Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Devo, his soapbox, and a side of analysis: The Philly/LA NLCS Preview

Everyone who says the Yankees should have kept Joe Torre needs to stop it. Right now. Joe Torre was a great, GREAT Yankee manager who should (and probably will) have his number retired and placed in Monument Park. He is responsible for the greatest run of sports dominance in my lifetime, and he should be treated as such. But that does not change the fact that his time had passed with the Yankees. Each of the previous three years, the Yankee playoff journey has ended in Cub-like fashion before Yankee fans had time to blink. Since 2003, when the Yankees lost to Josh Beckett, Miguel Cabrera, and some scrubs, the Yankees have been knocked out earlier and earlier each year. Now, any time a coach's record slips for five consecutive years, the sad truth is that he needs to be let go to find some other work.

But Devo, couldn't Torre have gotten the Yankees a few more wins? Wouldn't that ensure that they would make the playoffs?

Yup. And had the Yankees made the playoffs, they would face the exact same fate that they had to suffer the last few years: a first round loss.

A more-true-than-funny riddle for Yankee fans: When is a Yankee playoff series not in doubt?
When they're playing the Angels.

And playing the Angels is what would have happened had the Yankees made the playoffs. Assuming the Yankees would have been the wild card, t hey would have been stuck playing said Angels. And remember how it seemed that the Red Sox did everything right against the Angels while the Angels self-destructed whenever possible? Well that's EXACTLY what would have happened, except that the roles would have been reversed. The Torre Yankees would have been the '08 Angels and the '08 Angels would have been the '08 Red Sox.

So, am I happy for Torre? Absolutely. Even as a Yankee fan (albeit an angry, spiteful, and bitter one) I get as much happiness out of seeing Hank Steinbrenner angry as Joe Masshole. But with that said, let's get to a quick LCS preview, shall we?

These are the facts heading into this series: Manny Ramirez at any point in the season is arguably the best player in this series. A hot and motivated Manny is clearly the best player in this series. Unfortunately, if LA has the best player in this series, then Philly clearly has #2-7 in Howard, Utley, Lidge, Rollins, Burrell, and Hamels. But you know what? I've seen enough of Manny to know not to mess with him or bet against him when he's on fire.

Dodgers in 6.

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