Monday, October 30, 2006

Another World Series Past

I was excited about this year's Series. Yeah, it ended in five games, but I'm usually somewhat excited about any series. My mom is from Illinois, about 50 miles east of St. Louis, and I'm a National League fan, so I cheered for the Cards. Their post-game celebration however made me very sad. I realized that the Giants had gone yet another year without a title.

A team I cheered for actually won for only about the fourth time in thirty years. I had an 0-for-20 streak from 1975-1995. Yep, no team I cheered for actually won a series those years. I rooted for the Dodgers in '77 and '78 only because I hated Reggie personally more than the dreaded Dodgers. By '96 I hated the Braves more than the Yankees, so the Yanks' come-from-behind victory thrilled me and ended my personal 20 series losing streak. Other winners since then include the Yanks over the Braves again in '99, the D-backs and Marlins over the Yanks in '01 and '03. I forget if I wanted the White Sox over the Astros last year. I kinda think so.

Anyway, maybe the Giants will win it next year... Bwahahahahaha! An end to my 42-year season world title losing streak?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Wow, What A Game 7

I'm a few days late in this post, but game 7 of the NLCS was a classic. A 1-1 game going into the 9th inning. And Endy Chavez's catch was absolutely incredible. So was the throw.

What made the game most exciting to me, however, was that every pitch to the last four batters in the bottom of the 9th were potential pennant deciding pitches, with either team able to win the pennant on each pitch. I know there has been a name coined for such situations, but I don't remember what it is. Down 3-1, the Mets got the first two batters on, bringing up the potential winning run to the plate. The pennant could have been decided on each pitch either by a 3-run homer or a triple play, but after the first out, the next batter's pitches could have ended in a homer or double play, and after the second out, by a homer or an out, after the walk by a double, homer or out. Finally, Beltran was caught looking on one of the most wicked breaking pitches I've ever seen.

An ex-roomie of mine, and major Cards fan, now lives with his wife and children in southern California. I always call him after a Giants or Cards post-season series ends. This time his wife answered. I asked how she was feeling and she said fine, so I asked how Michael was feeling and she said she didn't know because he was in watching the game. Watching the game? His dang team just won the pennant! I didn't hear any hooting or hollering so something was terribly wrong. It was his birthday, too, and his in-laws had just left, so he hit pause on TiVo. It was only one out in the 9th for him on his replay. No wonder. Arggh. I politely asked to let him alone, but he made me stay on the phone and finish the 9th inning. He was shocked at the sudden K. So much for TiVo.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Hurry Up And Wait A While

This is just classic. The LCS series are staggered by one day to accommodate TV. The ALCS started first this year, on a Tuesday. That series was a sweep, and the NLCS is already guaranteed to go 6 games, if not 7. It started a day later and has two rainouts already. The Tigers might just have a week and a half off while the NL team arrives in Detroit at 5am the morning of game 1.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Uh-Oh, The Tigers Are Kicking A'ss

Maybe I can be optimistic and say that a great choke is about to happen and the A's will win four straight. Well, they have to win two at least, because I have a ticket to game 6.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sunday, October 8, 2006

What A Day - Yankees And Dodgers Both Die

Both the Yankees and Dodgers were put to death on the same day. The Cardinals also lost a game, and the A's are already safely in the ALCS with some good memories on how they got there. The Cal Bears (#16) also whipped Oregon (#11). What a great sports day.

This year's $200M Yankee lineup has been touted as the greatest lineup in baseball history. And they got their collective arses whipped by a team that lost 119 games just 3 years ago. The Dodgers didn't get it so bad today, but they didn't even win a game. They've won only one post-season game since 1988.

I wonder what it felt like for A-Rod, the highest paid player in history, to bat 8th. He choked yet again this year. King George and his guillotine - hmmm.

Saturday, October 7, 2006

Eliminate Ratings-Based Playoff Game Starting Times

Many ticket holders for game 4 in St. Louis went to bed tonight not even knowing what time their game will start tomorrow. This needs to change.

Tonight the Mets eliminated the Dodgers by winning the NLDS. Earlier in the day, the Tigers eliminated the Yankees. Three of the four playoff series have been decided, leaving only the Padres/Cardinals with a game tomorrow.

What stinks about this is that the game times of all playoff games are arranged according to a TV ratings pecking order. The most watched game will be scheduled in the prime-time slot (8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific), the next at 4pm/1pm, then 1pm/10am. Because the A's/Twins series was already over, the Pads/Cards were the bottom slot. But because the other series were decided today, they were kicked up into the prime time slot. But this didn't happen until the Mets/Dodgers game was over - well after 10pm Central time in St. Louis.

The Yankees are almost guaranteed the prime time slot for every playoff game they play because they are the top rated team. The only reason they had the afternoon game today was because the combination of two markets, NY/LA for the Mets/Dodgers game, would draw better. Teams like the A's and Twins are stuck always playing day games during the week just because they don't get national TV draw, making it tougher on their fans to see games. Smaller market teams get game times shuffled at the last minute for games 4 and 5 just because larger market series happen to end. I know first hand that this sucks.

Way To Go A's!

A sweep of the Twins. What a way to end the 0-for-9 streak in series clinchers. It was great to see those kids (and Frank Thomas, too) celebrate in the locker room upon reaching the ALCS. I took a gamble and bought a ticket for the 3rd home game of the ALCS (either game 5 if against the Yankees or game 6 if against the Tigers) right as game 2 ended in the Twinky Dome. Now that they'll play Detroit, I'm hoping they win it in 6 so I can see the pennant clincher. Go A's!

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Adios, Felipe

Well, Felipe Alou is histoire, to use a French term. This is a good decision in my book. He was a fairly milk toast manager for four years. He was kind of an inside-out manager. He was extremely passionate about lesser things and lukewarm about some more important things.

For example, he went completely ballistic over some minor comments made by a KNBR radio talkshow host Larry Krueger about the Giants' Caribbean hitters, leading the way in Krueger's firing. He promised to slander Krueger's name all throughout the Caribbean and wouldn't accept an apology. He simply couldn't take a relief pitcher walking a batter, and would use three or four just to get an out. As if the next guy would really be any better.

But getting his team fired up, for let's say, a pennant race, wasn't a strong point for Felipe. They choked in the '03 LDS, choked against LA in the last series of the '04 year, completely sucked in '05 even though they were in the worst division in baseball history, and majorly choked a number of times in '06, being swept by several last place teams along the way. Still in the race until the last week of the season, he routinely sat Bonds and other veteran players down when they were needed most.

Nice guy, Felipe. I'd love to have him over for dinner every night for a month to talk baseball. But I don't want him managing my team. Nice guys finish last, so they say.