What is failure? Is it just losing? Can you win but fail? Everything depends on how you look at it. Like the Yankees losing their second 1st-round playoff in a row, losing last year to Boston and this year to the Detroit Tigers. According to the NYC press, the man they refer to as "the Boss," George Steinbrenner (his daddy was an Olympic champion, but Little George was a weakling who could never fill his old daddy's shoes either as an athlete or as a businessman), is truly capital P Pissed off; the Yankees failed him this year--and, he says, they failed their fans, too. Yet, they had the best record in the American League, won the Eastern Division, etc. According to the righteous but often wrong NY Daily News, the Boss is so pissed, he's kicking Joe Torre's ass out to pasture as a true-ass #1 failure (first of all, Joe Torre has taken the Yankees to the playoffs every year of his being manager--he's won the WS five times--his '98 team won a record 114 wins--that team was voted as one of the best Yankee teams ever) and is going to hire Lou Pinella as his new manager. Is the Boss a fool? The answer to that question is a resounding YES! And YES it is just like the Boss to fire Joe Torre and hire Lou Pinella. Lou's certainly been hanging around NYC for the past 2 weeks--not being shown at Yankee games but showing up at a Mets game and photo-opting with Willie Randolph. Lou managed the Yankees before. Then he went to Cincinnati where he took old Marge Schott's Red Stockings all the way to the WS and the World's Championship. But then he went to Seattle and failed; then he went to Tampa Bay and failed miserably. Lou's an awful guy to replace Joe Torre, but hell it won't surprise me.
My advice? Keep Joe Torre but let he, Mattingly, and Guidry picked the players they need and not Brian Cashman, who's a baseball fool really, though Steinbrenner seems to love him like a son. Let them picked some good young pitchers, that's what the Yankees need--superb pitching--they're out there--hell, buy those Detroit pitchers--Detroit will be selling off their players especially if they go on to meet the Mets in the World Series.
The Mets in the WS? Yes. I predicted the Yankees would sweep the Tigers and I was miserably wrong. I predicted a Subway WS and I was wrong. But in predicting the Mets will go all the way, I don't think I'm wrong there. Willie's managing beautifully; he's much more proactive with his players than old sullen Joe whose trademark is his emotionless character in the dugout. Willie's up and down and coming out to the top steps all the time, shouting out to the players; he's a hell of a lot better at player management than Joe. Joe's kinda dumb when it comes to that, but then catchers are dumb humans--check out how they make their living? So Willie ain't gonna lose--not to the Cardinals; not to San Diego--though they may have a little trouble if Detroit's pitching staff continues to pitch superb ball if they meet Detroit in the Series--I mean, come on, Kenny Rogers just happened to have pitched the best GD game he's ever pitched in his life against the Yankees t'other night. Then Bonnerman last night: a perfect game through six innings against the greatest hitters in baseball--holding the mighty Yankees, who scored more runs than any team in the majors, to over 20 innings of scoreless baseball--amazing, amazing, amazing. And forget about hitting against the Tigers's Joe Zumaya. That son of a bitch throws consistently at 100-to-104 mph--he throws a 100 mph slider! I swear! So the Mets don't get a free pass to a World Series victory yet against Detroit or Oakland but they've got the National League sewn up. Still, you know my record at predicting right now. All things are possible--I think that's the only thing Jesus Christ supposedly said that makes sense to me. All things are possible--even that the Boss really is gonna fire Joe and hire Loser Lou Pinella as his next manager--or he could owe Bucky Dent a favor for ruining his baseball career and hire Bucky as his manager; Bucky's a damn good manager and he's still in the Yankee system.
Nice to see Don Newcomb in town for the Los Angeles Dodgers being here for the playoffs. Don looked good, man; the Newk. They once called jazz great Sonny Rollins "Newk" because he looked a hell of a lot like Don Newcomb.
Hey, and I saw Sandy Koufax at the Dodger loss last night and man he looks great, too. One of the greatest pitchers ever; from Brooklyn, New York, same as Billy the Kid.
Well, I'm outta here. I'm headin' out to the West Coast to freeload off my friends out there until Spring Training comes around in February when I'll be headin' down to Tampa and start following the Yankees again, Lou Pinella or whoever. Winter sports bore me. I may be back during the NCAA basketball tournement if the Big East has some great teams this year--UConn, Syracuse, West Virginny, Louisville--what a conference--look at the Rutgers football team this year--leading the country in rushing!! Look at the Louisville football team this year, too. Big East rules; Miami goofed up leaving the league; they haven't been a power since.
I'm off to the West--next stop Bakersfield. Wha! I had a relative who once owned a big chunk of the Bakersfield Blaze--hey, a kid name Ken Griffey, Jr. played for the Blaze in those days. Now the Blaze are long gone--I think they're the Bakersfield Giants now, or some stupid name like that. Bakersfield sits square-dab on the San Andreas fault so Blaze was a great name for a team playing on that fiery fault. The Cucamonga team, also playing on the San Andreas fault, were called the Quakes. I'm stopping reminiscing and hittin' the road. See ya next baseball season, sports fans.
P.S. Put all your bets on the Eagles in the NFL this year. They look awesome. Screw Indianapolis and the overrated Peyton Manning. The Eagles will clobber the Colts.
for The Daily Growler