Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Quotes, notes and comment

Of course we’re going to win. If we’re nice we’ll let it go six (games), but I’m thinking five. Close it out at home.
—Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins on Jay Leno's show

* The Yankees have played nine games in 24 days, a leisurely schedule by any measure. Mike Scoscia, whose Angels team had a much deeper starting rotation than did the Yanks, called the schedule "ridiculous," which of course it is, but we don't see him or his players turning down Fox's money.

Yes, the extra off days allowed the Yankees to go with just three starting pitchers through the first two rounds. Managers have done that in the past. Tom Kelly used just three starters in both 1987 (Frank Viola, Bert Blyleven and Les Straker) and 1991 (Jack Morris, Kevin Tapani, Scott Erickson) — and after the '87 Series Whitey Herzog beefed about how the short series didn't expose the Twins weakness in he back of the rotation.

October has historically been about front-line players, not the fifth starter. With the exception of "personal catchers" — see Jose Molina working with A.J. Burnett — we don't see the backup catchers in October either.

My problem with all the off days isn't so much that it's possible to skip the fourth stater — its the loss of the sense of continuity baseball thrives on.

* Indications are that Joe Girardi is leaning toward starting Chad Gaudin in Game 5 rather than have Burnett on three days rest. This would mean a Yankees rotation of:

CC Sabathia-Burnett- Andy Pettitte-Sabathia-Gaudin-Burnett-Sabathia.

And that means the longer the series goes, the better for the Phillies.

Considering how eager Girardi has been to go for the kill, it's baffling that he'd take a Series start from Pettitte (or Burnett — I'd rather use a lefty like Pettitte against the Phillies than a righty) to give it to the last man on his pitching staff. I'll believe it when I see it.

* The Houston Astros wanted Manny Acta, but refused to give him a three-year deal, so Acta took the Cleveland Indians job instead. Two years was enough for Brad Mills, however; he took the job.

Which is the better job? If the Indians owner has a realistic notion of where the franchise is right now, Cleveland is — but he fact that Bobby Valentine was a finalist there suggests they have delusions of grandeur.

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