Sports Nut

Jack McKeon’s New Ride


Well, that certainly was quick, wasn’t it? By 11 tomorrow night, the Florida Marlins, who were about two losses away from their semiannual plutocrat’s yard sale back in July, could have their second world championship in six years, and how’s that feel to all you Red Sox and Cubs fans? The team is barely out of the shrink wrap, and it’s won this thing twice, this latest time after rebuilding the team from scratch because they sold off the previous world championship squad at 8 cents a pound.

I have to admit, I love the fact that Jeffrey Loria gave Jack McKeon a new car yesterday but still hasn’t given him a contract to manage next year. This is the kind of thing that makes Loria Bud Selig’s kind of owner. I have to believe that, if the Marlins pull this off, McKeon drives his new ride straight to the bonefishing grounds. I am all in favor of quitting on top. If it was good enough for Bill Russell and Jim Brown, two of the most ferocious competitors who ever lived, it ought to be good enough for anyone. Of course, I felt the same way about Dick Vermeil when he left the Rams, thought him crazier than a loon for coming back with Kansas City, and now it looks like he might have the best team in the NFL there. I will never understand coaches. They are more mysterious to me than athletes are, because the athletes at least get the soul-deep satisfaction of the performance. What makes coaches keep trying again? Look at McKeon. Nothing at all to prove. Gets hired to manage out the season so Loria can get around to whatever brigandage he’s got planned for the winter, and now he’s forcing a decision on the Marlins for which (I guarantee you) nobody there was prepared.

Weird game all around last night. Torre shakes up the lineup—Enrique Wilson, come on down!—and then David Wells comes up with the kind of back thing you get at the office picnic when you’re trying to impress the woman from accounting with how you used to pick it in Legion ball. So, down into the Land of Mordor again—Yankee middle relief. If this keeps up, we not only may have seen the last of Roger Clemens in this series, but of Mariano Rivera as well.

And what was with the dark glasses on Steinbrenner? Has Maurice Stans risen from the grave to give George the money back?

Be well,