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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THE QUIET BEFORE THE STORM?

I admit I have no patience especially when it come to the Mets and the way they go about their business both on and off the field, but for some reason so far this off season I’m content with sitting back and waiting for Omar Minaya to make his move because from the look of the off season landscape no one else is jumping in either. Of course the Highlanders have to make their splash with the Nick Swisher deal and looking to pay CC Sabthia by the pound, by the way I’ll take off me “Highlander Hater” hat for a moment to say if I were a fan of the team from the South Bronx I’d be screaming for them to make signing Leo Mazzone to a big free agent contract and put him in charge as an origination Pitching Czar. Then Baby Boss Hal should tell Billy Connors he has till the count of ten to clean out his office in Tampa and hit the road. But I’m not a Highlander fan (Thank God!) and I have enough to do here sticking my nose in the Mets business.

 

I highly recommend you listen to Mike Silvas’a NY Baseball Digest podcast from last night as he had Ted Berg of SNY and Howard Megdal of the NY Observer along with Phil Alder of WCBS88 in what was an in depth and informative look at the needs of the Mets and Highlanders. Definitely a must listen.

 

I can’t imagine the Mets will let either Fransisco Rodriguez or Brain Fuentes get away from them in a bidding war with the Brewers or Rangers. From all reports it looks like K-Rod is the pitcher of choice to close games for the Mets but unlike the Highlanders and their bid for Sabathia, Omar is playing this very close to the vest waiting to see if there is any competition for Rodriguez’ services. It’s intriguing watching this first month of the off season as clubs are being so cautious on making bids or dealing I don’t know if it has as much to do with the current economic problems or if it’s parity that has most teams thinking they have a Tampa Bay shot in hell of reaching the World Series that they would rather go young and cheap to win?

 

I listened to half of Chinese Democracy this morning while walking to work and so far I like it. It’s not 14 years in the making masterpiece of rock music but it’s very good.

 

I’m sure Diane Sawyer is adding her Ashley Dupree interview to her scrap book of great interviews. “Here I am interviewing President Bush, and here I am with Nelson Mandela, and here I am with the young lady who is famous for banging the Governor of New York”.

 

One of the best things going for the Mets and Highlanders is that football frenzy has taken over NYC as Giants and Jets fans have visions of a Super Bowl match up in Tampa this February. I’m not ready to take a seat on that bandwagon just yet but I’ll throw this out there. The MVP of the NFL this season will be a NY quarterback.

 

If Charlie Weiss were a man of honor, he would place his resignation on the desk of ND president Rev John Jenkins and have him donate his remaining salary to Catholic Charities. You can not lose to Syracuse at home with a lame duck coach and expect to keep your job.

 

I’m very disappointed in Paulie Malignaggi as he didn’t put up too much of a fight losing to Ricky Hatton but what has me crazy is I can’t get that song out of my head that the band who follows Hatton to all his fights played Saturday night to the tune of Winter Wonderland:

 

“Walkin’ along

Singin’ a song

Walkin’in a Hatton wonderland”

 

The New York Rangers better come out tonight against the Coyotes like they have bottle rockets up their ass. With Scott Gomez back in the lineup that helps immensely but the defense especially Dimitri Kalinin who I am really starting to dislike a lot,  better protect his zone and man up. Can someone contact the Man Behind the Curtin (Slats Sather) and tell him time tomake a move? 

 

 

 

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