WTNYOctober 10, 2003
Vacation Time
By Bryan Smith

Hey y'all, unfortunately I don't have a long post today, I'm going on vacation in a matter of hours. So, I will promise three organization breakdowns on Monday (yes, even though it's a holiday). Today is a notes day, but I got some interesting stuff below:

- Miguel Tejada wants to play for Art Howe again? The day before he wasn't ready to leave Oakland? The week before he initiated a conversation with Angel owner Arte Moreno? Wow, what a confusing guy. Tejada will be a big prize this offseason, but cross the Mets and A's off immedietly. Both are committed to youngsters at shortstop (Reyes and Crosby), and Tejada doesn't fit in. Anaheim would make sense, as would the Chicago Cubs!

- The Mets instead will go after another Oakland A, pitching coach Rick Peterson. There is no better pitching coach in the business, no one else understands pitch counts like Peterson. This would be reuniting him with Art Howe, a perfect match. The Mets need some guidance from a pitching coach, and Peterson might be the second best in the business (behind Dave Duncan of course).

- Another Oakland A coach that might not be back next season is Terry Francone. He will be given an interview for the White Sox job, along with Gaston, Guillen, Perlozzo, and Backman. All signs point to Cito Gaston, who would make the most sense with a team of veterans going for the championship. In Baltimore, expect Sam Perlozzo, the 2003 bench coach to battle Eddie Murray for the job. Perlozzo would be the solid baseball decision, while Murray might be the most popular public relations option. This choice will tell us a lot about the Flanagan/Beattie combo.

- Yesterday, Baseball Prospectus had their best chat ever, with Kevin Towers. A few points Towers made:
1) He isn't comfortable with Ryan Klesko playing an outfield corner. He also states he doesn't want to deal Klesko, which would open up Phil Nevin to a possible deal.
2) Towers likes a leftie in the rotation, and will pursue David Wells, Sterling Hitchcock, and Chuck Finley for the 5th starter slot.
3) Trevor Hoffman will be back.
4) Brad Ausmus and Benito Santiago are popular 2004 Padre catching options, but Towers sees them as fallback choices. He says the team is pursuing a few trades, with 3 playoff catchers (2 AL, 1 NL). He's talking about A.J. Pierzynski, Ramon Castro, and likely Ramon Hernandez. Pierzynski makes a lot of sense for this team, and is probably Towers' first choice.

- David Eckstein heading back to Boston is a popular option. The team will likely non-tender Adam Kennedy, but also have good second base options in Chone Figgins and Alfredo Amezaga. So, sending Eckstein to Boston, where he could succeed Todd Walker is a popular idea. Eckstein is the OBP-type the Red Sox would love, and you have to figure he'd be a popular player in Beantown.

- A few notes from Yankee pitching yesterday:
1) Steinbrenner has to re-sign Pettite. Andy doesn't think he's going to be back, despite the fact he's a career Yankee. I don't think I've ever seen a pitcher who works so well despite giving up a lot of hits. Pettite is the essence of a playoff pitcher, although he doesn't quite get the press of Mariano Rivera or David Wells.
2) Jose Contreras looked awesome last night. When I said Contreras would be top-five in Cy Young voting next year, I was serious.

When I wake up Sunday morning, I expect the Red Sox to be up 2-1 in the series (Clemens gets out of the game early), and the Cubs and Marlins to be notched at two apiece (Wood and Willis each throw good games). Check back on Monday for the Indians, Dodgers, and a mystery team...