Steady Torre makes the difference (cont.)
Sveum's status iffy; how about Molitor?
Interim manager Dale Sveum's future with the Brewers hasn't been addressed yet, and while he did a steady job (better than Ned Yost, who was said by Brewers intimates to be disliked by players, media members and some club officials -- though not GM Doug Melvin), Sveum's chances to remain appear fairly iffy.
Attanasio told media people that Melvin should have no concerns about his own job, understandable in that the GM's moves helped land the small-market team in the playoffs. But nothing definitive was said one way or another about Sveum.
Sveum's status does seem very tenuous, and it couldn't have been helped by his decision to employ struggling starter Jeff Suppan in Game 4. Suppan was going bad enough to have caused Sveum to go to a four-man rotation in the first place, and the manager should have remembered that. Some combination of Yovani Gallardo, Manny Parra and Seth McClung would have been a better idea.
Attanasio did say Sveum "did a tremendous job to get us to the postseason,'' and over 12 games Sveum guided the Brewers a game past the Mets before falling in four games in the Division Series to Philly. It's too small a sample to judge his managing skills, but I will say that he appears to have the potential to be a font of malaprops and messed-up clichés. He referred to some problems the Brewers had on Sunday as their "Achilles tendon.''
Attanasio made the correct call to make the switch to Sveum in the first place. But it was more a switch away from Yost than anything else. Anyway, Attanasio referred the managerial situation to Melvin, saying, "That's going to be on Doug's timetable. I know nobody wants to believe it, but it's the truth.''
A source told SI.com that Attanasio is speaking to Brewers great Paul Molitor about a possible return to the club. However, one higherup insisted that discussion is unlikely to be for the managerial job, and that Molitor is more likely instead to wind up as a coach, scout or consultant.
Around the Playoffs
Nice touch by Melvin to walk around the Brewers clubhouse, shake everyone's hand and tell them "I'm proud of you.''
A Brewers official shot down the Internet rumor that had them possibly trading Prince Fielder and J.J. Hardy and a third player for Giants pitcher Matt Cain. Not that I really needed to hear that denial first-hand, as it wouldn't be an especially good move to trade either player straight-up for Cain. Hardy looked terrific in the playoffs, by the way.
There's going to be a feeding frenzy for Hardy, as the Brewers also have Alcides Escobar, a more classic shortstop, ready to go. Moving Hardy to second base is another option that could be explored. In any case, I wouldn't be so quick to trade Hardy.
One scout on Phillies ace Cole Hamels: "He has the best changeup in the game, better even than Johan Santana's.''
Another scout: "Joe Blanton looked terrific Sunday against the Brewers."
One GM said he believes the Mets will make a big play for Manny Ramirez. It certainly seems like GM Omar Minaya is ready to finally try to land one of his favorite players -- though L.A. may be a better spot for Ramirez, who was raised in upper Manhattan but never liked the fishbowl existence in Boston that he would surely find in New York.
After Ramirez led the Dodgers to an upset victory in the Division Series, he went on TV in L.A., and said, "I gotta thank Scott for bringing me to L.A.'' He meant his agent Scott Boras. But shouldn't he have thanked GM Ned Colletti and owner Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, who made the great move to get him?
If Boras really did have a hand in steering the trade L.A.'s way, that makes up for Andruw Jones, who's had McCourt muttering for months.
One GM said he didn't think the Jays could keep A.J. Burnett for what they're offering. It's been reported to be an additional two years at perhaps $15 million a year on top of the $22 million and two years that remains on his contract.
The Mets have a group of players they feel will play much better outside of New York. Those players may include Luis Castillo, Aaron Heilman and Ryan Church.
GM Pat Gillick must mean it when he says he's leaving the Phillies, as people report he's already begun cleaning out his office. And Gillick repeated his intention to step down here this weekend. (Ruben Amaro Jr. appears the favorite to take over). Gillick didn't say he was retiring, however. He said he would consider a job closer to Seattle, where he lives. Though the guess here is, he doesn't want to work in Seattle, not as long as Mariners president Howard Lincoln remains in charge there. Lincoln is the owners' guy presiding over the current abomination.
The Cubs' best pitcher at end of the year was Ted Lilly, who didn't even get in a playoff game. That seems like a mistake -- not that any one person could have saved them.
I am still trying to decide who hurt their team more, Cubs right-fielder Kosuke Fukudome or Brewers right-fielder Corey Hart.
You could throw Gary Matthews Jr. into that question too. Maybe he didn't take HGH, as he claimed. But he sure looks like he could use some right now.
One more Fukudome question: Who's a bigger waste of money, Fukudome ($48 million) or Suppan ($42 million)?
The Mets have to be wondering all over again today how they let Suppan dominate them in the 2006 postseason.