night was the decider for the final piece to the LCS puzzle. Tampa Bay Rays,
back home hosting the Texas Rangers for game 5 of the ALDS series. Some had
deemed this a replay of game 1, with the Rays hoping to right the wrongs in the
replay and the Rangers hoping that as with all replays the outcome never
Some might believe that the home field advantage had put the
outcome of this game in the Rays favor, but neither team had won at home this
post season, so the advantage had been cancelled out. It could be that the extra
seats made available by MLB at the Trop would be the deciding factor, if they
were all sold by game time.
The Rays ‘Ace’ David Price was on the mound for this crucial
game, and should be a consideration in the AL Cy Young, the biggest
advantage however was on the mound for the Texas Rangers….
….Cliff Lee. After his taste of post season with the Phillies
last year, Lee obviously thrives in the big game moments. It didn’t take long
last night, the first inning gave the Rangers a lead. Although the Rays would
tie it up in the 3rd, it was the 4th inning on that the Rangers dominated. The
score even ended as if it was a replica of game 1, Lee went the whole 9,
throwing 120 pitches with just 1 run and 6 hits, picking up 11 strike outs.
The Rangers are now in unfamiliar territory, as they write a new
chapter in the Texas Rangers history books. With the opening game at home this
Friday against the New York Yankees, you have to know Lee won’t be on the mound.
I am sure they aren’t thinking too much about this in Texas, for the die hard
….celebrations are still in full flow, if not in body, in
The LCS teams all know who they are playing, where they are
playing and when they are playing. The only thing they don’t know for sure is
how many games they will play and if they’ll get to the big stage.
What’s with the major Yankee promotion on the MLBlogs opening
page? I seem to remember this last year too, does this have anything to do with
the location of MLB media.
A moment in time: It was this day 27 years ago the
first cellular communications was launched, in 1983 it was called Ameritech
Mobile Communications in Chicago, Illinois.
National League teams were reduced to the final 2 last night as fans endured the
last NL 2010 post season game to be ridiculed by TBS, the NLCS and World Series
have the pleasure of Fox and their hired guns attempting a leucotomy on
the viewing public.
It was the turn of the San Francisco Giants to celebrate the
continuance of their post season. I realize to get to the LCS round for both AL
and NL teams is a major accomplishment, but lets face it there is no title to go
with it. I can understand being champions of your respective divisions, it’s a
title, but making it to the LCS has no title, so why the champagne celebrations.
I don’t dispute they should have some celebratory hugs and back slapping on the
field, even in the locker room, but champagne soaking celebrations, I for one
think they should hold those for the winners of the LCS round.
Last night was the final game of Bobby Cox’s career and like it
or not he finished his career the way he has performed it, being in the dug out
of an also ran team. Some may think this is harsh, but during Cox’s reign over
the Braves, he had one of the finest pitching staffs in baseball, and yet he has
1 WS title with a lot of Eastern Division titles.
He does still hold the title of the most ejections by a manager,
which may be one title that no one beats, since managers don’t seem to stick
around long enough these days. Like he’s done so many times Bobby Cox sat in the
dugout watching his team throw it all away….
….when it was all said and done, he just rose from his chair,
turned around and disappeared into the tunnel, it was a short while afterwards
someone decided that it wasn’t cool for the Giants to be celebrating on Bobby
Cox’s last stand, so Bobby was ushered out of the tunnel to the field which
immediately stopped the on field celebrations. Cox then gave a wave to the
crowd, seemed to have no acknowledgement to the Giants, turned tail and
….disappeared into the shadows. Maybe now Cox has gone the
Braves will bring back ‘Chief Noc-A-Homa’.
Tonight we have a do or die match as the Texas Rangers square
off against the Tampa Bay Rays at the Trop. in St. Petersburg, I am sure now
that they have managed to uncover some of the lost seats at the Trop it should
be a record crowd tonight. You know I am sure somewhere those lost seats, there
was a woman to blame, oh wait that was a shaker of salt.
Cole Hamels, part 3 of the Philadelphia acclaimed H2O trio, took
the mound for the Phillies in what was to be the final game of their 2010 NLDS
series against the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds were countering with Johnny Cueto,
who faced Philadelphia back in June and July, he got the win at home in June,
but had a no decision at CBP in July.
The game started as it finished a game of quality pitching, it
was a duel, the Reds starter and bullpen vs. Cole Hamels. It didn’t seem to
matter what sort of voodoo the commentators tried to inflict on Hamels he was
unwavering in his bid to at least go 9 innings even if it wasn’t a no hitter, it
was to be just a complete game shut out, insert heavy amount of sarcasm
The Reds had a hiccup in the first allowing the Phillies to get
the first run on the board, but then it wasn’t till the 5th, when….
….Chase Utley drove a ball deep for the only other scoring
play in the game. Some think it was that he wanted to silence the boo’s, I am
sure it played a part in his need to hit a homer, I think he just plays the game
The game stayed this way through the remaining innings, which
gave the commentators opportunity for hope that maybe the Reds would come back.
It was not to be, but they looked for every opportunity to attack the Phillies,
especially in the 9th inning when the Reds bullpen produced….
….the hard throwing Chapman. The commentators again chose to
place him on a pedestal, which meant he was in much need of oxygen. After being
surprised that Ibanez hit a ball off him, even though it was caught, they
explained that they really wanted to see….
….Carlos Ruiz face him, as they laugh at his first swing, then
more laughter as he watched a pitch go by, then silence as Chooch slapped a 105
mph fastball down the right field line for a base hit. Then as a way of saving
face they tried to offer explanation as to why Charlie should pull Hamels from
the game, as Cole stood in to face Chapman’s fast ball. The commentators thought
Chapman may hit Cole, ‘WHAT?’ really, but it may have been a ploy to allow them
to interject once more the Utley HBP in game 2. Once again the commentators
should keep opinions to themselves as Cole slapped a 101 mph fast ball into left
center, albeit caught in the outfield.
The bottom of the 9th saw….
….Hamels close out his own game for his longest postseason
outing and thus proving that H2O was too much for the Reds to handle, so it’s
onto the NLCS for the 3rd straight year… well done Philadelphia Phillies….
road to the LCS takes another step today, with at least two teams hanging by a
thread, hanging onto that glimmer of hope that they can turn it around and win
the remaining games of the LDS series they are in.
The Twins lost all hope yesterday, when once again the Yankees
crushed their hopes of getting beyond the first round of the post season. That
is what happens in all sports when you are involved in a knock out style
tournament, the losing team is ousted and the winning team moves on. Lets face
it last year everyone claimed the Yankees high dollar line up gave them the edge
and eventually gave them the ultimate team status in baseball, World Champions
2009. This year after a few tweaks in the off season, they still maintain the
highest salary, but they aren’t clear cut favorites, in fact a month ago they
weren’t even favored to reach the post season. So to all those Twins fans and
fans of clubs that didn’t reach the post season, this year any claims that the
Yankees brought and paid for the wins are unfounded, they won the Twins series
with quality baseball. Well done Yankees for clinching a spot in the ALCS
No I haven’t turned into a Yankees fan, I still hate the smirk
on Swishers face whenever he seems to be on camera, I still have no intention of
ever giving A-Rod a free pass, but along with those things I also know that
Jeter is a true ball player, that Phil Hughes will be a legit ‘Ace’ one day and
that Granderson always seems like he’s had way to much caffeine. As I said not a
Yankees fan, but a baseball fan, almost every team has players like these, ones
with similar attributes.
The Tampa Bay Rays, shocked the crowd in Texas as they hit their
way to a win in the Rangers home ball park. This was supposed to be a
celebratory home coming for the Rangers, but the Tampa Bay Rays have been one of
the strongest road teams all season long, ending the regular season with the
best record on the road, so it shouldn’t have been a shock to anyone that they
were able to win an all or nothing game on the road.
Today is a crowded day for baseball, with 3 games scheduled, the
Rays v. Rangers at 1 PM ET, Giants v. Braves at 4:30 PM ET and finally the
Phillies v. Reds at 8 PM ET. The Rays need a win to even the series and take it
back to Tampa, the Rangers need a win to clinch and meet the Yankees in the ALCS.
The Giants or Braves need to win just to get the series lead and put the other
team on a must win Monday. The Phillies need to win to clinch their 3rd NLCS
playoff spot, where as the Reds need to win just to stay alive in the post
Moments in time:
October 10th, 1582 If you lived in Italy, Spain, Portugal or
Poland this day did not exist.
In 1971 the biggest souvenir from Great Britain was purchased
by an American Tourist. London Bridge was a tourist attraction, a working bridge
that spanned the river Thames in London, this day in 1971 it was sold, then
dismantled and shipped to Arizona where it was rebuilt and opened in Lake Havasu
was the ‘O’ from H2O that took the mound on Friday night for the Phillies facing
off against the Reds in game 2 of this NLDS match up. The stage had been set by
Halladay’s amazing no hitter on Wednesday, the anticipation of what could game 2
give us to rival game 1.
Roy Oswalt was not at his best Friday night, far from it in
fact, giving up a homer in the first at bat seemed to set the stage for his
performance, it certainly gave the TBS commentators added reason to praise the
It’s bad enough that TBS and Fox don’t give us local
commentators, but when they give you competitors commentators it’s just a slap
in the face to fans. TBS thought it fitting to put Brewers and Braves
commentators in the booth for game 2, and it was clear that they were very
anti-Philadelphia, right from the introductions to the final pitch.
Things seemed to be going the Reds way, thus the commentators
were able to praise them and tell us all the stats that made the Reds the better
team, especially after Utley made a couple of errors, we heard how the Reds and
Padres had the least errors, etc etc.
came the 7th inning, if these commentators had put Chapman on any higher pedestal
he would have needed oxygen for the altitude. They told us how he went through
an opposing team with 8 pitches in an inning, told us how his fast ball was
un-hittable. Told us his idol as he was growing up was Contreras, whom had just
shut down the Reds 1,2,3 in the top of the 7th.
There is no question this kid has some good stuff, but did the
Reds throw him into the fire too early, did the overwhelming atmosphere at
Citizens Bank Park effect him any, were the Reds fielders expecting no one to
hit a ball. Who knows, but this type of thing could effect a young players
mental attitude going into his next appearance.
It all started with the first hitter he saw, Chase Utley and of
course the commentators who had attacked Utley earlier for his 2 errors, were
quick to attack him again, when his actions indicated….
….he was hit by the 101 mph fast ball that was up and
in, the umpire awarded him first base. It wasn’t enough that they were accusing
Utley of cheating, they then called his action ‘Jeter Like’. Way to go, attack
a guy that isn’t even playing in this game.
It didn’t stop there, Utley got to 2nd on a ground ball by Werth,
the fact that TBS had lousy camera angles for plays that normally are clear to
the camera, or they just didn’t want to show the truth in what happened, but
again they accused Utley of being out.
Still not the end of it, first pitch swinging, Rollins hit a
line drive into right field where the Reds players where sleeping, thus driving
in Utley and Werth, the commentators chose to accuse Utley of not touching the
base has he rounded third, it didn’t matter that the replay clearly showed his
foot hit the bag, they still accused him of being a long way from third.
The bottom line the Phillies scored on some fielding errors, but
more importantly the raving of Chapman didn’t seem to affect the Phillies who
hit him like any other pitcher, Ibanez and Sweeney both hit his fastball, which
forced Baker to remove him from the game.
We now have to wait till Sunday to see how the 3rd phase of H2O
In San Francisco the Giants allowed one to get way from
them by giving up 3 runs in the 8th and then the game loser in the 11th, the
Braves take 1-1 series tie back to Turner Field where they were almost
unbeatable during the season.
We have ALDS games today, which could make the ALCS picture
clearer, however for now 3 postseason teams hang on to a life line…
A moment in time: October 9th, 1919 the Cincinnati
Reds clinched the World Series title surrounding the Chicago White Sox or ‘Black
Sox’ as they were to be known for the part they played in the fixing of the
games. All involved players were banned for life, which also included ‘Shoeless’
Joe Jackson, even though any participation he may or may not have had was and is
Thursday was a day off for the Phillies, a day to reflect on the
near perfecto by Halladay, a day for the grounds crew to perfect their grooming
…Citizens Bank Park in time for game 2 of the NLDS between the
Phillies and Reds on Friday.
Thursday afternoon saw the Tampa Bay Rays, picked apart by a
Texas Rangers pitcher, the Rays went down 6-0 and now must head to Texas down by
2 games, knowing that every game is a life line to the post season, one more
loss and it’s back to booking tee times instead of next round travel
The Minnesota Twins played game 2 of their ALDS series against
the Yankees in their new home. It seems they may be psychologically hampered by
the previous loses in post season to the Yankees, because it doesn’t seem to
matter what they do they can’t get a break. Okay so the umpire made a bad call
on Berkman, but that didn’t lose them this game, it’s their own actions. With
Gardenhire ejected, probably for renaming the home plate umpire, but we’ll just
believe it was for arguing balls and strikes. He shouldn’t feel bad with Maddon
getting ejected in the Rays and Rangers game it’s probably a day for ejections.
The Twins now head to New York with each game a life line to post season, which
means they probably will be with the Rays, booking tee times before Wednesday.
The first game between San Francisco and Atlanta played out at
AT&T Park with the Braves hoping to give Bobby Cox a final season to
remember and the Giants hoping to just get out of the Bay area without a loss,
this could have been the first game into extras if not for the iatrical part the
umpires played in the 4th inning, and ultimately the hit that Ross managed to
squeak out of Lowe to drive in Posey. Giants take a 1-0 game lead into today’s match up.
It seems Halladay set the standard for post season pitching,
with both Lincecum for the Giants and Wilson for the Rangers pitching 2 hit shut
outs Thursday. This post season is definitely shaping up to be in the top few
all time great post seasons and seems to be following the theme of ‘Year of the
In addition to the Giants and the Braves game 2 today, we will
also see the ‘O’….
…. of the H2O Phillies post season rotation trio take to the mound
against the Reds. The Reds will be trying to get back on an even keel with the
Phillies or at the very least go back to Cincinnati with a hit, while the Phillies will be looking to go 2 games up before heading
to Ohio this weekend.
Major League Baseball at times contains some weird and wonderful
things, not because of umpiring screw-ups or because players tend to get a holier
than thou attitude and do something really really dumb, but just because of the
pure mathematics of baseball.
Last night at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, was another
night where a sell out crowd got to see history in the making….
….Ryan Howard hit his 30th home run of the season and became
the first Philadelphia Phillies player to successfully achieve 5 consecutive
seasons with 30 HR’s and 100 RBI’s.
Things that make you say ‘Really’ in a sarcastic
The AL East has had more changes to the division lead than any
other division this year
The AL Central has all teams at or below .500 eliminated.
The AL West has only 1 team above .500
The NL West has 3 teams above .500 contending for the division
The NL Central has 3 of the 5 worst teams in the National League
The NL East has mathematics….
….the Mets season is officially over, yet right behind them in
the standing the Marlins cling to, well nothing really, but it gives the
Marlins this weekend before the last remaining dozen or so fans stop going to
the stadium and with the sCrUBs in town chances are no ones going to the stadium
Something I haven’t heard for sometime, recently changed, when I heard one of my all time favorite sayings – “Time is something to prevent everything happening at once” The game of baseball is testimony to that statement, with 162 games over 6 months to figure out which teams will play into month 7, although sometimes it seems like it all happens in month 6, it is just an accumulation of outcomes from the numerous WTF occurrences that have taken place during the season.
August saw it’s share of those WTF moments, from coast to coast baseball gave us some gems and as with other months most of those came from the umpires, from early in the month right through to the end. They never seem to have favorites or teams they actually really dislike, although at times your team is always the one getting the brunt of their wrath. With the ability to replay, slow down, freeze frame every pitch, play and call that can affect the outcome of every game the umpires are constantly under the spotlight, so this will constantly produce WTF moments from umpires everywhere..
The month also saw a couple of teams position themselves for this award, not because of the outstanding achievements they had as a collective body, but because they found the need to act like unruly children, NHL players even NFL players. You could say the heated moment between 2 teams fighting for the lead of a division can at times be explained, and is there such a thing as equal punishment, since both teams could have acted more like baseball players and not NHL players. The confusion was in Florida, although this happened on the first day of September, I decided to use it for August just so that we keep the fights together and keep them away from the post season run. We had 2 teams fighting to end the season better than the Mets, fighting each other, this wasn’t heated because the season depended on it, this was simply senseless and a definite WTF moment, but I will not reward those that are teaching our youngsters criminal behavior.
On a high note of the year for at least one team, they started the season off as, in my eyes, the worst team in the National League, they seemed to continue on that same line. In July they made some trades and things seemed to change in August, they had one of the best records in baseball for August with 17 wins, the managed 3 sweeps, yes one may have been against the Pirates, but they also swept the Cardinals and the Phillies. The LOLstros have acted like the worst team in baseball, but WTF have they been drinking in August, okay no chance of post season play unless the Cards continue to meltdown and the Reds follow suit.
Talking of meltdowns, I almost included the San Diego Padres in this list, they have managed to get swept back to back to back, but it seems to me there WTF moment is still ongoing. It would feel right if I didn’t include Lou in this months list, cause lets face it WTF was he thinking (insert retiring or staying this long).
I finally settled on giving the award to a man who has acted like a gentleman through hardship and adversity. His team started of the month in a divisional fight and a literal fight. It was difficult to find anyone worthy enough to present him with this award, but eventually someone who’ll do anything for a shot at being in the spotlight jumped at the chance. The WTF award for August 2010 goes to….
….Albert Pujols, and so we had the chance for the POTUS to award the PUJOLS. Even though he has brought his game and played well enough to give him consideration as the NL’s MVP his team has let him down as they slowly loose contention and could possibly give the chance of the 2010 MVP award to his counterpart at the divisions winning team. A pending free agent at next seasons end, he hasn’t demanded movement to a club that could give him another WS ring, he’s kept smiling and playing the game like the true sportsman that he is, this to some may not be a true WTF moment, but to me its a WTF must he be thinking.
Useless stats 101 – In 2003 Detroit had the least amount of wins in a season during the last 10 years, and they were eliminated from the race by August 21st, the earliest of any team in the last 10 years, Mike Maroth a Detroit pitcher lost 20 games that season. On the bright side they weren’t the 1962 Mets.
who has participated as an exhibitor at a trade show of some kind will be all to
familiar with ‘Tire Kickers’, although not specific to
trade shows, since it’s origin is from used car lots, it is where we have seen the most concentration
any given event over the years. I am sure, some will disagree and claim they have seen
more together in one place somewhere else. In the grand scheme of things, the fact that ‘Tire Kickers’ exist
everywhere is enough.
This time of year baseball has it’s own brand of ‘Tire Kickers’,
the front office people for some clubs transform into these at this time of
year. All the ranting and raving as fans will change none of
that, yes we are all armchair GM’s at some time and we all know what
is best for the teams we help through the season by cheering for them relentlessly
regardless of how they actually perform.
Not every team’s front office can legitimately transform, the Phillies
front office has transformed and can on occasion be seen ‘Kicking Tires’ in
places like Houston, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Washington, and rumor has it even
The Phillies of recent years have done relatively well by
‘Kicking Tires’ till the deadline makes them transform back to actual decision
makers, lets hope this year is Werth the wait. There are those Phillie fans who
think some players are Werth keeping, regardless of performance or contribution,
I think this year the Phillies should make a stab at a good starting pitcher to
assist the teams continued run at post season and if the offer a Werth-while
everyday player then so be it.
In an effort to curb some disdain by the fair weather booing fans, or just to
show they are action minded, they decided Milt Thompson should join the over
crowded list of unemployed in this country. In just the few days since this
occurred the ever drivelous incoherent commentator booth add on of Gary ‘Sarge’
Matthews has pointed out pertinent hitting features for players that apparently
weren’t there two or three days ago, after weeks of telling us what they were
doing wrong at the plate, yet insists he doesn’t want another hitting coaches
job. If you’ve been watching the Phillies for a number of years now you’ll all
remember similar style of added information from non other than Joe Kerrigan
when he was on the Comcast post game show, right before he weaseled his way into
the pitching coach job for Bowa.
Since I’ve missed a few days or more, the Phillies, after the
ASG break have….
….given 3 out of 4 to the sCrUBs and given 3 out of 4 to the
Cards, while on the road, back at home they currently have won the first 2 of a
4 game set against the Rockies with game 3 being played today at CBP. They actually
managed to knock Ubaldo Jimenez out of the game in 2 plus innings, but
today is another day and it all starts again, especially for JA Happ who is back
with the club, his last start was in April and has been on the DL, rehabbing and
just plain getting back into the swing of things.
Just a Thought:
If a player can have specific balls put into the game when
it’s his at bat, what stops teams from rotating balls in and out for home team
hitters and away hitters. I know a ball is a ball is a ball, but if the Rockies
can process their balls to reduce flight, why can’t teams do that for visiting
teams and process for increased flight for home hitters. I know many will
dismiss this as just another conspiracy with no substance, but isn’t anything
possible in this day and age, and won’t teams grab every advantage they can fair
or foul…. the big prize seems to cloud the judgment of people in and around
sports, no matter what the sport.
The National League managed an upset of the American League by taking the All Star Game victory, because of recent history showing the dominance of the American League this is a good way to move forward into the second half of the 2010 season for National League teams.
At the beginning of the season I laid out how I thought the season would progress and how teams would position themselves for October baseball, with just over half the games played it’s a good time to reflect and update my season ending visions.
The American League has shown some surprises, out West the Mariners have not faired as I thought so this has left the Rangers and Angels duking it out for a post season place. In the Central the Indians are not performing in the manor they could have been and in the East the top 3 are as expected, but the Jays are doing better than I had thought, as a mid way summary I now have the following possible outcomes.
Angels ……..88-93 wins
Rangers ……..86-91 wins
The A’s will hover around the .500 mark and the Mariners will finish below .500 with about 70 wins.
ChiSox ……..84-89 wins
Twins ……..81-86 wins
Tigers ……..81-86 wins
The Royals and the Tribe will fight, but fail to reach .500 this year.
Yankees ……..93-98 wins
Rays ……..92-97 wins
BoSox ……..90-95 wins
As you can see this could be any of these, I had considered the Yankees breaking 100 wins again, but recent history shows last time they had 56 wins in the first half they had a dismal second half with only 33 wins, so the Yankees number is a crap shoot, the Jays should end around the .500 mark and the O’s will probably break 64 wins, but no more than 70 wins.
The National League has also given us a couple of surprises, the Padres are the biggest one for me, kudos to them, I thought they would struggle to be a .500 team this year, but they proved me very wrong. The Pirates are more disappointing than anything, I really thought they could be a above .500 team this year, but not going to happen, the Reds are better than expected or are the Cardinals not as good as expected. The East is as expected a 3 horse race and will continue through season end.
Padres ……..85-90 wins
Rockies ……..84-89 wins
Dodgers ……..83-88 wins
Giants ……..79-84 wins
Arizona will struggle to reach 70 wins this year.
Cardinals ……..85-90 wins
Reds ……..85-90 wins
The Brewers and Cubs will struggle stay around the .500 mark on the year, the Pirates and Astros will have chance to play spoiler or helper in September as the Cards and Reds are on target to give us a game 163 this year, but as the Astros and Pirates play out the year they’ll both struggle to get over 65 wins.
Phillies ……..90-95 wins
Mets ……..88-93 wins
Braves ……..87-92 wins
Still a close 3 team race and could go to any of the 3, itll be up to the Nats and Marlins to play spoiler, since both those teams wont even be knocking on the .500 door.
So these are my mid-term visions as far as the divisions are set, as for Phillies players and that dreaded date of July 31st, where teams negotiate to the wire to get the best possible deal, or they think is the best possible deal. The past few seasons the Phillies have faired pretty good at the trading deadline, this year I would say look to see Jayson Werth end up with one of 3 teams, Astros, Pirates or even the Reds, also movers could include, Dobbs, Castro or Ransom and maybe even Kendrick or Happ, I do not think anything major will occur, it is possible we could get Oswalt, but no breath holding here, or even one of the Reds pitchers, it maybe that the Dodgers decide they can lose Broxton, so the Phillies can lose Lidge, but that’s as farfetched as a straight trade of Pujols and Howard, or Werth and Ethier, dream on people ESPN’s got no inside track and the second half is just beginning. So tighten that safety belt, keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times and enjoy the ride, don’t forget to scream and raise your arms at the appropriate times, but most of all have FUN.