Thursday, October 22, 2009

A phine Phillies team and other notes

That was a rather efficient dismantling of the Dodgers in the NLCS, wasn't it? Philadelphia took the Dodgers' strong suit — the bullpen — and whupped up on it.

The American League, I have said repeatedly for years, is far the superior league. But the Phillies are capable of beating the Yankees — and yes, the ALCS isn't over yet, but Anaheim isn't winning this thing — just as they beat Tampa Bay last October.

I'll write at some length about the World Series matchup another time, but my gut tells me that this guy might be the decisive player. He was the biggest reason the Phillies won the postseason tournament in 2008, but he hasn't dominated at all in 2009, and his 6.75 through three postseason starts isn't getting it done this year.


The Twins' signing of much-hyped Dominican shortstop prospect Miguel Angel Sano became official this week. They're still not sure the kid's really just 16, and it's quite likely that he won't remain a shortstop, but it's one of a series of signings and draft picks this year that indicates the Twins are pushing harder for top-shelf amateur talent.


Out in Detroit, Carlos Guillen popped off about Jim Leyland and playing left field, then he and Leyland had a phone chat, and supposedly everything's OK now.

Supposedly. The fact remains that Guillen is 34. He has a bad knee and a bad shoulder, a $10 million salary for 2010 and steadily declining numbers. That's the very image of a player in decline.

Leyland can say now that Guillen will be his nine-inning left fielder in 2010, but that doesn't make it so, or make it wise.


A somewhat bewildering field of managerial finalists in Cleveland — Bobby Valentine, who would figure to be a win-now selection; Manny Acta, who was fired in midseason in Washington; and Torey L0vullo, who has been managing in the Indians farm system.

It seems to be me that Lovullo would be the logical choice. Given the trades GM Mark Shapiro has made the last two seasons, the Indians appear to be in rebuilding mode — trades of CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Casey Blake, Mark DeRosa and Victor Martinez had pumped an enviable amount of young talent into the organization. But it's hardly certain that Shapiro has the long leash to write off 2010.

Valentine makes no sense from any perspective for Cleveland.

(Corrected: Replaced Travis Fryman with Lovullo.)

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