Results tagged ‘ World Series ’
One game. Seriously? A 16-week schedule of pounding, collisions, broken limbs, and disformed joints comes down to a single game.
A game with advertisements that cost millions of dollars for seconds of exposure, observed by many who have little interest in the outcome who are looking for something to talk about at the water cooler.
A game with two weeks worth of hype and an entire day, “Media Day”, where journalists from around the world try to trap players into saying something stupid. This year’s winner: Chris Culliver of the San Francisco 49ers for saying he wouldn’t want to play with a homosexual.
A game where a player can make himself millions of dollars by making a single play, like David Tyree pinning the ball to his helmet for the New York Giants in Super Bowl 42 and getting a book deal, or Larry Brown intercepting two terrible Neil O’Donnell passes in Super Bowl 30 for the Dallas Cowboys and making millions by signing with the Oakland Raiders in the offseason.
A game where a nipple being flashed defines how people can now be entertained at halftime for nine years, finally getting Beyonce to have a decent, modern performance this year for those of us under the age of 60.
A game where a man who was an accomplice to the murder of two people can redefine his image, getting cleats with “Psalms”, apparently a new book of the bible, printed on his shoes by Under Armour. A man who can be featured as a man of God on the cover of Sports Illustrated, yet, hasn’t answered questions about using steroids to get his arm “healthy” enough to play again this season.
The World Series is, potentially, a seven game exclamation on a long season. While some people complain about a 162-game season in baseball, are those people taking into account the 140 days involved in a 20-week NFL season, when counting the preseason, and the five weeks of the postseason that comes down to the single game championship, adding up 25 weeks and 175 days of a season, roughly the same number of games that a MLB team plays including the postseason…and that doesn’t include an offseason that never ends that has ESPN and the NFL Network cramming the NFL Combine, Draft, and fantastic analysts like Mel Kiper, Jr. ruining your life.
Every day that the NFL exists, I get more and more tired of it. I enjoyed watching college football until it literally became the minor leagues for the NFL, where conferences and schools became more interested in the money being thrown at them by ESPN and the creation of their own network than the fact that the schools are institutions of higher learning. Now, football has become a game of thugs, even more than the NBA, where acting like a clown and screaming obscenities and fighting with one another, which doesn’t go unnoticed to the children watching, seems to be the norm.
Certainly, a lot of baseball players are trying to escape their situations. The opportunity for 16-year-old kids to sign contracts in the world of International free agency helps the extremely poor from the Dominican Republic to provide an opportunity for their family, but the number of players signed from there to go on to make millions is few and far between. However, baseball continues to be a game with very few examples of idiocy.
Baseball is and always has been a game appreciated by the patient. Baseball is a game where fans go to watch a game, not party in the parking lot and get hammered every Sunday home game. Baseball is a long season, a long career, and a game of character, which is why Pete Rose, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds are outside of Cooperstown, while Lawrence Taylor, Michael Irvin, and O.J. Simpson are enshrined in Canton.
The World Series is a tradition like no other, no matter how many times you hear Jim Nantz talk about The Masters golf championship on CBS in the coming weeks. The Super Bowl is fine entertainment, but careers in all sports are defined by more than a single game. No one cares about David Tyree anymore and no one cares about Stanford Jennings kickoff return anymore. However, baseball fans remember what David Freese did for the Cardinals in the 2011 World Series, what Billy Hatcher did for the Reds in the 1990 World Series, Don Larsen and his perfect game in Game Five of the 1956 World Series for the Yankees, Kirk Gibson and his home run trot in Game One of the 1988 World Series for the Dodgers, Willie Mays and “the catch” in 1954, and Jack Morris and his 10-inning shutout in Game Seven of the 1991 World Series. Those moments live forever and always have and will.
Seven games are greater than one. Passion and character overcome whatever this is:
Last night, when Barry Zito singled in the 4th inning off of Justin Verlander, the San Francisco Giants crowd at AT&T Park started chanting “Bar-ry, Bar-ry.” Not a big deal, only…McCarver’s reaction was to say that “that’s a sound that is not heard too often in this park.” Sure…for Barry Zito, but where was Tim McCarver with Barry FREAKIN’ Bonds was playing!?! The crowd did it all the time.
When Joe Buck tried to correct McCarver by saying “they used to say it for someone else around here,” McCarver replies with “Barry Manilow.”
Here is a link to that amazing conversation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VHk65O37y5g
I hope he was drunker than Harry Carey at that moment, but it was just another example of the stupidity that Tim McCarver spews. While people, specifically Frank Caliendo, have made a living ripping apart John Madden, McCarver is just as bad. Some other zingers:
- “I think if you asked that question 30 years ago, it would have brought a different response.”
- “Well one option that Joe Girardi has is to keep Chamberlain in to pitch the next inning. *pause* Oh, I guess they pinch hit for him. Never mind.”
- McCarver: “Take a look at the hitters bat. Now, if that bat is not in fair territory, there is absolutely -no way- he can bunt the ball INTO fair territory”(Hitter proceeds to bunt the ball fairly down the 3rd base line, while his bat was clearly in foul territory)Joe Buck: “That rather dispells the theory of the fair/foul bat approach.”
McCarver: “Yes Joe, it does”
- When describing an increase in home runs: “It has not been proven, but I think ultimately it will be proven that the air is thinner now, there have been climactic changes over the last 50 years in the world, and I think that’s one of the reasons balls are carrying much better now than I remember.”
McCarver was an All-Star in 1966 and 1967, finishing second in the NL MVP race in 1967 to his teammate, Orlando Cepeda. However, in his 21-year career, McCarver was nothing more than average at best, with his best comparison over his career being to Jim Sundberg…You probably have to look him up to realize what he accomplished. McCarver hit .271/.337/.388 in 5,529 at-bats, and while his fielding percentage was better than league average during his career (.990 to .988), his arm left a lot to be desired, throwing out 34 percent would-be base stealers when the league average was 37 percent.
While he won two World Series titles with the Cardinals and appeared in his two All-Star Games, at 71 years of age, McCarver is not capable of relating to the game, the current players, but especially to fans. When you need a good explanation of what happened, he certainly is not going to give it to you.
While Bob Costas and his holier-than-thou approach at sports is the most annoying, and Dick Vitale’s obnoxious at best, Tim McCarver ranks right up there with Chris Berman as the worst announcer ever.
With the Giants Game 7 win on Monday night in San Francisco, the world prepares for its series, with Game 1 on Wednesday night at AT&T Park. The Giants get home-field advantage with that awesome Bud Selig, All-Star Game idea, as the National League won the mid-summer classic in July.
Some things to look forward to:
The Tigers’ starting pitchers are 5-1 with a 1.02 ERA in nine postseason games, covering 62 innings, while posting a 66:19 K:BB. That stat includes the absolute domination of the New York Yankees in the ALCS, where Tigers’ starters were 3-0 with a 0.66 ERA. The Tigers have the luxury of setting up their rotation for Game 1, which would allow them to start Justin Verlander in Game 1, 4, and 7; however, Jim Leyland has penciled in a four-man rotation in the World Series, with Verlander, Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez, and Max Scherzer slated to toe the rubber for the Tigers.
The Giants taking the St. Louis Cardinals to seven games and losing Matt Cain is sort of devastating for the outlook on the series. Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy could surprise people with what he does, especially after moving Madison Bumgarner and Tim Lincecum around from the rotation to the bullpen already within this postseason. If Bochy keeps his NLCS roster, the Giants could start Tim Lincecum in Game 1, followed by Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong, and Cain in Game 4. Due to Lincecum’s struggles in Game 4 of the NLCS, could the “rest” that Bumgarner received allow him to jump back into the rotation, after Bochy said he was “tired” after his Game 1 loss to the Cardinals?
However the Giants rotation shapes up, the spacious ballparks involved in this series will allow for success from the least likely of candidates. The power that lies in the arms of the Tigers’ starting pitchers could make for some high strikeout totals, while the blend of power and finesse in the Giants rotation could lead to some very low scoring games.
Power in the throwing arms is evident but the greatest asset that the Tigers possess are the two bats in the middle of their order, Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera. Those two are capable of changing the game with one swing, and while the Giants have power in the bats of Pablo Sandoval, Hunter Pence, and Buster Posey, they aren’t nearly as productive, historically and recently, as the portly sluggers on the Tigers.
While Comerica Park and AT&T Park can sap the power in both lineups, both teams have enough on-base and speed guys (see Austin Jackson and Marco Scutaro) to manufacture runs. However, one swing of the bat can change everything, just ask Cincinnati fans, who saw the grand slam by Posey in Game 5 of the NLDS destroy their lives. While the advantage lies with Fielder and Cabrera, the Giants, so long thought to be ineffective offensively, have enough to win this series.
There is nothing better than postseason baseball. Watching the fans in San Francisco the last two nights is what makes baseball special. While they were there for all of the 81 home games in the 2012 regular season, the fire and excitement over the last two nights fueled the Giants to an amazing comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the NLCS.
The Tigers are showing the passion of a city in the middle of a rebirth. While there were times of weakness, the strengths of Detroit came out to conquer those moments, establishing the franchise as a legitimate juggernaut, just as Detroit has done with the rebound of the American car manufacturing companies.
The pitching is going to make the “normal baseball fan” bored, but this series is exactly what the die-hard fans enjoy. The team that makes the first mistake in each game will lose, and the scores will look lower than a Tiger Woods scorecard before his man-whorishness was made public.
What to Expect:
The Giants will enjoy their home-field advantage in Game 1, continuing the momentum that drove them to a tremendous comeback over the Tigers, but due to the opening game loss, Jim Leyland will run Justin Verlander out for Game 4 and again in Game 7, which the Tigers will win with another Verlander shutout. Max Scherzer becomes the Tigers’ version of Trevor Rosenthal, making several appearances but totally shutting down the opposition.
David Freese was just another role player for the Cardinals this season. Their lineup was built around Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday and they got lucky when Lance Berkman decided to try again after bailing on the Astros last season. Well, Freese is now a cornerstone at the hot corner, and he becomes a legend due to 18 games.
In 18 games this postseason, Freese has posted a .397/.457/.794 slash, scoring 12 runs, with 25 hits, including 8 2B, 1 3B and 5 HR. His 21 RBI are a postseason record. While Freese showed some skills in April before an injury caused him to get just 14 at bats in May and June combined, his overall stats in his 604 at bat career wouldn’t lead to anyone being intimidated by him:
.298/.354/.429 with 72 R, 30 2B, 2 3B, 15 HR, 98 RBI and a 141/47 K/BB
Getting hot at the right moment is what it is all about in October. While Albert Pujols’ 3 homer, 6 RBI-night will be remembered due to his ultimate legacy, Freese has given himself a couple of years in St. Louis to establish himself as their third baseman. Leading a team to a World Series title when you’re making $416,000 is a big deal, especially when Pujols could get $30 million per season and will never have a postseason like Freese did in 2011.
No one will ever have a postseason like Freese has had. Not bad for a 28-year-old who looked like organizational depth when he was acquired from the Padres for Jim Edmonds in 2007. He has become a story, the story. While so many thoughts will immediately jump to where Albert Pujols ends up after the World Series is completed and Free Agency begins, Freese deserves better than that, and as the Cardinals lead 5-2 in the top of the 7th in Game Seven as I finish this, he is worthy of the World Series MVP, even if the Rangers come back.
2,365 times Tony LaRussa has lost as a Major League manager, but only in the last couple of seasons does it seem like there is someone to blame other than himself or his team. In Game Five of the World Series on Monday night, LaRussa called the bullpen twice. Twice he, supposedly, asked to get Jason Motte up and warmed up. Derek Lilliquist, the Cardinals bullpen coach, got Marc Rzepczynski up the first call and Lance Lynn up the second time. No Motte. The visitor team can’t see the visiting bullpen from the dugout at the Ballpark at Arlington, but there isn’t much of an excuse here.
LaRussa’s gaffe was that he didn’t make sure that the right man was up. Whether the stadium was louder than any stadium in history or the Cards couldn’t see who was up, it is his responsibility to make sure that things are aligned. If having a telephone as the only line of communication doesn’t work and the Rangers don’t have cameras, maybe it would have been in the best interests of the Cardinals or the League to step things up prior to the series. No one did. Deal with it.
Who knows if the bullpen phone was an excuse, though. LaRussa has long been the manipulator of the bullpen and maybe he was throwing someone else under the bus for Rzepczynski’s inabiltiy to get Napoli out. Rzepczynski is much better against left-handed hitters, but it’s not like anyone else has had much luck getting Napoli out this season, the man hit .383 after the break! You can’t say that even if Motte or Lynn were on the mound at that point, they would have been able to get anything done. It probably would have been Napoli-ever-after anyway.
Just add it to the list of excuses. As a first-year teacher, I have heard quite a few interesting excuses already, but LaRussa and the Cardinals inability to adapt and accept what is thrown at them is assanine. Since they lost home-field advantage when they lost Game Two at home, are they going to say that the 2-3-2 alignment isn’t fair when they lose Game Six? Blame the League for not having enough off days if Kyle Lohse is their Game Seven starter? The balls aren’t rubbed enough, the lights got in the way, the fireworks made the field too smokey, and you still need to shut your mouth and play the next game. Against the wall, the Cardinals need to find themselves and get over it.
Looking back, nothing is quite as funny as the ol’ groin shots that dads always seem to take on America’s Funniest Home Videos. Although Bob Saget made it an awful show (he’s much funnier when he is lewd), you knew the wiffleball bat to the groin was money in the bag. Still is. However, there isn’t really anything funny about pain in the groin, especially if you’re a man and even moreso if you are a Rangers fan.
Josh Hamilton’s groin is getting talked about more than Ron Jeremy’s ever was, and he isn’t even sporting a porn-stache. Hamilton has been bothered by his left groin injury for over a week, telling ESPN 103.3 FM in Dallas that he is playing at “about 50 percent” on October 16th, acknowledging the injury as far back as October 13th. His groin and Ron Washington, the Rangers’ manager, don’t seem to be on the same page, though.
Ron Washington will have Josh Hamilton playing in Game Three of the World Series Saturday night, but he won’t be the Designated Hitter…oh no…he’ll be covering centerfield for the Rangers. Michael Young will be the DH, Mike Napoli will move to first base and Yorvit Torrealba will be behind the dish at catcher. With an off day on Friday, Napoli should have been back behind the plate. If Hamilton is still one of your top hitters, even at 50 percent, but you want him around for the remaining games, why would you put him in the field when he could DH and rest his ailing groinal region?
Craig Gentry handled centerfield for Hamilton in Game Two and his speed could be valuable for the score-at-any-cost mentality of the World Series so far. Certainly the Rangers lose something by having Gentry in center and David Murphy in left, but they lose even more if Hamilton tears his groin or injures it further while playing center in Arlington. The warmer weather could help him, the adrenaline will definitely help him, but Ron Washington’s choice to mess with Josh Hamilton’s groin is a decision that I can’t agree with, and I’m not talking about religious viewpoints or anything besides baseball here.