Here are several go-to links to make the final Monday in January a bit more bearable, unless you’re a Yankees fan:
The Yankees have little (no?) impact talent on the right side of 30 on their big league roster beyond 27-year-old setup man David Robertson, and their top prospects are at least one year away from the show. That’s creates a rather grim picture for the immediate future. Add in ownership’s very public desire to get under the $189 million luxury tax threshold by 2014, and New York appears to have run into the perfect storm that, at some point in the next few years, could see them miss the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time in nearly two decades.
From the time that Weaver took over the Orioles until his initial retirement in 1982, the Orioles were a paragon of success. Weaver posted winning records each year, with his “worst” season coming in 1972, when the O’s finished at 80-74 for a winning percentage of .519. In fact, it would not be until his second tenure as Baltimore’s manager that Weaver put up a record below .500. That came in 1986, when an aging O’s roster compiled a mark of 73-89. It was the only blemish on an otherwise spotless regular-season record.
Weaver was humble as far as the role and impact of the manager. As he once said, “A manager’s job is simple. For 162 games, you try not to screw up all that smart stuff your organization did last December.”
Weaver certainly had very capable general managers, with people like Harry Dalton and Frank Cashen supplying him with talent, but he also achieved the optimum with the players at his disposal. He adopted a philosophy that sounded simple, emphasizing “pitching, defense, and the three-run homer.”
But within that simplicity, Weaver enacted the complicated details. He kept note cards on each of his hitters, indicating how they fared against each pitcher, and adjusted his lineup accordingly. He also believed that certain players, not his stars but his role players, needed to be platooned in order to maximize their productivity.
Weaver crafted roles for each of his players. He advised them of what he expected them to do; if they failed, they were susceptible to being replaced. He manipulated his roster like a chess master.
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!