help a good cause in the process.
Chris Carpenter knocked a whole bunch of you out of the DVD contest, as the Cardinals took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Of the 65 entries received, 40 of them predicted the Tigers to win the World Series in 4 or 5 games. Thanks for playing.
Of the remaining 25 people, 21 of them selected the Tigers to win the series in 6 games. Two people picked the Cardinals in 6, while two others took St. Louis in 7.
A few thoughts from the past weekend:
- Anthony Reyes would have been the most unlikely story of the World Series with his brilliant game on Saturday, but Kenny Rogers continues to steal all the headlines. Forget the pine tar that may or may not have been on his hand, because he dominated the Cardinals for the seven innings after it was wiped off. His 23-inning scoreless streak is enough to drive any Yankees fan insane, but you have to give the guy credit. After posting an 8.85 ERA in his playoff career, Rogers has redeemed himself with a sparking postseason this October. Good for him.
- The Redskins are an embarrassment. It’s getting to the point where I can almost no longer watch them, because all they do is disappoint. The Titans loss was horrible, and the Colts loss — while not unexpected — was nothing more than a total collapse. When you have a lead at halftime, to go out and give up 20 unanswered points in the third quarter is a joke. Too many penalties, not enough touches by Clinton Portis, and way too much Mark Brunell. Thank goodness they have a bye next week.
- Being eliminated in your suicide pool by a 62-yard field goal is just cruel. That’s what I get for taking Philly, I guess. Bad karma as a Skins fan.
- I predicted Tigers in 5, so I’ll stay with that. It’s going to be hard to sweep all three games in St. Louis, so six games seems more likely. Should be entertaining either way.
- If I’m Jim Leyland, I don’t throw Pujols another pitch in the strike zone this series with a man on base. The rest of this Cards team can’t hit, so why let the best hitter in the game beat you by himself?
The World Series gets underway on Saturday, so we’re kicking off our second DVD giveaway contest.
This time, three winners will receive "The New York Yankees: Fall Classic Collector’s Edition 1996-2001 DVD set" by A&E Home Video. You can also buy the set yourself at A&E’s site.
This seven-DVD set features five of the most memorable games of the Joe Torre era:
The final two DVDs are filled with special features, including footage from David Wells’ and David Cone’s perfect games; Paul O’Neill reflecting on his last game and the 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000 World Series films.
Here’s what you need to do to enter:
Send in your predictions for the World Series (as of this post, the NLCS is tied at 2, so you can choose to wait for that series to end or you can guess who will win. Either way, your FIRST entry is the one I will accept.)
World Series champion:
In how many games will they win the World Series:
Winning team’s total runs in World Series:
World Series MVP:
Send entries (one per person) with your predictions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make the subject line "PREDICTIONS" … All entries must be received by 7:00 pm on Saturday, October 21.
The three entries that are closest will win the contest. In the event of a tie, I will draw the winner’s name at random. I am the judge and jury, so no arguing with my decisions.
But these three people won! Congratulations to the winners in our first DVD giveaway:
Jason D., Hamburg, NY
Mary S., Cumberland, RI
Matt S., Long Island, NY
Here are the answers to the trivia contest:
1) Name all the players who have played third base for the Yankees since the start of 2003
Aaron Boone, Robin Ventura, Todd Zeile, Enrique Wilson, Drew Henson, Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Cairo, Andy Phillips, Gary Sheffield, Felix Escalona, Mark Bellhorn, Russ Johnson, Rey Sanchez, Nick Green, Andy Cannizaro
2) What was the name of Mike Stanton’s entrance song and who was the artist?
"Fantasy" by Aldo Nova
3) Who stood in for Luis Sojo as third base coach for two short stints in 2005 when Sojo tended to family issues in Venezuela?
4) Name the man who served as interpreter for both Orlando Hernandez and Jose Contreras.
5) Which Farrelly Brothers movie did Roger Clemens appear in, and what was his character’s name? Also, name two other movies in which Clemens has appeared.
"Kingpin" and Skidmark; Cobb and Anger Management
6) Which members of the Yankees appeared on Seinfeld?
Buck Showalter, Danny Tartabull, Derek Jeter, Paul O’Neill, Bernie Williams
7) According to Alex Rodriguez, what is his favorite movie?
8) What 2003 Grammy Winner contributed background vocals on Bernie Williams’ album, "The Journey Within"?
8) What 2003 Grammy Winner contributed background vocals on Bernie Williams’ album, "The Journey Within"?
9) Who was the first player ever introduced by Bob Sheppard at Yankee Stadium?
10) Name the three musicians/bands who have performed at Yankee Stadium
10) Name the three musicians/bands who have performed at Yankee Stadium
Billy Joel (1990), U2 (1992) and Pink Floyd (1994)
When I first heard that Cory Lidle had died in a plane crash on Wednesday afternoon, I didn’t believe it. I had just been watching coverage of the accident, which occurred less than a mile from my parents’ house. How could this accident involve somebody I knew?
As the minutes went by, it became clear that Cory was, in fact, the pilot of the plane that crashed into a building on East 72nd Street.
I didn’t know Cory for much more than two months, but his death hit me harder than I would have thought. As a baseball writer, I spend a lot of time around the players. Some of them are arrogant boneheads who want nothing to do with lowly reporters, while others are nice guys. Some of them treat the media like the plague, while others chat with you like an old college buddy.
Cory fit into the latter of the two categories.
During his two months in New York, Cory and I chatted several times. Whether it was about baseball, football, poker, movies or whatever else may have been the topic, talking to Cory was a pleasant way to pass some time in the clubhouse.
One thing he loved to talk about, though, was flying. He told me how he had gotten his pilot’s license, bought a plane and loved flying it. Tyler Kepner had detailed this in a terrific story in the New York Times, prompting me to ask Cory some more questions about it.
He planned to take some trips this winter from his Southern California home to Las Vegas and Arizona, and how much easier it would be with his own plane.
Last Sunday, after meeting with the media just one day after the ALDS loss, Lidle chatted informally with a few of the beat guys by his locker. We weren’t asking him about his controversial comments regarding the Yankees’ readiness for the postseason (those comments were already in our notebooks and tape recorders), but instead about his plan to fly back to California this week.
He detailed his plan, which would take about 15 hours of flying time, spread out over three or four days. I don’t like flying in 19-seat prop planes (which I did last week from Cleveland to Detroit), let alone in a four-seat, single-engine plane.
But Cory loved it. He had his journey back home all figured out. He was going to stop in Nashville, then in Arizona. It would take him three or four days to get home, and he was going to revel in every minute in the air.
Sadly, for him, there were only about 15 minutes to enjoy before he crashed into that building.
I doubt Cory would have been back with the Yankees next year, but I surely would have run into him again somewhere along the line. Unfortunately, that won’t happen now.
I would like to send my deepest sympathies out to Lidle’s wife, Melanie, and son, Christopher. I can’t even imagine the pain they are going through, and will have to struggle with for years to come. Cory was a great guy, and he will be missed.
The speculation surrounding Joe Torre’s future came to an end on Tuesday, as Torre announced that he would return for his 12th season as Yankees manager.
It’s hard to say whether I’m surprised by George Steinbrenner’s decision, because there were so many rumors and reports over the past three days, it was hard to figure out who was right and who was wrong.
The only thing I knew all along was that, in my mind, firing Torre wasn’t the answer to the Yankees’ problems.
Did the Yankees need a change at the top? Who knows? Two straight postseason ousters had to drive Steinbrenner crazy, but how much did they have to do with Torre? Just about every player who was asked about Torre said they wanted to see him back, so this wasn’t a Larry Brown situation where Joe had lost his clubhouse.
Some people have a problem with the way Torre handles a bullpen, while others question his in-game strategy or his loyalty to his veteran players. But managing the Yankees is about much more than that.
Managing the Yankees has to do with handling the media, handling a room full of players who make eight figures and handling an owner who demands nothing but the best from his team. This job isn’t about the X’s and O’s of baseball … it’s about being the king of New York — at least the Bronx.
Personally, I’m glad Joe will be back next season. For all he’s done in this city and with this team, he deserved to go out on his own terms and finish out his contract.
For the second year in a row, the Yankees’ season ends with the Division Series. For a second year in a row, there are a lot of questions about the future of this team.
Last year, Joe Torre and Brian Cashman decided to come back. Then they signed Johnny Damon, held on to Robinson Cano and Chien-Ming Wang and came to camp with largely the same team.
This year, things may not be so simple.
I have a feeling that Torre will take the fall for this one. I don’t agree with the move if it happens, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see Lou Piniella to be the Yankees’ manager within a couple of weeks.
I don’t know how you blame Torre for this loss. He put a lineup of nine All-Stars out there and they couldn’t hit. He put a future Hall of Famer on the mound and he got hit for five runs. He watched a player destined to break Hank Aaron’s home run record go 1-for-14. Did he motivate the team enough? He shouldn’t have to. These guys are well-paid professionals, and if it takes their manager to tell them how big these games are, ship them out of town.
Still, someone has to take the fall. I think it will be Joe. If and when it happens, it will be the darkest day since I started covering this team. With one year left on his contract, he deserves to finish it out and leave on his own terms.
The Daily News’ front page Sunday reads, "OUTTA HERE", reporting that George Steinbrenner is set to fire Torre and replace him with Piniella. Wow.
As for everyone’s favorite whipping boy, I believe we have seen A-Rod play his final game in pinstripes. Some of my colleagues have been telling me all year that the Yanks would trade him, and I repeatedly cited his no-trade clause, his enormous ego and the fact that approving a trade would make him look like he couldn’t hack it in New York.
But Alex left the door open tonight, essentially saying that he would waive his no-trade if the Yankees were dying to get rid of him. They probably are, so he’ll probably be gone. The Angels seem to be the ideal destination, so maybe the Yankees can get an arm like Ervin Santana. This will obviously be the story of the winter.
I have read a lot of coverage tonight and watched some on TV, and I keep hearing how the Yankees are going home early for the sixth straight year. If I’m not mistaken, they went home after Game 7 of the World Series in 2001 and after Game 6 of the World Series in 2003. That doesn’t sound very early to me.
Since their last championship, the Yankees have been knocked out in the first round three times, knocked out in the ALCS once (though in the cruelest of fashions) and been to a pair of World Series.
Do you know how many other teams have been to two World Series since 2001?
Those who like to say that the last six years have been a failure have bought into Derek Jeter’s philosophy that anything shy of a title renders the entire season worthless.
I’m not buying it.
This season brought the emergence of Melky Cabrera, Chien-Ming Wang, Robinson Cano and Scott Proctor. It saw the Yanks overcome injuries to Sheff and Matsui and thrive, defeating the Red Sox for a ninth straight AL East title. People want to call this Yankees team the new Atlanta Braves, but some of these guys still have four rings. No Braves player won more than one.
I’m going to wrap this up for now. It looks like Torre is out, Piniella is in, and this should be a very long winter.
I want to close this with a big thank you to all of you. I started this blog on April 3, hoping to get at least a little feedback. It was originally meant to be a venue for me to write about stuff I don’t get to write about in my regular stories. Opinions, anecdotes, a little of everything to tell you folks what life is like covering this circus of a team.
What it turned into was an amazing community of Yankees fans (and some Yankee-haters, though some of you were not too bad) that spent almost every game together, chatting with each other about the state of the team. There are over 135,000 comments to prove it, which simply boggles my mind!
I’ll be here throughout the winter, though obviously not as often as I have been during the season. They’ll be wrapping things up at the stadium the next two days, so I’ll let you know what’s going on there.
As events take place with the team, I’ll continue to give you my take here and see what you all have to say. I’ll report live from the Winter Meetings in Orlando in December, when the Yanks figure to be as active as usual.
I’ve had a ball doing this, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it, too.
It’s a beautiful day in Detroit, yet there are several dark clouds lingering over the Yankees’ world.
A loss today and the season is over, and this would be worse for them than any loss they have had in recent years — and that includes the Red Sox fiasco.
Boston was a solid team. The Sox and Yankees played each other as tough as any two teams, and in that rivalry, anything can — and usually does — happen.
The Tigers were supposed to be a patsy. Losing their last five games, blowing the division after being swept by the Royals, then losing Game 1 like they did, Detroit was all set up for a three-and-out postseason. And that would have been just fine with the Tigers, who were never expected to be playing in October when the season began.
The Yankees, on the other hand, were supposed to get to the World Series, then bring home No. 27. Most of the world thought they caught a huge break when the Twins won the Central, since Minnesota was supposed to be the team to fear in the AL.
The Twins are home for the winter already, and the Yankees could join them later today.
That said, I have a weird feeling about this game. As bad as they looked in Game 3, I think they will come storming out of the gates in Game 4. The last time I thought they looked this bad was in 2001, when they lost the first two games of the ALDS to the A’s. As I boarded the flight for Oakland, I figured I would be there for one day, the Yanks would get swept and I’d start my winter early. As we all know, New York won the next three, wiped away the Mariners and got to the World Series before losing Game 7 in Arizona.
They need to come out and attack Bonderman early, get Wright some run support and let him settle in. Get 5-6 innings out of Jaret, then let Proctor, Farnsworth and Rivera take care of the rest.
If they win today, they’ll win tomorrow. I can’t see the Tigers going back to New York and winning a Game 5 at Yankee Stadium.
If they lose today, who knows what will happen? Will Joe Torre be fired? Doubtful. Will A-Rod be traded? Doubtful. But something will happen. The Yankees haven’t had two first-round exits in a row during this run, so it’s hard to say what the fallout will be.
5:27 — Been busy writing about the pregame mayhem with Alex batting eighth and Jason being benched — but not because of the cortisone shot he took in his shoulder, apparently for no reason.
I haven’t ever seen this team look this bad. At this point, it’s not a question of whether they can come back and win, but just to get a hit. 17 scoreless innings and counting.
5:33 — 12 up, 12 down. Unreal.
For the first time, I honestly believe A-Rod may be traded. He won’t ask for it, but if the team goes to him and says, "It’s not working out," I don’t think he’d resist it. That way, he can say that they didn’t want him anymore, so he didn’t want to be there.
I have also been convinced today that Torre may actually be fired. I have said over and over again that it would never happen, but the more people that I talk to, the more I think it could. Despite the feeling of many fans, I think it will be a sad day. You won’t know what you had until he’s gone.
5:55 — 6-0 and this one is over. I don’t see Jim Leyritz in the dugout.
Kasey was right. I never thought I would type those three words.
6:35 — Yankees fans, get a good look at Gary Sheffield, because this is probably the last time you will see him in a Yankees uniform. Ditto for Cory Lidle, Ron Villone, Miguel Cairo and possibly Jaret Wright.
I think Bernie Williams and Mike Mussina will return in 2007, though that’s no guarantee, either.
NOTE: Rather than continue this long post, I’ll start a new one for postgame.