Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pedro Effing Feliz

Okay, I always felt that the Giants needed a quality third baseman. I was never truly unhappy with Pedro Feliz. He was okay, but I'd rather have somebody like George Brett, Mike Schmidt or A-Rod. But, wouldn't you know it, the split second the Giants delete what would have been the best hitter in their lineup, he goes out and gets the World Series winning base hit with another team. Shades of Orlando Cepeda winning the MVP and World Series the year following his trade? Well, it brings up the idea. This year's post season was so full of ex A's and Giants it was not even funny.

Congratulations Phillies

For the second time in three years, a National League team won the World Series. This despite home field advantage in the World Series going to the AL team. In the six years since the inception of the all-star-game-decides-home-field-advantage idea, all six times have failed to give a true advantage to the team that was awarded home field advantage. It's past time for baseball to rid us of that stupid rule. I heard that it was incorporated into the union contract until 2,000,012 AD or so.

Even so, congratulations to the Phils. They earned it all. They passed the Mets in the last week of the season. They beat CC Sabathia and the hot Brewers. They beat Manny and the hot Dodgers. They beat all the good players on the hot Rays that beat the hot Red Sox. I just wonder how many police cars are on fire right now.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Longest Inning

Well, we're right smack in the middle of the sixth inning of World Series game 5. This is the longest inning I can ever remember. It's even longer than inning seven of ALCS game 5, when the Rays opened with a two run homer. A half hour later, and no further scoring, the top of the 7th was still not over. Not to be outdone, God Bless America and Take Me Out To The Ballgame preceded a four run outburst by the Red Sox before that inning came to a close.

During that ALCS inning, Mrs. Scott and I started giving the kids a bath, when she asked me what inning it was. I said the 7th. We then bathed all three of them. Afterward Mrs. Scott went shopping at the grocery store, came home, and asked me what inning it was. I said the 7th. She was shocked.

But this inning, everybody went home. Players, managers, umpires, fans, media all slept several times right in the middle of this inning. Oh, and it rained, too.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Wild One In Philly

Seeing the way the Phillies won game 3 of the Series, it was pretty wild. A hit batsman led off the bottom of the ninth, who then stole second on a wild pitch and took third when the catcher threw the ball into center field. Two intentional walks to load the bases, and a right fielder brought in as a fifth infielder. The bouncer up the third base line left "Eva" Longoria with no way to throw the runner out without hitting him. The replay showed that if he had let the ball go, it could have gone foul further up the line. But you don't think about those things when the game is on the line on that ball. The Phillie fans were great, outlasting a late start, a rain delay and a long game. Church might be empty tomorrow in Philly.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Game 1 Blues

The Phillies won game 1 of the World Series tonight. I wanted them to. But tonight after the game on SportsPhone 680, host Damon Bruce gave a sobering stat about how important winning game 1 was. It seems that 10 out of the last 11 teams that won game 1 went on to win the Series. I wondered who that 11th team could have been that didn't...

Oh, yes, of course. It struck me. I really didn't need to be reminded. But those are the kind of things that bring up bad memories. The Giants won game 1 of the 2002 World Series.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Manny, Big Papi No Shows For Sox Series Bid

Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz were no-shows in the Red Sox attempt to make it back to the World Series. That might have made all the difference in the world. When Manny was traded to the Dodgers, the first thing speculated was whether they would face each other in the World Series. Now, neither of them are there. As good as Jason Bay was in many ways, I'm wondering if the Ramirez trade didn't doom the Sox to a Hi-Def World Series. They lost game 7 by only 2 runs.

As much as Ramirez helped the Bums, they had their share of problems down the stretch. And even though he hit a thousand homers and batted a million against the Phils, their 3 games to one loss showed how the rest of the Dodger team didn't perform.

It will be an interesting series with the Phils traveling to Tampa. I can't start to predict this one as I don't have a clue where to start. Usually I can pick a team in the Series for one reason or another, but this series is a question. I'm pulling for the Phils.

Friday, October 17, 2008

My First Ballpark Road Trip (4)

Read entire series here.

Oops, here's a link to the boxscore to my first ballpark visit. With the game over, I headed out to find a motel for the night. This was about 11pm. I had tickets to a double header in San Diego the next day, starting at 2pm. San Diego is about an 85 mile drive south of Anaheim. But this is where being young and extremely naive came into play in a big way. You simply don't travel to Southern California in August without room reservations. Two out of every three families in the entire USA vacation at Disneyland or Seaworld just before school starts. I learned this the hard way.

Disneyland is only four blocks away from Anaheim Stadium, and I travelled down boulevards for miles in each direction. There are thousands of motels. "No Vacancy" was all I saw. This went on for at least an hour. I finally found one motel, and it looked dark and seedy. It was run by foreigners who obviously never watched June Cleaver clean her house on TV. The room was filthy and infested with insects, so I got my money back and split. With no light at the end of the tunnel, I decided that maybe I'd have better fortune if I hit the freeway south toward San Diego and got away from Disneyland. No such fortune. I hit every exit for 60 miles looking for a motel room. There were none. I resigned myself to sleeping in my car in a motel parking lot somewhere near Carlsbad. I dozed off for a bit, and I can only conclude that it was about 2am, when suddenly I was awakened by a noise. Okay, this was a bit creepy. I heard sirens in the distance. Then a man came flying over the concrete wall and landed right in front of my car and dashed off. Cop cars came screaching into the parking lot and chased this guy down on foot. This scared the crap out of me, and I was out of there. I had no trouble staying awake for quite a while.

So I kept going down toward San Diego, still hitting each exit. Finally I made it there, and with nowhere to go and wide awake I decided to go see where the ballpark was located. It was 3:30am. The stadium lights were on at Jack Murphy Stadium. Hmmm. I figured out that they were changing the stadium over from football to baseball. Back in those days the Padres shared the place with both the NFL Chargers and the San Diego State Aztecs college team. Sometimes the Padres' three game weekend series would have a Friday night game, then a football game on Saturday, followed by a baseball doubleheader on Sunday. I settled in to yet another motel parking lot. By this time I really had to relieve myself, so I went in the bushes in front of the car parked next to me, and fell asleep in my car.

I awoke in the early a.m. to daylight, about 7am. I looked around me and noticed that there was a family asleep in the car next to me. Whoa, was I embarrassed. I went inside the motel to see if by chance they had some kind of room. The clerk said I could wait for cancellations but that it might take a while. There were several people in line in front of me. Hours later, somebody cancelled for four days. Wahoo! I wanted to stay there longer, but it was a break. I took the room. BUT... It wouldn't be available until 2pm when maid service was done. But I had to be at the game before then. I broke down in the desert, sweated a lot and slept in my car. I needed a shower bad. I asked the clerk if he knew of any place I could shower. His only suggestion was at the beach using the shower heads to wash sand off. It was better than nothing, so I went to the beach and showered, wearing my bathing suit. How humiliating. I went to the ballpark to see the games. To be continued...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Beaten LA - More Info

In my last post I said that every other team in the NL west had won a pennant since the last time the Dodgers did in 1988. That is true of the current NL west. Then I realized that the other teams in the old NL west before realignment had each won pennants too.

The Reds in '90, the Braves in '91, '92, '95, '96, and '99, and the Astros in '05.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


The Dodgers lost the pennant! The Dodgers lost the pennant! The Dodgers lost the pennant!

It was scary this year, though, they did win a playoff game. I just realized that every other team in the NL west has won a pennant since they did in 1988. The Giants in '89 and '02, the Padres in '98, the Diamondbacks in '01 and the Rockies in '07.

My Personal 20 Year World Series Drought

For the twenty consecutive World Series played from 1975 to 1995, the team I was pulling for to win, lost. I often wonder what it would be like to have those 20 Series reversed. I'll give a brief rundown of each Series and why I rooted for the team that I did. More often than not, I cheer for a National League team if there's no other difference between teams. My childhood Oakland A's won three consecutive Series in '72, '73 and '74. Then my 20 year drought came.

1975 - Reds def. Red Sox. As a Giants fan, I came to hate the Big Red Machine. I was cheering for the Sox. We know the story.

1976 - Reds def. Yankees. Okay, I hated the Reds, but the Yankees hadn't done anything my whole life, so they were okay to cheer for.

1977 - Yankees def. Dodgers. While I'm a Giants fan and HATE the Dodgers, I hated Reggie Jackson and his personal public relations firm, Howard Cosell, even more. The Yankee media bias started here in my life. I wanted both teams to lose so badly it was an awful series to have to watch. But I couldn't bear to have the Yanks win at all.

1978 - Yankees def. Dodgers. Ditto 1977.

1979 - Pirates def. Orioles. When I was seven, I cried when the Bucs beat the Birds in the '71 series. I was pulling for some minor revenge. No big deal, I just wanted to see the Birds win a bit more than Pittsburgh.

1980 - Phillies def. Royals. I was turned off by Pete Rose and some of the general Phillies vibes. So I was giving a slight cheering advantage to the Royals.

1981 - Dodgers def. Yankees. The tables had turned from '77-'78. I hated everything there was about Los Angeles and the Dodgers. Enough to cheer for the Yankees. Yes, painful Series to have to know exists.

1982 - Cardinals def. Brewers. I think I cheered for the Brew Crew out of hatred for Astroturf and multi-purpose stadiums.

1983 - Orioles def. Phillies. I really don't know why I cheered for Philly, but I did. It probably happened just after game 1 started. Fans just get that thing in their heart, favoring one team over another.

1984 - Tigers def. Padres. Okay, hearing about the Tigers All. Season. Long. just wore on me. I played the NL card, too.

1985 - Royals def. Cardinals. I think I favored the NL team here, but just slightly.

1986 - Mets def. Red Sox. The New York media hype surrounding Lenny and the Mets, including the Straw, was just too unbearable. I also happened to stay with the Mets for three days in a Montreal hotel just after they clinched the division. What a bunch of first rate assholes ( I wanted to keep this as clean as possible. This is a family blog).

1987 - Twins def. Cardinals. NL over AL, plus I loathed the Astroturf, the parachute roof, the teflon warning track, the hefty bag outfield fence, the air conditioning blowing out during Twins at bats and that stupid, moronic Homer Hanky.

1988 - Dodgers def. A's. I grew up an A's fan, and I hated the Dodgers from being a Giants fan. What a joy it was to see Canseco hit a grand slam in the top of the first of game 1. Four batters, four-nothing. I thought it was over right then. This was my first World Series I attended in person. I refused to watch the Dodgers celebrate.

1989 - A's def. Giants. This one was tough. I grew up a fan of both teams. Becuase of each team's ineptitude over the last decade and a half, I was certain I'd never have to face these circumstances. I went to every game of this Series. Torn, I did like the song said and rooted for the home team. The scales tipped toward the Giants slightly because Oakland already had three rings and just lost to the hated Dodgers the previous year. I was shaken by the earthquake. What an event.

1990 - Reds def. A's. Heartbreaking to see the heavily favored team get killed like that. I also witnessed Eric Davis' kidney injury from the bleachers. Ouch. I didn't watch the Reds celebrate.

1991 - Twins def. Braves. I hated the Twins for all the same reasons as I did in '87. It had nothing at all to do with the players, just the fakeness.

1992 - Blue Jays def. Braves. I wasn't too keen at the time to let an American sport be won by a Canadian team. The font the Jays used on their uni's was also bad. Bad uniforms all around. This was the first year that the President didn't call the winning manager in the club house. It's never happened since.

1993 - Blue Jays def. Phillies. NL over AL. US vs. Canada. I also liked the idea of a bunch of guys that didn't know how to shave. Plus they beat the now hated Braves in the playoffs.

1994 - No Series: player's strike

1995 - Braves def. Indians. I took a serious hatred to the Braves once they started winning in the early 90's. They already played in Fulton County Toilet, the worst field in history (decimated by the Falcons each September) in the cheapest ballpark in history. TBS had the worst homer bunch of announcers ever, criticizing Candlestick Park on their telecasts. These guys were clueless and completely blind to anything other than the Braves accomplishments. Plus that idiotic tomahawk chop faked so cheesily by Jane Fonda. So I cheered for the Tribe.

1996 - Yankees def. Braves. As much as I hated the Yankees, they were silent for 15 years and harmless. They started winning in '95 and I at least had some small amount of respect for them, even if I hated them. The Braves had become an abomination to me, so the Yankees ended my 20 season drought of cheering for the losers in the Fall Classic. Yay!

I would gladly reverse the outcome of some of these Series if I could, especially the 1988 to 1990 Series!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Silence Is Golden

The Dodgers held a commanding position in last night's game. The Phils were floundering and the crowd was wild. I was thinking, "Oh, great. They'll win tonight and in game 5, too, and the Phils will have to go home and win both, but they won't win at all." Then Victorino tied it and old man Stairs hit a bomb. Man, did that shock Chavez Ravine into stunned silence. It was beautiful.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Go Phillies?

I'm cheering for the Phillies to win it all. Philly over LA, Tampa over Boston, Philly over Tampa. The reason? First, as a Giants fan, I HATE THE DODGERS! They must lose at any cost, even if they have to be beaten by the Yankees. Second, I hate the Red Sox. They're the new Yankees and the darling of ESPN and the east coast bias. But I don't hate them as much as the Dodgers. Now, the Rays are the obvious Cinderella story of the year and everybody seems to be pulling for them. But I want them to lose to Philly because they've never won a World Series and the Phillies have. The Rays would be yet another team to leapfrog over the Giants in World Series victories. Let them stew another several decades to pay their due. The Phillies are already there (1980). So, go Phillies!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

How To Heckle - Pitchers Named McDonald

The last series of the regular season saw the Giants play the Dodgers. Friday night Giants/Dodgers games are always extra rowdy with lively crowds. Heckling is at its height. Late in the game, the Dodgers had quite a few pitchers warming up in the bullpen. One pitcher got up to throw, and his name was James McDonald. McDonald? This name was ripe for heckling.

Think of the cultural things surrounding McDonald. In children's nursery rhymes, he owned a farm. Think also Big Macs and clowns named Ronald. But Mike, Dan (he sits behind us - I'll write about him later) and I quickly came up with a chant about sending him down to the minors. Mike: "Send McDonald to the farm", Dan: "E-I-E-I-Oooo" (repeat), Me: "With an Albuquerque here and an Albuquerque there, here an Albuquerque, there an Albuquerque, everywhere an Albuquerque". "Send McDonald to the farm, E-I-E-I-Oooo!" Okay, Albuquerque is no longer their AAA team, but it was for so long that it doesn't matter.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Giants Downward Progression

Out of 30 major league teams, the Giants play in the 4th largest market, have the 17th highest payroll and the 25th highest winning percentage. This doesn't look good. The Tampa Bay Rays, on the other hand, play in the 21st largest market, have the 29th highest payroll and the 2nd highest winning percentage. Go Giants!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Playoffs Should Have One Day Off Maximum

It would help greatly if baseball had a one day off maximum between each round of series. None of the division series went five games. Both National League division series were over by Sunday, and the AL series on Monday. The playoffs should have gone to the next round by Wednesday, instead of the scheduled Thursday and Friday. Dead time takes people's interest away, even if for an extra day. Moving the post season up one day won't hurt anything. It's bad enough that extra days off were added both to the middle of series and between them, but adding any more because of short series is over the top.

History 08

At game 2 of the NLDS in Chicago I saw a jersey on a fan with the name, "HISTORY", and the number, "08" on the back. It was intended to predict that the Cubs would make history in '08 by winning their first World Series in a century. Instead, it foretold of the Cubs' dream as history in '08.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Another Night's Sleep Ruined By Playoff TV Schedule

Okay, it happened again. Tomorrow's Rays/White Sox game has a starting time that completely relies upon the outcome of the Angels/Red Sox game. Which by the way was a more than five hour, way past midnight affair that went deep into extra innings. The TV ratings pecking order has the Rays/ChiSox game behind the Angels/BoSox game. So an Angels victory puts the Chicago game early in the day with a night game in Boston, where a Red Sox victory ends the series and puts the Chicago game in prime time as a night game. Thousands of ticket holders in Chicago went to bed tonight not knowing the starting time of their game tomorrow; not knowing whether to leave work early or take the day off at all; not knowing in many cases if they even can go to the game.

But Major League Baseball doesn't give care about these people at all because a bunch of idiotic morons work there. FOX and TBS don't care because they have a contract. And Major League Baseball already sold the tickets. Screw the fans, they suck anyway.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Good Guys, Bad Guys

The current playoffs present an odd challenge for me. Of the eight teams, four I completely despise and would love nothing better than to see each of them swept in three games right now. The other four teams I wouldn't mind seeing win the whole thing. The trouble is that the four bad teams are all playing each other right now and so are the four good teams.

I hate the Dodgers, Cubs, Red Sox and Angels. I don't mind the Phillies, Brewers, White Sox or Rays. Two teams from each group will be in the LCS. Bad guys are guaranteed to be in each LCS, but at least the Cubs and Dodgers won't meet in the NLCS so as to guarantee one of them win the pennant.