Yankees top list of contenders in race for coveted free agent Holliday
After the Yankees, whom Holliday supposedly loves for their mystique -- and realistically, we'd have to assume their money -- he is believed to like the Dodgers, Angels and Mets, perhaps in that order.
"He just loves the idea of going to the Yankees. He loves the whole aura," the friend said.
Curiously, all of the thought-to-be preferred choices are in major markets on both coasts, which would be a switch for the Oklahoma product who's thrived in Denver and St. Louis (except for three days, anyway). Holliday batted .353 in St. Louis after struggling at .286 in Oakland this year, and he rebuilt his value by hitting .357 after the All-Star break and posting a 1.047 OPS, which was second best in baseball to the Cubs'
Here is a look at the potential contenders for Holliday and their chances to take the big plunge. (In the
Manny Ramirez was lying back on his chair, his feet up on an adjacent chair, his head back and a look of total relaxation on his face. If anyone was a picture of peace, he was it.
Yet, the writers from Los Angeles were worried.
"Do you sense any desperation?" one asked.
"It's just baseball, you know," Manny said.
"No, life is good," Manny said.
Why even ask?
When it comes to pressure, it's pretty obvious Ramirez ranks somewhere between impervious and oblivious. Ramirez doesn't even necessarily give the impression he knows what's happening in the series, and it should have shocked no one when he revealed that he was showering when
The only surprise was that he definitely sensed he revealed too much about his whereabouts when a follow-up questioner sounded stunned while asking him to repeat that.
"I don't want to talk about that," Manny said. "Next question."
Torre also said Manny's frequently in street clothes for the congratulatory handshakes. "It's nothing different than he's done before," said Torre, before allowing, "The way it turned out, it probably doesn't look too good."
No it doesn't. But in the end, it's fair to say the relaxation mode works for him.
For good or bad, the Dodgers are one loose bunch. Nobody's quite as loose as Manny, of course. But their entire young nucleus seems fairly carefree, as well. "Ain't nobody worried. We all good," the chatty, peppy
One exception could be closer
The everyday nucleus is a fun bunch, though. The 20-somethings in their everyday lineup aren't maybe quite as relaxed as Manny, but they aren't going to let the situation spoil their day, either.
It has occurred to Torre how different this group is from his young Yankees nucleus in the '90s, and he wasn't surprised to be asked about that dichotomy. Torre called those Yankees teams "intense" and "very good baseball tight." While suggesting this group is quite different, he praised this one, too, saying "the core group of young players is very confident."
With those Yankees teams, Torre said he even often had to remind them to have some fun. He gave such a speech to them with the team down 2 games to 1 to the Indians in 1998. After listening respectfully to Torre's speech about enjoying themselves that year,
For good or bad, these Dodgers don't appear to have that same issue.
A couple of their young players earned a bit of a late-night rep in 2008. "Last year early in the year we sort of had to reel them in a little bit," Torre said. "But they never really lost the fun of playing the game, which is good. Yeah, we keep an eye on it, there's no question."
Those Yankees, "intense" and "a lot more serious-minded" according to Torre, won four out of five World Series.
The Dodgers will try to win one with a totally different demeanor.
• The Dodgers rewarded GM
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• My order for "Worst October": 1) base runners (awful), 2) umpires (putrid), 3) closers (blowups by