Talkin’ Baseball: The playoffs are on.

Talkin' playoffs.

Talkin' playoffs.

Dodgers try to even their Series with the Phillies and the Rays and Red Sox in St. Pete. The storylines are plentiful in both series. And, many of them New York-related, including Torre and Kasmir.

I wonder what Victor Zambrano is doing these days?

Anyway, if it is in your mind it should be posted on these pages. Do us a favor and share your thoughts. I’ll talk with you during the evening and answering your questions.

105 thoughts on “Talkin’ Baseball: The playoffs are on.

  1. did you hear about the beltran to yankees for cano, veras, prospect, and kennedy?.. no thanks on that for me…even to consider it id want hughes to be offered over kennedy (no out pitch)

  2. Jim: The Phils’ year to get to the World Series? Yeah, I can see it. I’d take the Red Sox over Philly in the Series.-JD

  3. beltran is one of the best in the league, best Cf defensiviely, very good offense- for cano (very streaky), kennedy (no out pitch, veras (bullpen arm), unnamed prospect

    no thanks

  4. I’m very excited about the Rays vs Red Sox series. Super excited.

    Regarding Kazmir, that trade, I mean what can you say about it? I think I was 15 when that trade happened, and as a 15 year old I was well aware that trading an elite lefty prospect with the perception Kazmir had for a 30 year old guy who’s had arm problems as well as no idea what control was, was just an idiotic trade that made no sense.
    It wasn’t trading Kazmir that bothered me but who he was traded for and what bothers me is the fact that I, as a 15 year old kid understood this but these men who own and run the team couldn’t?
    Whatever… its done and over with so who really cares, just had to comment on that.

  5. And regarding that Beltran deal, hen I saw that trade proposal, I couldn’t even get words out of my mouth. I just made a goofy face while shaking my nead “no” violently.

    Carlos Beltran is one of the two bet center fielders in all of baseball. Only Grady Sizemore is even close to the type of centerfielder Beltran is.

  6. benny (6): I understood, in theory, the deal when it happened. But, even then, Zambrano was not great shakes. Just a horrible deal. … Imagine a rotation with Pelfrey and Kazmir. Scary.-JD

  7. I think Cano can turn out to be a good player, but Beltran is a star. Makes no sense.-JD

  8. There’s some talk about extending the Divisional format to seven games. That could take the playoffs into November. If TV wants it, it will happen, but I’d rather it stay at five games.-JD

  9. huge start for billingsley…myers usually has to be roughed up early bc he gets better as the game goes on.

  10. I think they should shorten the season back to 154 and make the DS 7 games. 154 games is plenty to decide playoff teams. I hate the DS being 5 games. Sure, it makes for some nice storylines, but do we really want to see teams like the Rockies in the World Series on a regular basis?

    As for the Beltran rumor, this is what brought me here to chat. If the Mets deal Beltran, unless they get a king’s ransom, I will be so annoyed. Beltran is not the problem. He is a professional and I feel like he has finally relaxed in NY. I can’t wait to see how he does next year after being able to work out in the offseason instead of rehabbing his knees.

  11. To Keith (14):

    I, too, would like to see a 7-game division series but I don’t want playoff baseball played in weather that is far different than the bulk of the season. October is cold enough.

    I suggest either shortening the regular season or starting it earlier.

  12. 150 game season all first and second place teams make it – wild card weekend is a three game set between the two second place teams and the worst record of the three division leaders against the best second place team…. Next series five game DS the two byes take on the Wild card winner …then seven game LCS

  13. Victorino … that’s a guy the Mets could use. Six runs will be hard to come back from.-JD

  14. Patrick: The owners won’t cut the season at either end. They don’t want to lose the gates. HOWEVER, if they were to schedule one day-night doubleheader a month against a divisional opponent, that would shave a six days off the season. That would be a way for them to extend the playoff format.-JD

  15. JD – I like the day-night double header idea.

    Too bad they’ll never go back to the two-for-one doubleheader.

  16. Keith: They won’t give up the gates. The day-night thing would be perfect. One a month is nothing. If they did two, they would have more off-days during the season, too.-JD

  17. To JD(21):
    Excellent idea!

    Has this ever been discussed by the owners and/or the PA?

    I suspect Saturdays and holidays would be best for day-night doubleheaders so the billionaire owners could maximize gate revenue.

  18. Patrick (25): I’ve talked to several players and they like it because they’d trade a day-nighter for an off-day.-JD

  19. ed (26): As much as a pain-in-the-ass Manny is, that swing is why he’ll get a lot of attention this winter. And, some of it will come from the Mets.-JD

  20. I understand owners would hate to lose regular season games but doesn’t the idea of more potential playoff money excite them?
    Playoffs=gauranteed sold out stadium (unless your the Braves).

    But day-night doubleheaders work too.

  21. benny: It makes sense, but there are a lot of things that seem logical that get overlooked.-JD

  22. The Phillies have three of the best players in the National League in Rollins (despite an off year), Howard and Utley, but the difference between them and the Mets is the pen.-JD

  23. No JD its attitude – they believe in themselves and the mets look like deer in the head lights,,,,, The Mets would have made the playoffs if DW drives in Murph on thur or they scored three more runs on Sunday …. Despite the 31 blown saves it was the lack of offense in the final week that killed them

  24. I know some dont believe in the intangibles but the Phils get to Sept and turn it up a notch where the Mets have withered…. smae players same teams but look totally different in Sept, and go in different directions

  25. JD today I made a case for the mets going for Siato as the closer for next year and groom Parnell/Kunz for 2010 instead of paying starters money for an injury risk or risky closer any thoughts….

  26. ed (32-34): Not disputing what you’re saying. Omar said “something is missing.” Evidently, it’s not missing in Philly. And, the Phillies did it despite not winning the season series vs. the Mets.-JD

  27. its fustrating – Ive always hated the phils from going to watch the Mets play there but wish our team was like that ….. I think I’d rather be a third place team with a bunch of over achievers… then a team that should have been in but has no heart…

  28. I just don’t get it… the Phillies are just not that good of a ballclub. Sure their offense is top notch but its top heavy.
    Their defense is pretty bad. Except for Centerfield and even SS none of those guys are good on defense.
    Their bullpen is trash except for Lidge.
    Their starters SUCK! S-U-C-K!
    Whatever..

  29. I say be like basketball.

    let half the teams in so you play through the season and leave just enough time for a weekend vacation before the pitchers show up.

  30. benny (38): As Ed and I are saying, they have something the Mets do not. … Two walks from Lidge. I’m having a Heilman flashback.-JD

  31. Speaking of flashbacks. I just thought of Albert Pujols batting against Lidge in 2005.-JD

  32. ed (44): Looks like he’s cured now, don’t you think? Heilman never got over Molina.-JD

  33. My goodness what was Nomar swinging at?
    No wonder the Red Sox let him go, they couldn’t win with him there.

  34. FYI – Mia Hamm is a better athlete than Nomar.

    Just saw the opening introductions from Tropicana Field – don’t think I’ve ever seen the place so full – have you, John?

  35. Annie (55): Actually, yes. I saw a NCAA Regional there. Duke vs. Michigan State. … And, I think the Yankees opened there one year.-JD

  36. Wow!!! Look at Craig Sager’s sportcoat and tie. Now I need to readjust the settings on my TV.-JD

  37. Annie (59): I have no idea. It just hurts my eyes. Good thing I don’t have hi-def.-JD

  38. Well it was a first for me to see – didn’t know men’s sportcoats came in that lovely color.

    Of course it’s Florida – be he’s got white shoes on, too.

  39. That’s a rule I would like changed. The runner would have scored easily on the double. Give the umpire the leeway to advance the runner or send him back a base.-JD

  40. To JD(62):

    I’d prefer that umpires have as few judgment calls as possible. Luck is part of the game, and the ground rules apply to each team equally.

    That said, I don’t even know what play you’re referring to since I’m not watching the game. I’m simply spouting ideology. :)

  41. Three walks and no runs. They had a chance to break open the game. We know that will bite them later. … They can’t do that and expect to beat the Red Sox. The Angels couldn’t and they won’t be able to.-JD

  42. No, He was a fine Mets pitcher, but grew up in the Boston area. Do you think he should be a Mets fan to be a Mets announcer?

  43. I agree for the Phillies were no more talented than the Mets either season… the pen was better in Philly and I think that’s part of why they keep winning. Teams see what happened in the east and it gets in their heads and makes the Phillies better than they are. They try so hard to not make mistakes and get behind that they end up behind. What was that greaphic yesterday the Phillies were 79-0 leading after * I think it was. That’s got to weigh on a team.

  44. Annie,

    I dislike “homer” announcers. That’s what makes Darling so good. He calls the Mets game as an ex player, not like a fan. Gary Cohen does a decent job of hiding his “homer” for the most part but there’s sometimes he let’s it all hang out.

  45. No, I don’t think he should be a Mets fan to be a Mets announcer at all, I love his objectivity compared to other team’s commentators. But that’s not to say I wouldn’t like him to be or that it doesn’t irk me just a little when he separates himself from Mets fans like he did just now regarding Kazmir.

  46. Sam G: I always get a kick out of Gary’s love for the mets especially compared to Ron Darling’s objective analysis- Keith Hernandez seems to fall somewhere in between… except the final game at Shea when Keith seemed almost devastated (no doubt it was an emotional day for Keith win or lose)

  47. I don’t get SNY, so I listen to the Mets on the radio, but I am familiar with Ron as a 5 sport star at Yale, and of course his time with the Mets. Not only is he a really good analyst, announcer etc., but in my opinion could be considered as an MLB executive. He’s bright, thoughtful and well versed in all the aspects of the game.

  48. JD- This might be a stupid question: in the pregame they were discussing the catwalks and how if it hits one in fair territory it’s a live ball. If a player catches it after it hits the catwalk is it an out?

  49. On Darling: Darling is a very good announcer because he’s an objective analyst. You have a feeling you can trust him. Is he a Mets’ fan? Not on the air. But, off camera, sure he is.-JD

  50. According to Stadiumpage, Tropicana Field was finished in 1990. What was it used for prior to the Rays playing there?

    I also notice that in June of this year the Rays hit a setback in the planning of their new ballpark.

  51. Nevermind, I found info on Baseball Reference. Looks like it was mainly used during spring training and for hockey. Apparently MLB has mandated that the Rays be out of Tropicana Field by 2010. That can’t be realistic with the setback, surely they’ve been allotted more time no?

  52. abbey(68):

    has darling stated that he’s not a mets fan? i wasn’t able to watch many mets games this year so i’m a bit out of the loop.

    that said, darling is providing color commentary for a national broadcast tonight. he certainly shouldn’t be anything other than objective in this role.

  53. TJ (79): Tropicana Field was build with the hope of attracting a major league franchise. It was completed without a tenant. Tampa Bay tried to attract San Francisco and the White Sox, but neither panned out. … Tampa Bay was finally awarded a franchise after the 1994 strike in large part after threatening MLB with a lawsuit.-JD

  54. I read some quote from Darling (I think for SNY’s ask the booth) that Darling liked seeing the Mets win because it made his job easier. He said tonight, regarding kasmir, that the Mets fans are still talking about that trade and one of the other guys said he was sorry to bring it up and (paraphrasing here) Darling clarified that it didn’t bother him; it bothered Mets fans. But I agree, he should be objective. Again, I don’t mind if he’s objective- just playing devil’s advocate.

  55. Abbey (84): Have you ever listened to a Yankee broadcast. Those guys are tremendous homers. They are like six-year-olds. You almost think when they lose they’ll cry.-JD

  56. Real good play by Bay to get that in quickly to keep the DP in order. Of course, Floyd is no burner.-JD

  57. To Annie(69):

    Ron Darling and I went to the same high school. I never met him, though, because he was pitching for the Mets when I was in middle school. :)

  58. Let’s go back to Bay’s play again on Floyd’s hit. By keeping the DP in order, Boston can get out of the inning without giving up a run.-JD

  59. Patrick = So how did a New Englander end up in Seattle? And, were you always a Mets fan?

  60. Two runs are huge in this game. I keep thinking back to the first inning when the Rays had the bases loaded. You knew that would come back to hurt them.-JD

  61. To Abbey(87):

    Thanks for the link. It was enjoyable. :)

    From your source:
    Q: “What would people be surprised to learn about you?”
    Darling: “That I quietly pull for the Mets and the players to make very few mistakes and to have great success, as a team and individually.”

    Good for him! He seems like both a homer and a professional. :)

  62. As a journalist, I can say I don’t root for teams. But, you do like to see good things happen to good people. A lot of these guys you get close to over the year. You know they are hurting when they lose.-JD

  63. That’s it … they’ve played like the Mets tonight when it came to hitting with RISP. I go back to the first.-JD

  64. To Annie(93):

    Yes, I was always a Mets fan. I’m originally from Inwood but went to HS in MA when my father changed jobs. I then did my undergad work at Fordham. It wasn’t easy being a Mets fan in MA after the 86 WS. :)

    When I was a little kid my grandfather would take me to Shea every Sunday when the Mets were in town. It was our “special thing.”

    Seattle became my home for no other reason than serendipity. I quit my job/profession when I was in San Fran and then moved to Seattle simply because I’d never been to the Pacific Northwest. I immediately fell in love with the area and have been here ever since. :)

  65. JD- Ha, I was wondering if I cursed the Ray’s bats rooting for them… They looked an awful lot like the Mets with guys on

  66. Abbey: They sure did. I had this funny feeling about the game after they couldn’t do anything in the first with the bases loaded.-JD

  67. Patrick,

    Same here… I came to Portland in Aug of 86 on vacation, May of 87 I was settled here. It’s been great ever since!

  68. Only difference is the Mets would’ve scored a couple in the first and drift off to sleep the rest of the game while the bullpen coughed it up. BTW thanks for keeping up a blog, John, I’ve been reading since LoHud last season and it’s always a pleasure to get your insight. Goodnight all

  69. The Yankke broadcasts are incredible homers. Suzyn Waldman has to be in the top 3 homers of all time. Just incredible. There’s this clip of her floating around the net talking about Roger Clemens in the owners box when he made his return. Unbelieveable.