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Dangerous 'dogs (cont.)

Posted: Wednesday October 24, 2007 11:21AM; Updated: Wednesday October 24, 2007 2:22PM
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• Dangerous Rocks. Their lineup is a lot better than most folks realize, and maybe even better than that of the Red Sox. Of course, Boston has David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, but Colorado's lineup is deeper. It is an excellent American League-type lineup. After NL MVP candidate Holliday and Helton, it has Garrett Atkins, Brad Hawpe and Tulowitzki, all of whom are capable of hitting the ball out.

• Imposing Rocks. The Rockies came into Fenway in June and outscored the Red Sox 20-5. Boston people couldn't believe how good Colorado was, and furthermore, they couldn't believe this team was behind in the NL West. The Red Sox killed the other NL teams they faced (they went 8-1 vs. San Diego, San Francisco and Arizona), and frankly speaking, they couldn't understand how Colorado could be trailing any of those teams. Their scouting sense turned out to be right.

• Sound Rocks. The Red Sox suffered a loss when Tim Wakefield was left off the postseason roster. Wakefield's shoulder apparently has been bothering him for two months. And Red Sox people weren't too certain that Wakefield's knuckleball could be too effective in Coors Field, anyway. Now they'll never know.

Meanwhile, talented right-hander Aaron Cook is back in the plans for the Rockies. Rookie Franklin Morales has slowed a bit in recent starts (who has noticed during this crazy streak?), so the Rockies view Cook as a chance to improve.

Conclusion: I see Rocktober spilling into Rockvember, and Colorado winning in 7.

Yankees search: 'We're down to three'

Joe Girardi and Don Mattingly were said to have been "very impressive'' in their Yankee managerial interviews this week. Of course, when is someone ever said to have bombed in an interview? Of course, Girardi is extremely bright, and Mattingly is, well, Mattingly.

Someone close to the situation said it's surely going to come down to those two plus Tony Pena, who is well-respected for the stellar job he's done as a coach for two years but running third entering the sweepstakes, mostly because Pena's connection to the Yankees is much more limited than for Girardi and especially the iconic Mattingly.

Henry endorses young Steinbrenners

John Henry, the former Yankees limited partner who's turned out to be a terrific owner for the Red Sox, said while he doesn't know Hank Steinbrenner (Hank ran his father's horse farm, Kinsman Stud, for most of the past 20 years), he said Hal Steinbrenner is "extremely competent, extremely intelligent and committed.'' Henry noted "the Yankees have been well run for years, and I don't see that changing.''

One thing that's changed is the dynamic, as the Red Sox have pulled even (or even slightly ahead by some standards, as they have a chance for their second World Series title in four years). "It's been good for them as well as good for us,'' Henry said. "The fact that we weren't as good hurt the rivalry. It's actually become much more of a rivalry. I believe their organization has been energized. And our organization has been energized.''

As for the Yankees -- energized, perhaps. Depressed? Definitely.

Around the Majors

• Ran into Omar Minaya at the World Series gala Tuesday night ... and he said he couldn't hire Rudy Jaramillo as hitting coach because he "couldn't do that to Willie.'' Minaya said he didn't want the appearance of a manager-in-waiting since Jaramillo was one of the ones he interviewed before naming Randolph Mets manager. Jaramillo's contract is expiring with Texas, which wants to keep him.

• As predicted here, Joe Torre's defection will have no effect on the Yankees stars who are free agents. Mariano Rivera, speaking on Steiner Sports On Sirius, said that while he was saddened to see Torre go, it wouldn't affect his call. "Not really. I think they are going to do what's best for the team,'' Rivera said. "I always respect them for that. I don't think it has anything to do with me in terms of signing with the Yankees. The ball is in their court. I am just being patient.''

The Yankees are expected to try to keep both Rivera and catcher Jorge Posada for deals of about $40 million over three years. Rivera has indicated that he may look around, at least. But both stars are likely to stay.

• If Torre would take another managing job, I believe the Dodgers job is one that would interest him. The Brooklyn native is said to love Southern California from his days as an excellent Angels broadcaster between managing jobs.

• At least the Cardinals' sad and awful year finished with the right ending -- Tony La Russa, who signed a two-year deal to stay, belongs there.

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