Thursday, March 30, 2006

Mo Day?

Apparently it’s Mariano Rivera day over at the New York Post. Mike Vaccaro leads things off. Of course, I’ve all but denounced newspaper columnists – especially tabloid columnists. But Vacarro is an alum of the Newark Star Ledger, the newspaper I read in my formative years. I still read him once in a while, if only because I used to read him daily as a kid.

(Aside: his replacement was Dan Graziano, who I hate with a passion. Never have I read a more uninformed sports columnist in my life. And I bet he had to put in a good 10 years of grunt work just to ascend to his level. Kinda makes you wonder why these guys take this path to sports writing.)

Kevin Kernan is next in the order, counting down the Top 10 New York closers of all time. I’m sick of reading “Top 10 of all time” lists, and since I’ve seen enough of them ranking all closers, I have no interest in reading one concentrated in the Big Apple. Just look at Kernan’s byline picture and tell me he doesn’t look like an utter dolt. You can’t. I’ve obviously never met the guy, but he seems like a smug asshole who thinks he knows more than you about sports.

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Finally, Michael Morrissey opens a piece on Mo with a quote from Kevin Millar, which had me instinctually clicking the “X” in the upper right corner of my screen.

There are two more closer-related articles in the Post today. You can find them here and here.

The other running theme in the press today was the Randy Johnson-Jorge Posada conundrum. It’s no secret that Randy had issues with Posada last year, and it’s apparently spilling over into 2006. Personally, I think it’s all in Unit’s head. He had a tough time adjusting to New York and the American League, so he blamed anything and everything for his woes. Ultimately, he settled in after blaming Posada, so that seemed like the solution. However, this seems like a fabricated fallacy that needs to cease this year.

In case you want to read some mainstream morons prattling on about the issue, here they are:
New York Post
Daily News
Newsday
Hartford Courant

The baseball articles are more plentiful now, which is nice in one sense, but incredibly frustrating in another. Material is fresh when the season starts, but when those writers run out of fresh ideas, they start either regurgitating crap that wasn’t very good in the first place, or inciting their readership with moronic statements. As such, I’m going to avoid linking to mainstream media sites throughout the season. If they can come up with material, I can too. I may borrow quotes from the beat reporters, but surely won’t use them in the same context.

I’ll round off today’s entry without linking. Scott Proctor should be the fifth starter should Pavano and Small not be available for the April 15th start. In fact, even if Smally is available, I’d still strongly consider Proctor for the role. He’s obviously more effective as a starter than a reliever; that much we learned over the course of last year and this spring. The best course of action would be to start him in Columbus, get him a start there, and then bring him up for April 15th.

Of course, this is complicated because Proctor is likely low on options. I don’t know exactly how the system works, but I know Proctor has been up and down with the Yanks for two years, and surely doesn’t have many more. The team would be in jeopardy of losing Proctor if they spent an option on him now, called him up for April 15th, and then optioned him again when Pavano comes off the DL.

I just have this feeling that Proctor will prove ineffective as a reliever (once again), causing Torre to lose confidence in him. This means that he wouldn’t be available to spot start when the inevitable injuries roll in. If someone knows Proctor’s option situation (I’m short on time at this point), post it in the comments. I think that would give me a better idea as to what I would do in this situation. Barring that, however, I would certainly keep him in Columbus, starting games and building up endurance. Only call him up when needed to start, because as we’ve seen, this is where he’s most effective.