Wednesday 31 October 2007

Baseball and the World Series

On Sunday night the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. They swept the Colorado Rockies in four games. As a Yankees fan I was nominallly supporting the Rockies... although it must be said not terribly enthusiastically. It is somewhat of a tradition in our house... the Fall Classic. Every year we take holiday so that we can stay up all night and follow the games... although it has to be said, since the first year that I watched in 2000 the Yankees have not won the World Series, and I'm beginning to feel like their own 'curse'. The following year in 2001 the Yankees lost to the Diamondbacks (leading to my oft repeated statement when anyone mentioned Arizona "I spit on the Diamondbacks"). In 2002 the Yankees didn't make it to the World Series, and both Rich and I supported the Anaheim (as they were then) Angels... and the Angels won. In 2003 the Yankees lost to the Florida Marlins (squish the fish!) and that was the last time the Yankees made it to the World Series! In 2004 the Boston Red Sox finally broke the 'curse' and won the World Series for the first time since 1918. Rich is a Red Sox fan... so he was absolutely delighted! 2005 and 2006 were a bit of a bust as neither of us really had a team to support and we just nominally chose one of the two teams. I was quite pleased for Rich, therefore when the Red Sox won again this year... although, obviously, not as a Yankee fan!!!

There has been more than just the World Series going on in baseball though. After Joe Torre's departure as manager of the Yankees there was the search for a new manager. The choices came down to only a few... and the final choice is Joe Girardi. That isn't all for changes at the Yankees though. Alex Rodriguez (popularly known as A-Rod) with his massive contract had the option to opt out of his contract this year. Would he? Wouldn't he? He's been a pretty good addition to the Yankees line up (even though I never wanted to sign him at the time) but he's never been all popular in New York. In a coup of mis-guided publicity seeking he and his agent decided to announce his free agency during game 4 of the World Series. Not at all cool. Whether or not the search for even more money pays off for him has yet to be seen. The Yankees have stated that they will not have anything more to do with him. You need a lot of cash to take on A-Rod... and there aren't that many teams who will throw that sort of money around... so where will Alex land next year... I'm sure that will keep us entertained over the next few months. For amusement there are a couple of interesting articles from CBS here and here.

It doesn't stop there though. A-Rod is one of five Yankees to file for free agency - the most notable of the others being closer Mariano Rivera and catcher Jorge Posada... hopefully they will re-sign with the Yankees! First baseman Doug Mientkiewicz and pitcher Jose Vizcaino are the final two players who have already filed for free agency. It doesn't stop there though as there are a whole host of others also eligible: Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Ron Villone, Bobby Abreu and Jose Molina. So - we could be seeing a lot of changes down at Yankee Stadium next year... and if it means that it is 27 (World Series Titles) in '08 then it can't be all bad, I suppose.