Monday, October 3, 2011

Best Team Ever Aftermath Schedule

I'm going to try to organize my Francona/Henry/Theo/Werner/Best Team Ever/Beckett/Lackey thoughts in a logical way.  Because of this, I'm going to have something to talk about throughout the entire Yankees' playoff run and therefore will not overburden my emotionally-committed co-author.  There is so much to say about these guys that we are going to easily exceed our goal of 1620 posts before we hang it up.  But if I write it, I will perhaps hold myself accountable for it.

Tonight:  Why Francona Had to Go.
Next Time:  The GM's 2012 Roster (get your popcorn ready; this one might be long).
Time After That (barring any further implosions):  Please Sell the Team.

As far as this playoff run goes, I am rooting modestly for the Tampa Bay Rays.  After my full-scale indictment of them a short two years ago, I've changed my tune.  They're a team that's doing everything right.  They're playing fundamental baseball and seem motivated (even BJ Upton!).  Their starting pitchers are skinny, actually tough instead of hiding behind the guise of tough, skilled, and willing to pitch more than five innings a night.  Their bullpen, while not fantastic, also doesn't have any high-priced free agents with a drinking problem and worsening statistics.  Their most hatable players, Jason Bartlett and Aki Iwamura are gone, and their emo kid manager, while dislikable, is a good motivator and seems like someone who would hold his team accountable.  I have a very good friend from the Tampa area, and I'm really happy for him.  He has a team you can root for, while the Red Sox do not.

Also, they played hard (though not particularly spectacularly) down the stretch.  They recovered from a bad start and a Manny Ramirez suspension.  They are the small-market underdog the $180 million Red Sox think they are.

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