Baseball Fever: Catch It!

Putting my Mets fandom on the side for the moment (although I am wearing my Mets cap & sweatshirt today) yesterday was a baseball fans paradise. Four games, four series, some great games, one not so great game but even a bad baseball game is better than no baseball games, am I right?

Some observations:

The Strasburg Shutdown will haunt Mike Rizzo all winter if the Nationals do not advance at least to the NLCS. How much do the Nationals miss their ace since both Jordan Zimmerman and Edward Jackson have not come up big in games 2 and 3? Leo Mazzone didn’t hold back in his criticism of the Nationals not just shutting down Strasburg but the way they did it with so much pomp and circumstance. I wonder if Rizzo when staring into his morning oatmeal regrets how he and the organization went about handling Strasburg. Maybe a skipped start or reassignment to the bullpen was the better move and maybe Rizzo is finally coming to the realization that the postseason is a privilege not a birth right unless of course you were born in the South Bronx.

I have made it known here that I am a big Tim Lincecum fan and I’ve been as stumped as everyone why The Freak lost his mojo this season. As much as deep down Lincecum was seething over being demoted to bullpen duty, he didn’t sulk, didn’t throw a tantrum and said all the right things but make no mistake when you are a two time Cy Young Award winner and a wear a World Series ring, you have that certain something that separates also ran’s from champions . Lincecum stepped up like a champ yesterday as a Bruce Bochy’s stomach was doing flips every time Barry Zito delivered a pitch until he couldn’t take it anymore and lifted the sorry lefty. After great relief work by George Kontos and Jose Mijares it was time for The Freak to come in and step up. Not only did Lincecum step up, he dominated. That’s what winning players do.

As pissed off as I am over Raul Ibanez becoming the next fairy tale hero of Highlander lore, you can’t help but smirk a bit at the busted ass luck of the NY Highlanders. The last innings of the Highlanders-O’s game is the essence of how great a game baseball is. Joe Girardi made the biggest move of his managerial career in pulling the hitter formerly known as Alex Rodriguez in favor of Ibanez. Rodriguez made a wonderful grandstand move jumping up and down as if he was really thrilled for Ibanez. A-Rod said all the right rehearsed lines after the game talking up team before me and how he’s matured and is all about winning and a lot of other happy horse shit. There is no way in hell when Rodriguez went home last night and stared at his I AM CENTAUR mural above his bed that he didn’t shed a tear and spend a sleepless night trying to figure out where it has all gone wrong.  A-Rod is the Anti-Freak/      

I’ve loved watching the Oakland A’s games this year, especially the games at the Coliseum.  I have no answer why the A’s fans don’t come out in force all season as they do in the post season but I’ll say this, for all the fan bases involved in this post season , they are the most vocal and creative of them all. Every crowd shot you see is of fans deck out in A’s clothing, with banners and signs and beating drums and tom-toms, can you imagine trying to get a drum into Citi Field or Highlander Stadium? Imagine real live working class baseball fans left to be baseball fans? I lasted until the 7th inning on this game since it was after midnight and I had to get up at 5:15 this morning for work. Add to that I had watched baseball from 1PM that afternoon, I didn’t need to count rosin bags to fall asleep. It wasn’t until I turned on 101WINS while shaving that the great Mark Ernay relayed the news that the A’s came back from 3-1 down to win 4-3. Before leaving for work I just had to take a peek at the highlights on my At Bat app to see Coco Crisp come through with the game winning hit, the 15th time the A’s have walked off with a victory. The A’s get to live another day for a Game 5 showdown with Justin Verlander. Don’t count these A’s out as you can see from this quote from Josh Reddick, the A’s have a winning attitude:

“We’ve heard a lot of people say we’re not smart enough to know when to lose a game like most people do,” said Josh Reddick, who started the rally with a single. “We’ve been battling till the 27th out all year and we’re not going to stop now.”

WOW! Battling till the 27th out, what an outstanding concept are you listening Sandy? Terry? Anyone?

 

 

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WILD THING, YOU MAKE ME SICK!

If I’m ESPN and a producer of their BASEBALL TONIGHT show I’d be sweating a bit that after just five days MLBN’ Hot Stove Shove has become must see TV for all baseball fans. I really like Harold Reynolds and ESPN made a big mistake letting him go. What’s the problem with a little grab ass in Bristol? Hell if I worked there I’d be chasing Rachel Nichols all around the campus. HR loves baseball and he loves talking baseball and it comes through the TV in something stronger than HD, PASSION.

 

Joe Magrane has the makings of a very strong game analyst. I always felt that he and Dewayne Staats while doing Rays games very vastly underrated. Victor Rojas runs a tight desk moving the discussions from chair to chair. Trenni Kusnierck will take time for me to warm up to because my girl Hazel Mae is the total package. And then there is Mitch Williams.

 

No good Phillie-ass kissing Mitch Williams. I can see where Williams is just going to piss me off all season with his Phillies loving ways. Last night HR, Joe Magrane and Wild Thing were discussing the New Years resolutions for the NL East teams. When it got to the Mets, Wild Thing wigged out big time with the same old Cheesesteak bullshit about Jose Reyes and his antics. Give props to HR for knocking Wild Thing down a peg while defending Jose, Jose, Jose. The voice of reason was Magrane who kind of poo-pooed the antics angle for the Collapse I & II and put the blame where we have been saying it should be in the clubhouse and the veteran leadership.

 

If that wasn’t enough for a Monday bonanza, none other than Scott Boras took a trip to Secaucus to plead his case for his millionaires in waiting. HR, questioned Boras on how he could be looking for #1 starter money for Kevin Lowe when he’s not an Ace? Boras did a little dance and jive and the best he could come with is the disgrace that is Barry Zito. If that’s his defense in getting Lowe the dough he wants, then Omar has them both by the cajones.

 

I wish I could get in side the head of Lastings Milledge and rearrange some of the furniture in there and toss out the bassinette and changing table and put some big boy stuff in there. Milledge is going to be challenged by the Nationals and Elijah Dukes for the Nats centerfield job and I would guess a spot on the DC 25 man roster. If he fails he’ll either be dealt or released. I have told kids that have played for me in leagues that just when you think you’re all that, remember there are 1,000 guys out there better than you and just because you have some talent but your attitude sucks will be the difference of making a team and being cut. You have to be one outstanding ball player (Manny Ramirez) to have a piss poor attitude to make in the big leagues. I’ve never met Milledge or dealt with him but from folks I know who have told me he has been a big dick head. Time for LMillz to man up and grow up and be a big leaguer, if not the Atlantic League ain’t so bad.

 

 Joe McDonald posts some pics of the dismantling of Shea. This is like watching a family member die a slow death just put us and Shea out of our misery already.

 

From a link at the BBTF site I found Tim Marchman’ new website so to Repoz and Marchman, thank you!

 

So J.C Romero went into the local GNC bought some kind of supplement, took it and is now banned from playing for the Phillies for 50 days. According to Romero, he called the Union and told them what he was taking and they thought it was fine. He spoke with the Phillies training staff and they found nothing wrong with the supplement either. The one place Romero didn’t go for guidance was the Hot Line that is set up by MLB that is the be all end all of what’s approved and disapproved under the new and tougher baseball drug code. This is why when you have a tooth ache you don’t go to the chiropractor.   First, Mets-killer Pat Burrell goes to Tampa and now Romero in lock up maybe the Philly worm is turning?

 

Saw this on the Sox & Dawgs site. There is a pettion out there to get Ted Williams’ likeness on a postage stamp. Go there and sign it as if there ever were a real American hero it’s the Splendid Splinter and he should be honored on a stamp.

 

Don’t forget to make a not to join me and Joe McDonald on Thursday at 9PM EST for Pro Baseball Central on Blog Talk Radio.

  

 

 

 

 

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