Big sports day today. Three playoff games. NFL football all over the place. I’ve just tuned on to the Red Sox and Angels. What do you know? Afternoon baseball. Is nice to see. I’m in a good mood today. Just came back from church to find myself tweaked by Harry. It just doesn’t get any better than that.
Hope you’re all well and enjoying a beautiful day. Hope we’ll burn up the lines in spirited chat.
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.
It is easy to express concern over Francisco Rodriguez after yesterday’s 40-pitch, ninth-inning meltdown, but the reality is what happened shouldn’t be considered a surprise.
Rodriguez has been living on the edge all season, with yesterday being his seventh blown save of the summer. That’s a little over one a month, which is acceptable for closers not named Mariano Rivera.
RODRIGUEZ: Did a lot more celebrating last year.
In Mitch Williams-type fashion, Rodriguez makes an adventure out of every opportunity as he did last year for the Angels.
Rodriguez had a career year in 2008 with 68 saves, but he’s had more telling numbers this year, such as 111 base runners in 67 2/3 innings. His fastball is off and he’s been overly reliant on his breaking ball.
Perhaps the Angels knew something, because otherwise, you don’t let dominant closers get away. It’s not unreasonable to suggest the Angels forecasted a breakdown, which is why they wouldn’t give Rodriguez the money or the years.
I’m betting he doesn’t last the three years without breaking down.
The 1967 American League pennant race was arguably the most gripping in history with Boston, Chicago, Minnesota and Detroit all in contention in the final week. For much of the season, the Angels were in it, and were the first to fade away. Next to go were the White Sox, who had a domineering staff but couldn’t score and runs.
On this day, Carl Yastrzemski hits his 43rd homer, but the Red Sox lose to Cleveland. Harmon Killebrew homers twice as Minnesota beats the Angels. Detroit’s Mickey Lolich threw a 1-0 shutout at the Yankees.
The Impossible Dream
At the end of the day, Minnesota (91-68) led idle Chicago (89-68) and Boston (90-69) by a game and the Tigers (89-69) by 1.5 games.
The Red Sox beat the Twins on the season’s final day, but had to wait around for Detroit to lose to the Angels to clinch.
I followed that race with a transistor radio late at night and pulled for the Red Sox as I grew to like them because Tony Conigliaro was one of my favorite players growing up.
This week’s Sports Illustrated’s Baseball preview has the Angels over the Yankees in the ALCS and the METS over the Cubs in the NLCS, with the METS going on to win the World Series.
Thought you’d all like to smile today.