Maybe I missed him both times, but Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman seemed to be conspiculously absent for the trophy presentations after the ALCS and World Series. The platform was crowded with Steinbrenners and team officials Randy Levine and Lon Trost, as well as Manager Joe Girardi and a handful of players (and platform-crasher Mayor Mike Bloomberg), but no Cashman. Odd and unfortunate, if an on-purpose snub from above.*
I know this is after the fact, but I couldn't figure out the angst before Game 6 about starting Andy Pettitte on three days rest. Sure, he couldn't go deep into the game - like beyond six innings. But he was barely doing that on full rest. A solid four or five innings were sufficient, given the strength of the bullpen. And that's what he provided.*
Also thought it was crazy that some people - including the prominent midday radio talker - had Mariano Rivera slated for three innings of relief in Game 6. Again, not with the Yankees bullpen depth - and the possibility of needing him again had there been a Game 7. As it was, Mariano required over 40 pitches to get five outs and save the game.*
They say the Yankees will keep either Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui, both of whom have played out their contracts. The smart money is on Damon, since he plays the outfield and does more things. I'd prefer Matsui, even before last night's MVP performance. He's a full-time DH who fits the mold: aging slugger who handles lefties as well as righties. That said, if the Yankees let both go and started getting younger, it wouldn't make me mad. Damon, Matsui, Jorge Posada, Pettitte, Rivera are getting up there (so, too, is Derek Jeter, although he's showing no signs of slowing down). Better to start now, rather than wait until it's too late and too many expensive contracts have been doled out to senior citizens.*
When did Tim McCarver stop making sense? The veteran broadcaster used to set the standard for incisive comments in his early network days, as well as when he was behind the mike for the Mets and Yankees. In this postseason, he often sounded contradictory and off the wall. Sad, because Joe Buck has never been better.*
Watching the Phillies this week, I have to wonder how the Mets, even without their major injuries this season, figured to beat them out. That's quite a lineup in Philadelphia. A little more pitching, particularly in the bullpen, and that's a team without peer in the National League.