Tag Archives: ALCS

MLB Playoff Gloating, and Some Old Wounds

Rangers and Giants World Series

Did you seriously think I couldn't out coach Girardi!?! What planet are you on?

Is it really going to happen? The two teams I wanted to win could be squaring off in the World Series. I’m always a fan of the underdog, so usually my teams get knocked out just after I decide to root for them. Naturally, it makes me not care much who wins the championship when the teams I don’t care about are in the final series. This year has been different though, and the teams that I’m rooting for, for some reason, are actually winning. It’s like when I get excited seeing one of my bets at halftime correct, only to see said team fail to cover. Maybe, because neither series is over, especially the Giants and Phillies because it’s only a 2-1 series lead, and the Phillies have the pitching and hitting to come back. Plus the Giants seem to have a hard time closing out their opponent, (see the regular season against the Padres). The only reason I feel like that series is a done deal is because my 80 year old grandpa said to me over the phone last night that the Giants would win the WS. Sure, he’s been a big Giants fan his whole life, but MCeezy will vouch for him that if he says it, it will come true! It’s one heart attack win after another for the Giants all season long, so I hope grandpa didn’t jinx them. In the other league, my ALCS prediction was spot on. It’s been awhile since I was able to gloat about a prediction, so here it goes with the things I was right about! The Rangers made the Yankees look old, check. They scored every way imaginable while running all over Posada, check. Ron Washington out coached Joe Girardi by not over managing and getting his players motivated, check. The only thing I didn’t predict was how good the Rangers pitchers would be, and honestly aside from the bullpen meltdown in game 1, they dominated the best hitting lineup in the league. Now that the Rangers are up 3-1 I feel comfortable saying they will be in the World Series. Even if the Yankees somehow shake it off, and win the next two games they will have to face Cliff Lee in game 7. I’d say that means series over anyway you look at it.

Kirk Gibson Still Grinds My Gears

It’s been 22 years since Kirk broke my heart as a young baseball fan with his gimp pinch hit home run off the A’s unstoppable Eckersly. At seven years old, I didn’t think I’d hate his name still 22 years later, but reading about him selling off that historic pinch hit bat making me relive that experience yet again filled me with that same hatred. It’s bad enough they show his fist pumps around the bases every month or two during the season, but having to read about the intricacies of the bat and jersey made me throw up in my mouth a little. Here’s what Gibson said that made me relive one of my worst childhood sports moments,

If you look at the handle on the end of that bat, there’s an ‘x’ because it was a reject. I really only got it because it was so light, I was hurt, so I started to get that ready,” he said. “The cleat marks at the head of the bat where I hit my shoes, there’s indentations at the beginning of the bat. At the end of the bat, it was so deep, there’s really deep indentations, the red ink from the foul balls I hit is on it. You can actually see the spot where I made contact with the ball. It’s preserved very well.”

I can take a little solace in the fact that he is a dick, and many people don’t like him, but it just reminds me that some things you never really get over. I guess holding grudges is part of being a fan. Devastating moment #2 was probably the “Tuck Rule.”

Who Thinks the Rangers Can Win? THIS GUY!

Even though I had my doubts when the Rangers drew the Rays in the first round, they still came through. For some reason I like the Rangers chances even more against the all mighty Yankees than I did against the Rays. Back in September when the Rangers swept the Yankees, I started to believe in them, and wrote a little about why. In that series they were without Josh Hamilton, and the Yankees were without A-Rod, so I figure those two injuries evened each other out lineup wise. What they got from that series more than anything was some extra confidence that they belong with the best. The Rangers have a swagger to them, there’s no way around it, and they’ve been that way all year. I know I brought this up in an older post, but I remember one game back in June when Ian Kinsler was yelling at the Angels players after the game in Arlington to get off their field. I thought it was kind of stupid since they played each other the next day, but it speaks volumes about this team’s mentality, and how together they are. I mean, how many teams would do a separate ginger ale celebration because one of their players is an addict? How many teams survive a manager’s dirty drug test? How many teams would have survived a bankruptcy during a season seeing guys that played in Texas eight years ago, still not being paid what was owed to them? Not many can go through that much turmoil in the workplace, but I think all those outside distractions just made them closer. They don’t roll over like the Twins did when things went wrong, they just move on to the next pitch. Continue reading

Instant Replay in the MLB? Doin Work’s E-mail Thread Explores

The ol umpire huddle seems to take longer than just looking at the instant replay!

The ol umpire huddle seems to take longer than just looking at the instant replay!

Chappy81: How bad have the calls been during the ALCS?!? It’s looking like the MLB should be figuring out a way to put in instant replay…

Dyslecix: Possibly the worst calls in a prolonged series of games we’ve ever seen? It’s going to force MLB to accept instant reply of some sense even if they don’t want it to be an option.

Cali4dre: It’s about time really. Every other sport has it in some sense, and human error can be avoided in this situation to right the wrongs.  MLB has always been slow to adapt…

Chappy81: Yeah, the saddest part is ALL those calls were so easy to make. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t want to have replay for easy stuff like safe and out. Maybe the umpires are scared that it’s the beginning of the MLB not needing them!

Dyslecix: It’s odd that the one sport that doesn’t have a clock is concerned with time…Deep, I know!

One of two blown calls by Tim Mccllellan in ALCS game 4

One of two blown calls at third base by Tim Mcclellan in ALCS game 4.

Chappy81: Very deep, never thought of it that way, but very true!

MCeezy: First off, I completely sympathize with any sentiment against slowing the game down, but all these blown calls are making it more necessary.  I vaguely remember the amazing Joe Buck saying that most umpires are actually FOR it.  They don’t want to be the ones deciding the game.  If they could just figure out a way to keep it speedy, it would work.  Problem is, the NFL and NBA have yet to figure it out, so maybe it’s easier said than done.

Dyslecix: In all seriousness though. Why are they worried about the flow of the game? The time it would take to review to many calls? REALLY? It takes two minutes, you have an additional ump up in the stands who reviews questionable calls and notifies the guys down below the play should be reviewed…If football can do it, there is no reason why baseball can’t be even more effective with it.

Chappy81: Yup, it seems like they could easily put some simple system in that wouldn’t slow the game down too much. Fans would much rather have the calls right and know that we had the right team win fairly. I’d be all for having an ump in the booth telling them when they blew a call. I can’t remember which umpire it was, but he said that if they did have instant replay he’d be man enough to acknowledge that he made the wrong call.

Cali4dre: That’s the problem to begin with.  Pitcher’s are already on an internal clock with umpires.  Umpires are allowed to call a balk/ball for taking to long to pitch.  But like you said, if it’s all theory on game-time interruption anyways, who gives a shit.

I think the umpires are more worried about their own jobs and relevance to the game.  I’m pretty sure at this point they could effectively automate balls and strikes with a computer/K-Zone, which would be fair to both teams and take out an umpire’s personal strike zone bias.  It’s too easy to get blocked out of view on a close play anywhere except maybe first, and even then it might be tough on tag plays coming down the line.  Change the rules, allow instant replay to take a larger role!

MCeezy: I DEFINITELY disagree with using it to call balls and strikes.  Differing strike zones for different umpires are a part of the game.  THAT would get annoying for sure.

Dyslecix: I’m not sure it would be baseball anymore to be honest.

Both ALCS managers have had to argue waaay too many calls!

Both ALCS managers have had to argue waaay too many calls!

Cali4dre: Negatory, I’m tired of seeing one umpire call hi strikes while the next day an umpire calls low strikes.  Or one adds six inches to either side of the plate and another thinks the black is a ball.  What happens??  Managers get their panties in a bunch and start yelling from the dugout, and this gets worse and worse in a game until someone is ejected.  I don’t like that shit.  I like the old, and current, definition of a strike which is anything over the black on the plate from the knees to the letters.  NOT ONE umpire uses that, they all use their own interpretation.  If that happened in the NBA or NFL, loosely interpreting rules in the book, which I know happens and we all hate it, there would be refs getting suspended or fired.

Dyslecix: I would equate baseball’s strike zone to how basketball refs call a tight or loose game with fouls. Each crew is different and you have to adjust as the game unfolds. Having a mandiated K zone that is monitored by a TV camera and called automatically is way to robotic in my mind.

MCeezy: I echo Tony’s sentiments exactly.  We all know NBA refs have different fuse lengths when it comes to assessing Technical fouls.  It’s all a part of the game.

Chappy81: Well put! I’m against taking the human element completely out. How would you suggest that they relay the strike and ball calls Dre?

Hmmm, maybe it could work for balls and strikes...

Hmmm, maybe it could work for balls and strikes...

Cali4dre: Easy, it would appear on an umps count holder (you know, the thing he keeps that batter’s count on, don’t know what this is called.  I lights up green for strike, red for ball or something.  The umpire would still stand there, but he wouldn’t call balls and strikes, just plays at the plate and everything else.  Currently balls and strikes are an interpretation that can lead to arguments.  Take Tennis for example, they use a machine on challenges, and that works fine because it’s definitive.  Why not do that with every pitch since it can be done immediately and correctly??

Chappy81: In the end wouldn’t that slow down play to a crawl though? I mean, if you the umpire has to wait 10-20 seconds for his thingy to tell him if it’s a ball or strike wouldn’t that add another half hour to already pretty long games!?! MAYBE they could set up some kind of challenge like Tennis has, where you get one or two an inning, but I can’t see them doing it for every pitch…

Dyslecix: You’ll never add the word “challenge” to the vocab of baseball and instant replay…..Just based on the fact alone baseball won’t copy the NFL. If anything it will be an isolated umpire decision of some kind, the head coach will have no discretion on using it.

Cali4dre: I was using the Tennis machine as an example of a machine making the decision, it just happens it’s used there as a “challenge”.  Oh, and “Challenge” is already in Baseball, how do you think they get to the point where they need to review a play???  One manager goes out on the field and says “hey, that wasn’t a home run”.  That’s a challenge. Actually, you’re right, “Challenge” may never make it into the Rule Book because Appeal is already there.  Same thing only it sounds better!

Rule 9.02(a) Comment: Players leaving their position in the field or on base, or managers or coaches leaving the bench or coaches box, to argue on BALLS AND STRIKES will not be permitted. They should be warned if they start for the plate to protest the call. If they continue, they will be ejected from the game.

(b) If there is reasonable doubt that any umpire’s decision may be in conflict with the rules, the manager may appeal the decision and ask that a correct ruling be made. Such appeal shall be made only to the umpire who made the protested decision.

(c) If a decision is appealed, the umpire making the decision may ask another umpire for information before making a final decision. No umpire shall criticize, seek to reverse or interfere with another umpire’s decision unless asked to do so by the umpire making it.

Dyslecix: Were all watching this on TV …there is mandated strike zone….the pitch comes in and its a strike….we now know that IT’S A STRIKE cause its mandated…however the Ump is still staring at his little thingy to be told whether it was a strike or not…….and it takes two, three, four, five seconds for the ump to then signal the strike call….we the audience on tv already knew it was a strike to begin with, which is redundant.

Okay….appeal is much better…if mangers start throwing red flags out from the dugout I’m going to be sick!

Cali4dre: NO, it would be immediate.  The pitch hits the glove, the light goes on and the umpire calls it.  No waiting, not sure what century you guys live in…

Previewing the LCS

Wow, that was fast!  Three sweeps and a 3-1 series and all of a sudden it’s time for the LCS.  I was primed and ready to watch some Game 1’s tonight, BUT, there are none!  I guess that’s what happens when the first round is such a dud.  I’m disappointed to see the Angels in the LCS, but at least it came at the expense of the Red Sox, who laid an egg and furthered their return to postseason incompetence.  The Rockies looked like they were going to make it a series, but Huston Street reverted back to his Oakland postseason days and blew another series.  That leaves us with four teams fighting for the crown.  Let’s take a look at the matchups….

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers.  Game One: Thursday, 5:07pm Pacific Time

The Dodgers are the beneficiaries of the coveted extra rest after sweeping Matt Holliday’s nuts and the Cardinals.  The question mark, however, hovers around Clayton Kershaw, the starter for game 1. Kershaw was solid this season, but you can’t help but wonder about a rookie pitching game 1 of the LCS.  It’s a high risk high reward move for Joe Torre that could – emphasis on could – pay huge dividends for his squad.  The Dodgers have yet to use Chad Billingsley as a starter, but Torre will nonetheless give the ball back to his rookie to face off against Cole Hamels.  The Phillies appear to have the advantage on paper, solely based on the pitching matchup, but both teams are heading in with a healthy dose of momentum.  We know the Dodgers offense will put up 3-5 runs per game, so the key will be whether the Phillies score 10 to win or 1 and take the loss.  It should be a tight series – I see the Dodgers escaping in 7.  Should it be a shorter series, look for the Phillies to take it in four or five.

Anaheim Angels vs. New York Yankees. Game One: Friday, 4:47pm Pacific Time

I don’t know what to hope for in this series.  It’s probably my two least favorite teams outside of Boston, but, had the Red Sox been in this series at least I’d know who to root for.  Being an A’s fan, I’m sure when the puck is dropped, I’ll find myself rooting for the Yankees.  But that doesn’t really affect what goes on on the field now does it?  My guess is, since both of these offenses are pretty capable, this series will come down to pitching.  The Yankees are going to a three man rotation with Sabathia, Burnett, and Pettitte.  Critics are, well, criticizing this move, which is wearing pretty thin on me, considering it used to be standard practice.  New York has plenty of arms in their bullpen so even if CC, AJ, or AP can only go five or six, they should be just fine.  The biggest red flag in this series seems to be Anaheim’s young pitching in the new Yankee Stadium.  We know John Lackey is a son of a bitch and won’t be bothered by the New York crowd – but he might pitch like shit.  If the Angels don’t win the first game of the series, it’d be unfathomable for Weaver or Saunders to pony up and carry the team.   I’m thinking Yankees in 5, and worst case scenario… Yankees in 6.