Some impressions over the last few weeks:
** Everyone is praising Brian Cashman for the deals he made back in July and they have worked out well for the most part. I thought he did well except for one move - He never should have traded Andrew Miller. I said back then that it was a mistake, and it looks even more like it now.
** It doesn't look like Jose Bautista is going to sign a contract anywhere near what he was saying last summer. Is it just a slump or has some of his skills eroded?
** Edwin Encarnacion believes that if he takes a pitch, it's a ball. Every time. In his defense, I thought the strike was different whenever a new umpire was behind the plate. One ump's strike zone started at the belt and ended at the ankles. Another had a very narrow zone while a different ump thought the zone was 2-3 inches wider on the outside portion. This may have been one of the biggest reason nobody was hitting.
** Terry Francona is being praised for managerial skills during the playoffs, while Joe Maddon has made some "bad" moves. In reality, it all comes down to performance. It the players do well, the manager is a genius. If they don't, the manager is 2nd-guessed forever. Normally, you would think that bringing in one of your two best relievers in the 4th inning is a panic move, but when that reliever is Andrew Miller on a hot streak, - "What a smart move!"
** Twice in the playoffs, we've seen hitters who don't usually bunt, push balls down the third base line against the shift. When that happens, the announcers go crazy, praising the hitter to the heavens. In my book, when major league hitters DON'T do this -every time- they should be criticized. It's the playoffs. How can you give away sure hits when the defense hands them to you?
** Replay was supposed to help the umps get the calls right and eliminate arguments. It's not fool-proof. All it's eliminated is the arguments. Personally, I got a kick out of watching the performances of Earl Weaver, Billy Martin and Lou Piniella to name some. The umps may not have liked it, but the fans did.
** They should get rid of that imaginary strike zone box. It doesn't help much because the calls don't match. I saw an at bat where it showed five pitches, none of which were in the strike zone and yet the count on the hitter was 3 & 2.
** The networks should have the announcers be the ones that covered each team all year. The ones on the air don't know the players, their tendencies or the reality of their performances. A batter may have hit the ball hard all year but hit into a lot of bad luck. All these announcers can do is spew out a bunch of numbers which often don't tell the real story.
** It's nice to know how a hitter has done in the series, but it doesn't mean a guy is hot or in a slump. 0 for 7 doesn't mean a thing.
** There are way too many pitching changes. You may be worried about how a guy is pitching, but you have no idea how a reliever is going to perform, You always take the chance that the new guy is going to be worse than the starter. Regardless of the score, Francona couldn't WAIT to get to the 5th or 6th inning so he could get to his bullpen.
Brad Dickson's Bottom Ten
** I'm a NY Giant fan but I'm appalled at the antics of Giant receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. I saw a headline that he was named Offensive Player of the week. I thought, "It's about time!" Then I read the article. It's about the catches he made and the touchdowns he scored. Obviously, I was disappointed.
***THEY SAID IT***
"A ball sailed past Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor when he -- Brad Dickson who was not the center. It’s the “all butts look alike” play."
"What are his plans for retirement at age 89: “I’m going to try to live! … I’m looking for a much smaller house and a much larger medicine cabinet.” -- Broadcaster Vin Scully
" Canadian pole vaulter Shawn Barber said he tested positive for cocaine because he kissed a girl who took it. Is Barber Irish, because it sounds like he kissed something alright — the Blarney Stone." -- RJ Currie
"NFL ratings are down over 11% this year. Owners are scrambling to explain it with things like the Presidential election being a distraction. And it’s possible the concussion issue is turning people off. Or maybe America has figured out there are just a lot of lousy teams." -- Janice Hough
"62 percent of those surveyed in a Public Policy Polling thought second-ranked Ohio State could beat the winless Cleveland Browns: “An unrelated poll found that 62 percent of people are idiots." -- Greg Cote
" In golf news, the -- Brad Dickson is underway. Because it’s the Safeway Open, the purse has been marked down twice."
"Nebraska put together a time-consuming drive that took 10 minutes, 42 seconds off the clock in its win over Illinois. In other words, they scheduled a college-football game and the last two minutes of an NBA game broke out." -- Dwight Perry
"It’s early fall, when CFL, NFL, NHL, NBA and college football games are all televised along with MLB playoffs. Last October my wife hid the TV remote where I couldn’t find it: under the vacuum." -- RJ Currie