The November awards season holds very little interest to me (I'll comment on it when it's through, after the MVP announcements next week). The hot stove isn't really lit yet--free agents have just finished filing, teams other than their old team are only now getting the chance to negotiate. It's a huge lull, and I have trouble filling the void.
One way I stave off the depression is by writing. You'll find some of my thoughts about the home team's free agent situation over at Baseball Prospectus (free, as always). Here's a glimpse:
Check it out, and feel free to tell me what you think.
By next Tuesday, the Yankees and Hideki Matsui will have agreed to a new deal, or they will have parted ways. This is because of a contractual provision under which the Yankees are obligated to release Matsui if he’s not re-signed by the November 15 deadline, making Matsui a free agent. If it weren’t for this clause, Matsui would be treated as any other third-year major league player: eligible for arbitration this winter, but not eligible for free agency for another three years.
Looking back, the three-year deal Matsui signed with the Bronx Bombers prior to the 2003 season was a bargain.
In the larger world outside, Mike Bloomberg won re-election on Tuesday, whuppin' up on the city's first major Hispanic mayoral candidate (IIRC), former Bronx Burrough President Freddy Ferrer. As a Latino, I should be bummed out that Freddy lost, but I'm not. Ferrer was a rather weak candidate who never really managed to capture the public's imagination. Much like in the last election, Ferrer managed to stuff a shoe in his mouth a number of times, and Mayor Mike was able to capitalize each time--once, Ferrer was quoted as saying that the police officers who shot Amadou Diallo were over-charged by the District Attorney's office (probably true, but still the type of thing that would alienate many black voters); later, Ferrer's blog claimed that he was the product of public schools (since Ferrer was a catholic schoolboy, this played wrong in every way...it made Ferrer look incompetent, since obviously he wasn't writing his own blog; it allowed Bloomberg to point out that despite his present wealth, he was a public school product born into a family of modest means; and it made Ferrer look ungrateful for his catholic school education).
While everyone will point at Bloomberg's incredible spending advantage in this election (it's estimated that he spent ten dollars to each one of Ferrer's) , dig underneath and you'll see that Ferrer didn't lose because of a lack of advertising dollars. He lost because the incumbent mayor kept crime down, steered New York through the post September 11 financial downturn, and took personal responsibility for the City's school system. Mike Bloomberg was Rudy Giuliani without the nastiness, and Ferrer never really found an issue to pursue that outweighed those achievements.
So here's wishing Mayor Mike a fine second term--for the sake of all New Yorkers.