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October Baseball ’09

October 21, 2009

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If you’re a baseball fan you’ve got to be pretty excited about the post season games so far. The AL central coming down to a single game, the NL wild card race between the Rockies and the Braves, and many many close games in both league divisions. It’s certainly gotten a little ugly the last few games, but overall I’d say this has been an excellent post-season. Granted I’m a Yankees fan, so my opinion is a little biased due to a recent string of victories, but regardless I think it’s been s great baseball season. I just wanted to touch on a few hot points this post-season.

  • A-Rod’s Renaissance- I’m loving it. He’s on fire right now, and has completely shed off the post-season ghosts that have been haunting him over the last few years. I’m not sure if it’s because of the rest he’s during the season, the fact he has stopped pretending to be something he’s not (i.e. when he admitted using steroids to the media early this season), or if it’s because he’s dating Kate Hudson. But either way I’m loving the way he’s playing right now. He looks confident, focused, and like he’s actually having fun. I thought it was kind of lame he ran through a stop sign at third base during game 2 But hey, at least he rail-roaded the catcher instead of trying to swat the ball out of his hand (a la Arroyo during the 2004 ALCS). Go Oct-Rod!
  • Girardi’s Over managing- I’m with most people, and I think he’s been over-managing this team. I think he should have left Gardner in as a defensive move in Game 3 instead of Hairston Jr. (maybe he could have caught that ball and prevented that Mathis walk-off RBI). I think he’s not leaving his pitchers in long enough, and I think he unwisely uses his bench at times. But the truth of the matter is as long as he wins I don’t care. I’m sure he has some idea of what he’s doing. As an ex-catcher I’m sure he is just resting his bull pen’s arms. And I love his aggressive use of his bench, but at times it feels like he’s just trying to give everyone some playing time as opposed to winning the game. But the truth is he’s ahead 3-1 right now, so whatever he’s doing- it’s working. Yankees fans know baseball, and can critique his moves, but the truth is he’s managing a results based team. If they win no one will care how he has been playing roulette with the bull pen.
  • Rivera’s Spit Ball– This YouTube video popped up after game 3 by some Angel’s fans on a blog. The video shows Rivera spitting in the direction of the baseball in his hand and they immediately blame him for using spit balls. Really? The entire world went in arms about a tiny smudge of black stuff on Kenny Rogers hat and you think Rivera would get away doctoring a ball by spitting a gigantic loogey onto the ball? Get real. If anything slightly funny had happened an umpire, a bench coach, a player, someone would have said something. And even if he did use spit balls his entire career do you really think he would be using the “spit-from-three-feet-away” method? I’d imagine a good cheater would have learned to be a bit more inconspicuous. He’s just a phenom. The most consistently dominant closer of our life-time (most likely)- deal with it.
  • Awful Umping- I’ve seen some awful calls the last few days, last night especially. I think they should replace Umpire Tim McClelland. In case you missed it he made two awful calls at third base last night. The first call I didn’t care about. He claimed Nick Swisher tagged up too soon on a pop fly. In my opinion he should have been out anyways. The play before he was caught stealing at second and stayed on due to another bad call. But missing that double-tag at third base later in the game was outrageous. It happened  right in front of him! I know it’s a tough job, and they’re doing the best they can. But if you can’t make a good call someone out there somebody else can. I also thought it was some poor base running on Cano, he should have just tagged up and let Posada get the out, like most every other MLB player would have.
  • C.C.’s Dominance- I don’t have much to say here, just that he’s looking awesome. Incredible stuff, great composure, and great stamina.
  • Manny Being Manny- I’m a Manny fan, but these recent events are beginning to be ridiculous. The man went inside to shower when he was pulled out for a defensive substitution instead of cheering for his team one more inning. I think any athlete at any level should stand by his team until the game is over. Anything else is unacceptable. You’re being a poor team mate and a poor role-model as a veteran player. I think the Dodgers have the team to beat the Phillies, but not without Manny’s bat. He, more than anyone else on that team, needs to step it up. I’m still hoping for a Dodgers v. Yankees World Series, so I’m hoping Manny starts to get his act together and looks like the star slugger he can be.

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