Saturday, October 10, 2009

Postseason thoughts

  • Don't be distracted by the media throng clamoring to tell you why it's different for A-Rod this time around. The story is not about how he' s more relaxed, more focused, having more fun, doing more of the little things, or feeling less pressure. The story is that anything can happen in a small sample. Given enough time, the real A-Rod was going to show up in the postseason, as he has in the past.
  • Sentences like these: (emphasis mine)
    "With Weaver picking up right where Lackey left off for the Los Angeles Angels, not even Josh Beckett could keep the Boston Red Sox off the brink of playoff elimination."
    "Erick Aybar followed Izturis' RBI single with a two-run triple during the Angels' two-out rally in the seventh to break up a stellar pitching duel between Weaver and Beckett, Boston's ace and most reliable playoff pitcher."
    make me wonder if anyone actually paid attention to the postseason last year, when Beckett was stunningly awful and crushed the Red Sox' chances to win. As with A-Rod, the story with Josh Beckett is that he is very good pitcher when healthy, not that he has some magical postseason powers.
  • I've absolutely had it with Joe Girardi's bullpen management. He has a decent idea of who to pitch in particular situations, but he manages like any relief pitcher that throws more than five pitches must be removed from the game. Seriously, what the hell was he going to do if the Yanks hadn't won in the 11th last night? He had used every relief pitcher except Chad Gaudin! This is not uncommon. Girardi burns through pitchers in a quest to win the most marginal of advantages by matching up against hitters. It's got to stop. At the very least, your relievers must be able to through complete innings, sometimes even against both right and left handed hitters.
  • Baseball has an umpiring problem and it's getting embarassing. The biggest issue is with the erratic strike zone, but it's affecting every area of the game. You have to feel for the Twins, who got robbed of a potential lead in the 11th inning on maybe the worst call I've ever seen. Tigers fans will perhaps see this as poetic justice, but baseball needs to see it for what it is: a big, big problem that needs to be addressed in the offseason.
  • TBS has been a mixed bag for me broadcasting. I like that their HD broadcast has PitchTrax displayed for every pitch. They've gotten some great reaction shots from players. On the other hand, the commentating has been atrocious (and getting worse) and there isn't a single thing to which they won't attach an advertisement. *sigh*


Lisa said...

We should talk sometime about the strategy of changing relief pitchers so much. It has always bothered me, and I have often wondered, like you, what they were going to do if they used so many up and then the game went on to an ungodly number of innings. At that point, their only recourse is to use their starters! What a waste of talent. Am I missing something?

John Lynch said...

No, you aren't missing anything. Managers these days tend to manage games like extra innings don't exist.