WTNYOctober 22, 2003
What? Baseball is still being played?
By Bryan Smith

Those words in my titles are quotes of thousands of Americans today, not realizing that a very boring World Series is happening right now. Just sit back and imagine what a Cubs v. Red Sox series would have been like...sigh...

Not much to say today, as the days are getting pretty dull in the baseball world. But, here's what I see in the Yanks and Marlins, with some mixed in toughts about the next year.

The Yankees

New York may be the smartest team in baseball. Hideki Matsui has showed how much knowledge he has, which is also evident in his great average with RISP. Derek Jeter plays extremely smart, although defensive problems do exist. Ditto Bernie Williams and Jason Giambi. Aaron Boone was a perfect pick up, and Jorge Posada fits in the very smart trend. Soriano doesn't really fit in here, he's just very toolsy. I heard a Luis Castillo to the Yanks rumor somewhere, and it really would make sense. And I don't think dealing Soriano would be too much of a problem...

Is Mariano Rivera the best postseason player ever? Quite possibly. Rivera is a completely different pitcher in the playoffs, able to go two innings with relative ease. This team spends a year preparing for October, and Rivera shows that more than anyone else. And by the way, I love Jose Contreras. And Andy Pettite? He has to be re-signed. Don't think George will let homegrown Pettite leave, especially when he is nearing in on most postseason wins EVER. And with these Red Sox rumors, Steinbrenner won't let him leave Yankee stadium for the winter most likely.

Nick Johnson and Karim Garcia rub me the wrong way. They aren't Yankee caliber players, and probably should be gone next season. I've heard the Boss wants Javier Vazquez, and Johnson would definitely appeal to the Expos. Throw in Juan Rivera and another prospect, and it's a deal. Hell, get Adrian Hernandez and Drew Henson off your hands too. Then, sign Doug Mientkiewicz, whom seems perfect for the Yankees. He is a very timely hitter, and a smart player. He plays fantastic defense, and would save Jeter and Soriano daily. I mean, the Yankee infield might even be decent. In right field, go with Sheffield. Sit back and imagine this...

1. Jeter- SS- RH
2. Williams- CF- SH
3. Soriano- 2B- RH
4. Giambi- DH- LH
5. Sheffield- RF- RH
6. Matsui- LF- LH
7. Posada- C- SH
8. Mientkiewicz- 1B- LH
9. Boone- 3B- RH

1) Mussina
2) Vazquez
3) Contreras
4) Pettite
5) Lieber

Damn Yankees.

Fry the Fish

Don't expect dismantling from the Marlins next year, but don't expect the same team either. I've said it numerous tiimes, but the Marlins first worry should be putting popular, Miami-type players on the field. Florida loves Jeff Conine, Ugueth Urbina, Pudge, Luis Castillo. Let 'em stay. Encarnacion? Out. Looper? Out. Ramon Castro? Out. Mike Lowell or Derrek Lee should be out too. Yes, throw Brad Penny in there too. I like the idea of signing Jong-Soo Shim, whom would add some Korean influence to a very hispanic team. Oh and in case I didn't mention it...non-tender Alex Gonzalez.

Josh Beckett and Dontrelle Willis have impressed me so much this postseason, not complaining about usage patterns. Beckett is one of the game's true gems, and should be sensational next season. The team will have A.J. Burnett in relief next year, another one of my favorite pitchers. But I don't like Penny, get rid of him.

The Lowell/Lee decision will be tough. Lowell will command more interest, and Lee has been in Florida a long time. But Lowell is extremely popular in Miami, and the trade would probably get a lot of bad press. But if you could find a cheap arm to replace Penny, along with restoring order to the farm system...do it.

That's enough for today...