Congrats to Philadelphia’s local athletic club for winning their professional sports competition. A few notes:
- The Rays seemed to spend the series proving my egregiously misplaced skepticism retroactively correct. They played like a talented but inexperienced team, symbolized for me by Upton lunging at the first pitch with the (extremely fast) tying run on first in the top of the 8th. They had a lot of terrible ABs against wily but (the marvelous Hamels aside) hittable pitchers. And defensively they seemed to think it was 2007 again.
- Another addition to my voluminous “people I was wrong about” file is Charlie Manuel. And it will be interesting to see how Amaro does as GM. Gillick has done a terrific job filling out his formidable talent core with a lot of quality spare parts (and also deserves credit for not dealing the underrated Burrell.) It may seem like when a GM arrives with three MVP-calibre players in his lineup his job is easy, but as a fan whose formative sports experience was the early 80s Expos and most recent is the Mets teams the Phillies have humiliated for two straight years and have to be considered the favorites to do so again, it ain’t easy. If the Phillies keep finding Werths and Victorinos while the Mets keep finding Castillos, Chavezes, and Decomposed Corpse of Alouses, they’ll keep beating them. (Of course, this makes it all the more annoying that he conspicuously failed — speaking of teams with formidable talent cores who win much less than they should, although most of that was Woodward — to do this with the Mariners.)
- It will, of course, to be interesting what happens to Tampa. The bad news is that the only miracle team to have accomplished much of anything else is the 1991 Braves; the good news is that it’s probably the best comparison (although ironically I think you can also make a good case for the Whiz Kid Phillies.) You have to worry about a team with so much young pitching in a division that will leave little margin for error, but they have a lot of impressive talent on both sides of the ball and a seemingly good organization. It will be interesting to watch.
Right. Selig was unequivocally right not to want to have the World Series determined by a 5 1/2 inning game, and I can’t believe that any serious Phillies fan would want to win the World Series that way.
Bizarre situation in Philadelphia, where the fifth game of the World Series has been suspended after six innings and the game tied (it will resume tomorrow night). Apparently the ownership of both clubs agreed with the commissioner’s office that no game would be less than nine innings. This is a basic modification of the rules of the game, which consider any game official after five innings. The really bizarre part is that it doesn’t appear the managers or the players were aware of this agreement until it was just enforced. This is pretty amazing, given that all kinds of tactical decisions turn on whether a game can be called after less than nine innings.
On the other hand, the regular rule for inclement weather is one that makes no sense in the context of a potentially championship-deciding game. So I can see the argument for making an ad hoc modification in the official rules. But it would be nice if they had told the people actually playing the game what the rules were.
Apparently there’s some kind of game going on tonight. Consider this a Rays-Red Sox open thread.
…congrats to the Rays!!
…[from davenoon] Though a Sox fan, I’m nevertheless glad to see the Rays prevail. Spread the wealth, I say. And if I’m not mistaken, Rocco Baldelli got the game-winning RBI, which is really cool given the fact that he started the year with some sort of weird-ass metabolic disorder. One additional point should be made: this is clearly bad news for McCain.
Fox’s MLB coverage is so abysmal that it inclines me to some charity towards TBS — fewer nose hair and E-list celebrity shots, less Tim McCarver, you have to give them that — but what a dog and pony show. Pre-empting the first inning for “Dick Clark’s Funniest Home Celebrity Bloopers” probably isn’t going to help them get the ratings they need to attract a second outside advertiser to permit them to cut the anti-smoking and mediocre impression ads show down to 80 a game or so.
Tonight’s game will be fascinating if TBS will deign to show it.
If, after blowing a 7-0, 7th inning lead in a potential elimination game the
Devil Rays come back and win Game 6, there will still be dozens of sportswriters who will adduce the importance of “momentum” in the subsequent month.
Congrats to the Phillies. That’s four pennants in 29 years, which is a pretty good run for a franchise that won only two in its first 97 years of existence.
I don’t have much invested in the outcome of the NL playoffs, though I suppose if pressed I’d have to root for the Phillies. And while the Phils appear to have a comfortable lead in today’s game, I can’t help but think it’s somewhat of a bad idea to have AIG as a “proud sponsor” of their radio broadcast.
Oh, this takes some of the sting out of the drubbing that USC applied to my beloved Ducks:
It wasn’t a collapse. “Collapse” is too nice of a word. A collapse would mean the Chicago Cubs actually showed up for the NLDS.
It wasn’t a choke. A choke is what happened in 2003, when the Cubs were exactly five outs away from their first World Series in seven decades. A choke is when you blame someone sitting in Section 4, Row 8, Seat 113 of Wrigley Field.
No, in some ways this latest Cubs’ playoff zombie film is worse than 2003, and definitely worse than last year’s October three-and-out.
Indeed. At such a time I have mixed emotions; on the one hand I do like to see the agony drawn out, as the pain of Cubs fans amuses me. Also, I had a good anti-Harry Caray screed prepared in case the Cubs had won the NLDS. I guess I’ll have to save that one for next year.
On the other hand, how many times in this one hundred year history of hilariously pathetic failure have the Cubs actually been the best team in the NL? Twice? Three times, maybe? That the Cubs had one of the strongest squads in their history makes their inept performance against a mediocre Dodgers team all the more satisfying. The Cubs weren’t scrappy underdogs who just couldn’t finish the deal; they were clearly the better team, a team that should have been in the World Series, and they could barely be bothered to show up. Oh, it’s sweeeeeet…..
Wait till next year, Cubbies. Root, root, root etc.
After a long, bitter fight, the LGM Baseball Challenge Challenge has been decided. The lead changed numerous times this week, including several times yesterday; finally, the Yankees pitching staff produced enough points in the second half of the doubleheader to deliver the championship to the Lexington Bearded Ducks by three points. Better luck at the track, Hickey.
||Team & Owner
||Lexington Bearded Ducks, R. Farley
||Headless Thompson Gunners, S. Hickey
||Sluggy McSlugs, C. Moore
||The Rev. Josh Fields, A. Katz
||kodos423, k. crockett
||JacobyRules, P. Smith
||KY Colonels, R. Payne
||Theibault Moor Orioles, J. Theibault
||Austin Electric Chairs, E. Loomis
||Sprained Mitochondria, P. McLeod
||Wild Loose Comma, C. S
||MutiliatedLittleLady, K. Houghton
||Lungless Wonders, E. Udall
||Robertson, E. Robertson
On the way into Shea yesterday, I expressed with my agreement with metsgrrl’s partner, believing that since the Mets would probably have to win two games anyway it would have been better to start Santana on full rest and try to get through Saturday with the kid. I was very, very happy to be extremely wrong in terms of result. That was just amazing pitching. (However, I was completely right when I wrote repeatedly at the beginning of the year that Ramon E. Martinez and Robinson Cancel would be key players in the last week of the season. Unfortunately, these posts were erased by the same people who hacked Joe Lieberman’s website. They also seem to have written a fake post under my name that said that you should take the Tampa Bay under at 76 and the Twins would finish last in the AL Central. Damn those shrill dirty hippies!) Now I wonder whether the Mets will bring in Tom Glavine to throw out the ceremonial first seven runs in the top of the first today.
It should probably be noted that while Santana may not get it because sportswriters are almost as obsessed with W-L records as they are with RBI, but in a rational world he would be the Cy Young winner. I’d also like to thank Brian Cashman for not trading talented pitcher who may throw 100 major league innings one day Phil Hughes and vaguely adequate fourth outfielder Melky Cabrera for him, leaving us free to acquire him for an even more underwhelming package. (And, while we’re at it, thanks to the Yankess for passing on the game’s best CF, too. It’s frightening how bad the Mets would be if the Yankees had made smarter decisions on these guys.)
Open thread for last scheduled regular season day…we’d better get at least one play-in game this year.
…the DFHs also seem to have deleted my confident prediction that on day 162 I would be lamenting the injury to Fernando Tatis because it would mean playing an significantly inferior player in left field…
If they’re going to pitch around you, take the goddamned walk. I know you’re been trained to think as an “RBI man” but flailing at a pitch a foot and a half outside and striking out rather than having Beltran up with the bases loaded and none out isn’t helping the team.
In addition, watching Ryan Church’s current attempts to impersonate a major league hitter — which are about as credible as Sarah Palin’s attempts to impersonate someone who could be president — reminds me that the turning point of the season may well have been sending Church on two cross-country flights immediately after he suffered his second concussion in three months.