Now donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get this twisted, I actually very much respect Derek Jeter. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an excellent baseball player, keeps his name off Page 6, does a lot of charity work and has a work ethic I admire.
But Jeter as Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year? Either it was a slow year, or that Ã¢â‚¬Å“awardÃ¢â‚¬Â is a sham.
And it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a slow year.
The Yankees are one of the most talented teams IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen in a long time Ã¢â‚¬â€œ as well they should be. They already had the best leadoff hitter, closer, and arguably the best hitter in baseball, and they spent a cool $425 mil to add the top two free-agent starters and the best free-agent position player on the market. That is what you call economy in motion.
What IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been surprised about is their ability to come together as a cohesive unit. Their chemistry appears better than IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen from a Yankees team in years. I doubt Jeter truly likes personalities like Nick Swisher and A.J. Burnett, but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s learned to love the loosening-up affect theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve had on the clubhouse, what with all the pies in the face and whatnot.
But theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re about to run into a Phillies team that is even more cohesive, that makes more sense, that has more of an identity. And that has just as much talent. Here are the factors I see affecting the World Series, which I believe will be a very close affair.
After the TwinsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ phenomenal victory over the Tigers tonight, the playoff field is set. Though I mostly tend to talk about other sports on this site, truth be told, I watch a pretty decent amount of baseball, so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll give this a go. Remember, if you use anything I say here to gamble with, may the lord take mercy on you.