The World Series is over, it’s true. And congratulations to the San Francisco Giants, world champions for 2010.
I have to admit, when Edgar Renteria hit that three-run homer off of Texas’ Cliff Lee to break open a 0-0 game last night, I let out a holler. I guess it’s because I so admired Renteria when he was the St. Louis Cardinals’ shortstop for six seasons, from 1999-2004. It might also have something to do with my allegiance to the National League, which I think plays the better brand of baseball (see yesterday’s blog).
And it might have been because once the calendar turns to November, I’m not comfortable with baseball being played. I think that’s just too late. Fortunately, weather was not a factor in this World Series, but that’s just because of luck. One of these days, really bad weather is going to strike and postpone the World Series for several days. And that will make me sad.
Anyway, did you know that San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy managed the Wichita Wranglers in 1992? It’s true. That Wranglers team went 70-66 and its leading hitters were Jay Gainer (.261, 23 homers, 67 RBI) and Dwayne Hosey (.253, 9 homers, 68 RBI).
The pitching staff was led by Lance Painter, Mike Linskey and Pedro Martinez (no, not that Pedro Martinez. This one was left-handed.)
Now that the baseball season is over, the real fun begins. Soon, awards will be handed out. Free agents will begin to look for new teams. And trades will be made.
Here are my top 10 free agents for the off-season:
1) Cliff Lee, left-handed pitcher, Texas: It’s assumed the Yankees will break out the check book and sign Lee to a huge contract. Probably so, but I’m holding out hope that he returns to the Rangers.
2) Carl Crawford, OF, Tampa Bay: The Yankees could also be players for Crawford, but I could see him with the Angels.Jeter3) Derek Jeter, SS, Yankees: Is there any doubt he returns to New York? No, but it might be at a reduced price.
4) Mariano Rivera, RP, Yankees: Is there any doubt he returns to New York? No, but it might be at a reduced price.
5) Adam Dunn, 1b/DH, Washington: Big bat, not much glove. Looks like a great fit for the American League, although the Nationals want him back to help lead a young team.
6) Jayson Werth, OF, Philadelphia: Should be on the go as the Phillies look to re-tool a bit after missing the World Series for the first time in three years. Would look great in a Cardinals uniform. Hey, I can wish.Beltre7) Adrian Beltre, 3B, Boston: It appears Beltre will test the free agent waters, although he could return to the Red Sox. He’s a slick fielder who rediscovered his stroke this season.
Victor Martinez, C, Boston: Not much defensively, but a nice stick. Boston will try hard to get him to stay.
9) Paul Konerko, 1B, White Sox: Had a great season in 2010 (.312, 39 homers, 111 RBIs). But you don’t hear much about him because it’s assumed he’ll remain in Chicago.
10) Juan Uribe, IF, San Francisco: He won’t make many top 10 lists, but I love the guy. He’s great defensively at three positions and can hit some. Cardinals, anyone?
* I’m looking forward to seeing Kansas and Kansas State play exhibition games tonight, but not for the games. They’ll both be blowouts.
I’m interested in seeing newcomers for both teams. Unfortunately, one of them won’t be prized KU freshman Josh Selby, who won’t be in game action until the NCAA, looking into his relationship with Robert Frazier, Carmelo Anthony’s business manager, determines his eligibility status.
I’ve said all along I don’t expect Selby to miss much of the season. But I didn’t think it would drag on this long, so I’m starting to wonder. My best guess is that he’s cleared to play sometime close to Thanksgiving, which isn’t ideal. But it’s not a killer, either.AsprillaAs for K-State, I’m curious to see how Frank Martin works big men Freddy Asprilla and Jordan Henriquez-Roberts into the front-court mix, already crowded with Wally Judge, Curtis Kelly and Jamar Samuels, who will play more on the wing this season. The Wildcats are just loaded with talent at the center and power forward positions, which in my way of thinking is why they’re so highly ranked. They have the look of an NBA team up front.
It will also be interesting to watch Martin work in freshmen Shane Southwell, Will Spradling and Nino Williams, all of whom should be outstanding players during their K-State careers. And I want to see how sophomore guard Rodney McGruder fares as he attempts to step into the void created by the loss of Denny Clemente. It will take a while, but I expect McGruder to be one of K-State’s best players this season.
* After giving it a lot of thought, I’m hoping the St. Louis Rams – my Rams – get a shot at signing Randy Moss and do so.
I know there’s a risk. I know Moss takes plays off and isn’t always the best guy in the clubhouse. And I’m a big believer that team chemistry is an important factor in winning.
But I also realize the Rams don’t have many down-field threats and that makes it difficult on rookie quarterback Sam Bradford, who needs more help. Also, St. Louis is 4-4 and just a half-game behind Seattle in the NFC West race.
If Moss is available for the Rams, they should take him and see what happens. There’s not a lot of risk vs. a big reward.
Charlie Sheen, go away. You’re despicable.
Just saw that Danny MacArthur, the original “Danno” on Hawaii Five-O, passed away last week at the age of 72.
Really want to like Conan O’Brien. Seems like a great guy. And he sure does try hard. But just not getting it.
Looks like I’ll be hooked on another show, AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” It airs on Sundays and the debut was very good.
Only in St. Louis does the hiring of a bullpen coach – in this case, Derek Lilliquist – make big headlines.
Who is the Opinion Line contributor?
I’ve decided Thanksgiving is no longer the beginning of the holiday season.
Now I really do not like OL cliff hangers. OK, so this contributor – most likely an elderly woman with not much family nearby – decides Thanksgiving is not the beginning of the holiday season. Fine. But what is? I’m dying to know, but because of the anonymity of the OL, there’s no way to get in touch with this person to get more information.
I have always thought Thanksgiving was the beginning of a holiday season that leads to Christmas and New Year’s. That stretch of roughly five weeks has always been one of my favorite times of the year. But if there is somebody out there who now believes Thanksgiving does not signal a holiday spree, I’d like to know more.