With Joe Torre's situation now resolved, the Yankees next order of business is how they want to handle GM Brian Cashman, whose contract is due to expire at the end of the month. Meanwhile, Joe Girardi will leave New York to take over as the new manager of the Florida Marlins. While I'm pleased for Girardi, who has always been a favorite, I couldn't help but think about Willie Randolph yesterday. For the longest time I refused to buy the race card when it came to Randolph repeatedly being passed over for managerial positions. He had never managed before, I reasoned. If he was willing to go down to the minors for a year or two and then still couldn't get a big league job that would be different. But here comes Girardi, also with no prior experience as a manager, and just one season as a coach, and not one, but two teams were aggresively persuing him. Again, I'm excited for Giardi, something feels fishy about the whole thing.
The Yankees also lost out on landing the services of pitching coach Leo Mazzone. It appears as if the Braves pitching guru is headed for Baltimore where he'll join longtime friend, manager Sam Perlozzo. (That's a whole lot of zzzz's, bro.) According to The Baltimore Sun, a deal could be announced later today. This is a bummer for the Yanks, of course. Fortunately, the Orioles pitching staff have already had a terrific pitching coach in Ray Miller for the past season and a half, so maybe Mazzone won't make them that much better. (One can always hope, right?) The good news is that Girardi isn't managing in the AL so he'll be easy to pull for; the bad news is that Mazzone is now in the AL East.
Looks like it could very well be Clemens v. Contreras in Game One of the World Serious this year. I don't know about you guys, but I'm pulling for Chicago. They've had to wait longer so they get my vote. Plus, I'd rather see Contreras and Duque win a championshiop than Pettitte and Clemens. While it's hard for me to actively root against either Houston pitcher, I don't exactly cheer for them either (actually, Clemens is different, as I regard him more as a great player than an erstwhile member of the Yankes). I don't have any particular fondness for Biggio or Bagwell, but to be honest, it's Houston's gimicky ballpark that makes me dislike them more than anything. But ah well, their fans have been through some tough times, so the beauty part about 2005 is that at least one "long-suffering" fan base will finally be put out of their misery.