Saturday, September 18, 2010

On Torre, Jeter, Josh and Big Z

Some quick notes over the past few days that are begging for some commentary:

Joe Torre: The long-time Yankee skipper turned Dodgers manager said he's calling it a day in L.A. And when you're a dozen games out of the division race, who can blame you.

This opens the door for Don Mattingly, who hopes to last longer as Dodgers manager than his restaurant did in Evansville, Ind.

Donny Baseball will bring the mechanics of one of baseball's sweetest swings and if Hollywood is lucky, he'll bring back his infamous mustache, one of the all-time greats in the game.

Derek Jeter: And the Oscar goes to ...

The Yankees Derek Jeter did his best Tom Hanks this week in Tampa, faking a hit-by-pitch with one of the most convincing selling jobs I've seen.

The ball hit the handle of the bat, but Jeter flailed in apparent pain, which led to Joe Madden arguing the call and ultimately his ejection. Watch for yourself:

"It's really a big deal being made out of nothing," Jeter said on Friday. "I had nothing to do with the call. The umpire called it from the get-go. I didn't do it. I didn't tell myself to go to first base."

True. But some think Jeter went over the "Gamesmanship" line with his charade. Third word. Sounds like ditch.

Just as the Yankees would be furious if Evan Longoria tried such a stunt, the Rays have a right to be mad at Jeter. Technically, there was no rule broken and it's true his job is to get to first anyway possible, but this gives new meaning to beg, borrow or steal.

Guess that's what you'll resort to when you're hitting .261.

Josh Hamilton: It's officially time to get worried, Rangers fans. And if you had hoped for Hamilton to come back and push your fantasy team to the finish line, it's not looking good.

Hamilton said Saturday his ribs have not responded to two cortisone ejections earlier in the week. Not that this is a surprise.

Hamilton is nearing a modern-era record for cortisones, totaling five so far this year. He had a chance to hit for the Triple Crown (.361, 31 HR, 97 RBI) but won't get there.

Even Hamilton himself says getting back on the field a week before the season ends is not looking good, so you should probably cut him loose. And frankly, it might be time to cross him off next year's cheat sheet, unless he falls considerably. Just too brittle.

Let someone else take him late in the first round.

Carlos Zambrano: Despite unforeseen success this year or any year recently (6-0, 1.59 ERA since joining the rotation), the Cubs' Zambrano is talking retirement. Again. Only he'll play out his lucrative contract that pays him nearly $36 million over the next two years.

Cubs fans, with their ears perked on the news of Big Z's retirement, were let down to hear he's planning on playing out one of the worst contracts dished out by a team in this century.

If he's still dangling on your wire, he's worth a shot in almost every format right now, especially if you're league's turned into Streamsville, USA, like our Observer league unfortunately has.