Impressions on Day 1 of the Major League Baseball playoffs: Today brought more bad news for the Mets, even though they didn't play. Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez, had wroked his way up to being the Mets' No. 1 pitcher with Martinez on the disabled list and Glavine still rounding into form after his blood clot scare. Today came the news that Hernandez hurt his calf while working out, and is doubtful to pitch tomorrow. Things are looking better for the Dodgers every day -- which means the Mets have them right where they want them.
There were games played today. As I expected, I was taken completely by surprise by the early play of the Oakland A's and St. Louis Cardinals. Yes, I know that's a contradiction -- but I did write earlier that this the way it works. Oakland is a well-balanced team. The Cardinals, when they're healthy and on their game, have a great hitting, experienced lineup. Each of these teams are capable of pulling off upsets.
Speaking of great-hitting lineups -- it's the middle of the 3rd inning and I am reminded that the New York Yankees do have the best-hitting lineup in baseball history. That's a sweeping statement, but probably true. It's not exactly Murderer's Row (the '27 Yankees) with Gehrig, Ruth and a bunch of strong hitters. But, in fact, the '06 Yankees have a deeper batting order. No Ruth or Gehrig, but all 9 batters have been all-stars.
While one might say the Yankees do not have the big home-run hitter that other teams have, they have a bunch of power hitters -- and some of them have had huge seasons in the past. Giambi and Rodriguez are big bats, and, along with Sheffield and Matsui, may for a pretty powerful core. Then, there's Abreu who still has power but has become a terrific doubles hitter since coming over from the Phillies. And Jeter, Damon and Posada hit their share of dingers. Leaving us to mention the best hitter of them all -- Robinson Cano. It's rare that you can identify a future Hall-of-Famer in only his second season, especially one as young as Cano.
I have to think that this year's team will erase the 'disappointments' of recent years. Yankees fans really don't experience great disappointment. For them, a disappointment is any year the Yankees don't win the World Series. This year there will be no such disappointment. The Yankees are back on top. With their hitters and Chien-Mien Wang, the Yankees could probably throw out a couple of other stiffs and still waltz into another title. But Mike Mussina is no stiff. If Randy Johnson can step it up, neither is he. The Yankees should have enough pitching to stay in games, and their hitters will win them. So you have it: The Fisch Fry picks the hated Yankees to win it all.