Worth the risk (cont.)
Posted: Wednesday April 18, 2007 11:44AM; Updated: Wednesday April 18, 2007 2:27PM
Beyond all that, Griffey isn't so easily traded. He has about $28 million on his contract, which runs through 2008, and a no-trade clause. There's also the great likelihood of non-interest from the Yankees, a team that's showed interest in him in past years. These days the Yankees are more cost conscious and they're locked into Jason Giambi at DH.
Krivsky isn't ready to anoint himself genius of the year or even declare that Hamilton has proven he's ready to start, anyway. "Time will tell. I'm not going to make a statement like that. Let's let him play," Krivsky said. "You can't have enough good ballplayers. I'd rather have one or two too many than not enough. [Manager Jerry Narron] will figure it out. This isn't rocket science."
Perhaps not, but by baseball's standards, Krivsky is looking pretty smart right now.
Red-alert: Reliever deal still under review
Another time Krivsky gambled was when he traded last summer with Nationals GM Jim Bowden in a deal that is still under review (at least by the Reds) nine months later. Reds people believe reliever Gary Majewski was already hurt when the Nationals sent him plus reliever Bill Bray and others to Cincinnati for Felipe Lopez and Austin Kearns. Krivsky said he couldn't talk about the case but agreed that it hadn't been dropped. "No," it hasn't, he said.
Majewski had shoulder trouble from Day 1 with the Reds last season, and the bullpen remains Cincinnati's biggest question mark. So far, they are relying on two former Yankee postseason standouts, Mike Stanton and David Weathers, to man the back end of the pen. There is no obvious closer, but Weathers is 5-for-5 in the role. "We've got guys who've done it before and we have a good mix of left and right," Krivsky said. "So far, so good." He also said that Eddie (formerly Every day Eddie) Guardado could be ready this summer. Bray is out with a finger injury while Majewski is in the minors.
Manuel goes mad, but it may be too late for him
Charlie Manuel's job as Phillies manager is in jeopardy, and he has to know it. Manuel has come under fire for not showing more fire, and he picked a funny time to show some fire Tuesday night.
Manuel exploded at a radio person who was questioning why Manuel doesn't explode, a la Lou Piniella, and that's when Manuel went bonkers, according to all the reports out of the Phillies' clubhouse. One said Manuel was so upset that coaches Mick Billmeyer and Milt Thompson jumped in to intercede, ushering Manuel into an area where media is not allowed until he could catch his cool.
Phillies GM Pat Gillick showed patience with Manuel during the Phillies' terrible start last year, and part of the reason is that Phillies players like Manuel so much. However, they simply aren't playing for him. They went 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position in their 8-1 defeat to the rival Mets at home on Tuesday, which should be more upsetting than anything a radio person asks.
Around the Majors
The Rockies inquired about Jorge Cantu, who's in the minors for the Devil Rays, even before Kaz Matsui went on the disabled list.
One scout on Arizona rookie starter Micah Owings: "He's a winner." The Yankees wanted Owings most in the Randy Johnson trade but were rebuffed, even after offering to pay more of Johnson's salary to get him.
Perhaps the Giants knew something about Jason Schmidt, the newly signed Dodgers ace who went on the disabled list with a weak shoulder and slow fastball. Or maybe it was just a good guess.
Almost on cue, Barry Zito regained his usual stuff, a couple days after A's GM Billy Beane, his former boss, said, "Barry will be fine. He's a pro."
Among our top two picks for future pitching stardom, the Reds' Homer Bailey is off to a fast start at Triple-A (1.74 ERA) while the Yankees' Phil Hughes (6.30) is not.
Chase Wright looked like he'd been there before for his debut at Yankee Stadium.
Derek Jeter was the subject of a very dumb back page in a New York tabloid, questioning whether he's lost it. Their conclusion wasn't exactly a shocker: he hasn't, which makes us wonder why this was back-page worthy. However, it would be interesting to see what the reaction would be if Alex Rodriguez had the six errors and Jeter had the eight home runs. As columnist Filip Bondy pointed out in the New York Daily News, if A-Rod was the one with all the Es, Rodriguez would be hearing a new chant, "Opt ... out. Opt ... out."
You'll notice that when fans at Dodger Stadium for Jackie Robinson Day greeted Hank Aaron with the chant "Barry s----'', Aaron didn't discourage them.