Tuesday, October 28, 2014
FYI: Nick was an editor at SABR back in the day.
So said Keith Olbermann. He too has taken to calling the World Series, disparagingly, “the MLB Finals.” Hard left in his politics, the ESPN2 commentator is, mirabile dictu, a hardcore traditionalist in matters baseball. I just came across this video from last Tuesday:
Friday, October 17, 2014
Whose father this year is the district attorney? Is this our country?
If you take this pill, there is a gorgeous woman on a beach in front of a sailboat and three random flags (quidditch? idk) just begging to have sex with you. She can wait. She can wait all year. She doesn’t even know how to sail, so she’s hanging out indefinitely. Just get ... that ... taken care of.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
There’s no moping in October. Say “wait ’til next year,” pick a team to root for, join the fun and, above all, don’t say, “It’s not fair.” Baseball has been giving out rings since 1903 based on head-to-head series. The autumn game is every bit as central to the sport as the summer game. But it sure is different….
There’s a tendency for the sport’s best regular season teams — and their fans (and media) — to moan about insufficient reward for six months of superior work. There’s muttering about flukes. For example, the Royals and Cardinals hit the fewest homers of any teams this season.
But no rule says the ability to play under incredible do-it-now pressure is an inferior standard to do-it-every-day-for-six-months. Nothing says postseason baseball with more off days and the option to use your best pitchers in a much higher percentage of your team’s innings is an inferior form of baseball to a long season in which nondescript starters and no-name relievers might work 700 innings.
To be champions, you have to master both forms of the game….
Monday, October 13, 2014
“The goal each and every season,” MLB spokesman Mike Teevan told me via email, “is to have the most deserving Umpires working Postseason games.”
Posted: October 13, 2014 at 11:46 PM | 8 comment(s)
country joe west
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Missed (understandably, I think).that this has been posted. It also seems to have all sorts of audio issues, including eventually becoming totally unsynced. I don’t think even Rany and Joe talk over each other that much. Anyway.
- Unsurprisingly, the two discuss Rany’s team, the Royals. They go over the strange set of circumstances—expanded playoffs, exceptional parity, and second-half swoons—that helped the Royals advance to the postseason with 89 wins. They move on to the squad itself, and its unusual strengths of low-strikeout hitters and a superb defensive outfield.
- Rany describes what it was like to be at the game (at Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field) where the Royals clinched the postseason.
- They discuss Ned Yost’s managerial acumen. Rany admits that Yost is a poor tactical manager, and has failed to develop the Royals’ vaunted minor league hitters, but also cites the dismissal of hitting coach Kevin Seitzer as a factor in the latter. Rany thinks that, even despite his tactical mistakes, Yost deserves some credit for the superlative performances of his pitchers. Rany: “Ned Yost clearly, in my mind, has a positive impact on the clubhouse stuff that you and I are in no position to quantify, and may not exist.” Joe is not a Yost fan. He thinks Ron Washington illustrates that we might mistake managing a specific clubhouse well for a more general “good clubhouse guy” skill.
- One manager whom they do both like is Buck Showalter; they express their admiration for winning 96 games with the Orioles’ roster. They also praise Joe Girardi.
- Joe doesn’t think that the Royals’ level of success justifies the high price paid for James Shields. Rany admits that he was previously vocally against the trade and is afraid of being seen as stubborn at this point if he sticks to that. But he praises Shields’ pitching so far, and believes that the Royals’ postseason performance this year also factors into the calculus.
- They do a little playoff discussion and prediction. Both like Kansas City over Los Angeles, and Washington over the wild card. Rany likes Baltimore over Detroit, Dodgers over Cardinals; Joe is opposite.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
I think of a time when a genial man named Herk Robinson, as general manager, wanted to hire an artist to paint the Royals players in action in order to help the scouts. When told that the scouts already had something called video, which rather precisely transferred reality to a television screen, Robinson said yes, but art, true art, can transcend reality…
The drought wasn’t the thing. Yes, it had been 29 years since the Royals last reached the postseason — and baseball has completely turned upside down in those 29 years. The game has made the divisions smaller, added wildcards, rearranged the schedule, made it all but impossible for a team to NOT go to the postseason at least every now and again. The Royals would not go. But the drought wasn’t the thing — it was the hopelessness surrounding the drought. The Royals did not come close to the postseason. The Royals did things so mind boggling that the postseason seemed as far away as flying cars and trips to another galaxy…
I think of a Royals player falling off first base like a cut down tree, and I think of another climbing the centerfield wall only to see the ball bounce off the warning track in front of him, and I think of two Royals players jogging to the dugout, each thinking the other would catch the ball which landed softly and happily in the grassy area they had left behind. I think of a player not wearing sunglasses, losing a ball in the sun and having it hit him in the face — he wore sunglasses on the plane right home to cover the shiner. I think of a pitcher so frustrated that he complained to the press that he can’t even get no-decisions.
The Royals, those Royals, are going to the playoffs.
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