Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Great Verducci and The Monk

Tom Verducci is one of the best baseball journos working today (right up there with Peter Gammons and ahead of the rest of the ESPNers other than Olney). And it's true, we think alike.

Case in point. Last night The Monk was reviewing the Yankees' lineup and thinking to himself: that's a lot of dead space after Matsui (batting 5th); no wonder they suck.

And then I switch over to the Yahoo! Sports columnists page and see Verducci blasting the Yanks for one of the worst offensive outfielders ever (Tony Womack) and the blackholeinthelineup that is Giambi (.340-range slugging for a former 40+ HR hitter!).

But every now and again, Verducci slips up and as a supportive fan, The Monk will help. Today, in his mailbag Verducci defends the NL East where every team is thisclose to first place. Said Tommy V: "Any time you have a division in which any team can win it, I consider that a strong division." Response: 1973 NL East, home of the worst team ever to go to the World Series, the 82-79 Mess.

As for this year's NL East: every one has reasons they won't win. Washington is too young, rotation won't hold; Atlanta is too old, rotation frayed, relief sucks; the Mess are who they are, need a bat and bullpen help; Phils are chokers who lack rotation strength; Marlins need a coupla bats. Something's gotta break.

One last baseball note: as stupid as the Yanks were to sign Jared Wright in the offseason, at least they didn't get Eric Milton. Milton was allegedly courted by the Yanks for some inane reason after his 4.75 ERA in the NL last year. Then the idiotic Reds signed that homer-serving pitcher for their Great American Smallpark. Result? Milton's ERA is 7.97; he's given up 22 HR in just 75.2 IP and amazingly allowed 10 in less than 30 IP on the road! He's so bad, he cannot even get a reverse Coors effect (pitch better outside the bandbox)!

Yanks dumb, Reds dumber.

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