Yes, this is the Yank Monk blog this week because The Monk is tired of the Foley follies (see here for a great takedown of the Democrats' hypocrisy -- remember Gerry Studds [D-Mass.] actually buggered the underage male page and served out 6 more terms in the House), tired of the idiocy of the Republican House and basically tired of the moronathon in national politics.
Let's deal with some baseball.
First, The Monk says here and now that the A's will win the ALCS. Reason = the Tigers' domination of the Yanks will not continue. Call it gut feeling, but the A's have better starting pitchers, have a reliable set-up reliever in Duchsherer, have solid hitting and have the energy that the Yanks lacked. And the Tigers went overboard in their win -- it wasn't the World Series. Nonetheless, at this point a Tigers' win won't surprise.
Second, the Mess will win the NL. The Cards cannot compete with them, no matter how farked up the Mess' rotation is. If King George sits on his Torre decision a little longer, an NL title for the Mess will be the final straw for Big Stein.
Now, for a team that needs something resembling a swift kick in its collective rear -- the Yanks. The Monk is on record saying that Joe should go. He bollocksed up the bullpen as he's done for the past three years, he failed to motivate ARod, he failed to get the TEAM to arise from its enervated state. This isn't European soccer -- there are no trophies for winning over the long season.
The Yanks have failed miserably in three consecutive postseason series. Any other manager would have been run out of town on a rail after the '04 ALCS. Casey Stengel, the best manager in baseball, got pink-slipped after the Yanks' 1960 honk to the Pirates despite winning his 10th pennant in 12 years and 7 previous World Series titles because his managerial failures (pitching Whitey Ford, who completely dominated the Buccos, for games 3 and 6, not 1, 4, and 7) led directly to the Yanks' loss. The notion that players pitch and hit is all true, but managers motivate, strategize and inspire. Torre failed miserably on that count in three consecutive Octobers.
The Monk disagrees with SI's Jacob Luft who says the 2007 Yanks will look nearly identical to the '06 Yanks because they cannot move the big contracts. That's wrong. ARod's a bargain for anyone because the Rangers are paying every nickel over $16M/year. Carlos Lee will command 15M per in the market -- who'd you rather have? Mooooooooooooooose's 17M option won't be picked up. Sheff's 13M option should not be either (despite Luft's projections). The Yanks can also move Matsui if they throw in some dough -- who wouldn't want a 25 HR/110 RBI guy for $10M per? The Yanks need to upgrade the defense (Cabrera), get younger and prioritize pitching (call up Hughes, get Clippard ready [definitely do not trade Clippard -- he's turning into a righty version of Pettitte!]). Move some players around for near-ready prospects. The Yanks played their best this season WITHOUT Sheff or Matsui in the lineup. This can be done, but the Yanks need to commit to trying.