Buster Posey is the star entertainer!

The Dancing With The Playoff Stats League Championship Series contestants had much to prove. Traditionally this is when the stars are born. The contest will take just a few ballplayers to the World Series and in the end pick an MVP World Series champion.

During the League Championship Series the pressure was on our star entertainers to step up their game. Before we look at how our contestants fared, you’ll be shocked how well the real judges from Dancing With The Stars can analyze playoff baseball! Let’s take one more look at dancing and playoff baseball mixed together.

“Dancing’s got to influence two things: It’s got to influence your brain for the technique and it’s got to affect your heart.”
—Len Goodman

That sounds like playoff baseball at its finest! So, here’s something for your brain:

So far this postseason, with the exception of Buster Posey in the NLCS, the catcher on every team advancing has out-performed the catcher of the opposing team. In many cases, the catchers who advanced to the next series also had a higher OBP than their 2010 regular season statistics.

Of course, this is just one of many key factors in going deep into the postseason. One could assume that, to do well, many position players are going to have to hit as well (or better than) their regular season stats, but almost every team advancing with its catcher having a better series over the opponent is an intriguing dance move.

NLDS
PHL/CIN
Ramon Hernandez NLDS .143/.143/.286 regular season .297/.364/.428
Carlos Ruiz NLDS .250/.500/.375 regular season .302/.400/.447

SFG/ATL
Brian McCann NLDS .429/ .438 /.714 regular season 269 /.375/ .453
Buster Posey NLDS .375/.444/.438 regular season .305 /.357 /.505

NLCS
SFG/PHL
Carlos Ruiz NLCS .167/.318/.333 regular season .302/.400/.447
Buster Posey NLCS .217/.308/.304 regular Season .305/.357/.505

ALDS
NYY/MIN
Joe Mauer ALDS .250/.308/.250 regular season .327/.402/.469
Jorge Posada ALDS .273/.333/.273 regular season .248/.357/.454

TEX/TBR
John Jaso ALDS .300/.364/.300 regular season263/.372/.378
Kelly Shoppach ALDS 000/.100/.000 regular season .196/.308/.342
Bengie Molina ALDS .357/.357/.571 regular season (combined).249/.297/.326

ALCS TEX/NYY
Jorge Posada ALCS .263/.300/.368 regular season .248/.357/.454
Bengie Molina ALCS .313/.353 /.563 regular season (combined).249/.297/.326

And some postseason heart:
How can baseball fans’ hearts be moved in the 2010 Playoffs when they’ve spent an entire season watching unbelievable pitching performances, sensational rookie debuts and some great pennant races? The players must dance the unexpected, the never before achieved, and the extraordinary accomplishments. Josh Hamilton, in his ALCS post game interview, said, “I’m so excited for this team, for this city. It’s something that’s never happened here before. To be part of something like that means the world… Baseball’s a kid’s game. Yeah, we’re all grown-ups and have children, a lot of us, but at the same time we have to remember where it all started and that’s by having fun.” Mix the fun, the splendid performances with some nail biting moments, and we have a postseason that will affect the heart.

Here’s some analysis from the real Dancing With The Stars judges:

Buster Posey – “I think I officially feel in love!”
—Carrie Ann Inaba
“The fact that he is so young he has the advantage of all the untapped energy, but the lack of experience means he doesn’t know quite how to control it in different situations. Of all the dances, my favorite was the cha cha cha. That dance really suits his personality—cheeky, funny and lots of energy. It just is his dance.”
—Bruno Tonioli
“Every dance has a character and [Posey] comes out and embraces that character. Handsome devil!”
—Len Goodman

Tim Lincecum – “He has been at the top of the leader board and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t win this competition.”
—Len Goodman

Josh Hamilton – “The magic is back! I like the way you’re bewitched! (ALDS.111/.200/.111 vs. ALCS.350/.536/1.000) You were in sparkling form! You managed to get all the brilliant!”
—Bruno Tonioli

Mark Teixeira – “You forgot a lot of the moves (ALCS 000/.176/.000).”
—Carrie Ann Inaba

Cliff Lee – “He is not just eye candy, this guy can dance!
—Len Goodman

Each week The Hardball Times judges get to pick two ballplayers from the original group to vote off the group. Remember, at the end of the World Series the judges will have picked one World Series MVP champion. This week the judges’ excruciating decision of getting rid of a ballplayer is based on the contestants’ performance during the League Championship Series. Some comments from the judges on how they voted:

Jeff Gross
Cano and Ruiz – NLCS: last stop. All passengers must get off the Chooch-choo train. And did you seriously just 86 Robinson Cano?

Joe Dimino
Carlos Ruiz – Great run getting this far. You’ve over-achieved in the competition but now it’s obviously over, even if your team had advanced.

CC Sabathia – As good as you were last year, this year you just didn’t perform. Hopefully you are back here next year.

Josh Hamilton – Wow. Talk about stepping up when spotlight is on you. Very impressive.

Tim Lincecum – Expecting big things this week.

Cliff Lee – I think it’s time we bring you back into this competition. Not sure how we missed you the first time around.

Neftali Feliz – Have you even pitched with less than a five-run lead or deficit?

Buster Posey – some key hits, but only 5-for-23 in the series. Need to step up, but I could see that you may be wearing down; you are used to the season being over a month and a half ago.

Anna McDonald
Robinson Cano – Your .348 BA led your team, and it’s really not your fault none of your dance partners were on base when your bat got hot (or, at least normal again) in the ALCS. That’s life when you’re paired with dance partners who forget how to dance (Yankee .201 BA in ALCS).

CC Sabathia – You didn’t have the dance steps this postseason like you’ve had in the past, but you hung in there and kept battling. Even still, your performance (ALCS 6.30 ERA vs. regular season 3.18 ERA) caused us all to age an extra five years—this is reason enough to vote you off. See you next year.

Craig Sager is bringing the Who’s In and Who’s Out chart to you for the final time. Once again, Mr. Sager gets to choose some extra contestants to vote off just because he actually had some fine attire on during the ALCS.image

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