Monday, July 12, 2010

About Cliff Lee...

Didn't want him anyway. Friday's post was a red herring, designed to fool Seattle into dealing him to Texas. Success.

In all honesty, though, it was a bit strange to deal Montero, one of our best prospects, for 4 months of Cliff Lee. Cashman was very prepared to do just that, and Yankee fans everywhere got excited, but this failure might be a blessing in disguise. Lee is a free agent at the end of this season, and the Yanks will probably stake a spot at the front of the bidding line. If this match is in the stars, it will still come to fruition.

But you have to wonder why Cashman was so eager to pull the trigger now, instead of just waiting for the fall. The only reasonable answer is that the Yankees thought losing Lee this season meant they would be in a poor negotiating position come free agency, and were committed enough to signing him long term that they were willing to sacrifice Montero for a head start.

But it would be a big surprise if Lee re-upped with Texas, so in the end the status quo isn't totally undesirable. We're still the best team in baseball, we still have the three men who pitched to a World Series title last year, and I'm still not afraid of Texas.

Some last thoughts about the World Cup was one of the most boring matches of the entire tournament. The only one I can remember enjoying less was Japan-Paraguay. If you compare the final with the 3rd place game, it was really the tale of two styles. Saturday's game was wide open, joyful, and full of opportunity, while Holland-Spain was a cautious, thuggish, claustrophobic stalemate that almost went unbroken into penalties. The difference is clear: Uruguay and Germany had very little to risk. They wanted to win, but they could afford to lose, and thus they had some leeway to play an offensive style. Too often, soccer seems to be the type of sport where pressure and stakes produce defensive tactics. In other words, if you want to win, be careful. It's a shame, because the game continually fails on its biggest stage, and leaves a bad flavor in the neophyte's mouth. And America is chock full of neophytes who had to endure Sunday's drudgery.

By the way: please don't miss Spike's excellent report from Amsterdam in today's morning post.

Lastly, Nick will be stopping in tomorrow morning for a Duke update, and in the afternoon we'll have some All-Star Game chatter. Until then.

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