...I've actually enjoyed the playoffs. Watching teams I detest work each other over is peculiarly relaxing. My emotions have been completely disengaged and I can appreciate the special team we seem to be building. The A's can beat any of these teams (and have, in the cases of the White Sox and Angels). May the gods of baseball grant the A's some breaks next year!
...Arte Moreno seems to be following in the footsteps of Steinbrenner. The trained seals who pass for announcers on Fox TV mentioned Moreno (St. Arte?) was determined to get power (Konerko? Piazza?) out of the free agent market. Go, Arte, go! How did Colon perform last year? Was Cabrera any better than Eckstein? What about Finley? Okay, I'll give him Vlad Guerrero. But doesn't the Yankee experience of the last five years mean anything? Incidentally, is Moreno a racist for preferring Cabrera to Eckstein?
...Smallball has become the new political correctness. The Angels and White Sox dispatched the Red Sox and the Yankees by out-muscling them. Even tonight, the difference was a homerun by Garret Anderson. Yet the announcers keep yapping about "small ball." Most of the steals and bunts I've seen have ended in embarrassing outs. Why are these people being paid as "analysts?" They obviously are not watching the games they are broadcasting.
...Speaking of watching the same game, I want to congratulate Billy Beane for not retaining Ken Macha. No manager who has supervised three straight meltdowns, as Macha had, should be retained. Wrong message to the players and the fans. (Bobby Cox has a job only because the Mets and the Phillies are utterly incompetent.) I have always enjoyed Beane's moves because I've felt Beane has been watching the same game I have. Mistakes have been made, sure, but he corrects them, NOW!, and moves on. Let's hope he gets a manager willing to bench Eric Chavez early in the season That's the only way Mr. Chavez will be able to extricate his head from his ass. (Incidentally, I am a great admirer of Eric Chavez, but the boy does need help.)
...Angels in five. I detest the Angels, but the White Sox are mediocre, as we well know. This cult developing around Scioscia (which began in 1988, thanks Tony LaRussa!) is amazing and annoying. Scioscia is to baseball what Jim Cramer is to stocks. He's right about half the time and, yet, he is extolled endlessly. When you got the horses, you win. When you don't, you don't. Check the records of the legendary managers. LaRussa, the credentialed hero of George Will, couldn't win without the best players. Torre. Stengel. Berra. Connie Mack. Jack McKeon won the World Series just two years ago, yet he's an unemployed geezer idiot today. Small ball and Mike Scioscia. I think I'm going to be sick. But there's no cure until the A's win the World Series.