Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 17, 2002
BASEBALL: Howe Is Piniella Better?

Mike Lupica says the Mets should get Lou Piniella rather than Art Howe because Howe's team lost in the ALDS (doesn't that sound like a disease?) three straight years. OK . . . let's compare the last three years:

2000: HOWE: Loses to Yankees in playoffs PINIELLA: Loses to Yankees in playoffs
2001: HOWE: Loses to Yankees in playoffs PINIELLA: Loses to Yankees in playoffs
2002: HOWE: Loses to Twins in playoffs PINIELLA: Doesn't make playoffs, with team coming off 116-win season; loses close pennant race to Howe's team

Gee, that's all the difference in the world . . . what about before that? In 1995, Piniella beat the Yanks, but lost to a superior Indians team in the ALCS. Good, but where did the Mariners go from there? In 1996, they added Alex Rodriguez and finished three games out of the wild card. In 1997, they were at least a match in front-line talent to the Orioles, but lost 3 games to 1 in the ALDS. In 1998 and 1999, still with a powerful talent core, they stunk. You want bad karma? In 1986, Piniella's Yankees lost a pennant race decided by 5 1/2 games - to the Red Sox!

Sure, I'm being selective and glossing over some details here, and Piniella does have the one World Series ring from 1990. But Lupica's entire argument rests on the stereotype that Howe is a choker, and doesn't even bother to compare with Lou's record (the graphic in the Daily News shows Piniella with 3 World Series rings, which is true enough, but deceptive; Bucky Dent had two World Series rings).

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:56 AM | Baseball 2002-03 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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