Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

The Only Way the Yankees Can Make Me Giddy

If your manager has this look in the 5th inning, well, that's not a good sign.  (Thanks to Aaron/@ARevill for the screen grab)

If your manager has this look in the 5th inning, well, that's not a good sign. (Thanks to Aaron/@ARevill for the screen grab)

While reveling in the Yankees loss and the Rangers win last night, the most common retort I received was basically “At least the Yankees made it to the playoffs this year”.  (As an aside, I don’t troll Yankees message boards.  These responses came from folks who follow me on Twitter and those who chose to email me.)

And those people are absolutely right.  I would have loved it had the Red Sox been in the post-season.  The playoffs are almost always enjoyable anyway but nothing beats watching your team play in meaningful games in late October.  The thing is, my Red Sox not making the post-season doesn’t take away, in any way, the joy I received from watching the Yankees lose last night.  After steamrolling over the Minnesota Twins, the Yankees were a Ron Washington call to the bullpen in Game 1 away from being swept by the Texas Rangers.  There are some non-Yankees fans out there today crowing about how the Yankees choked.  They didn’t choke, they were outplayed by a superior team.  Maybe not a team that was superior in the regular season (where they only won one out of the five games they played against New York) but they were superior when it counted.  There is absolutely no argument to this.

The first person to say “The better team didn’t win” gets a kick in the shins.

How excited I am knowing I’ll be watching a World Series just hoping to see good baseball and not rooting against one of the teams.  Granted, this will be made much easier if the Giants make it there as well, but as much as I’m sick of seeing the Phillies in the World Series, I don’t really hate them so their being there won’t immediately make me root against them.  Yankees-free baseball being played in late October and  early November.  Except for my own team being in the thick of it, this is all I can ask for.

Another aside:  On October 27, 2004, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series after sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals (Woooo!!!! As a member of Red Sox Nation, I’m contractually obligated to yell “Woooo!!! whenever I write or say those words.  Plus, it’s damn fun to do.).  In 2010, the World Series will begin on October 27th.  While part of me is tempted to complain that this is much too late for baseball to be played…baseball is being played!  Why would any baseball fan complain about being able to see MORE baseball?  I’ll take it.  (Especially if it ends up being played in California and Texas.  Weather for the win!)

Now I don’t mean to cheapen the Rangers’ win by focusing on the Yankees but, let’s be honest here, it wouldn’t have mattered to me which team was playing the Yankees, as long as the Yankees were beaten.  I still don’t like Ron Washington or Josh Hamilton but if I have to wish them well (and, now, THANK THEM) it’s totally worth it coming at the expense of the Yankees.  Now all I have to root for is good baseball.  I think today all baseball fans (except for Yankees fans) are winners.

Since their team’s time in the playoffs is done, I now expect any anti-Yankees sentiments I articulate to be met with “At least our team will have Cliff Lee next year”.  I’ll worry about that when the time comes.  For now, I’m as giddy as can be.

Thank you, Rangers!

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October 23, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , | 4 Comments

Bleacher Creatures don't deserve praise

Well Major League Baseball seems to be going out of their way to make both League Championship Series interesting. While I would love to see the Phillies and the Yankees sent off into the sunset while the Giants and Rangers make their way to the World Series. But the truth is, if you dig baseball there is a lot of excitement in both series going to (at the very least) Game 6.

Having written that, I really hope the Rangers just get things done tonight and end it in front of their fans. I’ve really seen enough of the Yankees on my television this October.

But now I have to rant.

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October 22, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Dear Nolan Ryan: Give Cliff Lee whatever he asks for.

Another photo I'm using without permission.  Lee after last night's win. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Another photo I'm using without permission. Lee after last night's win. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Before last night’s Rangers/Yankees game began, TBS talking head Craig Sager was interviewing Ian Kinsler and chiding him about getting picked off by Kerry Wood in game one.  Reminding Kinsler, as if he had to, that Andy Pettitte with his fantastic balk pickoff move would be on the mound, he made it very clear that Kinsler was going up against a far superior opponent.  Ian took it all in stride and assured Sager that, if he made it to first base, he’d “stay put”.  Good for Kinsler for not shoving Sager’s microphone up Sager’s nose.

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October 19, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Bump in the road

Photo of CJ Wilson in a happier time (Thursday) lifted and used without permisison.  (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Photo of CJ Wilson in a happier time (Thursday) lifted and used without permisison. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

It’s funny how things don’t ever work out the way  I plan.  I was supposed to be at a party last night and I canceled because I was feeling lousy.  I figured I’d go to bed early, throw on the game and fall asleep before it was over.  Instead, I ended up watching every minute of every inning and commiserating with other baseball fans throughout the game on Twitter.

All I’ll say about the outcome of the game is that as much as it bugged me last night this morning I just say “meh”.  One out of seven isn’t insurmountable.  My only worry is that the Rangers seem to not only be playing against the Yankees but their own manager as well.  That might be the toughest obstacle for them.  (Is it too late to revoke the manager of the year award that Ron Washington got from the Baseball Bloggers Alliance?)

Even feeling as lousy as I did, the most fun from the night came from being on Twitter with like-minded folks talking (ranting at some points) about the game.  If you are a sports fan and you aren’t on Twitter you might consider it for opportunities like this.  I purposely don’t follow Yankees fans, but I follow fans from just about every other baseball team and getting the point of view from different fan bases was interesting and a lot of fun.  It was like sitting in a bar with your friends to watch the game.  And given I was getting out of the house last night, it was a nice way to spend the evening…even if most of us were disappointed at the ending of the game.  The idea that so many people from around the country (and some around the globe) were all watching the same exact thing last night and discussing it in real time is a little mind blowing even for a geek like me.

So tonight it’s the first game of the NLCS.  Not sure if I’ll be around for it, but I am sure there will be all kinds of chatter on Twitter!

Okay, a couple of other things about last night’s game.  It’s nice to see CC Sabathia reverting back to his “doesn’t pitch well in big situations” character.  What’s disappointing is that this is the second game in this postseason where that has happened and the Yankees still have come back to win the game.  I’m hoping the Rangers won’t turn out to be the second coming of the Twins.

CJ Wilson.  All I read about him this week was, basically, that he wasn’t Cliff Lee and that the Yankees would be able to handle him nicely.  Kid came through in a huge way for the Rangers and it’s just too bad that this teammates and manager didn’t back  him up in the end.  You don’t have to be Cliff Lee, CJ, being CJ Wilson should work well for you.  You deserved better last night.

It’s an odd feeling.  I know I don’t want the Yankees to go to the World Series.  I want to watch the World Series and just enjoy it, not watch the Yanks get ballwashed for yet another series.  But even with that feeling, I’m not really bothered by their win last night.  Can’t tell if it’s indifference or just because I have faith the Rangers can bounce back from this.  Hey, in 2004 it happened for another team that played the Yankees in the ALCS…why not now?

October 16, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

So it begins

Lifted from CJ Wilson's website at www.leftylefty.com and used without permission.

Lifted from CJ Wilson's website at http://www.leftylefty.com and used without permission.

I’ve missed baseball this week.  Tonight at 8 o’clock it’s back with the first game of the Rangers/Yankees ALCS.  CC Sabathia goes up against CJ Wilson, which should be story enough but we’ll get hit with how much we should love Josh Hamilton (I don’t*), how amazing Derek Jeter is (I disagree) and how the Yankees will be taking notes on Cliff Lee and vice versa since Lee will be a Yankee in 2011 (something I’m not convinced is true).  The good news is the ALCS is on TBS this year, which means no Joe Buck or Tim McCarver (don’t get too excited, we get them for the NLCS).  I’m disappointed that Don Orsillo didn’t get the nod to call these games and not thrilled that we get Ron Darling and John Smoltz doing color, but I’ll be appreciative of the small things.  At least the promos for Conan O’Brien’s new show are actually funny and not on the annoying level of the George Lopez or Frank Calliendo spots from years past.  And, so far, I haven’t seen Dane Cook once.  So there’s that.

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October 15, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , | 1 Comment