WTNYSeptember 25, 2003
Run-ons and what-nots
By Bryan Smith

Just my luck. I don't think I've ever been as busy in my life as I have the last two days. And of course, the majority of my work comes during the days' most important games. But yes, I did witness Shawn Estes do the unthinkable yesterday. And by that, I mean ink himself a contract somewhere next season. I think he may actually have the potential to do well in a giant park, something like Dodger Stadium or Shea.

Here's some thoughts I've been having...

- Someone asked me a couple of days ago about who I thought would/should get fired this offseason. These are the managers that likely won't be back next season:

1. Mike Hargrove- Orioles
2. Jerry Manuel- White Sox
3. Larry Bowa- Phillies
4. Dave Miley- Reds' interim manager
5. Jim Tracy- Dodgers

That's it. Hargrove is a good manager, but benefitted from a good team in Cleveland. He may be a good fit in Philadelphia, with ex-pals Jim Thome and Joe Kerrigan. Jim Tracy is a fantastic manager, but the Dodgers must put the blame on someone. The Reds should go after him, but that's doubtful. Manuel is terrible, and will be playing the role of bench coach next year, probably with the Alou's Giants. Bowa is hated by all players, and shouldn't be back ever again. So naturally, he'll interview for the White Sox job.

Expect Willie Randolph to land his first gig, and Terry Franchone will be back. It also sounds like Eddie Murray has the Baltimore job. I will officially laugh if Joe Torre or Grady Little get fired...they shouldn't. And I pray that Tony La Russa quits.

- I hope Major League Baseball replaces Omar Minaya as GM of the Expos with Sandy Alderson. Imagine what Alderson, who taught the overrated Billy Beane everything he knows, build the failing Expos. He'd deal Javier Vazquez to the Red Sox quickly, just so he could get Kevin Youkilis to play third. Kelly Shoppach would also need to be included in that kind of a deal.

- The U.S. Olympic team was named, with some interesting guys on there. The all-prospect lineup would be:

C- Joe Mauer
1B- No Prospect (Graham Koonce)
2B- Chris Burke
SS- J.J. Hardy
3B- Garrett Atkins
OF- Jeremy Reed
OF- Grady Sizemore
OF- Terrmel Sledge

SP- Cole Hamels
SP- John VanBenschoten
SP- Adam Wainwright
SP- J.D. Durbin

CL- Jesse Crain

Not a bad team. Except my memories of baseball in the Olympics was me overhyping Ben Sheets and Kris Benson to people because of their excellent performances.

- Jose Contreras will be mentioned in Cy Young debates next year, and Johan Santana might win it. In the NL, Mark Prior will flirt with an ERA under 2.00, while Josh Beckett gets a top-five vote.

- Is .250/.280/.500 from your 1B OK when you have Barry Bonds in left? The Giants may put Pedro Feliz out at first next year, they need to put their money in other places. Feliz could hit 30HR easily next season, but would doubtfully hit the .300OBP marker. Then again, don't be surprised if Rafeal Palmiero ends here.

- Follow-up from yesterday's column...reader Jody Maulton informed me that the rule is 50IP for pitchers and 130AB for hitters when they lose rookie eligibility. That means Rafeal Soriano lost his eligibility Tuesday, and Cliff Lee of Cleveland will lose his Friday.

- This site never talks about the current season, but I'm throwing in my views now. Here, quickly, are my awards and predictions:

AL MVP: Alex Rodriguez
NL MVP: Albert Pujols- Sorry Barry...not this year.
AL CY: Roy Halladay- Although Aaron Gleeman almost convinced me otherwise
NL CY: Eric Gagne- The perfect season
AL ROY: Angel Berroa- shouldn't be questioned
NL ROY: Brandon Webb- read above statement
AL MOY: Tony Pena- Different Style of coaching
NL MOY: Jack McKeon- Trader Jack!

AL Pennant Winner: Boston Red Sox
NL Pennant Winner: Chicago Cubs

World Series Victor: Boston Red Sox

And yes, I really believe what I just wrote.

Back with a real column tomorrow. I'm currently looking at the past couple AFLs to see if it dictates future performance at all. I miss minor league baseball already!