Wednesday, October 28, 2009

World Series Musings: Game 1

Some random thoughts on Game 1 of what looks like it could be a very entertaining World Series:

  • One has to wonder what former Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge must have been thinking if he was watching this game.  With Cliff Lee and C.C. Sabathia being trotted out as their team's aces, it can't possibly seem any more unfair that Wedge was fired by the former employer of both Lee and Sabathia, the Indians.

  • The nasty weather in New York, and much of the post-season for that matter, should be enough for Major League Baseball to consider shortening the season, perhaps back to the old 154 game schedule.  But we all know that won't happen, what would the Royals do without all that late season revenue?

  • The Fox announce team of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver seemed like they were having a nice time star-gazing with all the celebs on hand at Yankee Stadium.  The one person they didn't mention?  Former Yankee center fielder, and personal favorite of mine, Bernie Williams.

  • Speaking of celebrities, who else thinks Jay-Z and Alicia Keys should have sucked it up and let the show go on?  Seems to me that's what real New Yorkers would have done.

  • Back to baseball, the aforementioned Lee was as dominant as I've seen him all year, and he was quite good in the regular season, posting a 3.39 ERA with three complete games after coming over to the Phillies.

    I loved the way he shrugged off the tough conditions, going with the short sleeves and his trademark break-neck pace to overwhelm one of the most dangerous lineups in baseball.

  • World Series first-timer Mark Teixeira looked every bit the first-timer and Lee took advantage of his anxiousness, striking him out with change-ups on multiple occasions.

  • As good as Lee was on the hill, Phillies second baseman Chase Utley was equally as good at the plate.  Utley engineered the two best at-bats of the night on either side, falling behind in two at-bats against Sabathia in the 3rd and 6th, only to answer with solo home runs in each instance.

    Utley had great balance at the plate and unlike Teixeira, you could feel the calm in Utley's body language.  He knew Sabathia wanted to challenge him with fastballs, and when Sabathia made a mistake he was there to capitalize.

  • Very happy to see that Jack is back in January in an all new season of "24".  Perhaps the best news of the night in the Doctolero house.

  • I have to admit for at least one night that I was wrong about the inclusion of more veteran umpires after the struggles of the umpiring crews in the previous rounds.  It was my opinion that it's usually the older, more seasoned umpires, who seem to think people come out the ballpark to watch them call the game.

    When they were tested in the 5th inning on a disputed double play call, they calmly got together and got the call right.  So good on them, but I'm still not convinced it was the best idea.

  • I am convinced that unlike his bullpen mate Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes should be made back into a starter in 2010.  He's looked less and less comfortable every time out during the playoffs and it didn't get any better in Game 1 as he walked the only two men he faced.

  • I was somewhat surprised to see how many people left in the 9th inning once the Phillies opened up their lead.  I know it was a crappy night out, but I didn't think Yankees fans would go all Dodgers fans on us, especially in the World Series.

  • Couldn't be more excited to see what happens in Game 2 with none other than Pedro Martinez on the hill for the Phillies.  Should be great theater if nothing else.


  1. Obviously, you are correct that MLB would never shorten their season, but it is too bad there's really no other way around avoiding the bad weather in the post season. They could start the season in mid March, but you'd still have weather problems with many teams in the northern and eastern states.

    Also, I agree that Phil Hughes is better suited to be a starter. He has the stuff to be a #2 or #3 starter too. They seem to be wasting his talents in the bullpen, in my opinion.

  2. - Wedge is a goon as he thought the organization should have dealt both lefties for bullpen relief to ‘solidify Kerry in the bullpen’ and named Fausto as their ace during spring training, that worked well. Keep in mind, Cliff Lee was a miracle in ’08 as he was demoted twice to the minors, once in ST, promoted, then sent back down before the season started. Wedge and company felt he would be a one year wonder and wanted to deal for him to get as much in return as they could. Philadelphia only got the best pitcher during October in as long as I’ve been alive.

    - The MLB will never change its season as it makes more money now than it ever has, and after the addition at Kauffman Stadium, and Zach in the Cy race, the royals had a very successful year at the ticket booth finally getting out of the bottom 5 in the league.

    - Point three irrelevant as Bernie Williams defensive efforts in his career mirror those of Delmon Young, and his inflated numbers are due to the fact that he never hit behind a hitter that was either A)below .300 for a season, or B) didn’t have 30+ bombs… Alexi Casilla would have a solid career in that spot.

    - The duet was good for New York and the Yankee Captain has used the tune as his entrance song since learning they were going to perform together and has gone 4-8 since doing so, accounting for half of the teams hits (3) against the best lefty in baseball this year in game one.

    - Next point agrees with my thought on Cliff, however his nonchalant catch on the Damon middle in cutter makes other pitchers want to vomit.

    - Lee also took care of business with Gay-Rod, but no one wants to bring that point up since Alex has been hotter than a pistol in the playoffs… PS, look into the stat differential between Tex and Kendry Morales for this season compared to their contracts. Are the Halos one of the best organizations in baseball at finding/developing talent? YES!!!

    - Utley= good. A corner IF/OF’s production at second sack allowing Ryan Howard to become one of the most feared hitters in baseball

    - To Allen: Joba is and will be a bust since the steroid crack down. Never hit 90 until arriving at Lincoln, never been the same since the crack down, you do the math. Phil Hughes is a legitimate number four at best with a gun friendly arm, little control and a one plane slider that is very hittable. Until he takes notes from Mariano on how to develop a heavy two plane pitch, he’s dicked.

    - Pedro was electric early, AGAIN, but did his mouth get the best of him in the previous day’s press conference? Nothing against a guy who has a 21#-10# lifetime record, but he got too arrogant trying to slip a loose change piece past Tex, and tipping his circle to Hideki. Did his hair product affect his performance? Perhaps.

    … Tip your bartender.

  3. I think "Anonymous" wins comment(s) of the week.

    -Do you have inside sources with the Indians, or did I miss something? Perhaps you know better than I, but I have a hard time believing that Wedge wanted Lee, CC, VMart and others to be traded. Just guessing.

    -I know MLB won't shorten the season. Pipe dream, nothing more.

    -Why is point 3 irrelevant? All I said was Bernie Williams was a favorite of mine, sue me.

    -If Jay-Z and Ms. Keys are able to make players hit better, they should be the hottest free agents in baseball.

    -Cliff Lee is good, that's the only point that matters.

    -He did take care of ARod, I suppose while I was sitting at my computer I just paid more attention to Teixeira's ABs and thought he looked out of sorts in particular.

    As for the Angels, good on them. Wish someone would strangle that damn rally monkey though.


    -I hesitate to accuse anyone of steroid use on the basis of declining production/skills. But if that's what you think, ok.

    As for Hughes, I think they've mishandled him since the beginning, rushing him to the bigs and then turning him into a two-pitch reliever. Extra time in the minors to sharpen his control and pick up a changeup would have done him well. Learning in the big leagues is not the easiest thing to do.

    -Love Pedro, always have and I don't think his press conference quotes had anything to do with his performance. He had K'd Tex with changeups earlier in the game, just made a location mistake and got burned, it happens.

    -I always tip, well.

  4. Did not intend to hide my identity. However, your partner in writing knows who I am... This is what teachers do with an off day, oops.

    - CC was a great deal for the Indians as he would have bailed anyways, and they gained minor league help in the deal. Brewers benefitted ending their playoff drought that ages all of us, but hey, blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes, right? Victor getting traded is a desperation move as any team well out of the race that far would have freed up cap room to make some moves (which the natives have not done yet, idiots). And to answer your question about inside information, yes, I’m in contact with two prospects in the Indians organization, not making me an expert by any means, but getting a feel for the thoughts behind some of the silly transactions. Further than that, three friends of mine are either in, or have close contact to your seemingly very close interest in the Giants, and I completely agree that they are in great shape. The Cove will never be raped again like it was with lefty, but that park will rival its LA 'neighbors' in interest in the next few years with their above average system, and potential talent they are hiding in the minors, and being in the shadows of two of the best teams in baseball. The Panda may be the best ‘big guy athlete’ in baseball behind that ball of pud that plays first sack for the Miller Lite beer drinkers to our East.

    - The MLB has a great schedule as the playoffs are fairly short and sweet compared to the sport you choose not to talk about and jungle ball whose seasons span over 8 months.

    - I compare Bernie Williams to Vlad Guerrero… never did anything to push his team over the top to win a ring when it counts, but was such a staple on their team and organization that they get credit for the champagne shower(s).

    - Speaking of Vlad, he should list that as his new entrance tune if it brings him the same success as Derek seeing that his former job is going to be filled by either Matt Holiday or Jason Bay, (perhaps both) as the Angels are already dealing for next year and trying to get rid of the aging, less productive, and unable to be played in RF, Vladdy. How good would Lackey look at the new digs in TC stripes? C’mon Billy!!!! ONE TIME!

    - Joba’s juice use is not an accusation or hypothesis, it’s a well known fact in the circles of people I currently play with and have played with. Everybody knows, nobody cares, that’s why his next contract is going to suck, and why his responsibility to the stripes has been taken away. Mo has gotten loose before the 8th this year more than any playoff stretch in his career.

    - No one ‘turns a guy into a two pitch pitcher’. As a reliever it’s about how many ‘plus’ pitches you can execute off the bump in your appearance. Mo uses one, Joe Nath uses four above average, Brox uses two, Lidge uses whatever stays in the ballpark. You can’t convince any person that knows anything about baseball, pitching or relievers that the Yankee organization ‘turned’ him into a two pitch pitcher. Every reliever was a starter at one point in their life, with three plus pitches. Hughes excelled in the minors and late MLB season with a plus fastball and flat spinner. That’s why he’s become a two pitch guy, and that’s why he’ll never be a top three starter. His arm slot and action call for a two plane slider, or abbreviated cutter, but he changes slots for every pitch causing the lack of control and inconsistency across the board.

    - There is a difference between running a two-ey (2 seamer for the rookies) off of a power hitters hip and leaving a change piece over the penis assuming a Tex take. It was hung, sloppy, and regretful on Pedro’s part. His reaction tells it all. Against Matsui he executed a good pitch after tipping it, running it down and out of the zone, and it was struck well, but Tex scrambled a loose egg left over the dick.

  5. -Well, if you do have inside info, good for you. Guess I can't argue. Seems to me though that the Indians were a good team not that long ago and Eric Wdge was considered a good manager then. I suppose the point is that I don't think a guy all of a sudden becomes a bad manager when all of his good players are gone.

    -As for my Giants, I appreciate the support. It is an exciting time to be a fan.

    -Couldn't agree more about the hockey and basketball playoffs. But in terms of baseball, I don't think there's any need to play World Series games in November. Dropping eight games, perhaps by making all but the rivalry interleague matchups two game sets, wouldn't be a bad thing IMO.

    -Still love Bernie, don't care what you say ;).

    -No chance the Twins get Lackey, or any other semi-large name in free agency.

    -Where do you play?

    -What I meant by "turning" Hughes into a 2-pitch pitcher, is that by moving him to the pen they never even ask him to throw, let alone develop, a third pitch.

    Tim Lincecum came into the league as a 2 pitch pitcher (fastball, curveball) and there were some who thought he should be a closer. But the Giants did the right thing, left him as a starter, and he worked hard to develop that changeup which is now probably the best changeup in the NL (sorry Johan).

    I still believe that if Hughes was given the opportunity to learn a changeup and modify his slider into a tight cutter with more velocity and less movement, he could be good as a starter.

    -Like I said, location mistake, it happens.