Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Further ALCS thoughts

  • What a performance by A-Rod and CC Sabathia so far this postseason. There's not much I can really say. The media will do a fine job of lauding them without my help. But still: damn.
  • Good to finally have a bit of a laugher, though even still this game was tight and exciting until the eighth.
  • The bad umpiring (and man was it bad) continued in Game Four. Fortunately, two of the bad calls (the blown Swisher pick off and the blown Swisher tag up) mostly cancelled each other out, and the stunning what-the-hell-was-that-how-are-they-not-both-out call at third didn't lead to anything, but still... not great. I don't like the idea of using instant replay NFL-style. I don't like the idea of adding challenges to the strategy of the game. No, baseball needs two things: a lighting fast, deadly accurate ball-strike system that can be invisibly relayed to the home plate umpire who will call them as normal, and a dedicated replay umpire with the ability to overturn any call at any time without the field umpires having to stop play. These two measures would be completely invisible as long as the right calls are being made. The game would look and feel the same. Nothing would change, except for the quality of the umpiring.
  • I don't know why the Yankees have Freddy Guzman on the roster. Joe Girardi prefers to use Gardner, even when he's pinch running for the DH, negating Gardner's defensive value. The Yanks clearly don't want Guzman hitting, since they chose Cervelli over him in Game Three. They don't want him playing left field, since they chose to lose the DH rather than play him there. Eric Hinske, on the other hand, would actually have been useful in almost 1,000,001 situations in Game Three. Another baffling management situation from the Yanks.
  • I wonder if the mainstream media will pick up on just how much this postseason has demonstrated the importance of hitting home runs and not giving them up. The ability to strike at any time is so much more important than any of the "small ball" skills even in a close game, but only long ball skills let you put the game well out of reach.
  • I hereby authorize use of the term "Girardiproof" to describe games in which a starting pitcher carries his team for eight or more innings while his offense accumulates a lead of five or more runs. Apologies to anyone who may have already started using this term. What a relief not to see Joe deploying his quick hook over and over and over again tonight.

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