Saturday, May 23, 2009


I watched the ninth inning of Game Five of the '86 ALCS with the eight-month old this afternoon and I felt a little guilty knowing how things turned out for Donnie Moore. The game also reminded how insufferable Red Sox fans are. They subjected the world to years of the "no one has suffered like we have" schtick based on the Bill Buckner game, but they were playing with house money after the ALCS. They escaped a situation in which they were down 3-1 in the series and 5-2 in the ninth inning of Game Five. After surviving that, they had a lotta' nerve to say that they were deprived of a World Series title. They were the equivalent of the guy who wins a pile of money after being dealt a straight flush and then complains that he pissed the winnings away.

I will admit, though, that between an enjoyable blast from the past on the MLB Network, an interesting Phillies-Yankees game today, and the outstanding Halladay-Kawakami (?!?) duel last night, I'm enjoying baseball right now. Wednesday will put it in its place.

Watching the game last night made me think that these Braves are a little like the '93 Braves before the McGriff trade. The pitching is good, but it is a real ordeal trying to push runs across. I don't see a McGriff savior this year because of the whiplash from the Teixeira debacle.

I have a feature-length "why I love LeBron" post in my head right now. I am most definitely not a starf***er of an NBa fan, as I have disliked most major stars of the past 25 years with the exceptions of Duncan and Shaq. I rooted against Bird, Magic, Jordan, and Kobe. I tend to rebel against the guys who are held up as the ideal, but I really like LeBron. Fundamentally, it's because he gets along with his teammates so well and has great passing skills. The Democrat in me finds him very non-elitist in the way he carries himself. I'll flush this out when I get time.

When I watched the end of the Magic-Cavs game last night, I was really happy that I kept the TV on. We all watch, in part, on the off chance that we'll see history and last night was the payoff. These Conference Finals have been great. Three really rootable teams and a foil (the Lakers).

Speaking of my political ideology infecting my rooting preferences, I have always liked Urban Meyer (December 2006 excluded for obvious reasons) because he is so good at what he does and because I love watching his offense. However, the "you're either with me or you're my enemy" has me reevaluating. I am picturing Dick Cheney and Meyer standing on the deck of a Star Destroyer watching the construction of the Death Star.

SI had a great article about how Nadal solved Federer...and then Federer beat Nadal in Spain on clay. Good timing.

Brian McCann, bunt single. What are four words I never thought I'd type in a sentence for 500, Alex.

Speaking of Jeopardy, I've used an image of "Suck it, Trebek" in at least two recent e-mails.


Steve S said...

How about, Brian McCann, leading the team in stolen bases.

During yesterday's game, Joe Simpson was talking about the McCann/Francoeur base-stealing competition. Left unsaid, unfortunately, was the gross advantage McCann has by not being an automatic out.

Michael said...

Is there one team in baseball that is so ignorant of relevant baseball stats that it would take Francoeur off our hands?

I'm glad I didn't have time to write the "Mike Gonzalez is better than we think" blurb.

Ed said...

I imagine you could trade Francouer for David Ortiz straight up. That's pretty much your market for a .250 singles hitter who never walks.

This is shaping up to be a really frustrating year for the Braves. All the elements are there for 90 wins: Starting pitching, bullpen, bench and starting lineup around the diamond.

But then you have an outfield that consists of a left fielder who belongs on the bench, a center fielder who belongs in AAA and a right fielder - of whom I remarked to a friend with little exaggeration - is not simply the worst right fielder in the majors. If he were in AAA, he would be the worst right fielder in AAA.

Your Red Sox comments make me laugh. Take out the sour grapes. After all, nobody is making you listen to Bill Simmons' podcasts.

Do you honestly believe that a)the Red Sox "woe is me" talk derives solely from Bill Buckner? I'm pretty sure it's Buckner plus what came before it, i.e. 80 plus years of close-but-no-cigar stomach-churning anomalies that include Bucky Dent, Denny Galehouse and a championship-winning run scoring from first on a single.

And b)that only evil big-market Boston (and New York) fans whine about that stuff, while the smaller, humbler fan bases of the world rationally take it in stride? I know Cardinal fans that are still bitter about that blown umpire call in '85. They don't seem to say to themselves, "Gee we got there because Ozzie Smith hit a game-winning homer. Maybe we shouldn't complain about a call when we were aided by signs and wonders to even get to that point."