Sometimes baseball can really be a strange game. Emphasis on strange. Kevin Mitchell once strained a muscle while vomiting. He also broke a tooth while eating a chocolate donut. Heck, you could probably fill an entire book about general Kevin Mitchell weirdness. Or, the time ex-Giant masher Glen Allen Hill fell through a glass table while he was having a nightmare about being covered in arachnids. Mitchell pulling muscles while hurling, Glen Allen Hill having nightmarish visions about spiders, Joe Torre heading to the Dodgers, and A-Rod opting out of his contract.
Wait a second, what?
The general feeling among the baseball world was one of shock when Torre turned down the Yankees offer for another year in the Bronx. After 12 seasons in New York, I thought Torre looked exhausted. 12 years of living under constant pressure due to your job can do that to a man. After Torre turned down the offer, I expected him to hang up his managerial boots, maybe do baseball commentary here and there but that was it. It turns out that Torre isn’t ready to hang up his boots but just the opposite, to strap them back on and head out west.
The early word is that Joe Torre will be the next Dodger manager. Grady Little will get the axe and Torre will take his spot. Quoting from the Journal News:
The Los Angeles Dodgers have decided to fire manager Grady Little and replace him with former Yankees manager Joe Torre, The Journal News has learned.
Torre, 67, could be named manager as soon as tomorrow, according to two sources close to the situation. Don Mattingly is expected to accompany Torre to Los Angeles as his bench coach. Torre is also interested in hiring Kevin Long, his hitting coach with the Yankees.
Interesting. I’m no huge fan of Torre, I don’t really jive with the way he manages a bullpen, but anytime you can replace Grady Little you’re doing something right. I know that seeing Torre for the first time in that putrid Dodger Blue will definitely be weird.
In other news that everyone has undoubtedly already heard about, A-Rod has decided to opt out of his contract with the Yankees to test the free agent market. The Yankees as you can imagine are none too pleased. Hank Steinbrenner is already sounding like the spawn of someone who was rich and stupid. I get it, the Yankees are ticked off, but would you expect anything else from Scott Boras? Now that the World Series is over and the Red Sox will step out of the limelight, ESPN can ride the corpse of WHERE WILL A-ROD PLAY for the remainder of the baseball winter. Ugh.
Despite how you feel about A-Rod, he’s one heckuva’ baseball player. By most metrics, and I mean most, he was the best player in all of baseball in 2007. He’s poised to cash in one his great season to the tune of upwards of $30M a season. The 30 million dollar man is a very real possibility and I think you have to consider the Giants contenders for A-Rods services. They’ll have the money with contracts like Bonds, Morris, Benitez, and potentially a few others coming off the books. A-Rod would fill a very big hole for the Giants. Third base and shortstop are two positions that are currently wide open. Pedro Feliz and Omar Vizquel are currently free agents and I expect only one of the two to be back in SF in ’08.
The Giants have to be very, very tempted by A-Rod. He would replace Bonds as the star appeal for the Giants and would put people in the stands. With or without A-Rod, the Giants are going to be bad in 2008 and I can’t understand why A-Rod would want to come to a team with as many uncertainties as the Giants. Of course, the money might help. And the adoration he would receive might appeal to him too. He would be “the man” in San Fran and that never hurts. There were talks of the Giants attempting to woo A-Rod during the Giants / Yankees interleague series this year. Mays spoke with him and gave him an autographed jersey I believe and A-Rod himself talked about how much he liked the city and all the usual niceties athletes say about whichever city they’re playing in. Having Zito and A-Rod on the same payroll would be something. I’m not sure what that something is yet but I can imagine them eating golden lobster for dinner every night and swimming in a giant pool of money, Scrooge McDuck-stylee.
Giants also announced today that they’ve hired former Dodger scout John Barr as the “Special Assistant to the General Manger who will oversee amateur and professional scouting”. Barr has been involved with the Mets, Orioles, Padres, Twins, and Dodgers. The press release has him linked to the signings of: Mike Mussina, Ben McDonald, Jonathan Broxton, Scott Proctor, Paul Wilson, AJ Burnett, Jay Payton, and Terrance Long. He was also responsible for the signing of All-Star catcher Russell Martin. If it’s one thing the Giants sorely lack, it’s All-Star catchers from Canada. Welcome aboard, Mr. Barr.
And one minor note, today is Bay City Ball’s one year anniversary. I honestly can’t believe it’s already been one year. I’d like to thank all the people who’ve helped me with the site, read it, and commented on it. I hope you’ve had as much fun reading it as I’ve had writing it. In one years time I’ve managed to post over 100+ times and become even more of a baseball nerd than before. Here’s to another year!