October 06, 2003

JAY-Zeus, What a Series!: A...

JAY-Zeus, What a Series!: A's fans, I feel your pain. I'm was horrible, we're still the World Series champs, and so on.

So, even though only one of my four picks was worth a damn, and just two of my four rooting interests won, there are worse things than having a Yanks-Redsox LCS, with the Cubbies going against Dontrelle & Pudge. There are great Hall of Famers on each team, and the baseball up to now has been just fantastic.

Except for Oakland's baserunning, that is. There will be much gnashing of the teeth in Beaneville for the next umpteen months, with all the stat nerds burbling on about "small sample sizes," and "my shit don't work in the playoffs," yadda yadda. Here's the deal: The A's lost because they ran the bases like eight-year-old retards. The worst high school player in Long Beach, California knows that 1) You don't risk an extra base in the 7th inning when you're down two runs against one of the best pitchers in baseball history; 2) you don't make the third out at third base, ever; and 3) you don't give up on running full-out to home plate (or any other base), until the play is dead and you've actually reached your destination, no matter what the umpire is doing. That's not so hard, is it? Meantime, the A's need to put a name on that curse, cuz it's just about the ugliest thing going right now.

For you non-baseball fans ... well, you should be baseball fans. This has been some beautiful competition, even if these bastards can't get it up to hustle at full speed on pop-ups and easy ground-outs. New predictions? Sox and Cubbies, baby, and that's who I'm rooting for. It'd be the highest-rated Series since '75 or something.

Posted by at October 6, 2003 09:09 PM
Comments

baseball's for homos.

Posted by: Anonymous scaredy cat at October 6, 2003 09:40 PM

That's right, sailor!

Posted by: Matt Welch at October 6, 2003 09:44 PM

A week ago I moved to Chicago, about a twenty minute walk from Wrigley. Should be fun.

Posted by: Scott at October 6, 2003 09:53 PM

Damn it all to hell, I predicted a Cubs-A's series, with the Cubs' and the Red Sox' curses continuing, but geez, that's lookin' horrid right about now. I gotta say: I think your WS prediction looks just about right, Matt. But I guess, since the Dodgers are out, I should just root for what's best for baseball, and that ain't a Yankees-Fish duel. So whatever will draw the highest number of people to this great sport, I'll support.

But, hey, the July 7 recall prediction is still promising, so perhaps there's a silver lining after all!

Posted by: Robert Tagorda at October 7, 2003 12:23 AM

This is the time of year I *love* living next to Fenway! Of course, most Octobers it's a cold cage rusting in the twilight, but never mind...

The A's were the team I feared most. Not to jinx anything, but this year's Yankees look vulnerable. M. Rivera has blown a few saves in Sox games and the weakest Sox pitchers (Burkett, Wakefield) pitch well against the Yanks. The series split for the season is about even (10-9 Yanks) and, for some reason, the Sox have made Steinbrenner very nervous this year. If we can take one in the Bronx and two in Fenway, I think there'll be a clubhouse meltdown in NYC.

Then on to the Cubs! The team that played the Sox in the World Series of 1918...

Remember -- if you can't still hate the Yankees, the terrorists will have won.

Posted by: chandler at October 7, 2003 07:00 AM

Concur entirely. And I so wanted to see the underpaid, overachieving, James inspired revolutionaries from the east bay put a sock in the Sox fans. But after seeing Byrnes and Tejada's brain cells drift off into the ether when staring at homeplate, ya just gotta believe a little A's anti-karma was in order. Cubs and Sox would just be too good. Lots of SoCalers to root for too.

Posted by: Lloyd at October 7, 2003 08:34 AM

No A's curse. It's a matter of having a $183,018.53 payroll and trying to win it all on that payroll. The A's pitching came through, notice. The A's bats didn't, and that's because they really have a team of B players (some of them very good B level) and no A players and no real leader.

The Yankees have a 180 million dollar payroll. Let's maintain a perspective here.

The A's don't really choke in these playoffs the last four years as much as they screw up (there's a difference and it has to do with the fact that there's no anchor-presence on the field or in the dugout, they become like lost little leaguers). If the players don't screw up their manager - whover the nobody currently is - will manage to do it (pinch-hitting for Dye with a triple-A backup catcher in the most critical at-bat of the year).

The A's have their four WS titles (9 over all for the franchise - tied with St. Louis for second most). 13 division titles and something like 14 American League championships. Throw in one wildcard into the mix. Don't start comparing them to the Cubs or Red Sox or mentioning 'curse'...

Posted by: ct at October 7, 2003 09:43 AM

Chandler-

I live about 10 minutes from Dodger stadium and enjoy bucolic sunset-lit summer evenings sitting in the outer reserved seats behind first base, watching everyone leave in the 7th inning...

but Lord do I miss Fenway. Used to be able to walk there from home, take the T from work in the financial district for an afternoon game (and be back by 5), stare at the Citgo sign over the Green monster, curse Bucky Dent, relive (in exquisite agony) the Buckner moment...and on and on.

What ever happened to that lame-brained idea of building a new stadium next to Fenway?

Posted by: Kerry at October 7, 2003 11:26 AM

Hey Kerry -- the neighborhood looks great today! Sunny and about 60 degrees.

As for the plans to build a new stadium: seems they've gone nowhere. They did produce one amusing moment, though: my city councilman arguing that a new stadium would "destroy the character" of Boylston Street (the section near the Fens). As far as I can tell, even the owners of the gas stations and liquor stores along Boylston don't think they're contributing to the neighborhood's character.

I think the Sox figured out that there was more revenue in renovating Fenway and keeping the old park as a cherished destination than there would be in building a new monstrosity that no one wanted to go to.

BTW -- I saw Bruce Springsteen play there Sept. 6th. He promised to exorcise the curse of Ruth. Maybe he did?

Posted by: chandler at October 7, 2003 12:31 PM

WHA-WHA-WHA-WHAAAT? The Boss vs. the Bambino? Did that really and truly happen? Say it's so!

Posted by: Scott MacMillan at October 7, 2003 02:16 PM

Also, did anybody see this?

http://www.sportsbusinessnews.com/index.asp?story_id=30103

The "money quote" (literally):

"From a purely financial standpoint, the Red Sox have less tocan Baseball Research's business of baseball committee.

The article's poorly written, but it certainly suggests an economic rationale for why the Sox never win the championship. Why should they? All the fans are going to show up next season no matter what.

Posted by: Scott MacMillan at October 7, 2003 02:33 PM

Here's the beginning of the AP story about the night I saw Springsteen in Fenway:

BOSTON (AP) - Fenway Park echoed with the chords of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" Boss-style as Bruce Springsteen took the field for the first rock concert of the baseball park's 91-year history.

"What this park needs is a rock 'n' roll baptism, a rock 'n' roll Bar Mitzvah ... a rock 'n' roll exorcism," Springsteen told the capacity crowd of more than 36,000 as he and his E Street Band launched into hits including "The Rising" and "Lonesome Day" Saturday night.

***

...and he closed with "Dirty Water," sung by his guest on stage -- Peter Wolf! (of the J. Giels Band)

Posted by: chandler at October 7, 2003 02:55 PM

Hey Chandler-span class="comments-post">Posted by: ct at October 7, 2003 04:47 PM

Cowbody? Hey, what the hell am I Freudian? What the hell, it's a scary motto!!

Posted by: ct at October 7, 2003 04:49 PM

I think ct needs an intervention, like the one that Beane provided for Miggy Tejada.

Posted by: Floyd McWilliams at October 7, 2003 05:17 PM

I'll tell you something about Tejada (ahem...). He's a B level player capable of winning an MVP. If he gets on a team with a couple of A level superstars and some pitching he will have an even bigger impact as a player. (For some reason I'm picturing him as a Dodger next year. I don't know why. I don't even know if the Dodgers already have a star shortstop signed long-term...)

ps- I think I started channeling Matt Welch in those last couple of posts... Does he think Jason Giambi's unnaturally (for him) clean-shaven face looks like a butt...? (Come on, Jason. Show up with your goatee, your long hair, and demand to play first base... Right now you're Steinbrenner's company pussy boy...)

Posted by: ct at October 7, 2003 05:32 PM

Matt, I thought you once told me you were a former teammate of Nomah's, or maybe he just went to the same high school, we were drinking, memory is blurred...please remind me.

Posted by: LanceRoque at October 7, 2003 06:25 PM

CT -- You are seriously ruling....

LanceRoque -- Hey, bro! Hope the family is well & rockin'. Nomah went to St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, a few blocks from where I was born. He's a year or six behind me, so I have no direct knowledge of him, unlike, say, lil' Chris Gomez of the Twins (who went to my high school, but is three years younger), or pinch-hitter extraordinaire Dave Hansen of the Padres, who I played with in a rock-roll band back in 1986.

Bosco, which is Catholic school not in our athletic leagues, produced some absolute monsters. A guy my age name Eugene Lemers was just horrifying, throwing 82-mph sliders when he was 12, kicking 58-yard field goals when he was 16. I'll never understand why he never made the bigs, but our part of North Long Beach produced guys who will just break your heart, they were so great at baseball, but never climbed the mountain. Troy Hamill, Brian Fulton, Ralph freakin' Lakin....

Matt Welch at October 8, 2003 01:26 AM

Sox in six. You heard it here first.

Actually, you heard it from Dan Shaughnessy in today's B Globe first, but it sounds right to me!

Posted by: chandler at October 8, 2003 01:53 PM

Wow! I was way off! Family is great, thanks.

Sox in 5 (they won't lose at Fenway and I feel good about them stealing one in the Bronx)

Posted by: LanceRoque at October 8, 2003 04:49 PM

Deluded, innocents. I joy in your wide-eyed, innocent enthusiasm for life and the feel of grass on your bare feet for the first time...

Yankees in 4.

Posted by: ct at October 8, 2003 06:05 PM

Yankees in 4. Stand by it. I'm not going to pick which 4. That would require too much luck.

(Ultimate scenario: Boston gets by Yankees. Get beat by Marlins.)

Posted by: ct at October 8, 2003 08:54 PM

Hey baseball fans: Since when did the Yankees start getting officially referred to in respectable (?) publications as "The Evil Empire?" Matt? CT? Anyone?

I like it!

It's up top as of Wednesday 9:45 pm PST:

http://www.ctnow.com/

The actual story requires registration:

http://www.ctnow.com/news/custom/newsat3/ats-ap_sports10oct08,1,6381511.story?coll=hc-headlines-newsat3

Posted by: pieter at October 8, 2003 09:46 PM

The only real angle with the Yankees I can see as legitimately evil is their payroll in comparison to my team the Athletics. Other than that it's difficult to hate players like Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter and Andy Pettite and even Jason Giambi. Posada's a little arrogant. Clemens is perhaps the symbol of Steinbrenner's ability to buy everybody else's starting aces, so he is a symbol of evil.

Posted by: ct at October 8, 2003 11:43 PM

Hey Pieter:

Last winter Larry Lucchino, Red Sox chief executive, starting referring to the Yanks as the 'Evil Empire.' Yesterday's Globe had Sox GM Theo Epstein in a light-saber duel with Steinbrenner. Hope that doesn't mean Steinbrenner is Theo's father, though -- the real Mr. Epstein Sr. teaches at Boston University (my employer)!

For reading today, I highly recommend the New York Post sports pages.

Posted by: chandler at October 9, 2003 07:56 AM
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;lanceroque@earthlink.net">LanceRoque at October 8, 2003 04:49 PM

Deluded, innocents. I joy in your wide-eyed, innocent enthusiasm for life and the feel of grass on your bare feet for the first time...

Yankees in 4.

Posted by: ct at October 8, 2003 06:05 PM

Yankees in 4. Stand by it. I'm not going to pick which 4. That would require too much luck.

(Ultimate scenario: Boston gets by Yankees. Get beat by Marlins.)

Posted by: ct at October 8, 2003 08:54 PM

Hey baseball fans: Since when did the Yankees start getting officially referred to in respectable (?) publications as "The Evil Empire?" Matt? CT? Anyone?

I like it!

It's up top as of Wednesday 9:45 pm PST:

http://www.ctnow.com/

The actual story requires registration:

http://www.ctnow.com/news/custom/newsat3/ats-ap_sports10oct08,1,6381511.story?coll=hc-headlines-newsat3

Posted by: pieter at October 8, 2003 09:46 PM

The only real angle with the Yankees I can see as legitimately evil is their payroll in comparison to my team the Athletics. Other than that it's difficult to hate players like Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter and Andy Pettite and even Jason Giambi. Posada's a little arrogant. Clemens is perhaps the symbol of Steinbrenner's ability to buy everybody else's starting aces, so he is a symbol of evil.

Posted by: ct at October 8, 2003 11:43 PM

Hey Pieter:

Last winter Larry Lucchino, Red Sox chief executive, starting referring to the Yanks as the 'Evil Empire.' Yesterday's Globe had Sox GM Theo Epstein in a light-saber duel with Steinbrenner. Hope that doesn't mean Steinbrenner is Theo's father, though -- the real Mr. Epstein Sr. teaches at Boston University (my employer)!

For reading today, I highly recommend the New York Post sports pages.

Posted by: chandler at October 9, 2003 07:56 AM
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