By Bryan Jeon
The New York Yankees might have been sent home early, but they’ve probably been the busiest and most talked about club not in the World Series. Let’s take a quick recap of the moves going on in the Yankees ballclub:
- Owner George Steinbrenner cedes full control to his two sons, Hal and Hank.
- Coach Joe Torre resigns after being offered a 1-year contract worth $5 million with incentives totaling $3 million, which would still make him the highest-paid manager in baseball, saying he was insulted by the offer. (He hasn’t won a World Series since 2000.)
- On Monday, the Yankees expect to decide who their new manager will be, as the three candidates are bench coach Don Mattingly, former coach and broadcaster Joe Girardi and first-base coach Tony Pena. Mattingly, Torre’s right-hand man, is favored to be his successor and the decision can be made public on Tuesday, when the World Series has an off-day and if Commissioner Bud Selig grants permission for a club to make a public announcement, which can be denied to avoid upstaging baseball’s top show.
- Third baseman Alex Rodriguez has been reportedly offered an additional 5-year, $150 million contract, on top of his current contract, which has 3 years and $81 million left. The $30 million a year average would break the annual average record set by teammate Roger Clemens, who made a prorated $28 million to pitch for four months this season. A-Rod, 32, has 10 days after the end of the World Series to decide if he wants to opt out of the remaining three years of his contract and become a free agent.
Game 3 of the World Series is tonight at 5p PST on FOX, with the Boston Red Sox taking a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Colorado Rockies. Boston’s highly-prized foreign product, Daisuke Matsuzaka (15-12, 4.40 ERA), can redeem his mediocre season with a win tonight against Josh Fogg (10-9, 4.94 ERA), as the series heads to Coors Field for the next three games.
Quote of the Day: On manager Terry Francona‘s decision to sit first basemen Kevin Youkilis for David Ortiz for Game 3, Youkilis replied, “It’s really not a big deal, to tell you the truth. We have wars going on over in the Middle East, and people are wondering if Kevin Youkilis is going to play first base?”
Youkilis was the only everyday first baseman in the league this year to have a 1.000 fielding percentage, as he is poised to win his first Gold Glove in just his second full season. Meanwhile, Ortiz has played just 27 games at first base in the last three years. You know Francona’s going to be thinking twice about this decision if it turns out to be costly.