T.R. Sullivan, Baseball Star-Telegram Staff Writer wrote:
Random observations while wondering if Jack McKeon read Moneyball.
• Forget Andy Pettitte. Think Kerry Wood.
The Rangers are.
The Rangers' latest tightening of the budget will likely last one year.
The goal seems to be get a lot of young players in place in 2004 and rebuild some excitement. Then, when Grady Fuson takes over in 2005, they can finish off the rebuilding by acquiring one front-of-the-rotation starter.
Wood is the obvious name. He can be a free agent after next season, although the Chicago Cubs will surely try to get him locked up this winter. If they don't, Rangers owner Tom Hicks will be waiting after the season.
There is no doubt that Alex Rodriguez is getting impatient with the club's progress, but there's little doubt that Hicks is assuring him that come one more year, the Rangers will be in a better position to spend money for the one player who can get them over the top.
Wood is the one they want. Pettitte only gets in the way of that.
• Boston Red Sox chairman Larry Lucchino caused a stir last winter when he referred to the New York Yankees as the "Evil Empire."
That caused chuckles all around, but nothing owner George Steinbrenner has ever done was more despicable than the Red Sox firing Grady Little. This is just further proof that the so-called "Curse of the Bambino" is really nothing more than a franchise that consistently makes bad management decisions.
• McKeon has become a nationwide media darling in the wake of the Marlins' triumph in the World Series. But the guy who did the most to bring that about was general manager Larry Beinfest, through his many trades and acquisitions, most notably Ivan Rodriguez, Ugueth Urbina, Jeff Conine, Dontrelle Willis and Mark Redman.
• Yankees manager Joe Torre praised the Marlins' defense after Game 6. That was a compliment to Marlins infield coach Perry Hill, the Hurst resident and former Rangers coach who has become one of the outstanding defensive specialists in baseball. His work with infielders is well known in baseball circles.
• The Rangers would be thrilled this off-season if they could get John Thomson and Brian Anderson signed within their current financial parameters and without crippling their future flexibility. The market will tell.WHY???????
• Dan O'Brien made it clear in taking over the Cincinnati Reds general manager's job that he has no intention of trading Ken Griffey Jr. That may be because Griffey has been hurt so often that he can't be traded, but O'Brien said the Reds will have an outfield of Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns and Griffey.
• Look for O'Brien to keep Dave Miley as his manager. He has too much else to do without worrying about a major managerial search.
• The Red Sox would love to get Bruce Bochy away from the San Diego Padres, but owner John Moores won't let him out of his contract. Two years ago, he wouldn't let the Rangers talk to general manager Kevin Towers. DREAM ON BOS
• Early leading managerial candidates in Boston seem to be Jim Fregosi, former Dodgers manager Glenn Hoffman, Angels pitching coach Bud Black, former Phillies manager Terry Francona and, inexplicably, broadcaster Jerry Remy, a former Red Sox infielder.
• There doesn't seem to be much interest in Jerry Narron as a manager, but Francona, his dugout coach in Texas, seems to be hot again. He has interviewed with the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox.
• The Orioles ought to move quickly and snatch up Little, although they seem initially cool to the idea. Word at the World Series is that job is Eddie Murray's to lose.
• Look for the Marlins to counter any suggestions of a breakup by trying to sign Ivan Rodriguez to a three-year contract extension.
• With the situation that the Yankees are in, it's difficult to see them letting Pettitte get away.
• The Rangers aren't sure if Laynce Nix will play center next year. One reason is they aren't sure who else is available. There's a 50-50 chance the Dodgers will make Dave Roberts a free agent rather than go to arbitration with him. The Rangers have a deep interest in that situation. Roberts over Nix?
• The Seattle Mariners haven't been rushing to fill their general manager's slot. They may be waiting to see if the Yankees do something stupid and fire Brian Cashman.
• Those who know Wayne Krivsky know the Twins' assistant general manager would have done a terrific job in Cincinnati. But the more people understand what has been done in Minnesota, the better Krivsky's chances of one day running his own ballclub.
• The Yankees' World Series loss simply means one thing. Next year, $200 million payroll