Keith Law is a popular baseball writer on ESPN and frankly, if you're here, you know of Keith. KLaw "sat" for an interview with The Big Lead. Keith's a different breed than most, it seems, with far-reaching passions outside baseball, include food and non-fiction books. Quite the intereseting guy. Some things that I found most interesting (from my rooting interests; emphasis mine of course):
Q: We want a few sleepers from you: A team that will reach the postseason that won fewer than 80 games last year, a Cy Young candidate in each league who won fewer than 10 games last year, and a budding star who nobody’s really paying attention to right now, but could be a household name come September.
A: Cy Young candidates from [less than] 10 wins: The Cy is all about win totals, so I’ll take two guys on teams that will provide plenty of run support: Yovani Gallardo (expected back by mid-April) and Philip Hughes. If you let me cheat, though, here are two 12-win guys who’ll contend for the award: Chad Billingsley and Dustin McGowan.
Of course, I protected Hughes and drafted Gallardo in my baseball league, but you don't want to hear about that...even though I am pretty happy with his thoughts.
Now, a bit in my sweetspot:
Q: Let’s say the Yankees miss the playoffs this season What would the fallout be? Chalk it up to a new coach and Hank taking over? Or would there be genuine panic?For more from Keith and his non-ESPN blog, check here.
A: Cashman’s doing a great job of messaging through the media that this is a new strategy of building from within, and that there might be some small bumps in the road. Messaging is a huge part of the GM’s job, and it’s why I think strong communications skills are critical for a successful GM. Look at Billy Beane - he is the king of messaging among GMs in baseball, perhaps in all of US sport. Cashman has gotten enough of the local and national media on board with his message, and I think many, many Yankee fans are on board as well. Maybe enough of them remember Steve Trout and Ed Whitson and Bob Sykes and, by extension, Doug Drabek and Willie McGee, and are happy to see the Yankees throwing their money around to acquire young talent and not blowing it in dumb trades.