And That Happened

Twins 8, Tigers 3: You say the Tigers all but put it away yesterday? Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that the Twins, here, were only MOSTLY dead. There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive.

Nationals 2, Braves 1: Of course with all dead, well, with all dead there’s usually only one thing you can do. And now that the Rockies have clinched the Wild Card, we’re simply going through the Braves’ clothes looking for loose change. Tommy Hanson is some loose change. He didn’t win, but seven innings of one-run, nine strikeout ball probably clinched the Rookie of the Year award. More generally speaking, I’m proud of my team for not mailing in the last month of the season like so many of us out here in Braves Land thought they would. Last winter I said this team was really shooting for 2010. Based on how 2009 is ending, 2010 looks pretty good right now.

Rockies 9, Brewers 2: Congratulations Colorado. After the horrendous start to the season and the canning of Clint Hurdle, I don’t think anyone gave them a snowball’s chance, but here they are with the wild card. Well, for now anyway. If they sweep the flaccid Dodgers this weekend, they win the west. If you’re Colorado, do you try to make that happen, or do you try to rest regulars over the weekend and hope to get back at the Dodgers in the NLCS?

Cardinals 13, Reds 0: Somebody obviously rubbed Chris Carpenter’s balls down properly! Five innings, zero runs, a grand slam and a two run double. In an effort to extend his campaign of accusation and gamesmanship, however, La Russa protested the outcome of the game. Always keep ‘em guessing. That’s Tony’s motto.

Red Sox 3, Indians 0: If I were Eric Wedge I’d play this garbage 100% straight. Hold a team meeting before tonight’s game. Give serious sounding quotes to the media suggesting that I was still passionately interested in the development of this team. Play it up so much that someone would feel obligated to subtly remind me that I was fired already. As for Boston, it had to be nice to see such a strong start from Lester after last week’s comebacker. The next time we’ll see him is Game 1 against the Angels.

Astros 5, Phillies 3: Cliff Lee was shaky last night. And down the stretch in general, going 2-4 with a 6.13 ERA in his past seven starts. I guess he’s the Game 1 starter, though who the start will come against is still to be decided.

Orioles 3, Rays 2: “From the tracks on his arms, large caliber wound, proximity to a heroin market… I’d say it was a heated dispute about the symbolism of red and blue in 18th-century French romantic poetry.” Yeah, I know they won. They still get a H:LOTS quote.

Rangers 11, Angels 3: After questions swirled regarding Kevin Millwood’s health and whether the Rangers should allow his option to vest, he comes out and wins his last three starts. This one was a ten strikeout, 122-pitch complete game, and as the Rangers enter the offseason, the question of who the veteran anchor of the rotation is going to be has suddenly disappeared. As for the Angels, this was merely a tuneup. John Lackey only threw 40 pitches, and he’ll start Game 1 against the Red Sox.

Mariners 4, Athletics 2: A two-run single for Mike Sweeney in the fifth puts Seattle over the top. Given that he’s at the end of a one-year contract, it could be Sweeney’s last moment of glory in the big leagues.

Giants 7, Diamondbacks 3: A day of curtain calls. Rich Aurilia played in what is almost certainly his last home game for the Giants and Randy Johnson pitched the ninth inning. I suppose, theoretically, he can pitch over the weekend in San Diego, but his presence on the active roster is less about helping the team right now than it is about going out with his boots on as opposed to the DL. If I’m Bruce Bochy I let the Big Unit finish his career high-fiving his catcher and teammates.

Pirates vs. Cubs: Postponed: It’s harder to lose 100 games if you only play 161!

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  1. Chris H. said...

    Believe it or not, the book is even better than the movie.

    Also, I got my daughter a great t-shirt: it’s black, with a red “Hello, my name is” tag, and in the white space of the tag it says, “Inigio Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!”

    Sorry, I’m a Cub fan and as such have nothing baseball-related to discuss.

  2. Jack Marshall said...

    I was hoping to see Francona start another line-up of scrubs just to stick it to the whiners in Boston, who were burning up the net and the airwaves yesterday complaining about the previous night’s fiasco. I remember well, in the days before 1967, how every home game a fan attended in Fenway after around September 15 was liable to have Bill Spanswick pitching, Don Gile at first base,Jim Gosger or someone filling in for Yaz, and a guy with a paper bag over his head at short. And it was fun: the kids and scrubs played hard, if not well, and sometimes you’d catch a bit of hope: gee, that Morehead kid looks great! So Francona has been using games to solve problems (get Dice-K on track; find a reserve infielder with Green hurt; make sure all the starters can work without Varitek),answer questions(Is Gathright, Anderson or Reddick the 5th outfielder? Can DelCarmen find his lost stuff in time for the playoffs? [NO]), and, especially, avoid avoid injuries. Imagine the heat Tito would take if Ellsbury or Pedroia or Bay got knocked out of the post-season trying to win a meaningless game against the Jays? And what better game to punt than one with Tim Wakefield doing a Monty Stratton impression and Halliday pitching, who could easily put some of the regulars into slumps.

    But here are the Boston fans, bitching that they “didn’t get their money’s worth” and that they, rather than Epstein and Tito, are right that losing a bunch of late September games means they’re doomed against the Angels. They’ll be back in force if the Sox lose, but if the team does well, you might see more managers adopt Tito’s so-called “rope-a-dope” pre-playoff ways.

  3. MooseinOhio said...

    I wonder if the conversation between Shapiro and Wedge went something like this-

    Shapiro: You seem a decent fellow. I hate to fire you.
    Wedge: You seem a decent fellow. I hate to be fired.

  4. tadthebad said...

    Jack, the Fenway patrons from a couple nights ago have a right to be upset.  But it’s just one of those things, and not something Francona or Epstein should be blasted for.

  5. Matt Dana said... is stealing my blog’s content, as well as that of many other blogs. I’m spreading the word to all the sites they’re stealing from on a regular basis.

    They stole this post verbatim. Their copy, including an by-line which says “by RotoInfo” is here:

    If you want to help me bring these SOBs down, contact their hosting provider:

    Also see Google’s resource on dealing with infringement of your copyrighted works:

  6. MooseinOhio said...

    Jack – I’m sure any choice Francona made would be criticized as there is a very vocal base of fans in all sports, though I think some of the worst follow the Red Sox and always see the glass as half empty.  I suspect that Gerry Callahan is one of the folks blasting Francona as he just seems to be happiest when complaining about things. 

    Personally I appreciate not feeling the need to watch the team this last week as I will certainly be following every playoff game surviving on mass amounts of coffee after late games in Anaheim.  Had I had tickets to a game in Fenway would I want to see the starter – maybe.  But at the same time, the vast majority of teams play meaningless games in the September and field teams with minor league call-up auditioning for the next season. 

    Instead of celebrating making the playoffs again, the ‘spoiled by success’ and ‘I’m entitled’ fan base prefer to whine and complain about not getting then monies worth.  You had a whole season of games that mattered and will be watching you team in the playoffs – games that really matter.  For those fans who just cannot appreciate what you have I’ll use a line from Craig the other day – STFU.

  7. Jack Marshall said...

    Tad, I don’t see it. It was a memorable game, a unique game. They saw a probable Hall of Fame pitcher at his best. They saw a courageous outing by Tim Wakefield, and maybe, though I doubt it very much, his last game in a significant Boston career. They got to see Dusty Brown pitch, and Rocco Baldelli play third base. It may end up being an important game in setting up the team for the play-offs. For any real baseball fan, that game was more interesting and important than any number of 9-4 Red Sox wins in June. The fans have a right to bitch, but the bitching doesn’t reflect well on them.

  8. Daniel said...

    When asked why it took them so long to get back in the race, Mauer replied, “You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.”

  9. Daniel said...

    Jack & Moose – The Angels have been playing their scrubs mostly for the last 3 days against the Rangers, who are just as good a team as the Blue Jays.  No one’s been whining about getting their money’s worth.  All the fans, especially those without playoff tickets, are just happy to get to see their team one more time.

    As a fan, I would have been a little upset to see the regular starting lineup in there every game, knowing Torii and Vlad are banged up, and Figgins and Abreu are pretty burned out.  Get those guys out of there!  Who cares if they lose a meaningless 11 – 3 game versus Texas?

  10. The Rabbit said...

    Once again, I must tell all of you how much I enjoy and appreciate Shysterball. 
    I live in the part of the US where introductions are: “I’m Larry. This is my brother Darryl and this is my other brother Darryl.”  If I ever said, “There’s a R.O.U.S. on my deck”, they’d think it was something I brought with me from the East Coast.
    Except for those from the Blue Network who manage to sneak past the gatekeeper, this could be the most intelligent site on the entire freakin’ net.
    I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to do for daily entertainment once baseball season is over.

  11. Jack Marshall said...

    Daniel and Moose: That settles it. If Scoscia, the best all-around manager in captivity, endorses the tactic, then I know it’s right.

  12. tadthebad said...

    Jack – please enlighten me more as apparently I’m not a real baseball fan.  Real baseball fans enjoy 12-0 blowouts?  Really?  I think you’re reaching there.

    If that was a unique game, then so are Spring Training games.  Halladay against a AAA lineup, that does it for you?  If that was the one game you went to all year, and you had to pay regular Fenway prices for that exhibition, you have a right to be a little perturbed.  Not necessarily at anyone in particular, but perturbed at the vast disparity between what you paid and what you were given.  It’s great that the Red Sox are going to the postseason.  Now tell me what that has to do with being upset about paying full prices for that “performance”.  However, those patrons did get to see a catcher pitch and an outfielder play infield – that must have been neat.

    If only we all could be as courageous as poor Tim Wakefield, the world would be a better place.  Preach on, Jack!

  13. Jack Marshall said...

    Oh, bullhockey. It wasn’t a AAA line-up. It was a pretty typical end-of-year line-up of reserves. Gathright, Lowrie, Baldelli, Kotchman, Anderson, Reddick and Woodward could each be on the play-off roster. And there is no guarantee that the regulars would have done any better. Would it have been a swindle if the replacement Sox had won? If Halliday had thrown a no-hitter? Would the game have been more enjoyable if the regulars had lost 12-0? If the regulars were pulled after 3 or 5 innings? (Wow, I got to see Jason Bay ground out and pop up…my life is complete!) Was the team appreciable worse than the line-ups the Mets, or the Royals or other teams have played much of the season?

    There is a lot to watch, appreciate and remember at the lousiest baseball game…yes, even spring training games. If you have to get a W or a star fix to feel you got “your money’s worth,” well, that’s sad.

  14. APBA Guy said...

    Nothing I like more than a long thread devoted to Boston (or New York).

    At least Scoscia was mentioned positively, because what he did with his starting pitching this year was incredible. Remember April? Lackey injured, Escobar injured, Ervin Santana injured, then the Adenhart tragedy, and still, the starting pitching and team W-L did not disintegrate. Even though they had a losing record they were only 3.5 out April 30, and in a position to improve markedly as the regulars returned.

    Still, I expect Boston to beat them 3-1 in the ALDS.

    You may now resume the East Coast thread.

  15. MJ said...

    were only MOSTLY dead. There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive.

    Inigo Montoya: Let me ‘splain.
    Inigo Montoya: No, there is too much. Let me sum up…

    Great movie

  16. Rob Moore said...

    Or as happens every time I play a certain manager in my APBA league and bring Miguel Montero up to bat:

    “My name is Miguel Montero.  You keeeled my father.  Prepare to die.”

  17. Jack Marshall said...

    I completely understand,and never said I didn’t. I just don’t think true fans and serious fans, following a team and a season rather than a player or one game, would or should be upset or annoyed. I’m sure there are some fans that care more about who played in the one game they paid to see than whether the Red Sox win a championship. I don’t care what they think, frankly. Meanwhile, in the first game after that one, with the regulars playing, Mike Lowell was injured. In the next, Alex Gonzalez was injured, maybe seriously, and Rocco Baldelli. The 12-0 blow-out, from a Red Sox fan perspective, was a better game than either.

  18. tadthebad said...

    If stars or regulars aren’t important, then why are they charging people to watch in the first place?  There are plenty of amateur leagues to go to if all you’re concerned with is baseball and not the quality of baseball.  And I wonder how Mets or Royal ticket prices compare to those at Fenway.  You pay for tickets expecting the regular lineup and you’re presented with one of lesser quality, you are allowed to be disappointed, but hey that’s just me.  We’re not talking game results here – nice straw man.

    I didn’t go the game, but it strikes me that if you can’t understand the sentiment of someone whose only MLB game this season was that one, that is sad too.

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