Monday, October 26, 2009

A piece of the Acta, and other odds and ends

It's good to see a long-suffering team like the Yankees finally reach the World Series.

Surrre it is.

* The Cleveland Indians, with a choice of a win-now manager from the outside (Bobby Valentine) and a veteran of their farm system to supervise a rebuilding project (Torey Lovullo), split the difference to hire Manny Acta.

Acta (above) is a more sensible choice than Valentine, who told the Cleveland media after his interview that he and the Tribe may not be a good fit. But the reality for the Indians is that they are rebuilding and they're going to take their lumps in 2010. Lovullo would have made more sense.

Of course, it's possible that general manager Mark Shapiro doesn't have enough security to write off 2010 — in which case he'll make more, and worse, mistakes in the offseason that's just beginning.

* The current issue of Baseball America names Joe Mauer its Major League Player of the Year. Mauer is the first player to be BA's High School Player of the year, Minor League Player of the Year, and Major League Player of the Year.

*Tony LaRussa will return as St. Louis manager. Just as important: pitching coach Dave Duncan, who was vocally on the outs with the front office during the season, will return also. Less important, but certain to make headlines: Mark McGwire will be the hitting coach.

LaRussa was, at best, a passive encourager of the rise of steroids in the late 80s and throughout the 90s. Even after the backlash, he vocally sought to bring Barry Bonds to the Cardinals and defended Rick Ankiel's use of human growth hormone. And now he's trying to rehabilitate McGwire's image.

Good luck with that.

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