WTNYOctober 02, 2003
Short and Sweet
By Bryan Smith

I opened up my inbox yesterday to see one of my favorite titles, "Baseball America Prospect Report." That means the Arizona Fall League has started, and I'm working on a big article about that. I'll have it up in the next few days, and basically its explaining why you should pay attention. But today is just gonna be a notes day, leading with my Division Series thoughts...

- The Marlins have had a great run at things, but they need some changes next season. Trade Derrek Lee, Juan Encarnacion, Brad Penny, and Braden Looper. Re-sign Pudge, Luis Castillo, Ugueth Urbina, and that Korean outfielder I've talked about before. Then, lock-up Mike Lowell for a long, long time. Juan Pierre was an awesome acquisition, he's Kenny Lofton reincarnated. But, that bullpen needs a lot of help. Rick Helling in a bullpen is pathetic, as was Jack McKeon using him yesterday. Chad Fox was a solid pick-up, and Spooneybarger will be good next season. But, they bullpen should be considered before late July.

- Ray Durham is going to have a big 2004. He was hurt this season, but Pac Bell is made for his doubles power. I'm going to wait on 2B next year in the fantasy draft, and jump on Durham.

- Yesterday's hero? Mark DeRosa? Yep. Marcus Giles doesn't start, and DeRosa hits the game-winning double in the eighth inning. Vinny Castilla is a free agent at the end of the season, and I think the team should throw DeRosa in everyday at third. That would give them extra money to trade for Richie Sexson, and to find an adequate right fielder.

- Todd Walker batted third last night. True, it was just Little's way to go leftie, rightie, leftie, and so on, but he did go yard twice. Walker's had a fantastic season, and is jumping up the top of free agent lists. The Red Sox will pursue retaining him, and I imagine he'll be wooed by the Indians, the Cubs, the Mets, and maybe the Dodgers.

- Drifting away from playoffs, and into transaction analysis. Yesterday, the Pirates claimed 30-year old right-hander Jason Boyd off waivers from the Cleveland Indians. I like this move, since Boyd had a 6.54 H/9 ratio. He's a 6-3 rightie that doesn't strike out a lot of guys, and probably walks too many. But, its good to see the Pirates working the waiver wire, and there's a possiblity he'll become a good set-up man.

- Griffey back in Seattle? That's the newest rumor, but that would first require a GM. U.S.S. Mariner has a few ideas, and it's hilarious to hear Billy Beane rumors. He turned down the Red Sox folks, he ain't coming to Seattle. Griffey would take sense, and the Mariners easily have enough in the farm system. The question really comes down to, would Griffey ever swallow his pride and return home?

- In the world of managerial hirings, Eddie Murray was granted permission to talk to the Orioles. I really expect this to happen, but I agree with Dave Pinto that he definitely must work on his media relations. In Chicago, it sounds like its down to Cito Gaston vs. Ozzie Guillen. I think Guillen is way too young and inexperienced, but Gaston seems like the perfect guy for the job. By the way, what's happening with Jim Tracy? I love the guy, and would hire him in a second. Larry Bowa will keep his job until next season begins, which makes no sense. Expect Jerry Manuel to join the San Francisco Giant staff next year, and Hargrove will probably head to the Boston bench.

- There's going to be some sweet trading this offseason. Here's the top 5 available:
1. Javier Vazquez
2. Curt Schilling
3. Billy Wagner
4. Carlos Lee
5. Richie Sexson

- I hear the Yankees are interestred in LaTroy Hawkins, which makes a lot of sense. My guess is it comes between the Bronx Bombers and the Cubs.

- Looks like I'm 6-0 so far in playoff games. Today, I'm going with the Yankees in a blowout and the A's on a Zito masterpiece.

- Finally, I'm thinking about making some changes on the site. If you read this site everyday, please e-mail me. I'm thinking about creating a joint blog to this where I post random thoughts like the ones above, not just about next year. Or, I could put all of that into one blog, or I could just keep it the way it is. Just a thought, but I was hoping to get some reader response on the issue.