2. Red Sox
5. Blue Jays
I imagine it must suck to be the Tampa Bay Rays. You wake up every morning knowing that no matter how hard you try, you may not succeed because you play in the same division as the Red Sox and Yankees. Now take that feeling and imagine you are the Orioles. Its like you wake up and someone tells you that Santa does indeed exist but he finds you to be utterly horrible and will never visit you or your city.
The AL East, also known as the douche-bag division houses two teams that literally throw money at their problems. Rumor is George Steinbrenner came down with a bad case of SARS but then just rubbed a finsky on his chest and, voila! It wouldn’t be so aggravating if it didn’t actually work.
It will once again be a coin flip at the top of the table. More than likely the loser of heads/tails will still get into the playoffs as the wild card. It is my hope however that the Rays can bounce back from a less than stellar year and show us all that youth and vitality is not wasted on the young, or the vital.
The Blue Jays should bring up the rear on the division. They are gutted and want for any semblance of a star. But please don’t count out the Orioles and their amazing ability to play really bad baseball.
The Yankees win… again. That’s a lot like a fat kid eating a hamburger in front of a homeless shelter. While the rest of us have to abide by the “wait till next year” chant, New York faithful are busy thinking of a better, more improved lineup next year. The lump in my throat is the knowledge that John Lackey is available this winter and we could very well see a stronger Yankee team with more than three starters in the playoffs. This is a thought that will keep me up at nights.
The Phillies are fine. There is no need to jump ship yet. They still have the second best lineup in baseball and will concentrate on their bullpen and pitching staff this off-season. Hell, if they just took Brad Lidge outback that would net them five extra wins next season easy.
While I am sad that the baseball season is no more, I am stoked to give out some very prestigious awards:
The Scott Brosius Award for Least Likely MVP – Hideki Matsui
If you would have told me that Matsui would win the World Series MVP a week ago I would have called you a liar. They just don’t give those out to designated hitters. Well except for 2004 when Manny Ramirez won it. He is essentially a DH that walks around left field for nine innings.
World Series Foot-in-the-mouth Award – Cole Hamels
Mental note: Never insinuate that you may be quitting if you live or work in, at, on, or around the city of Philadelphia. It may be the City of brotherly love but they will kill you in your sleep if they think you’re not trying.
That’s the last time we will see him in a meaningful game Award – Pedro Martinez While he made the Yankees his daddy, he now has to ask his mommy if he can pitch next season.
Done celebrating because I will be a Blue Jay next year Award – Johnny Damon
Look for the Yanks to upgrade over the whithered outfielder. He has a very slim chance of coming back to New York, unless of course the Yankees are just giving money away. Oh, WAIT.
What a difference a year makes Award– Cole Hamels and Alex Rodriguez
Last fall Cole Hamels was described as Sandy Koufax, wrapped in Bob Gibson, enveloped with bacon, and stuffed in a Christmas stocking. Now he just leaves hanging curveballs to anyone who asks for them. Rodriguez on the other hand, has renewed his career. He is no longer a choke artist, steroid taking, money grubber. Well at least not in New York. The rest of America still needs more convincing.
There you have it. Cliff Lee is the dominant ace the Phillies wanted and needed. In the end, though, it won’t be enough. Philadelphia has proven that they can score with the best of them. They just have trouble stopping the Yankee assault. This point was driven home last night.
As soon as Cliff Lee relinquishes the ball to another arm all assuredness goes out the window. The Phillies may have won game 5. Yet all they did was stay the execution. To win it all they have to face both Andy Pettitte and C.C. Sabathia. Both are seasoned big game hurlers. Philadelphia has a glaring problem from the mound.
The Phils send up Pedro Martinez in game 6. Unfortunately, they need him to pitch all 9 if they have a chance to force game 7. Yankee hitters proved they can get to the bullpen in a hurry. If they do play Thursday, they send up Cole Hamels, a player that indicated recently that he just wanted the series to be over. Receiving flack from teammates and the city of Philadelphia, Hamels has recently backtracked on those comments. In the end however, you need a fearless pitcher to command a game 7. The Yankees will have that in tonnage in Sabathia. The Phillies will be hoping Hamels can keep the score down enough for Cliff Lee to close out the game. That is no strategy for success.
Here we are, well into fall and on the precipice of possibly a classic World Series. If the Yankees win, I will find solace in that I won’t have to hear about the Yankees gaining retribution for not winning the title for a whopping 8 years. How the media plants a chip on the Yankees shoulder is beyond me. This is like Lakers fans getting miffed if there is no three-peat.
This series could be very close. This is a rare time when the National League team can match batters pound for pound with the American side. Both teams can hit the ball out of the yard when needed. The offenses are very similar with the speed going slightly to the Phillies.
Both teams have great defenses. When you look at each depth chart it really is hard to decipher who you would take between the positions. Teixeira and Howard are monsters at the plate but Tex may get the nod because of his fielding. Utley is arguably the best hitting second baseman in the majors right now, but Robinson Cano is not far behind, and younger.
Shortstop may go to Rollins if it weren’t October, a month Jeter dominates from both sides of the ball. The only real mismatch is at 3rd base, there ARod is a hall of famer and Pedro Feliz looks good in a hat.
The one thing that may keep this from being a tight series is the pitching. Last series the Phillies were able to get past their faults in the pen by dominating the Dodgers with their starters. In this series however, they are on the short end in both starting and relief pitching. Phillies starters are ill-equipped to face a line-up like the Yankees. Save Cliff Lee, the Phillies will be sending up questionable pitchers like Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, and for game two, Pedro Martinez.
Hamels is a ghost of his 2008 self. He is neither overpowering nor fooling anyone at this stage. Joe Blanton is a fastball pitcher that likes to start a batter by throwing balls in the dirt. He will get behind in counts to a disciplined lineup and subsequently give up a long ball or two. Pedro Martinez looked good against the Dodgers, but then again Vicente Padilla looked good for a start against the Phillies.
The Phillies will most likely have to match the Yankees run for run rather than quieting their bats. Either way Charlie Manuel will have to go to the bullpen earlier in games than he would have liked. From there Chan Ho Park will remember he is Chan Ho Park. J.A. Happ will get bombed. Ryan Madson will walk batters. And Brad Lidge will either strike out the side or give up a grand slam.
This looks to be a good one, so pop open a beer, loosen the pants, and put up your feet. This may take a while.
Okay, so A-rod is killing it in the month of October… I guess there’s a first time for everything. But I have a pretty good idea why he’s killing it.
So let me get this straight. The Yankees went out and spent roughly the GDP of Kerzblakistan on better starting pitchers and yet they will take on the formidable Angels with…three pitchers. This seems like a bad return on investment.
Joe Girardi has decided to go with a rotation that will have the very spry and not a bit overweight C.C. Sabathia pitch in a possible 3 games this series. To his credit it is not a strategy born of great minds mulling it over, rather it is derived from necessity. You see, it’s October and the Yankees have really only three starters you can count on. Joba Chamberlain is best used as a catch-all pitcher that can go long or short and Sergio Mitre has a propensity to let the opposing team score a lot.
A three-man rotation may cause trouble if they get past the Angels and have to go to a 4-man rote in the Series. But that brings me to this series. The three-man rotation is pure trouble when you consider that two of the three are left handers. The Angels have no problem hitting left-handers. This has the makings of another Steinbrenner blow-up. I for one will not be able to handle a Yankee loss. Not because I am a fan-I am not. It’s because every year the Yankees fail to bring home a Series title, they buy more players the next year. Soon it will be the Yankees and a couple teams with the likes of Chris Davis and Barry Zito on them.
The Angels have eight guys hitting .297 or higher on the year against lefties. Basically get used to Angels being on base. Also get used to Scioscia running his little heart out against Posada.
Now the fun part is that the Yankees have an all-star lineup that can crush the ball. Add the fact that Yankee stadium turns pop ups into home runs and you have the makings of a very ugly series.
I guess my main point is this will not be a pitchers series. Scores should average above 5 and very well could take 4 hours to play.
Here’s the YouTube video of the Posada/Carlson/Bench & Dugout clearing brawl from Tuesday night. It’s a feed from TSN and it’s almost nine and half minutes long… which is great if you want to see all the little details SportsCenter leaves out. But to get right to the action, skip ahead to the 2:41 mark for a good replay of how it all started.
One of my favorite moments is the shot of Hedeki Matsui staring off into the stands at 1:54. Meanwhile the melee is still being sorted out the other direction.
Makes me wonder what’s going through that guys head at a time like that?
Hello! There’s a brawl going on over here, and you’re busy scoping some piece of ass in the stands? Nice!