I Saw The Death Of A Dynasty

As long as Gen. David Petraeus is in Tampa — the headquarters of Central Command — he really might as well throw out the first pitch for the Rays’ first-ever postseason appearance.

(NB: This is the closest I will come to remarking on the fact that the Yankees will not play October baseball for the first time since 1994. It was a rebuilding year. Even Brian Cashman acknowledges that — not out loud, because of the politics of working for Hank Steinbrenner, but obviously he knows it was a rebuilding year. The club played mediocre-to-poor baseball all year; was plagued by injuries; suffered the slumps of would-be future stars Robi Cano and Melky Cabrera; and generally put in the kind of timid performance that, say, leads you to abruptly cancel a presidential debate after seeing your opponent skyrocket in the polls. No incantation of "rebuilding year" is exculpatory: if they were a better ballclub, they’d be in the playoffs. But there is no shame in ending a streak during a time of transition. The question is whether the transition continues in 2009, when something like $40 million in payroll comes free after the contracts of Pavano, Pettitte, Mussina, Abreu, Damon (right?) and Giambi end. My vote is to put all $40 million into C.C. Sabathia and kick the living shit out of Boston beginning in spring training. For now, I’ll settle for seeing the Cubs beat the Angels in six games.)

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