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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nobody Asked Me, but...


    By Ross Newhan

    With apologies to the late, great Jimmy Cannon, nobody asked me but...

    --The Steinbrenner brothers had to be seeing dollar signs every time potential free agent Cliff Lee threw a pitch against their Yankees in Game 3 of the ALCS. I don't think I've ever seen a pitcher carve up a quality lineup in the way that the Texas southpaw did. The Yankees may not be Murderer's Row, but they did lead the majors in runs this year...

    --I like the work of TBS analysts Ron Darling and John Smoltz and have long thought that Darling is one of the most insightful in the business. Too bad they aren't doing the World Series...

    --It's too bad as well that Magic Johnson probably won't make enough from his percentage sale of the Lakers to buy the Dodgers, but he should expect a call from Frank McCourt. One more loan source for the strapped Dodger owner except that Magic is likely on the verge of purchasing the Detroit Pistons...

    --Wacky Nevada Senatorial candidate Sharon Angle's running an ad advising Hispanics not to vote on Nov. 2 has to be the lowest of the low, although there's plenty to choose from, such as ("I am not a witch") Christine O'Donnell, maybe even the wackier Delaware Senatorial candidate, asking her debate opponent just where does the Constituion cite separation of church and state. Perhaps she just hadn't gotten to the first amendment yet...

    --Longtime Giant telecaster Duane Kuiper calls his team's lineup Torture Inc., given their struggle to score runs and frequency with which they play games decided by one run. A 2010 awakening by Pablo Sandoval would have helped correct that, but it may be far too late given that the slumping Panda has been swinging the equivalent of bamboo since the start of the season and the Giants have been starting just about everyone else since the postseason began...  

   --Anyone who thinks that Cody Ross emerged from a post-season gopher hole somewhere hasn't been paying attention. Ross had 24 homers and 90 RBI with Florida last year and 22/73 the year before. He went on August waivers when the Marlins brought up a truckload of prospects, and the Giants shrewdly claimed him so that division leading San Diego wouldn't, just one of several key second half moves by GM Brian Sabean...

   --I had seen him several times in Anaheim this season so I haven't been surprised by his post-season play, but no one is making a bigger name for himself on the national stage--with apologies to Ross--than Texas shortstop and leadoff hitter Elvis Andrus. He has 14 post-season hits, seven with two strikes. He is a Gold Glove caliber defender who made the key defensive play in the Game 4 victory against the Yankees, and, having stolen 32 bases during the regular season, he forces New York pitchers to split their attention when he is on base...

     --So, Fredi Gonzalez and Eric Wedge are each getting a second managerial opportunity with Atlanta and Seattle. Decent choices, but I like that Florida is apparentlly going to give Bo Porter, who has definitely put in his time and was on the Arizona coaching staff this year, his first managerial shot in the majors, and I like that another lifer, Mike Quade, who has managed more then 2,300 minor league games, is getting the Cubs job when it would have been easy for new owner Tom Ricketts to pick a bigger name, including that of Ryne Sandberg or Joe Girardi, who the Yankees have not signed beyond this year. After Lou Piniella stepped down, only the Phillies had a better record than the Cubs under the interim Quade...

    --It's easy to say now, but I think Girardi made a mistake not starting C.C. Sabathia on three days rest with his team down a game, especially since A.J. Burnett had pitched so infrequently recently and so poorly when he did. I don't think Girardi is in trouble, but Hank Steinbrenner has a lot of his father in him, and the Rangers are handing it to the Yankees, looking like a far better team. The Rangers would have already won the AL title except for one inning in Arlington, and Joe Torre, among others, would say nothing surprises him in the Bronx...

    --I wouldn't get excited by the Dodgers re-signing Ted Lilly to a three year contract. It will still be a surprise if they find enough cash to add the potent bat they desperately need. Given that Carl Crawford is probably headed to the Angels or Yankees, the Dodgers could do worse than return Adrian Beltre to third base, although it would mean swallowing the $6.50 million Casey Blake has remaining through 2011 and a 2012 buyout (besides meeting Beltre's demands), so that's probably more than McCourt can digest....

    --Besides, wouldn't the Angels love to put Beltre at third and Crawford in left, adding power and speed and filling two key positions, with a healthy Kendry Morales filling another as he returns to first base...

    --I can't think of a more personable and popular former player than Dave Roberts, who is confident he has won a bout with Hodgkins Lymphoma and will coach first base for the Padres next season, potentially enhancing the San Diego running game...   

       

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