I’ve been wanting to write about the playoffs, but I’m a little overstimulated by the prospect of a Phillies-Rays World Series. So I’m just going to throw some thoughts against the virtual wall and see what sticks.

  • Last night, after the Rays emphatic victory over the Sox, Peter Gammons asked Tampa left fielder Carl Crawford how he felt about the win. And Crawford went through the usual scripted response, ending with something like, “and hopefully we can win one more and play in the World Series.” The look on his face when he said the words “World Series” was priceless — like he never said it out loud before. He was giggling.
  • Inquirer columnist Bob Ford was wrong, and he’s not afraid to admit it. He says he shouldn’t have bashed Pat Gillick for signing Joe Blanton, Scott Eyre and Matt Stairs. Who’s going to be the next columnist to apologize? How about you, Jim Salisbury?
  • Before this season started, whenever I would talk about the Rays’ loaded farm system, someone would remind me about Boston’s glut of young talent, most notably Jed Lowrie, Clay Buchholz and Jacoby Ellsbury, and about New York’s young guns Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, as well as Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera. But all of a sudden Buchholz is unable to pitch with men on base and Ellsbury’s a shadow of his 2007 playoff self, while Hughes and Kennedy are constantly hurt or getting shelled. Cano, for his part, got off to a terrible start in 2008 and didn’t improve defensively, while Cabrera got demoted. I’m not saying that Boston or New York should give up on any of these guys. But if you’re a Yankees or Red Sox fan, and you’re watching the Rays kick ass this week, it’s probably hard to feel excited about your team’s youth movement.
  • Bad sign for the Dodgers: Scott Boras is already talking about Manny Ramirez’s free agent negotiations.

22 Responses to “Random thoughts on playoff baseball”

  1. Paul Moro says:

    I have a gut feeling that Coley’s argument against the Sox young’ns will apply to Tampa’s next year.

    As far as current stock values are concerned, there’s no real question that Tampa’s prospects have higher numbers. And I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Tampa repeated as AL East champs for the next few years. But comparisons are really difficult at a time like this. Boston’s prospects’ values seem lower than it should be, while Tampa’s are higher than they should be (aside from Longoria. That dude is incredible). The truth is somewhere in between, me thinks.

  2. Sarah Green says:

    Well, the other factor to consider here as far as AL East dominance goes is money. And while Tampa has more and better young talent, Boston has a lot more money. So that’s the other reason Sox fans aren’t panicking. I know the free agent market isn’t what it once was, but you can still pick up a CC Sabathia or a Mark Teixeira every now and then. I think the feeling in Sox-land is, “If this is what the Sox accomplished this year, with so many injuries and random suckage, what couldn’t they do in future years when healthier or better?” Which, of course, the Red Sox will have to get since all those young Rays will just be hitting their primes.

    Excited about a more competitive AL East? Yes. Worried? No.

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