Wednesday, February 18, 2004

I forgot to mention the hubub over A-Rod going to the Yankees. I think the money is nuts, but the hubub is maybe even nutsier. Consider that the big bat has rarely been as important to winning as you might think. If it were, the Cubs would be in high cotton. A-Rod, Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr (not so long ago), Sammy Sosa, and so on are impressive and fun to watch, and probably intimidating for pitchers, but power is not what wins, usually. It is certainly not what has built the Yankees over the past 10 years or so, and neither has it been key to other dominant teams like the Braves. It seems to me that A-Rod's fielding skill, moreover, is going to be wasted at 3rd, and that the Yanks are going to miss the hell out of Alfonso Soriano.

Yes, A-Rod is the complete package, and his batting average and general skill as a hitter will be important. Yes, from time to time he will slap a key homer. Yes, I would be thrilled to see him wear a Cubs uniform (although the Cubs already have a pretty damned good shortstop). But basically I don't think this will make up for the loss of Petit and Clemmons.

Now the Astros . . . they scare me.


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