Five reasons why the Phillies could pull off a shocking comeback (cont.)
The Yankees have interest in bringing back Johnny Damon -- "We need him," A-Rod said -- but could well get competition from at least the White Sox and Giants. The Cardinals, Braves and Red Sox are among other teams looking for a corner outfielder, though it's hard to imagine him going back to Boston. Before these playoffs, the Yankees were believed willing to go for two years and $16 million for Damon. But that was before his solo double steal in Game 4
Damon saw a replay of his brilliant double steal, and said, "I didn't realize (Pedro Feliz) was that close." Damon and others wondered if Feliz was close enough to try to lunge at him right when Damon took off.
Manuel's explanation that somebody should have been covering third base didn't really cut it. If he himself couldn't have named the person, it's no wonder the Phillies players didn't know who should've been there.
Mariano Rivera is "better now than ever," according to one scout. "Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino look like they have no chance." Rivera is now the only closer not blow a game on all eight playoff teams.
The whole idea that the Yankees have so many mound meetings because the Phillies have a rep for stealing signs, as Larry Bowa suggested on a Philly radio station, seems absurd in that the Yankees have to lead in mound meetings against all teams. Jorge Posada spent a lifetime on the mound this season. The Yankees may be trying to prevent sign stealing (among other things), but there's no evidence it's particular to the Phillies. Oddly though, Victorino grew very defensive when told of Bowa's comments. Victorino explained his anger by saying that he thought Bowa's remark implied that the Phillies aren't such a great team without stealing signs. Bowa implied no such thing.
If the Yankees win one more game, Mike Mussina wins the award for unluckiest Yankee, beating Don Mattingly. A Yankees from 2001-2008, he will have provided the stale sandwich meat to the Yankees' World Series wins in 2000 and 2009.
The reason the Yankees added Ramiro Pena to the roster to replace the injured Melky Cabrera (hamstring) is that they have little faith in Freddy Guzman's defense and would rather employ Jerry Hairston Jr. as a backup outfielder, with Pena sliding in to take Hairston's spot as the backup infielder.
One order of business for the Reds will be to find a shortstop. They could do worse than Marco Scutaro.
The San Francisco Giants hired Hensley "Bam Bam" Meulens as hitting coach. Nice guy, but nobody ever had a worse approach to hitting as a player. And if anyone needs help, they do. They have Rick Down working in the organization, and Down has succeeded coaching hitters with the Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles, Dodgers and Mets (hey, they were better back then), but the Giants went to Meulens instead. Very odd.
If the Red Sox could figure out how to squeeze in two hitters between free agents Matt Holliday and Jason Bay and trade target Adrian Gonzalez, they might look to excise either Mike Lowell or David Ortiz, who are both going into the final year of their contracts.
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