Talkin’ Baseball …. The playoffs begin.

The playoffs begin this afternoon in Philadelphia with the Phillies against the Colorado Rockies. The Mets should pay close attention because the Phillies play the game the right way. There’s a grit and toughness about them.

The other National League series has St. Louis going against the Dodgers against the Cardinals, the team I think will get to the World Series.

In the American League, I’m not sold on the Yankees because of their pitching. On paper, they are deeper and more talented than Minnesota, but we know how many series have been played on paper. The Yankees chose to start today instead of tomorrow. It was gamesmanship on their part, but this is a case where MLB should have stepped in for the good of the sport.

The other American League series has the Angels and Red Sox, with Los Angeles holding the home field. The Red Sox, however, have the Angels’ number, just like the Angels have something over the Yankees.

I’ll be watching, but I won’t get to the Phillies game right away. I’ll open the Chat Room for you and hope you’ll pick up the slack.


59 thoughts on “Talkin’ Baseball …. The playoffs begin.

  1. 1. Everybody watching probably fell asleep. Lee treated the Rocks like they were Little Leaguers.

  2. John –

    Cliff Lee pitched a complete game and looked very professional and relaxed doing it.

    Phillie fans had the handkerchiefs out, so perhaps that made a difference.

    Lovely day, but very windy.

  3. Molina would have caught that passed ball.
    Cash would have caught that passed ball.
    Cervelli would have caught that passed ball.
    Rich Gedman would not have.

  4. It’s October when the leaves are changing, the air is crisp and ARod is choking in the post season.

  5. Jeter is like the Minnesota twins. They’re baseball players and he’s a baseball players. They’re gritty and he’s gritty. They hustle and he hustles.

  6. 8 Much as I dislike the Yankees, I gotta give props to Jeter — the all-around kind of player I always wish the Mets had.
    That play he made against the A’s in that ALDS from back in the day to nail Jeremy Giambi may be the smartest defensive play I’ve ever seen made. He saw something on the field no one else did — they say the great ones in baseball have such ESP.

  7. Jeter’s a great player Gil and yes he plays hard and he’s dedicated and he doesn’t get tight in big spots – all of that stuff is true – but the way these grown men worship him is a little much. That’s all I’m saying. They talk about him like he’s not even human.

  8. By the way that Giambi play and others like are rarely the result of anything like ESP. They are usually the result of thorough preparation. Jeter realized he could make that play because he’d thought about it before. He’s very focused and he’d realized previously that if he backed up that play he might be able to relay the ball home in time to get a runner. Most players don’t think that much about it. I read Ty Cobbs biography and he was like that too. Obsessive about winning and being the best. Gretzky too. He made plays that made people’s head spin. But they weren’t completely improvised. He’d thought about them and even practiced most of them in case they happenend.

  9. TMS: I’m definitely with you in disliking announcer worship of ballplayers.
    But maybe the media’s continued gushing over the non-performance enhanced Jeter compensates for all the collective rose petals it threw for years at the pedestals it built for players like Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, A-Rod, Manny and this year, Big Papi — only to be jilted.
    That’s why the Twins are likely to be the fans’ and media’s post-season darlings, because they’re a team of lesser-known, but equally talented, hard-working players from a small market taking on the American League establishment.

  10. Gil (13): Excellent point. The media did go overboard on Sosa and McGwire. I don’t know if jilted is the word as much as it is deceived, but they dooped everybody.-JD

  11. TMS (11): Jeter is so polished in his image that it is unrealistic. He’s teflon. When was the last time he spoke out on a controversial issue? Try never.-JD

  12. JD, TMS: I know I mentioned this yesterday on the blog, but was the Twins’ Bobby Keppel’s 3-2 hard sinker to Gerald Laird with the bases loaded and the potential season-ending go ahead run on third one of the gutsiest pitches ever thrown, or what?
    How many other pitchers would’ve caved and thrown a get-me-over fastball in that spot, especially with a home plate ump with a thimble-sized strike zone?
    Keppel had to be perfect in his mechanics to sell that pitch as a hittable fastball to get Laird to swing and miss and he was.
    Wonder how much of that decision was Keppel’s and how much was catcher Joe Mauer’s or the Twins’ bench?

  13. John – I guess I’m in the wrong place – I respect the Yankees and their players.

  14. Annie (18): The Yankees are black and white … love them or hate them. The Yankees aren’t so bad. People hate them because their fans are so obnoxious because of their sense of entitlement.-JD

  15. 18 Annie: We Mets fans generally can’t stand the Yankees — I know I can’t — while grudgingly respecting them. Come on! How can we root for the 800-pound gorilla on the block endowed with more money than God that buys the services of star players? Why indeed would we cheer for the Evil Empire with all its championships and not back the underdog? It’s be like cheering for Darth Vader against Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars.”

  16. 22. Actually Gil, the reason you don’t like the Yankees is because of that song they play every game in the 7th inning, the one that you accuse Americans of being Nazis for singing along qwith. If you wereen’t the worlds’ biggest loser you’d have stepped and apologized for insulting millions of Americans for no rasonother than your pathetic ego trip, or you would have been a man and announced that indeed you beleive singing God Bless America is “uber Nazism” and it is your right as an American to diss mnillions of your fellow coitizens. Until you are man enough to do one or the other you are nothing buyt trash, the worst kind becuase you don’t have the guts to come out and say it. So go to freakin hell, or to a cave with yourbuddies in Pakistan and Afganistan.

  17. Harry (22): C’mon …. that’s not right. Gil has done nothing to provoke you. Besides, there are a lot of reasons to dislike the Yankees. I know you guys have different viewpoints, but I want you guys to respect each other’s viewpoints. I want you guys to get along. It would mean a lot to me. Try to get along.-JD

  18. The Twins may lose this one, but they’ll be all right. All they need to do is win tomorrow, then sweep in Minnesota.

  19. yes. But I have sounds on for Canadiens vs Canucks. Yankees (CC and A Fraud) were about to lose until Jeter willed them to victory.

  20. Yes. Just came back from the gym, where I was watching some of the Dodgers-Cardinals game. Go Dodgers (but I hope Manny goes oh-for-the-post-season)!

  21. 29 True, but still being a SoCal guy, I’d love to see a Freeway Series between the Dodgers and Angels. Twins-Rockies would be cool, too. Only two teams in this post-season I have serious distaste for are the Yankees and Cardinals. If those two teams meet, I doubt I’d watch.

  22. So…who was the runner in right field DeRosa was trying to force on that grounder?

  23. Oh, God. Here comes Jeff Weaver, who the Mets should’ve torn to shreds in NLCS Game 5, back in ’06. Actually, no. If Mota hadn’t shaken off LoDuca’s call for a changeup in Game 2, the Mets hold on to win that game and then win the NLCS in six games. Not like I think about series much anymore…

  24. Jeff Weaver comes thru in a big spot for Joe Torre. A Rod comes thru. The world has turned upside down.
    Hockey is even more exciting when you try your high school french listening to the Montreal broadcast radio which is dix seconds premier le TV

  25. Selig is an idiot.

    For the good of the game he should have given the Twins one day to collect themselves.

    Too bad the Yanks won.

  26. John,

    In the offseason you should cover the Knicks. It’ll be just like baseball. A lousy team with no clue.

  27. 39 dave: Don’t blame Selig, blame the NFL for scheduling the Vikings for a Monday night game for the Twins fatigue.
    If the Vikes don’t play that night, the Twins play the Tigers on Monday. The Twins’ll be fine. They win tomorrow, they have a good shot.

  28. 39 41 Still not Selig’s fault. A pre-determined schedule is a schedule. The Twins are so happy to have made the playoffs against improbable odds that they’re not complaining. The Rockies had to do the same thing in ’07 and they made it to the World Series.

  29. Maybe instead of saying the Mets should have signed Wolf, we should be saying they should have signed Weaver.
    Let’s remember after beating the Dodgers in a best 2 out of 3 the Giants and Yankees started the 1951 World Series the very next day. The Giants had a 2-1 lead when rain forced a day off and the Yankees regrouped to win the next three. They didn’t do days off for “travel” between boroughs back then

  30. There were people last like like Mike Golic of ESPN saying baseball shouldn’t even play a 163rd game, they should do it by season records like the NFL. Of course once upon a time the NFL settled tie breakers on the field. Just ask Tom Matte about Don Chandler’s overtime winning field goal in 1965 that was wide to everyone bu the referees.

  31. Dan (46): Just goes to show the officials were bad back then, too. Baseball is more flexible in its scheduling. They wouldn’t do a tiebreaker and lose that extra TV and ticket money.-JD

  32. Dan (46): That Colts-Packers game was a classic. A lot of good NFL rivalries have gone by the boards. Browns-Lions. Raiders-Steelers. A few others. NFL rivalries don’t seem to have the staying power as the great baseball rivalries. Cowboys-Redskins is still pretty intense, however. …. Dodgers can break it open here with a hit.-JD

  33. You know, guys, I’m glad I videotaped all the Mets ’06 post-season wins. It’s great to watch them these days — looking back, I can’t believe those were really the Mets.

  34. 53 dave: Transforming a stadium from baseball to football isn’t like prepping a movie theater for the next showing of a film.
    Think of it: Tuesday’s Twins-Tigers game started at 4 p.m. Central Time and lasted what, five hours?
    So if that game played out the same way Monday and started at 12 p.m. Central Time, that means it would’ve ended around 5 p.m., with a football game starting 2 1/2 hours later.
    How could the seating configuration change happen and the stadium workers do a massive cleanup of the stands and seats, process the paying baseball customers out of the stadium, admit the football customers, have the football teams check in to their respective locker rooms and offices, do pre-game warmups on the field, etc. in just 2 1/2 hours?

  35. I’m going to quote from something I wrote which was published in a NY newspaper on October 27, 2000.

    “In this flawed World Series, which stumbled at the start over the Roger Clemens bat throwing incident, a young man named Derek Jeter took charge in Game 4 with a first pitch home run. Playing with joy and excellent baseball instincts, he led his team to victory. Make no mistake, baseball fans are seeing someone very special when they watch Derek Jeter play.”

    Derek hasn’t changed much, has he?

  36. Ray (54) “Wally is going to kick ass and take names.”
    Apparently you don’t remember that he has already done that — to his wife.

    D-Backs Bounce Wally Backman – November 5, 2004