Admin (2:02 PM)
Welcome, everyone, to Rob Neyer's TGIF Special Edition InterWeb Chat Session! Rob will taking your questions -- and answering some of them -- for the next hour.
Rob, I think the reason Torre left Rivera in to pitch the ninth in game three with a five run lead was so Rivera could get the save. The two innnings work may be why he did not pitch in game four. This is personal stats over what is the best for the team.
Rob Neyer (2:04 PM)
I agree, it was so he could get the save. But I don't think it had anything to do with personal stats. Players don't care about their personal stats in the postseason. Torre left Rivera in the game because if the extremely unlikely happened and Jeff Nelson (or whoever) blew that five-run lead, everybody would have jumped all over Torre for taking out Rivera. So he played it safe.
Chip Hunter (Madison WI)
OK, Rivera should've pitched in G4. But which inning(s)?
Rob Neyer (2:07 PM)
I would have pitched him as early and often as possible. The best times to use an ace reliever are when a) you've got a one-run lead, and b) when the game is tied. I would have gone to Rivera first, used him for two innings, and then gone from there.
Eric (Evergreen, CO)
Do you think it's reasonable to fire a manager based on one single decision that has horrendous results? Or would a team play better with a little more unconditional love?
Rob Neyer (2:09 PM)
Talking about Grady Little, I presume. . . No, it's not reasonable. In a vacuum, I don't think you fire him. But Fenway Park would be a tough place for Little, if he came back in 2004. That's a real tough job, managing the Red Sox, and it probably requires somebody without the baggage that Little now has.
Nat (Exeter, New Hampshire)
matsui has shown his power to all fields in this postseason after hitting fewer homers during the regular season than was expected...can we look for more home runs from him next year?
Rob Neyer (2:13 PM)
This might be foolish of me, but I think Matsui's going to top 30 homers next season.
CJ, Westport, CT
Given the fact that his career postseason stats are remarkably similar to his regular-season stats, what is your take on the cherished notion among Yankee fans and NY media that Derek Jeter magically morphs into the Tiger Woods of baseball each October?
Rob Neyer (2:16 PM)
A few big moments have an extraordinary impact on our perceptions. Jim Caple, ordinarily a reasonable enough fellow, goes all weak in the knees at the very mention of "Jeter" and "October" in the same sentence, and I don't have to tell you that Tim McCarver would have Jeter's babies if he could. Unfortunately, nobody's actually done the work to measure Jeter's impact on the Yankees' postseason success. I suspect he's right up there, but no more important than Bernie Williams and Mariano Rivera.
Alan (Glenside, PA)
Hey Rob...ok, this has nothing to do with the postseason, but we're getting to that time of the year when major awards are handed out. Does Jim Thome have a shot at NL MVP? I know the Phils choked at the end, but I think he's this year's Tejada!
Rob Neyer (2:18 PM)
Well, that's an interesting take, but falls apart when we remember that Tejada's team won (in 2002). Guys don't win MVP's for a great September unless their team actually wins. MVP's going to be Bonds again.
John (Medford MA)
My question about the whole Grady Little - Pedro thing, where was Dave Wallace or Jason Varitek saying "he's tired, take him out?" Everyone else knew it, why didn't anyone say anything?
Rob Neyer (2:20 PM)
Well, that's the problem with having a 600-pound gorilla on the mound: he's going to do what he wants. (And I hope everyone realizes that I'm writing metaphorically there.)
Terry (San Francisco)
What's your view of the AL Rookie of the Year (putting aside for the moment your ties to Kansas City, my old home town and home still to my favorite team)? There seemed to be several good, but no exceptional candidates this year.
Rob Neyer (2:23 PM)
I think Matsui's the obvious choice. Angel Berroa did have a good year, but he plays in a great hitter's park and did struggle with the glove early in the season. With Baldelli and Gerut fighting for third place.
Kot (Lowell, MA)
Did you qualify your metaphorical statement because of what happened with Easterbrook (which is a shame)?
Rob Neyer (2:24 PM)
No, because of what happened to Howard Cosell (which isn't to say what happened to Easterbrook, and Limbaugh too, isn't in the back of my mind now, whenever I write).
How come Larry Dierker's name is not mentioned for any of the current managing vacancies? He has said he would be interested in managing again. I would think Philadelphia would be a good fit, assuming they get around to canning Bowa.
Rob Neyer (2:26 PM)
I don't know. I think Dierker would be a great fit in Boston, but you don't hear his name mentioned in connection with any jobs. And I know first-hand that he'd like to have the opportunity. Maybe this winter, I'll ask a few GM's what they've got against Dierker.
Ian (Lancaster, PA)
I think we all remember what happened the last time Andy Petitte started a game six the World Series. That being said do you think that the Marlins should wait to start Beckett until a possible game seven.
Rob Neyer (2:28 PM)
You know what? I honestly believe that Jack McKeon's a step ahead of me, that he knows his pitchers better than I do. There's no obvious solution to his problem, but I suspect he'll come up with something.
Parker, East Hampton, CT
Don't you think starting Beckett and Pavano on short rest is foolish? 3 days rest is a bad decision, espically when facing off against Pettitte and Mussina. With their pitchers on short rest, I can see the Yankees winning now. Thanks!
Rob Neyer (2:32 PM)
This again? Okay, I haven't studied this issue to the extent that I should have, but what else could McKeon do? If he holds Beckett for Game 7, somebody has to start Game 6, right? I think he figures those two guys are three days rest are better than Beckett and whoever else on four. And I think he's being reasonable.
Rob, do you think Paul DePodesta would be interested in any of the current GM openings? i think he would be great in Seattle
Rob Neyer (2:37 PM)
I haven't talked to Paul in a while, but I suspect he'd be interested in any job where he'd have a real good chance of winning 100 games within two or three years. The Mariners qualify, but I don't seem them as the sort of organization that would hire somebody as young and forward-thinking as DePodesta.
How funny would it be to have the image of Pudge Rodriguez and Ugeth Urbina sharing smooch to celebrate a World Series all over the New York papers? Isn't that alone enough to make you want the Marlins to win?
Rob Neyer (2:38 PM)
Rob Neyer: You know, there was a time -- the 1940s and '50s, for example -- when it wasn't all that uncommon for players to kiss for the cameras. They don't do it any more because they're worried about what people think, which of course is both pathetic and sad. So yes, Pudge and Oogie smooching is reason enough to pull for the Fish.
Rob, any predictions on where Millwood, Tejada and Maddux are going next year ??
Rob Neyer (2:41 PM)
Um, I'll say . . . Yankees, Dodgers, and Padres. Unless the Dodgers decide to wait for Garciaparra, in which case Tejada goes to Baltimore.
Stefan (Houston, TX)
Hi Rob, do you think Soriano is just in a big slump or have the Red Sox & Marlins exposed some serious weakness in his hitting approach?
Rob Neyer (2:42 PM)
Big slump. If it were that easy to find a serious weakness, somebody would have found it a long time ago.
The Marlins team salary is $53 million. The Yankees team payroll is over $156 million. Is this biggest salary difference in World Series history (considering inflation)?
Rob Neyer (2:45 PM)
I doubt it. Babe Ruth had a huge salary, relative to the rest of the players, in the late '20s and early '30s, huge enough to create a significant disparity between the Yankees and whoever they were playing in the World Series. I suspect this is the largest difference since 1932, though.
Isn't there an inherent contradiction between on the one hand criticizing Torre for not going with the horse and the criticizing little for going with the horse as we see around the media these days? Or is the moral that you'd better win, becasue you're going to get skewered if you lose, pretty much regardless of what you do?
Rob Neyer (2:47 PM)
Your argument's a straw man, good for all occasions but not particularly convincing. The point is that Rivera was Torre's best option at the time, and Pedro was not Little's best option at the time. It's got nothing to do with horses.
John (Santa Barbara)
why is jeffrey loria allowed to own a team in baseball as a gift from MLB. He ruins Montreal, so MLB buys him out and lets him have the marlins, that's just stupid.
Rob Neyer (2:50 PM)
I've said it before and I'll say it again: there was something very wrong about what happened with the Expos, Marlins, and Red Sox, and someday someone's going to write a scathing book about the whole ugly affair.
Steve - NYC
I just read about Seattle requesting permission to talk to Beane. Do you think he will stay in Oakland, or head to LA, Seattle, or somewhere else?
Rob Neyer (2:54 PM)
Haven't talked to Billy lately, either; I think maybe he's still mad at me for what I wrote about Scott Hatteberg. But I think the Dodgers would be a better fit, because his daughter lives in the Southland. Also, if he worked for the Dodgers he wouldn't be competing with DePodesta, who would almost certainly take over as the A's GM.
Rob Neyer (2:59 PM)
Thanks for all the questions, wish I could have answered more of them. But I'm off to the library, and you should zip over to the Jim Bouton chat, schedule to start momentarily.