Friday, October 08, 2010


A nice couple of days in Cooperstown, looking at the plaques of the members of baseball's Hall of Fame and looking at all the artifacts. Then being able to retire to our Bed & Breakfast and watch some potential Hall of Famers play in the postseason. Good games and the broadcasters weren't too bad. It does seem, however, that both nature and analysts abhor a vacuum. If you have some insight on a particular play, that's fine, but it is TV and we saw the play too. You really don't need to tell us what happened.

Great pitching (Sabathia, Pettitte and Rivera), timely hitting (Granderson and Berkman) and good fielding plays (Jeter's pivot on a double play). Liriano did a really nice job for the Twins, but the bullpen ultimately failed. Apparently, I saw a different 2nd game than the media, who indicated a "masterful" job by Carl Pavano for 5 innings. I saw some really hard hit balls smashed right at fielders. Pavano wasn't fooling anyone. The score could have been 6-0 by the 5th very easily, so I wasn't surprised when they started to find some holes in the 6th.
According to the announcers, the series MVP appears to be Kevin Long, who seems to be responsible the hitting prowess of every single Yankee.
One sports writer claims the Twins are built to succeed in a short series. No, they are not. This is the kind of team that will fare very well over the long haul, but is not a shut-down, blow-you-away type. A team like Philadelphia, with three hot starting pitchers and an explosive offense, is the kind that do well in the playoffs.

Let's see: is "absolutely" the right answer? The Reds must have thought that Doc Halladay was allowed to throw golf balls instead of baseballs. As a hitter once commented after being struck out by Bob Feller, "You can't hit what you can't see." If that wasn't bad enough, Cincinnati now has to face Roy Oswalt. Doesn't seem fair, does it?

Atlanta looked helpless, flailing at Lincecum's assortment of hard breaking balls. I've never seen wiffle balls break that much. He's got a pretty wild motion, too. He looks like his arm is going to follow the ball to home plate one day.

Even though I'm sure that Tampa would like to. Of the 8 teams in the playoffs, Tampa is the only one that looks tight, tight, tight. Texas, on the other hand, is as loose as can be. I don't see this series lasting more than one more game.

You get the feeling that the Umpire's credo is, "If there isn't any controversy, no one will know we're there." Missed calls in the outfield, missed calls on the bases, the usual ball-strike problems and even a half-swing argument. Except for the blown call on a sinking liner that the Yankee's Golson got zapped on, all the umpires mistakes were game-changing. It's too bad that happens, but you have to wonder if it's really a recent problem. Back in the early years, there was no slo-mo or instant replay, even TV while-it's-happening coverage. Maybe we're just finding out how many calls are missed.
At least the umps didn't go out of their way to toss managers or players. It's irritating to me when umpires "go after" managers or players, actually chase them to get them to argue so they can eject them. The two managers who did get the thumb, Gardenhire and Madden, basically asked for it, and deserved what they got.
As far as instant replay goes, I agree with what one player said, "Missed calls are a part of the game. They actually make it interesting." Judgement calls, like safe or out on first, balls and strikes and tag plays are one thing. Half-swings and hit-by-pitches, along with home run calls, could easily be reviewed and probably should be. I don't think we'll see any of this too soon.

Where's Yogi Berra when you need him?
Indians' manager Manny Acta (to the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes) after his starting pitcher, Jeanmar Gomez, had finished giving up eight runs with two outs: "When you have two out, you're three-fourths of the way there."
From Sox manager Ozzie Guillen on whether his team's offensive issues were going to keep him awake at night: "I'm going to sleep like a baby. I'm going to wake up crying every two hours."


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