A Few Thoughts on Twins-Tigers

Yes, this is late, since the Twins are already losing to the New Jeter Jeters, but I can’t help myself.

  • I love playoff baseball. I think the sport with the best playoffs compared to the regular season is probably hockey, but that’s only because I like baseball so much. There’s something about the insane crowds, the tension of every pitch, the endless viagra commercials, the phrase “everyone is available” followed by a shot of a starter warming up in the bullpen on two days rest. And yes, I feel like I should be wearing suspenders and standing in front of a bunch of old baseball players in a corn field.
  • That said, baseball easily has the worst announcers of any major sport. Well, that’s not true. There’s no Jim Nantz in baseball. But there is Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. And now it looks like TBS is going to unmercifully subject us to Chip Carey and Ron Darling. Now I thought Carey was a sucker for underdogs, since last year he basically spent the whole ALCS stroking himself and talking about Carl Crawford. But not half an hour ago, he ejaculated all over the microphone after Captain Intangibles hit a home run. So basically, he’s just out to annoy me.
  • I used to think Ron Darling was ok, but last night he basically said that the idea of the “Quality Start” stat (6 IP, 3 ER or fewer) would have been laughable in the old days. He was implying that in the old days, starters pitched 6 innings and gave up fewer than three runs every time they went out there. Also, the grass was greener and there were no steroids and children played the game on the sandlots and men were men and blah blah blah. To his credit, Darling himself averaged 2.87 runs per 6 innings and 6.5 IP/Start in his pitching days. That said, shut up. No one could hit in the 1980s.
  • It was a hell of a game. Strategy, intrigue, all that jazz. It’s too bad that we’ll all forget that Jim Leyland left Fernando Rodney out there for over 3 innings. All an American League manager has to do is write a lineup and manage the bullpen. It’s shocking that in the biggest game of the season one of the managers couldn’t even do that.
  • Predictions: Yankees in 3, Red Sox in 4, Cardinals in 4, Phillies in 3. Yes, I will actually predict a sweep once in awhile, unlike everyone at ESPN.
  • Raburn’s slide in the 10th was the dumbest play I’ve seen in awhile. No, he didn’t make up for it by throwing out Casilla. They never should have been in a position for that to be the winning run in the first place!
  • A lineup of commercials: Viagra, Avodart, Avocados(?!), Budweiser, Charles Schwab, Plavix (or something) – It’s pretty obvious who TBS thinks will be watching these games. I think all women and men under 70 should be offended by this development. They should be required to have one commercials for the Nintendo Wii or something.
  • LCS predictions: Yankees in 7, Cardinals in 6. Blech. I hope I’m wrong, but the Jeters are, um, really good.
  • That said, I think the Red Sox have the best rotation in the AL- potentially. They would need Beckett to pitch like Beckett and Buccholz to be good enough that Matsuzaka doesn’t have to start more than once or twice. If they are, hey, you never know, right?
  • Yeah, I think the Jeters will sweep the Cards. And we’ll be subject to an unlimited number of stories about how Derek Jeter gritted and gamed his way to a championship, going 28 for 14 in the World Series with 61 homers and 94 runs batted in and 58 winning smiles flashed, while breaking the records for both gratuitous mentions by announcers with 412* and gamer grittiness with 123 intangibles intangibilated.

*The postseason record is 381, by David Eckstein in ’06. He broke the record held by Bobby Richardson since 1961. The all-time leader in all sports is of course Brett Favre, who just earned his 11 bazillionth unwarranted mention by a sports announcer when a Pakistani Cricket commentator praised him for his grittiness during the third test match against Australia.

  • Even though the Tigers lost, Brandon Inge’s diving stop should go down as one of the best plays under pressure of the decade. It will not, of course, since his team lost and his name doesn’t rhyme with Ferek Fleter.

Hopefully I’ll have a chance to do some live blogging for at least one of the games during the Sox-Angels series. Stay tuned!

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