Sunday, October 18, 2009

Game 2 Laundry Lists

Where should I start? My problems with Fox's coverage, the Angels, the Yankees, the fans, McCarver.... I'll just throw stuff out there in whatever order:

When a Yankee pitcher has two strikes, instead of Fox showing close-ups of Yankee fans clapping, they should just cut every time to the gigantic scoreboard saying "2 Strikes" and showing two big cartoon hands clapping together. (Look closely--sometimes you can see it on wide shots.) Mike Lupica says they're the greatest fans in the world--more like an audience reacting to an applause sign. I am completely serious, though--why wouldn't Fox want to let the home viewers know that in Yankee Stadium, you're not seeing a natural reaction, but a scoreboard telling people what to do? Whereas in Fenway, every single time the fans cheer during the game in any way, it's completely natural and was done without a cue. If you're from Seattle and have never been to the east coast and you think I'm making this up, please come visit both venues.

And by the way, is Lupica serious with that article? I thought I knew him better than that. I finished it and I said, Ha, good one, Mike! Either that or someone got on to his computer while he was at lunch and whipped up a completely thoughtless article with a premise based on nothing and with no literary value and signed his name to it.

Another guy who couldn't have been serious: that second base umpire. I've never seen a guy make a safe call on an out because he felt like it. What the screw? Ask yourself this. If he makes the out call, do the Yankees even argue? Does any person in the stadium, watching at home, rooting for either team or neither team, think it was anything other than a standard double play? The answer to those questions is No. Unless you're that umpire, in which case you live in opposite-land, where shit falls UP to the toilet and Ronan Tynan liberates the Jews from Auschwitz while singing very short, un-annoying songs.

Another entity that couldn't have been serious: the baseball gods on the Vlad strikeout, where he swung at a pitch ten feet outside, but the ball got away. But, as it's heading away from the catcher, it hits Vlad and goes back toward Molina. And Vlad somehow remembers how to run fast, and he still appears to be safe, but is called out! After all these times when Teixeira is off the bag, I thought maybe they'd give us a break, but no. It seems like Teixeira has a magic, invisible tether--he streeetches, and his foot leaves the bag, but clearly the special foot extension stays on the base! Out, every time! Only the umpire can see this foot-long invisi-toe of his. After that play I wondered if the series was some kind of practical joke.

ANd is it me, or was Torrii Hunter swinging for the fences every time? So many times he'd be up with a key runner on second, usually the go-ahead run. Just get a base hit, man! And his double play was very key, killing the rally when the Angels went up one in extras. I needed more runs there, but Torii was yet again not thinking about getting the man in from second and keeping the lineup moving. (He also should have caught a ball in center that he misplayed. Oh, and speaking of that, on a bloop to right-center late in the game, the second fucking baseman went so far out for it, he appeared to actually PASS where the ball landed before it hit the ground! He let Abreu take it, but he was nowhere near! Stick your glove up, guy! And we never got a replay because Fox had to throw it to the pre-planned Ken Rosenthal PIE REPORT. Man, this game just killed me. And Abreu--can you start walking all the time like you've done in every other game of your career up until two days ago??)

I actually almost went to bed after the mystery double play safe call. And I should have. Oh and didn't you love it when Buck said that all of us baseball fans appreciate how the shitty call didn't affect the game?? Anything like that affects the game. The pitcher has to throw more pitches, the lineup is one man farther along, etc. Instead, maybe when A-Rod hit his wall-scraping home run, he could have said how all of us baseball fans are ashamed that the guy with the key homer took steroids, along with the next game's starting pitcher! (Great job by Aybar for saying "that's fucking unbelievable" and having it picked up by Fox's microphones, though. I'm glad the nation got to hear that.)

Angels--capitalize! Come on! I had told Kim earlier that what I wanted to see was Cano's proud nonchalance cost the Yanks a game. He makes an error, they don't score. He makes ANOTHER error, again they don't score! And Jeter botches a double play ball, and they don't score. And even though Buck calls it a DP ball while it's happening, McCarver tries to come up with some crazy reason why it might not have been one. (This after he told us about a bunch of articles (blog posts? Tweets?) about how Jeter's done, and how those people are now "hiding under a rock in a cave somewhere.")

McCarver also looked at a kid in a Viking hat (not the football team, a fur hat with Viking horns) and said, Oh, Oklahoma just played Texas today. He thought it was a Texas Longhorns hat.

There was one time when Fox was doing one of their replay-a-thons, and at the last second they cut back to live, and we saw the end of a low pitch. After the next pitch, their count only showed one pitch having happened. After each pitch, I thought they'd correct it, putting the extra ball into the count, but no. Then it got to 2-2, which I was pretty sure was actually 3-2, and their count still showed 2-2. We then saw a closeup of the catcher, with the ump's hands behind him. I saw three fingers on one hand AND actually heard a voice say "3-2." Cabrera (I think it was him) struck out on the next pitch. Had it been a ball, he would have walked on what Fox's screen and announcers had told us was a 2-2 pitch. They never clarified it. I think it was the 7th-ish.

And when Mo faced Hunter, the screen went black. Such a key pitch, and I'm sitting there watching blackness, and then I hear the pitch hit the catcher's mitt and a cheer. A full pitch missed in the late-innings of an LCS. Terrible. Can anybody back me up on either of these two things? I could be wrong about that first thing.

Finally, I think I saw a picture of some Yankee with pie--winning a game on an error and getting pied--that's like playing your victory song after a loss! Oh wait....

Update: I was right about the 3-2 thing. Buck even says it's 2-2 when it's actually 3-2. Here's a screen shot of the ump showing 3-2, right behind Fox's 2-2. Last out of bottom of seventh. Terrible job:

Thanks for the critique of the ALCS, Jere. Makes me glad I'm not watching it, as I have not seen one pitch of it. I'm hoping not to see one more play by the MFY this year, but I'm doing Trivia Night tomorrow night, so I maybe forced to see some of it.

And who the hell does Lupica think he's fooling writing such drivel?
I can't fathom why you're torturing yourself by watching the MFYs; like the Q, I'm not watching a single pitch of the ALCS. Don't know why you actually expect the Angels to show up. The MFYs spent $430mm last winter to buy themselves a championship, so it shouldn't be that big a surprise to see them get it. If you want to watch postseason baseball, why not watch Pedro in Manny in the NLCS.

I will say, if the Phils win the NL pennant and Pedro is scheduled to pitch one of the games in the Bronx, I may just have to find my way into the ballpark. Hey, I brought him luck when I showed up at his Wrigley return...

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Location: Rhode Island, United States