Tuesday, October 6, 2009

24 comments Bert Blyleven Talks About Playoff Pressure By Bragging About His Accomplishments...And I Make Fun of Myself

I am all Brett Favre'd out at this point. He played great last night, congratulations to him. To the victor goes the spoils of Peter King writing non-stop about you...and then criticizing Fox for talking non-stop about Favre. Nothing like a little bit of Peter King contradicting himself to start the day.

One more thing before I get to the post for today. I have no idea how to handle this Twitter fad/phenomenon. It just seems like a lot of fun, assuming I could keep my thoughts to less than 140 characters which is a stretch for me, but I have no idea how I want to handle it. I see myself as having three options:

1. I could go on there as my real self (the horror) and update on events in my life. The problem is two fold: (a) I don't like talking about my life because I don't want anyone to know what I am doing and no one really cares what I am doing and (b) I did the whole Facebook/Myspace thing and quit because of reason (a). This probably isn't happening because as much fun as it would be to relate what is going on/said in my personal life NO ONE GIVES A CRAP, least of all me.

2. I could go on as my screen name here, bengoodfella, and not talk about my life. This would achieve the goal I have of making snarky short comments about sports and anything else I want to talk about, but I don't know if I like this idea for some reason.

3. I could also start a BotB Twitter account. This would be a great idea but I would want to put short articles of bad journalism up, but my concerns are three-fold here: (a) I love writing stuff here and I am afraid what I write there would take the place of what I write here (b) I probably don't have time to go find a bunch of links and post them. Pretty much anything I find worthwhile is put up here and (c) the last problem is I am pretty sure you can only have one person writing on Twitter so it would leave any thoughts J.S. or Fred have.

Enough rambling, but I have no idea how to do the Twitter thing to make it work, even I wanted to. I am not soliciting suggestions, just sort of brainstorming here.

It's postseason time for Major League Baseball, which means we will get articles from sportswriters complaining the games start too late (which I find to be correct) and articles about players who choke in the clutch of the playoffs (which I find to be incorrect in general). While we have those kinds of articles to dread/look forward to, we should all be happy knowing Bert Blyleven has some tips for baseball players on how to handle postseason pressure...though he spends an inordinate amount of the article bragging about his own accomplishments. Fortunately he doesn't curse at us or talk about farting during the article so we only have to deal with reading about his ego and not any words or smells that may offend our senses.

Now that the playoffs have arrived, it’s time to look at a question that is as old as the game itself: Why do some players thrive under postseason pressure, while others wilt?

(Raising hand and waving it around wildly) "Oooo, look at me! Let me answer! It's a result of small sample sizes!"

Take Alex Rodriguez for instance. His overall numbers in the playoffs aren’t bad: He has hit .279 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs in 39 games. But his time in New York, where the spotlight always shines the brightest, has not been a success. In his last four playoff series with the Yankees, Rodriguez has hit just .200 with three homers and six RBIs.

I love it when sportswriters cherry pick stats to prove a point. Blyleven puts the cut-off at the 2004 ALCS against the Red Sox for A-Rod and excludes the 2004 ALDS where A-Rod hit .421/.476/.737. Nothing like cutting off the statistics at a certain point to prove a point...even if that certain point is proven using only half of the sample size for a given year. I am sure the Yankees losses for all four playoff series Blyleven is talking about was completely A-Rod's fault. He was the only Yankee who didn't hit well in every single one of those series. I bet that is exactly how it happened.

Most importantly to Yankees fans, he hasn’t won a World Series ring.

Again, completely his fault. If he wasn't such a pussy maybe he could have pitched a few innings in the 2004 ALCS to start the game off and given the Yankees bullpen a rest. But, he is a wimp in that fashion and merely stood at third base doing nothing while the Red Sox routed the Yankees in Game 7.

I am sure the Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright, Kei Igawa and Randy Johnson trades/signings were all his idea as well. First, he can't pitch a complete game in the clutch and now he forces the Yankees to sign shitty pitchers. I think the Yankees win games in spite of A-Rod being around.

I get the impression that Rodriguez puts a tremendous amount of pressure on himself and forgets to actually enjoy the postseason.

Yeah A-Rod, quit thinking so much and learn to enjoy the postseason. You shouldn't take the amount of boos you hear when you make an out seriously, they just don't understand you are trying to have fun. Just tell the crowd you are trying to have fun and I think they will understand. That's the cure to hitting well in the playoffs have fun. What the hell would David Eckstein do? He would have a gritty good ol' time in the playoffs.

Listen, if you can't take postseason batting tips from a pitcher with a career batting line of .131/.144/.146 then you don't need to be playing baseball. Let's just say Bert Blyleven stretches a bit to know what he is talking about here.

Let's see what other tips for postseason success, other than to have fun, Blyleven has for us...

When I played, I had pretty good success in the postseason, going 5-1 with a 2.47 ERA in eight games, six of them starts. I was lucky to get my feet wet with the Twins in 1970 as a 19-year old. My experiences later helped me when in 1979 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and 1987 back with the Twins, I helped my teams win World Series championships.

Gosh, that's great Bert. I am sure your grandchildren will love to hear about this. Now on to those tips you have for pla---

I remember in 1987, the positive attitude was contagious. Everyone wanted to do their part. In the World Series that year against the St. Louis Cardinals, Frank Viola was to start Game 7, with myself in the bullpen ready to come in if needed. I joked with Frank before the game that if I had to come in, I was going to end up stealing the series-clinching win from him. Well in the second inning he gave up a couple runs and I started warming up. Frank settled down and pitched a great game, and he later said that seeing me down there kind of woke him up, and he decided he wasn’t going to let me come into the game.

Wow, not interesting...I am not even sure your grandchildren will want to hear that story. Now how do players deal with playoff pressure?

Competing in the playoffs is a time to cherish. There is pressure, of course, but I always say that pressure is nothing more than what you put on yourself.

Can you do it if you put your mind to it? You can't fear failure or else you will end up failing? If you don't believe in yourself then no one else can believe in you!

Any other cliched quotes for us at this point? I think the one good thing about Blyleven not making the Hall of Fame is it saves us from hearing a speech consisting mostly of cliches.

You think of some of the greats who never played on a championship team and it really hits home how important it is to make the most of every chance.

I am pretty sure every player is trying to make the most of every chance. Now HOW EXACTLY, other than "have fun" would you suggest doing this?

People always ask me what was my favorite moment of my career. Was it the no-hitter, or winning all those games or getting all those strikeouts?

I guess being a self congratulatory bore is something else Bert Blyleven is proud of being...because he certainly isn't apologizing for it right now.

If you were to walk into my family room, you would see a wall covered with baseballs on display.

Along with an self-autographed "I (Heart) To Fart" shirt that says, "Dear Bert, keep on farting brother. Thanks for being a fan, Bert?

But in the middle of the wall, with the lights shining down on them, are the two World Series trophies. They represent 23 years of my career.

Blyleven won two World Series trophies? I forgot how many it was because he hadn't reminded me in the last two paragraphs.

But even then, it really does not hit home until Opening Day the next year when they present you with your ring in front of the fans. That is just awesome. That’s what you play for.

"How To Deal With Playoff Pressure" by Bert Blyleven

Introduction: Bert Blyleven's accomplishments
Chapter 1: Winning a World Series Is Awesome
Chapter 2: Have Fun
Epilogue: Bert Blyleven's accomplishments in the form of a chart

-Mike Lupica think the Yankees are a "lock" to make the World Series this year.

Apparently hasn't paid attention to the fact the Yankees are 9-9 against Boston this year and 5-5 against the Angels, which are the two teams the Yankees will have an opportunity to face next if they beat the Twins/Tigers. Still, I am sure they are a lock. I can't think of another time when the Yankees choked in the playoffs over the last couple of years, other than 2004, 2006, and 2007.

Because if you can't trust how good a team looks on paper, what can you trust? If you looked at the Yankees every single year wouldn't they seem like a lock to make the World Series just based on it's roster? I am not saying they won't the World Series but let's look at the players that Lupica thinks will carry the Yankees to the World Series and how they have fared in the World Series through their career. I do realize, as I said above, the playoffs are a small sample size so these numbers could be WAY off...but before we get Lupica excited this team is different we have to heed these numbers a little bit.

Sabathia: 2-3, 7.92 ERA, 2.20 WHIP
Burnett: Zero playoff starts
Swisher: .208/.424/.292
Teixeira: .467/.550/.467

My point is that based on regular season numbers the Yankees usually look like they are going to make the World Series, which Lupica acknowledges in the article. but basically otherwise ignores. Other than Tex having one series with the Angels last year none of the guys have had great success in the postseason. I just don't understand why he thinks this team is more equipped to handle the postseason more than any other Yankees team has been over the past several years...and I would not call them a freaking "lock" to make the World Series.

-Ok, now to my bad predictions about the MLB season. I am going to list the team's record I predicted, how far off I was in my prediction and then list for a few of them comments I made about them. If I mock real sportswriters for making bad predictions, I may as well mock myself as well. I would worry about this ruining my credibility, but I don't know if I am anywhere near important enough to have any credibility.

AL East

Boston: 98-64- I think this team made some smart moves in free agency (Penny, Smoltz, Saito)

Penny and Smoltz were both cut loose. The Red Sox pretty much went belly up on these acquisitions. I still like this team to win the World Series this year.

Real record: 95-67 (3 games off)

Tampa Bay: 94-68

I would love to have them winning the division but I think 94 wins is their ceiling. So I pick their ceiling.

That's brilliant Ben, pick the highest record you think the team could get as their final record.

Real record: 84-78 (10 games off)

New York: 91-71

I don't think Sabathia is a big city pitcher and Tex is the game's best second best hitter on a team. He can't and won't carry the team with A-Rod out.

I feel vindicated, not for the Sabathia thing, but on May 8th which was the day A-Rod came back into the Yankees lineup, Tex was hitting .192/.336/.384. By the end of May with A-Rod back full time in the lineup he was hitting .281/.381/.986. Mark Teixeira is a great hitter but he can't carry a team by himself. As I always say, he is the best second best hitter in baseball.

Real record: 103-54 (12 games off)

Toronto: 79-83

Real record: 75-87 (4 games off)

Baltimore: 75-87

I have learned my lesson. That lesson is that I will not give the Baltimore Orioles credit for anything next year. This year I gave them credit as a decent fairly young team and I was wrong.

Real record: 64-98 (11 games off)

AL Central

Chicago: 91-71

Real record: 79-83 (12 games off)

The White Sox started to become buyers when they got Rios and then they became sellers when they traded Thome and Contreras. I didn't expect this bad of record for them.

I think the funniest part about the AL Central is that before the year we have no idea who would win the division and now the season is over and we still don't know because it is going to a one game playoff.

Minnesota: 90-72

I did not predict that Joe Mauer would have such a great year. Before the year I thought Mauer was on par with Brian McCann, but he is a much better player than McCann is at this time. I look forward to seeing Mauer catching in either Boston or New York in a couple of years. Maybe then he will get the credit he deserves (even after winning the MVP this year).

Real record: 86-76 (4 games off)

Detroit: 84-78

I am on record with loyal reader A.J. as saying I thought Detroit could surprise some people this year because I thought the starting pitching was going to get back on track.

Look at me, what a great prediction!

I want to take that back, though I don't think they will have the fire sale some people are predicting.

But my hedging ends up making me wrong. If only I had stuck with gut instinct. I wasn't that far off in how many games they would win though.

Real record: 86-76 (2 games off)

Cleveland: 78-84

On offense they have Martinez and Sizemore, but I still don't think they will have a lead enough in the 9th inning to make Kerry Wood worth the money he was paid.
Here's a little tip to some teams. If you are not a good team, don't go pay big money for a closer who won't get a lot of chances to close baseball games.

Real record: 65-97 (13 games off)

I really must have thought this was going to be a tight 3-4 team divisional race. Even when I said I didn't like a team I gave them a decent record.

Kansas City: 77-85

Real record: 65-97 (12 games off)

What kind of idiot predicts the Royals to almost be .500?

AL West

Los Angeles: 93-69

The Angels are pretty predictable. They win their division and then lose in the first round of the playoffs.

Real record: 97-65 (4 games off)

Oakland: 90-72

Real record: 75-87 (15 games off)

I would love to use my reasoning for thinking the A's were going to be good but I don't even think the reasoning I wrote at the time was any good.

Seattle: 83-79

Real record: 85-77 (2 games off)

Texas: 70-92

They can't outscore everyone and they currently have no pitching ready at the major league level.

Wow, the Rangers actually ended up with some pretty good pitching this year. I don't know if anyone saw this coming, but that's not an excuse for me. Still, I didn't expect them to be as good as they were.

Real record: 87-75 (17 games off)

NL East

New York: 96-66

Good starting pitching depth, including the best LH pitcher in the NL, and a great bullpen means they won't blow late leads.

Unfortunately I wasn't aware they would be missing Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and Carlos Delgado for the majority of the year. If only we could predict injuries.

Real record: 70-92 (26 games off...this is laughable. I am horrible)

Atlanta: 92-70

That being said, they need someone in the outfield to hit the ball and also need Tom Glavine to get injured so they can use the other 2 options they have that are better than he is.

The Braves made 1,356 trades in an effort to get a better outfielder and it never worked. Oh and Glavine was released making way for the two options that were better than he was, Tommy Hanson and Kris Medlen. Really, I should have nailed this prediction and I sort of kind of did.

Real record: 86-76 (6 games off)

Philadelphia: 90-72

Lidge will blow at least one game this year and they have no power from the right side in the lineup. Basically I think this year is going to go down the tubes a little bit for them.

Jayson Werth proved I was wrong about the "no power from the right side" thing, but the year did go down the tubes a little bit for the Phillies in the fact Lidge can't close games well, but they still won the division. Pretty much anytime I knock a team they tend to prove me wrong...so far I haven't been able to reverse jinx any of my teams by doing this. The second I said they had no power from the right side everyone should have gone out and drafted Jayson Werth in their fantasy leagues.

Real record: 93-69 (3 games off)

Florida: 81-81

They are a popular pick this year to come in 3rd in the division but I don't see it happening.

They came in 2nd in the division, sneaking by the Braves as they were mailing it in against the Nationals in the last series of the year.

Real record: 87-75

Washington: 69-93

I mean really? 69 wins? I am sure I could name the starting rotation at the beginning of the year, but I couldn't now.

Real record: 59-103 (10 games off)

NL Central

Chicago: 100-62

I love their starting pitching (though Dempster having the same year as last year is doubtful in my opinion), I love their bullpen and I also love the fact they added Milton Bradley in the off season. This feels like the year this team gets it done.

(nodding head sadly at how it wasn't even close to being their year) I bought on the Cubs this year and I lost. I will keep buying on the Cubs if that is what it takes to prevent them from winning a World Series and causing the H1N1 of fairweather fandom when nearly everyone in the world will become a lifelong Cubs fan. It will happen, we can only prepare the best we know how for it.

Real record: 83-78 (17 games off)

St. Louis: 85-77

This prediction is also the Cardinals ceiling.


Brilliant way again to predict a team's record for the season being the absolute highest record I could see them getting...and then they exceeded the ceiling I predicted for them. If I were a real sportswriter, I would say that I didn't know they would get Matt Holliday in a mid-season deal, but I don't think he made the difference in 6 games won.

Real record: 91-61 (6 games off)

Milwaukee: 84-78

Real record: 80-82 (4 games off)

Cincinnati: 80-82

Real record: 78-84 (2 games off)

Pittsburgh: 65-97

Real record: 62-99 (3 games off)

Other than Chicago, I did pretty good in the NL Central.

NL West

Arizona: 87-75

Webb and Haren.

Apparently I thought they were going to win 30+ games each. It's all well and good they have Brandon Webb and Dan Haren but they didn't have much behind them and somehow it seems the entire team, outside of Mark Reynolds, is actually regressing. Wasn't Arizona supposed to have a bunch of good young players that would help them start a dynasty? What happened with that? Did I just quit paying attention to them?

Real record: 70-92 (17 games off)

Los Angeles: 85-77

They had only an above average August and September with Manny Ramirez last year and this year they have less proven pitching and are planning on starting Casey Blake at 3B for a good portion of the year. I actually think 85 wins may be a stretch.

Casey Blake acquitted himself fairly well at 3B during the season and 85 wins was in no way a stretch. I would probably predict something similar again if given the chance to do it again sadly. I still think this is a semi-flawed team, which means they will probably win the World Series.

Real record: 95-67 (10 games off)

San Francisco: 78-84

Real record: 88-74 (10 games off)

Colorado: 72-90

Real record: 92-70 (20 games off)

I would have done better in this division just pulling records out of a hat. I really didn't expect the Rockies to be this good.

San Diego: 63-99

Real record: 75-87 (12 games off)

I have Boston and Los Angeles in the ALCS and Chicago and New York in the NLCS. I got 0 playoff teams right in the National League and 2 right in the American League. Not a banner year for me. I wasn't too far off on some of the games won in several of the divisions but the end result was not pretty.

-The Ravens have been whining about the two roughing the passer penalities against them against the Patriots on Sunday. The NFL tends to overprotect the quarterbacks a bit too much and not just in this game specifically. The problem in my mind is that the NFL penalizes hits that are late, but not violent to a quarterback yet still considered roughing the passer, but the hits that normally knock a quarterback out of the game (i.e. Tim Tebow getting hit against Kentucky, Brady getting injured last year by Bernard Pollard, Sam Bradford being hit against BYU) are legal hits that merit no penalty flags.

Obviously nothing should be done about a legal hit that knocks a quarterback out of the game, and there are real reasons to protect a quarterback from taking late hits or being roughed up, but there comes a point where the quarterback gets overprotected. The rule in place I think makes a good justification for when the proper time for a roughing the passer penalty should be called:

"Flagrantly running into or hitting the quarterback after the ball has been released. Can also be called when a defender hits the quarterback in the head."

The problem is in the application of the rule where the officials will see any type of movement as if the quarterback has been hit and call a penalty. I don't see the roughing the passer rule as being a huge problem right now for the NFL, but I have seen times like Sunday when it is applied incorrectly and may have/may not have had an impact on the game.

I don't think it should be a full blown problem like the Ravens want it to be, because the NFL has a long way to go before its officiating gets as bad as college basketball and the NBA.

-Of course I would be remiss if I didn't include the video I just found (you may have seen it too) of Peter King celebrating at a Red Sox game. I mean this with all lack of sarcasm, it's good to see a sportswriter actually enjoying an athletic event since most of them can't seem to enjoy sports at all. I am looking at you Jay Mariotti and pretty much anyone who is on ESPN's The Sports Reporters.

24 comments:

KentAllard said...

Wow. I never realized Blyleven was such a tool.

Don't feel bad about your predictions. My pick for the game last night was Green Bay 66, Minnesota 0, with Favre setting an NFL record with 12 interceptions. That's what I get for picking with my heart.

AJ said...

I actually thought Texas would compete, and said so back in the April column.

Of course, I wasn't even close on the NL.

Bengoodfella said...

I was going into the article thinking I would probably make fun of his postseason suggestions and then when it got to Page 2 of it, I thought, "holy shit, this is all about him and his accomplishments."

I watched 5 minutes of last night's game and it was when Berrian caught the TD pass to go up 28-14 and the entire stadium and the announcers went crazy for Brett Favre. I turned it back to something else at that point.

AJ, I was going to put some of the comments that were made in the post as well and didn't want to throw everyone under the bus...just me.

If I could do it all over again I would probably have Tampa Bay be third and have NYY take second. I didn't think the Yankees would be as good in the bullpen as it seems they have been.

The NL was a disaster for me. Next year I am going to give teams really crappy records because it seemed I didn't do that this time.

Martin said...

Well, Webb didn't exactly pitch this year either, and healthy Webb probably is good for 15 games. I don't think anybody could have predicted the injury explosion that hit the Mets...I would have predicted it from the pitching side myself, cause who think s Delgado is going to get hurt? Sprain an elbow eating a hot dog?

I think that Boston did a good job with those free agent pick ups too. They didn't pan out, but they were still good inexpensive (comparativly) backup type plans.

Now I have to go back and see what I said in April....

ohhh and the word is "cakeries" obviously in honor of Delgado.

RuleBook said...

From TMQ this week:

At the endgame, Green Bay faced a tactical dilemma TMQ thinks most coaches play wrongly. Down 30-20, facing a fourth-and-six on the Minnesota 14 with one minute remaining, Green Bay kicked a field goal, then tried an onside kick. NFL coaches in this situation almost always take the field goal, then the onside kick. You need a touchdown and a field goal. If you take the field goal and then recover the onside kick, you are at least 50 yards from a touchdown. Before the field goal, Green Bay was only 14 yards from a touchdown. The Packers' chance of converting a fourth-and-six and getting the touchdown from close range was greater than their chance of kicking a field goal and then scoring a touchdown from long range. Score the touchdown first, and if you recover the onside kick you're only 20 yards from the field goal attempt. TMQ thinks coaches almost always take the field goal in this situation because what they're really doing is playing to make the final score closer.

I think no additional commentary is necessary. His ignorance speaks for itself. Just thought I'd mention it, since we discussed it on Sunday.

Bengoodfella said...

Yeah, if anything I thought the Mets pitching would explode but it just seemed to be the entire team that it happened to.

I still think I overestimated the Diamondbacks record even if Webb is healthy. I don't know exactly what I was thinking but I was definitely buying on their potential.

For Boston, I thought those pickups were really smart and they would get value of them. I guess I was wrong. Check what everyone said back in April, it's fairly interesting to see our comments on the upcoming season.

Bengoodfella said...

Yeah, Rulebook. I hate covering TMQ the day after it comes out, but I have to do it because of my schedule. Not that I am exactly breaking news here, but I would love to cover it on a Tuesday.

I read through it the first time and noticed that. I probably will include something in there about that. I think TMQ has a good hold on what the right decision is there...of course there are other dubious things he says...

Martin said...

The guys broadcasting the tie breaking game are terrible. it's like having 2 Joe Morgans in the booth. Chip Carrey, and someone who sounds a lot like Boomer Esiason, and knows about as much baseball as Boomer does.

nick Punto is just a baseball player, he does all those things like hitting the cutoff man (Punto plays 2nd base, he shouldn't be hitting any cutoff men), takes the extra base, knows when to steal a base. (He hits .230, he'd have to be on base to do these things...and he jsut struck out there Boom. Also, the previous inning you were criticizing him for not throwing the ball to second to get the lead runner, but flipping it in hopes of getting the double play. Apparently baseball players aren't good at knowing how fast the runner is) It's not about power or all that stuff, it's about being a baseball player. (John Kruk will be sending you a fruit basket I'm sure for using his phrase)

Ol' Chipper gave us this gem. "8 times here the Twins have come from behind when down by 3 runs or more. 5 times here at the Metrodome." (Is it 5 or 8? Is it 13 overall? Why bother giving facts when you are jsut running on sentences like oral diahreea?)

I swear to God, each and everyone of us could do a better job announcing most games we see on tv.

Martin said...

Oh and at the beginning of the 3rd inning one of them ripped off this gem. "Well, there's Bakers pitch count, not too bad, with a good strike to ball ratio."

He'd already thrown 40 pitches, with 25 strikes to 15 balls. That's a high pitch count, and a slightly below good ratio of 2-1. Boomer turns out to be Ron Darling, who research shows the media think is good. Blargh.

Bengoodfella said...

I am stuck at work right now, so I don't get to experience all the joy that you are feeling watching the game. It hurts me to knock Chip Carey because I really liked his father (and his grandfather is good for some jokes at his expense) but he has never gotten good reviews for broadcasting the postseason.

Ron Darling is horrible, which is weird because he does get fairly favorable reviews. He is the asshole who somehow thinks that he "earned" all the wins he had with the A's himself, even though he had Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire providing the offense for him. Needless to say he benefitted from PED's but still thinks he didn't.

When you said "Ol' Chipper" I thought you were talking about Chipper Jones and got very confused. I get it now though.

Oh, and that is a high pitch count and the strike to ball ratio sucks as well. Wish I could watch the game...

Martin said...

I think that by the time it ended, you could watch the game Ben!

Skip was fine as an announcer, from the Braves games I remember watching on the Superstation. He was a little homerish for me, but better then Sutton and that other guy.

Another couple fine Chipisms

1- "Line drive base hit, caught by Rayburn, throw home..." as you might imagine, it was a soft line drive to shallow left field that was caught on the fly, and a terrible idea to send the guy at third home. Even with a bad throw he was out.

2- "You have to tip your cap to Jim Leyland and the Tigers, they couldn't hold onto a 7 game lead...." So...we are tipping our cap to them for bad baseball? Being incompetent? Blowing a huge lead?

Then Darling said that the crowd was one of the reasons the Twins won the game. Absolutely wrong. It was one of the most dead crowds I've ever heard at the Metrodome. It was only when the Twins came back with their second run that the crowd finally came alive. It was like watching a bandwagon effect in real time.

Bengoodfella said...

In that last at bat after walking Young, I think the Tigers outfielders should have been playing a little more shallow than they were. When Carlos Gomez is at 2B any base hit to the outfield is pretty much going to bring him around to home plate and he can fly. I think the Tigers should have recognized this a little bit more and play the OF a little further in than they did. That is complete second guessing but I also said it at the time when they showed the aerial shot of the outfield. Playing a little further in you do take the chance a fly ball will get over the head of an OF but with Casillas up a ground ball seems a little more likely.

Chip Carey isn't very good and probably shouldn't be calling postseason games. Skip Caray was employed by the Braves so I guess he had to be a little homerish...he was a bit homerish though.

Now it sucks for the Twins they have to go to NY and play tomorrow at 6pm.

Gene said...

Not only did Bert take credit for his World Series wins, he also took credit for Frank Viola's win due to his presence in the bullpen. This guy make Ocho Cinco look like a guy with an inferiority complex.

Gene said...

Did you guys hear the announcer call "base hit" on that fly ball to left where the guy was thrown out? Absolutely attrocious.

As for last night's football game, I learned that Brett Favre is the only one who have ever "loved football" and "has fun out there". He has definitely followed Blyleven's advice.

AJ said...

I agree, worst announcers ever! There were plenty of times I was like "what did he just say". And most of the time they weren't even tlaking, then all of a sudden one of them would just say something out of the blue just to break the silance. Is this going to be the normal crew for the whole post season on TBS?

And wtf is Craig Sager doing there?

Don't get me started on what the Tigers did wrong in this game Ben, including not playing in enough on that last hit. I said it in the 12th, that they are trying to give the Twins the game and the Twins just won't take it.

There are just soooooo many things I can't stand about Leyland, and this game has solidified my reasons. I'm sick of everyone everywhere saying Leyland has done a great job with this team...no he hasn't, and if you actually watched MORE then ONE game the Tigers played this year you would see just how bad he really is.

I could probably break down this game inning by inning and tell you what he did wrong. The end of the game was just ridiculously bad coaching.

Bengoodfella said...

I think Frank Viola started pitching well because he saw Blyleven getting warmed up in the bullpen and thought, "oh shit, I had better pitch well here because if I don't I am never going to hear the end of it from Blyleven."

He really does have a superiority complex doesn't he? I never realized this until I read this column he wrote.

I have always thought Ron Darling was horrible and I guess I have been ignorant to Chip Caray's horribleness until a couple playoffs ago.

Brett Favre is the only player to ever love football and have fun out there. You can see it in his child like joy for the game. I had been completely neutral to Brett Favre through my entire life until the last couple of years when he has driven me crazy. Even the announcer and sportswriter superlatives about him didn't bother me until the past couple of years. Now I can't handle it anymore.

AJ, I feel your pain on the announcers. What little I got to watch of the game didn't sound good. I don't want Craig Sager involved with any of my sporting events...maybe NBA games, but that's it.

The first problem I had was that he put Rodney out there for a fourth inning. I didn't think he had too much left over at that point, but I could be wrong. It's not like you are saving your bullpen for anything at this point. You may as well do what you can to get fresher arms on the mound.

As far as the outfield alignment, I kept yelling at the television that they needed to be playing a little more in. There is a chance a fly ball could have gotten over their heads but pretty much any ground ball was going to get Carlos Gomez home because he is fast as hell. You have a guy at the plate who hit 7 doubles and 0 home runs this year at the plate, the odds of him gapping one or lifting it over an OF's head are much lower than him hitting a ground ball which find a open hole on the fast carpet the Twins have.

I didn't get the managing at the end of that game and this isn't second guessing because I was saying it at the time. When I saw the overhead shot and the OF's for the Tigers were playing what looked like normal depth, I knew the game was over. One of the announcers said something about a play at the plate and I sort of yelled there wasn't going to be a play at the plate on a ground ball base hit.

Sorry it ended like that.

AJ said...

Oh I saw the ground ball go through, the announces yelling there would be a play at the plate, and me turning the channel before Clete even picked up the ball since Gomez was already in the Twins dugout. How can you have a play at the plate when the guy is already in the clubhouse opening up a beer??

Yes sending Rodney out for the 4th inning was a huge mistake...HUGE! Not bunting the ball, not pinch hitting, taking out your best player the past month, taking out your pitcher who was dominating the game, not getting that call on Inge being hit by the pitch, not being able to hit a fly ball as a major league player...

Was it all Leylands fault...of course not. He can't field, he can't hit. But he cost his team the best chance to win this game by leaving players in and taking players out and by not calling bunts in certain situations.

I can't describe how pissed I am at this team. They couldn't get a clutch hit all season, I knew in the 6th inning we were screwed if it came down to us hitting the ball. Laird had 10 runners left on base...10!!!! Can you believe that?? And can you believe the manager would allow him to hit with the game on the line??

Pathetic display. And I won't even get into Migual screwing us all over this past weekend.

Bengoodfella said...

There was no chance for a play on that ball...especially when the outfielder didn't get to the ball before Gomez was rounding third.

I didn't get leaving Rodney out there for the fourth inning and with Inge up at the plate with the bases loaded I couldn't help but keep laughing at the idea he was in the home run derby this year. I don't know why.

I am not going to rub it in anymore but I can't believe Laird left 10 runners on base. That is a crazy amount of runners LoB. I don't know what the others options were in that situation. Just a tough loss...

AJ said...

Other options...how about letting the guy serving up cotton candy in section 256 hit for him? Did you see the swing he took on that stike out? The ball was almost in the dirt...stupid stupid stupid!

Bengoodfella said...

Well, it was ball four. A little plate discipline would have gotten him a walk there. Of course Inge got hit by that bill originally, so theoretically he should have already walked in a batter.

It's the Twins though, they couldn't make or be in the postseason without having the umpires make a few calls in their favor. I hate the Twins...I think I am the only person in the world who does.

Martin said...

This just in, Fernando Rodney is still pitching. Seriously, I saw Gomez come up in the 12th and thought...wait he hit against Rodney in the 9th...Rodney can't STILL be out there can he? WTF??? And then Chip and Boomer told me that NOBODY was up in the Pen! I figured Leyland had money on the Twins at that point.

The missed HBP on Inge gives the team something to hang it's hat on "Well if the ump hadn't missed that call, we woulda won." What they should be doing is listening to AJ about the dozen other ways they blew this game on their own.

Wait, a die hard Braves fan hates the cute, cuddly, Twinkies???? I'm shocked!

Bengoodfella said...

I do absolutely hate the Minnesota Twins. Cheating is what they do best. Whether it is turning the fans on when their team is at bat, pulling guys off first base, or using mind control to convince an umpire the ball did not hit a batter they always seem to have something controversial that goes their way. The HBP did not blow the game though, you are right. Combine the fact there is a Yankees fan in my household, I want to watch A-Rod go 10-20 with 2 HR and 7 RBI in the series just to shut people up and I hate the Twins...I think I am going to be leaning towards wanting the Yanks to win.

I almost threw up when I saw the guy with the Kirby Puckett jersey last night celebrating.

Martin said...

Better Kirby then Hrbek

Bengoodfella said...

Yes, Kent Hrbek is not my friend. He pulled Gant off 1B. NO ONE DENIES THIS!!!!!!!!!