The latest collection of rumors and notes from SI’s Jon Heyman has a couple of interesting items:
Before these playoffs, the Yankees were believed willing to go for two years and $16 million for [Johnny] Damon. But that was before his solo double steal in Game 4.
That was a spiffy play and all, but is it really the sort of thing that’s going to change the calculus for a savvy team like the Yankees? They have almost certainly made a decision as to whether they are going to go after Bay, go after, Holliday or stick with Damon before now, and probably came up with a pretty good idea as to how much they’re going to offer them some time ago. I can’t really feature the double steal entering into it. If someone else wants to pay for that, great, but I don’t see the Yankees being any more willing to add a “steal premium” to Damon’s deal than the Red Sox were to go the extra mile for Dave Roberts after 2004.
Manuel’s explanation that somebody should have been covering third base didn’t really cut it. If he himself couldn’t have named the person, it’s no wonder the Phillies players didn’t know who should’ve been there.
Or maybe Manuel just didn’t want to throw anyone under the bus by name. Cholly is not the greatest manager in the history of baseball, but he’s a guy who stands up for his players. Assuming that he didn’t know who should have been covering third base simply because he didn’t name a name is wrong in my view.
If the Yankees win one more game, Mike Mussina wins the award for unluckiest Yankee, beating Don Mattingly. A Yankees from 2001-2008, he will have provided the stale sandwich meat to the Yankees’ World Series wins in 2000 and 2009.
You can add Bobby Murcer to that too. Murcer showed up the year after the Yankees’ last pennant of the Mantle teams, was traded right before the Munson-Reggie teams took off, and then returned to New York after they started to decline. Yeah, he was on a pennant winning team in 1981, but they lost.