Swept away

I don’t care how many people disagree, I really think the long layoff is going to hurt the Colorado Rockies.

Red Sox in four.

The World Series ended just in time. I don’t think Hideki Okajima had another pitch left in his arm. Manager Terry Francona milked that sucker dry.

Next, he’ll have Okajima painting his house.

Did you catch reliever LaTroy Hawkins’ comments about the Orioles in Dan Connolly’s article in today’s Sun? It took until Oct. 28, but he got in a few digs.

I’m not sure any of us could contradict them.

Asked about the negativity in the Orioles’ clubhouse last season, Hawkins said, “Yeah, it was bad. I don’t want to knock the Orioles, but it was just bad. Bad.”

In other words, it was bad.

Of course, so was Hawkins’ ERA with the Orioles – 4.48, compared to 3.42 this season with the Rockies. I guess the thin air agreed with him. And a winning environment that Orioles manager Dave Trembley is trying to instill in his clubhouse.

What is this world coming to when a person walks away from $72 million in guaranteed salary?

That sound you hear is Rangers owner Thomas Hicks high-fiving himself. He’s no longer on the hook for the $21.3 million he still owed Alex Rodriguez, who opted to become a free agent rather than stay with the Yankees.

No matter how I try to work the equation, I don’t see Rodriguez’s new-found freedom equaling the Orioles. They’re not in a position to sink that much money into one player, even the best player on the planet. And Rodriguez will want to go someplace where he can win. Immediately.

Besides, he’ll want to wait and see what the Orioles plan to do with Freddie Bynum and Paul Bako before making a commitment.

The Angels and Cubs are the leading contenders for his services. The Orioles should settle for being glad he’s out of their division.

As for the next Yankees manager, word out of New York is that the Steinbrenners want Don Mattingly, but other front-office personnel want Joe Girardi.  

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