Thursday, October 05, 2006

Let's Play Three

It's a bit of a slow week here at the Lounge. I've been feeling a bit under the weather the last few days- lethargic, drowsy, and just going through the motions. Basically, I'm feeling just like the Padres right now. Seeing the Pads in person Tuesday made me realize just how anemic their lineup is. Granted, Chris Carpenter was pitching lights out, but nevertheless, this Padres lineup is one of the worst for a playoff team in recent memory. There isn't a single hitter on that team that scares a pitcher. Yes, it was only one game, but suffice it to say that I'm feeling like an idiot for that World Series prediction.

On the bright side, if you are going to attend a blowout game, there's no better stadium to wander around and check out the eye candy in tank tops and short shorts than Petco Park, even in October.

Other playoff thoughts...

With a Joe Morgan doubleheader and Chris Berman batting cleanup, it's pretty easy to bash ESPN's baseball coverage. Instead I'll actually mention some positives I've seen and heard this postseason. Steve Stone has been great on ESPNradio- really good insight into the game and he does a great job thinking along with the managers. In the ESPN studio, I love the addition of Eric Byrnes. I heard him frequently on the radio back when he was with the A's and occasionally with the Diamondbacks so I knew what to expect- incredible enthusiasm for the game and a willingness to be candid and critical. Fortunately, he hasn't disappointed. Hopefully, viewers are willing to see beyond the disheveled hair and bad suit and instead hear a guy who's passionate about the game.

Ok, one critical ESPN comment. What the hell were they doing with Tim Robbins in the booth during the 7th inning of the Dodgers/Mets game? The Dodgers had the tying runners on base with Nomar at the plate and instead of focusing on the action, Gary Thorne is asking Robbins when "Catch a Fire" is opening at theaters! I know ratings are down and Tim Robbins is a Mets fan and was in Bull Durham, but is this gimmick of bringing in someone from the Film Actors' Guild really necessary during a key moment in the game?

(The Robbins invite was just explained to me like this: Let me explain to you how this works: you see, the corporations finance ESPN, and then ESPN goes out... and the corporations sit there in their... in their corporation buildings, and... and, and see, they're all corporation-y... and they make money.)

Grady Little using Brad Penny in relief in the 7th reminded me of Tommy Lasorda using Orel Hershiser in relief back in the 1988 playoffs. Well, except for the minor difference that Hershiser was having one of the all-time dominant seasons for a pitcher while Penny has been struggling ever since the All-Star game. Other than that, it was exactly the same.

I think the Yankees are already in negotiations with Barry Zito for the ALCS...

Am I the only feeling a little insulted by baseball's push to make David Wright the face of baseball? He's a phenomenal player no doubt, but what really makes him any better than Albert Pujols, Carlos Delgado, Vladimir Gurrerro, Derek Jeter, David Ortiz, or Ryan Howard? Actually, I can think of one thing that distinguishes Wright from that group. Here's a hint: pretend Barbara Walters is saying his name and you'll get a better idea for why MLB is annoiting the golden boy with such great hype.

Ok...The Detroit/Yanks game is underway. Joe Morgan is in the booth and once again he's challenging his viewers to go three hours without shooting their television. It's only the bottom of the first, and he's already mentioned his disdain for statistics, said that Derek Jeter "plays to win the game" (as opposed to what exactly?), and rambled on after every pitch repeating the same points over and over and over again. Chances of survival for the Sony are looking slim.

(Last minute update: ARod came up to the plate in the 1st w/ the bases loaded and two outs. Verlander strikes him out on 3 pitches with two 101 mph fastballs followed by a beautiful curveball. It's like the old saying goes- Great pitching will always beat great hitting that has a reputation for repeatedly choking in crunchtime.)


At Thu Oct 05, 08:56:00 PM PDT , Anonymous The Big Picture said...

does home-field get you anything these days?

both Minnesota and SD just blew that.

At Fri Oct 06, 07:27:00 AM PDT , Anonymous WBRS Sports Blog said...

Bringing in Penny in relief? Why.

At Fri Oct 06, 10:33:00 AM PDT , Anonymous insomniac said...

Home-field doesn't do much for you if you can't score any runs.

And WBRS, I have no answer to your question other than to say that Grady Little does a lot of things that makes me question, "why?".

At Fri Oct 06, 12:29:00 PM PDT , Anonymous jetsgrumberl said...

the releiver in the 8th inning hit 103, according to the espn crew. i have never seen or heard of anyone actually going over 103 on radar gun. you?

At Fri Oct 06, 01:19:00 PM PDT , Anonymous insomniac said...

I think ESPN was using the same radar gun that the California Highway Patrol used when they clocked me going 95 from LA to San Diego. I know I wasn't going more than 90!


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