Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Bill Smith: Bring it Yankees
The good news is reports this morning have Cliff Lee, the biggest name on the free agent market, spurning the Yankees and going to the Phillies.
Not only does he want to face the Yankees in the playoffs he wants the match-up in the first round again.
"You can't run scared of any team in the first round... I hope we get the opportunity again."
Smith might not be running scared but he doesn't have to play the game on the field. His job is to get the best team he possibly can out there to face the Yankees.
One can make the argument that the Twins had their best possible team out there last season. The team won 94 games in the regular season. There were issues at 3rd base, 1st base, and in the bullpen. Smith and other members of the organization worked to get those wrinkles ironed out. Like he said, "We picked a bad time not to play well."
A 2011 playoff match-up between the Twins and Yankees could have a much different feel. There would be many new faces for the Twins and even some new faces on the Yankees. The 3/4th's of the Twins infield could be different from last years playoffs (1B, 2B, & SS) and the bullpen will have a complete face lift. The Yankees were on the brink of adding another ace to their staff in the form of Cliff Lee. That plan didn't work out so it will be interesting to see how they spend their millions. This is could be a great sign for the Twins. Lee has been almost impossible to beat in the playoffs so for AL fans it's great to see him choosing the NL.
If the current Twins are going to exercise their demons and make a run at another World Series the path is going to have to go through the Evil Empire in New York. The Twins and Yankees have been two of the most consistent teams at qualifying for the playoffs so the odds are in favor of the two teams meeting up.
That is just the way that the Hollywood script will have to be written. The plot line would play out as the small market team gets a beautiful new ballpark. Their hometown star leads the team in a David vs Goliath contest against one of their most hated rivals.
It would be a new script and story line to the MLB playoffs.
If the Twins and Yankees meet again remember that it was Bill Smith that asked for it. I'm not sure I would be able to handle that heartbreaking punishment again. Smith must be a glutton for punishment but he is very clear in his battle cry...
Bring on the Yankees.