Tuesday, July 14, 2009

NL Pist

The real league wins again. We haven't lost to those Fundamental Emmer Effers since I was wearing bell bottoms and leisure suits and driving my Trans Am to high school while playing Rush on the 8-track.

A few things:

Wake was screwed. We found out ahead of time he'd be "saved" for extra innings. Eat it, Maddon. This is another reason it stinks that the damn game "counts." And then he puts the best closer (Papelbon) in the seventh, and goes Nathan and Mo in the eighth and ninth. If his reasoning is to give Mo the ninth as a lifetime achievement award, why not start Wake? Or, maybe, pitch him at any point. As Brian's brother would say, Jee-sus! (But Pap technically got the W, which is kinda cool.)

Dear Fox, when the president throws out the first pitch, show where the pitch goes. I'm an armchair baseball broadcast producer, by if I'm in the truck, I'm all, "give me the camera that's showing what's going on." (Note: I guess there's a chance that people with widescreen TVs could see the catcher, but that still ignores a huge chunk of the public.)

Joe Buck, when doing your favoritism-heavy intros over the PA, you don't need to say "here we go, St. Louis," before introducing Pujols. They know.

You know who I bet gets really excited at these things? The coaches. They have to be psyched to going from coaching a good team to coaching all the best players in the game at the same time.

Well, every year I talk about the 1983 game that I watched with my dad at the Heritage Motor Inn in Old Saybrook, CT. So I'll keep the tradition going. I remember our room didn't have a TV, so we went to Cy (Si?), the owner, and asked if we could watch on his TV. We saw one of our favorites, Freddy Lynn, hit what's still the only grand slam in All-Star Game history. Do Lynn and the three guys who were on base get together for a mythical Champagne toast every year somebody doesn't hit one? Anyway, Fred felt like one of ours in '83, as he does now, so it was a really cool thing to see, and one of my favorite childhood memories.

"mythical Champagne toast" - Oh, I hope not. That would bring Freddy down to the Dolphins level.
Pedro signed with the Phillies. Really hope he has a little more gas left in the tank; I'd hate to see him get knocked around in that bandbox.

As for the ASG, it's pretty clear that Bud Selig wants to avoid the extra-innings-run-out-of-pitchers-scenario again at all costs after that tie game fiasco a few years back. Unfortunately for Wake, he was the perfect type of pitcher to keep in reserve for that situation. I still would have pitched him though...frankly I would have much preferred to see him instead of Paps in the 7th. The irony of Paps getting the W is that he would have gotten the L if this game had been played in a lot of other parks...the first two pitches he threw were likely homers elsewhere. And there was no chance at all Maddon wouldn't have Mariano close the game given that it was for the ASG saves record. If Paps wants that role in the future, he's gonna need to have a lot more 1/2/3 innings than he's put up this season.

MLB Network showed the '81 ASG this past weekend, which was lots of fun to see with the uniforms and the old Cleveland barnyard on the lake. At one point the AL had Dewey on 3rd, Fisk on 2nd, and Lynn on 1st...the only problem was that Pudge was in his Chisox pajama outfit, and Freddie in an Angel uniform. Tanks' for Nuttin, Haywood Sullivan and Jerry Kapstein.
I was happy about the limited use of sox players. Sure, it would have been nice to see the knuckleball out there, but Maddon was already on record for selecting Wake specifically for the extra-innings scenario, and I'm sure the difficulty of catching him played a factor in this as well. It's great to see our players honored with selection (and don't forget we had 6 players selected and the next highest total for any team was 4) but the team is better off in the long run when players get a breather over the break instead.

Beckett was unlikely to be used because he pitched Sunday, and the complete game pretty much clinched that one. Papelbon may be the best closer in mlb over the past 3 years, but baseball's a streaky game and the type of streak he's on right now is not the better half. I think the 7th was the right place to pitch him in this case, and as AJM alluded to, they gave the game MVP to the guy who saved Pap's rear in this outing.

Where Maddon really screwed up, in my opinion, was plugging his own guy in (Carlos Pena) when Pedroia dropped out instead the the very deserving Ian Kinsler who had led 2nd base through most of the voting process. Pena is a 1st baseman and was most likely added to beef up a pathetic Home Run Derby roster.
"I'm sure the difficulty of catching him played a factor in this as well."

I mentioned this before, but the last place the words "that's too hard for me" should come up is in the All-Star game.
ah, I do see your point, although it's well known that catching the knuckleball is a rare skill acquired with lots of practice. Bet Maddon would've used Inge to catch him, even though he was on the roster as a 3rd baseman.

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