Oct
06

LDS Game Thread/Saturday Night Open Thread

By

(Ronald Martinez/Getty)

Technically, the playoffs started yesterday with the Cardinals and Orioles winning the two wildcard play-in games. Those two games don’t really feel like the postseason though. Sure they counted, just ask the Braves and Rangers, but the whole one game, winner take all thing is weird. Anyway, the LDS round begins in earnest tonight, with two games on the slate. The Athletics and Tigers (Parker vs. Verlander) kick things off at 6:07pm ET, then the Reds and Giants (Cueto vs. Cain) will follow at 9:37pm ET. Both games will air on TBS.

Feel free to talk about those games or anything else (except politics) here this evening. There’s college football on somewhere, but really? Over playoff baseball? Not happening for me. You folks know what to do, so have at it.

  • Eddard reboot v.1.0

    Verlander taken out of the park by Coco Crisp. I’d like to see the As in the next round if we make it. Detroit is too dangerous with their starting pitching and 3-4 hitters.

  • CUYanks

    I think it’s logical to root for a Tigers loss in this game because, no matter which team you’d rather advance, it would be nice to not have Verlander lined up to start game 1 of the ALCS.

    • RetroRob

      I decided I was rooting for the Orioles yesterday and the A’s today. If one of those teams end up knocking off the Yankees, then I’ll root for the one that makes it to the World Series. Underdog thing and all.

      • Get Phelps Up

        I would definitely root for the A’s, but no way would I root for the Orioles if they beat the Yankees. I’d root for the Giants or Nationals.

        • http://yanksgoyard.com/ Joe F

          I’m rooting for the Reds or A’s if we’re out.

          But we won’t be so screw that.

          • Pat D

            Fuck the Reds. The Yankees still owe them for 1976!

            The only teams that I could root for, which I wouldn’t really, are the A’s and Nationals.

            I hate the Tigers and Orioles. I’ve got no love for the Reds and Cardinals. And the Giants finally got their two years ago, so they can go back to waiting 56 years.

            • http://yanksgoyard.com/ Joe F

              Older generations feel that pain. I don’t.

              My most hated teams are the Red Sox, Mets, Angels, and starting to become more hated are the Tigers.

            • http://yanksgoyard.com/ Joe F

              Not to say your hatred or hunger for revenge isn’t justified.

              I just know the Reds as that team that finished in the middle of the NL Central all the time. That or the latter part of the division.

              • Pat D

                Well 1976 is before my time, too. But my dad still wants revenge against the Cardinals for 1964. He was 15, and it ended up being the last World Series for a while for the team, and obviously the last one for Mantle, who was my dad’s idol. The Cardinals also hold a 3-2 advantage over the Yankees head to head in WS play.

                I mentioned this last year, but I don’t think you were around then. I came up with what I refer to as the Yankees Retribution Tour. It goes as follows:

                Pirates – 1960
                Cardinals – 1964
                Reds – 1976
                Royals – 1980
                Dodgers – 1981
                Diamondbacks – 2001
                Angels – 2002 or 2005 (take your pick on the year, they got revenge for one of them in the 2009 ALCS)
                Marlins – 2003
                Red Sox – 2004
                Tigers – 2006 and 2011
                Indians – 2007
                Rangers – 2010

                All other prior playoff and World Series losses were avenged in later years. But those still remain.

                • http://yanksgoyard.com/ Joe F

                  Nah I just started commenting around a month ago.

                  That’s a cool list to follow. Of course I don’t see us getting revenge on the Pittsburgh or Miami soon.

            • http://yanksgoyard.com/ Joe F

              And I can’t root for the Nationals. I wish Gio Gonzalez the best, but I can’t root for a Bryce Harper team. Along with the fact that they’re saving their ace for the future, but the future for the Nationals is now.

              • Pat D

                What’s your issue with Harper?

                • http://yanksgoyard.com/ Joe F

                  Tool bag. Everyone in my grade likes him because he’s a tool bag.

                  • Pat D

                    I’m sorry, but you’ll have to be more specific on “tool bag.” I have an idea, but that is way too vague a term.

                    And it’s not because I’m 31 and out of touch. Nope. Definitely not too far removed from high school.

                    • http://yanksgoyard.com/ Joe F

                      He’s a bit arrogant.

                    • vicki

                      joe’s gonna love gary sanchez.

                  • RetroRob

                    Harper doesn’t bother me one bit.

                    Talent, money and confidence at a young age seems to bother people. Not sure why. Yeah, he can be a bit cocky at times, but I’ve never seen anything to say he’s a tool.

                    Awaiting his joining the Yankees in five years or so!

              • jjyank

                I’m all for that Nats. Maybe it’s because I live in DC now, but they really are a fun team to watch. First playoff appearance in this city for many decades, and everyone here is giddy as hell.

                Harper seems pretty arrogant and all, but that blame is just as much as the media hyping him up as it is on him. I mean, the dude’s 19 years old, he was a first overall pick in the country, and everyone is talking about how he’s the next big superstar? I would imagine that it’s pretty hard not to have a bit of a chip on your shoulder.

                If the Yankees lose, I hope the Nats with the world series. My ideal scenario is a Nats-Yanks world series, Yankees win in 6. Book it.

                • http://yanksgoyard.com/ Joe F

                  I’d like to make the kid cry.

                  • jjyank

                    Really? I don’t think he’s even in the top 10 of most unlikeable players.

                    • Pat D

                      Yea, the top 3 on that list are ARod, Swish and Pierzynski.

                      Oh, that’s the player’s poll.

                    • http://yanksgoyard.com/ Joe F

                      It’s probably how kids in my school think he’s amazing and I defended that Trout was the better player early in the year, but they didn’t realize I was right until the All-Star break.

                    • jjyank

                      Well they got AJ right for sure. Also, 19 year old A-Rod was probably just as bad as Harper.

                      I give kids a pass generally speaking on the whole “teenage phenom thing” when we’re talking about arrogance. For all we know, Harper will be just as good a teammate as A-Rod when he’s in his 30′s.

                      I, for one, think the whole “That’s a clown question, bro” thing is hilarious.

                    • jjyank

                      @ Joe:

                      That’s on your classmates then, not Harper.

                    • http://yanksgoyard.com/ Joe F

                      Yea it is, but it’s also the reason I dislike the Giants. Otherwise I wouldn’t even mind Big Blue.

                    • Pat D

                      Wait, what’s the reason you don’t like the Giants? Your classmates?

                    • jjyank

                      He’s a Cowgirls fan, Pat. Move along.

                    • Pat D

                      Well let me share this fable. In 1990 I was 9 years old and in 4th grade. The Giants were 10-0 until they got destroyed by the Eagles.

                      Now I live in a part of Pennsylvania that would be considered Eagles country. The next day I walk into school and there are 4-5 classmates camped out waiting for me. As soon as they see me they all start jumping in my face, laughing at me and making fun of me. I really couldn’t understand why, since I never made a big deal of who I rooted for, and I certainly don’t remember bragging about them being 10-0.

                      From that day on I was a constant target for ridicule from that group of kids. They basically just latched onto me starting that day. It got so bad at times that I had fantasies about killing them. I still resent the shit out of all of them to this day and enjoy not having contact with them. A couple of them went to jail for a college fight which I found hilarious.

                      The capper to that year was the Giants winning the Super Bowl, of course. The day after the Super Bowl the phrase “Way To Go Giants?” was written on the blackboard. I was really pissed by that and changed “Giants” to “Bud Light” since Bud Light had finally beaten Budweiser in Bud Bowl 3. Anyone else remember those? Then I found out our teacher forced one of them to write that on the blackboard, without the question mark. So I kind of got in trouble for writing Bud Light until someone else told the teacher about the question mark.

                      So to sum up, my point is, Joe, your classmates can’t be any worse than mine were.

                    • jjyank

                      Ouch, Pat. Sorry to hear about that. My worst experience would be in Red Sox territory for college in 2007, but I was grown up enough by then to just shrug it off/get drunk with my Yankee fan friends instead.

                      Kids can be cruel.

                    • RetroRob

                      Well, Pat, it’s more than a few years later. Time for forgiveness and all. Why don’t you just invite these kids over to your place and dicuss the latest Huey Lewis and the News album?

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ure=fvwrel (and, uhh, not really safe for work.)

                      Christian Bale’s best role is not Batman!

                    • Pat D

                      I’m not a big fan of “forgiveness.”

                      That said, I’m not going to watch that clip which I presume is from American Psycho because I’m just reluctant to watch that movie.

                      And I agree that Christian Bale’s best role was not Batman. Obviously it was as Jack Kelly in Newsies.

                • Robinson Tilapia

                  I’d absolutely be behind the Nats, although I do carry a slight pro-Bay Area bias because I love it so much out there.

                  Strasburg and Harper may walk around with some extra swag but, shit, that’s what I want to see from young guys that good. I guess that, if I was closer to their age, I’d find it a lot more annoying, so I can certainly understand where Joe is coming from there.

                  I want to see great young players like that perform at the highest level.

                  • Deep Thoughts

                    Disagree. When that ‘tude goes unchecked the result is Josh Beckett.

                • RetroRob

                  I haven’t seen Newsies yet, so unless that was sarcasm, I’ll have to go find it.

                  Yes, that was a clip from American Psycho. I’m not a big fan of violent movies, but American Psycho was done with such humor that it’s worth the watch.

                  • Pat D

                    Oh, it was sarcasm. But Newsies is worth watching for a few reasons. One, to try and figure out how in the blue hell anyone ever agreed to greenlight such a movie like that in the early ’90′s. Second, to try to figure out who embarrassed his/herself more: Bale, Robert Duvall or Ann-Margret. Keep in mind that Bale was still up-and-coming, while the other two were well established stars and, in Duvall’s case, an Oscar winner!

                    It ranks very highly on the unintentional comedy scale.

                    • RetroRob

                      That makes more sense. I went and looked it up after my comment and then I did remember the movie. I never saw it, but I remember it was not well received! More stunned to see it was released twenty years ago.

                      I only realized within the last few months that Bale played the lead character in Speilberg’s Empire of the Sun, a visually beautiful shot film but fairly disappointing. Now before this turns into a film review board…

  • j

    Anyone else wishing we had picked up Cespedes? He’d make me feel a lot more comfortable about letting Swisher go.

    • RetroRob

      Sure. Knowing what we now know he’d be great. Then again, that can be said about any signing!

      • j

        Sure I’m not saying it was a bad move to not sign him. Just playing what if, I guess

  • https://twitter.com/#!/Paddock9652 Stratman9652

    If the Yankees play as sloppy as these teams have so far I’ll puke.

  • Pat D

    I posted a comment earlier today in the Adam Jones article. It had nothing to do with Adam Jones, so I guess that’s why I now see it was deleted. So I’ll post it again in the proper thread.

    Chipper Jones foresaw his career’s demise. He must be one with The Force. Or is it The Mysterious Force?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/.....1;mlb.html

    • MannyGeee

      Was it foresight? Or was it exactly how 100 guys who were put into a 1 game playoff situation yesterday felt… Only that 1/2 of them were right and the other 1/2 ain’t sayin shit…

      No one was comfortable playing yesterday’s sudden death games. chipper being the man of the hour, however, got to say it.

      • http://yanksgoyard.com/ Joe F

        I said this back in March, no one is going to like playing 162 games and then being eliminated in their first playoff game.

      • RetroRob

        Watched the CenterStage with Bud Selig last week. Thought it was interesting that Selig was leaning toward a 3-game playoff, although he said his managers (I don’t know what he meant by that) convinced him to do the one-game playoff.

        • Pat D

          The owners are his managers.

  • The Real Greg

    Bad defense all over the place in this postseason.

    • Jerry

      it’s just luck that bad defense is happening now

  • RetroRob

    Not surprised Francona is returning to manage to manage again, but unfortunately that means he’ll probably be replaced on the ESPN game broadcast team by the many he replaced and was just fired, Bobby Valentine.

    Valentine was a painful announcer.

    • RetroRob

      *man* he replaced

      • vicki

        subconscious salute to manny acta?

        • RetroRob

          Ha!

    • http://yanksgoyard.com/ Joe F

      And Fracona was actually good at it. Tito has a lot of win in comparison to Bobby V.

    • http://yanksgoyard.com/ Joe F

      Francona*

    • Pat D

      ESPN would be risking their credibility a tad if they go back to Valentine. I think they should give someone else a shot.

      • RetroRob

        There is humor here.

        There’s certainly not a shortage of candidates, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Valentine returned. Then again, who knows what they thought of Valentine. They might have been planning to replace him if he hadn’t got the Boston job.

        I didn’t like him in the booth. I would have taken Joe Morgan back over Valentine!

        • Pat D

          Luckily there’s a solution. It’s called the mute button.

  • vicki

    good for tito; great for cleveland.

    • Betty Lizard

      Soft spot for Cleveland for a bunch of reasons, midges notwithstanding, so good on them.
      But what they need more than Francona is a payroll over 80 million.

      (Wish I could watch the game in your bar, Vicki!)

      • jjyank

        Ugh. I guess I only have one reason to hate the Indians, and it really only applies to me, but I really hate them.

        My uncle (not blood related, married my dad’s sister) is from, and still lives in Columbus, OH. Huge Indians fan. When I was growing up, he always used to give me so much shit about the Yankees. One time we actually bet each other on a random series during the summer. If the Yanks won, he had to put a giant “Yankees” banner on his lawn for a week. And vice versa.

        I (the Yankees) lost. One of the worst weeks of my childhood :P

        So fuck the Indians. I like Tito, but I hope that team is terrible for a long, long time.

        • Pat D

          My best friend is from the Cleveland area originally and moved back there a few years ago following his divorce.

          He has constantly told me how dumb Cleveland fans are and how they’re incredibly big homers. He also has an uncle who does nothing but rag on the Yankees. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting him, but I’ve always had my “Count the rings” line planned for the occasion.

        • http://yanksgoyard.com/ Joe F

          That’s your uncle not the Indians. :)

          • jjyank

            Haha, fair enough. Though in my defense, the 90′s Indians always seemed to be an annoying team for me. And the midgets in 2007….yeah.

            My uncle was the main catalyst, but I do have my other reasons.

      • vicki

        what the tribe really need is a new gm. antonetti sealed their fate when he resigned sexy man instead of getting a righthanded bat. or two.

        plus it’d help if pronk weren’t so fragile.

        and betty, we’ll be diminished for your absence. you’re my kind of girl.

        • Betty Lizard

          Right-o Vicki. New GM/new owner.

          My friend who’s a Cleveland fan said about Francona: “Poor little fella; at least he knows he’ll get fired in 2 years.”

          As for the Yankees-Orioles series, I’ve been on the Wheel of Work for “a while” now and there’s no end in sight, so it’s probably OK that I’ll have to make do with MLB postseason TV . . . So enjoy some FABULOUS high def TV in my honor.

    • MannyGeee

      http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oZzgAjjuqZM

      Well, they’re not Detroit….

  • Need Pitching & Hitting

    Verlander’s best ever postseason start.

    • The Real Greg

      And even in this start he was a bit off. He walked 4.

  • http://yanksgoyard.com/ Joe F

    Hey Benoit’s facial bandage is gone!

  • Billy

    Anyone else surprised that Granderson has the lowest fWAR in baseball?

    • Get Phelps Up

      He doesn’t.

    • jjyank

      Anyone else surprised that a “male first name only” poster said something untrue?

      /Pat D’s meme’d

      • Pat D

        While I appreciate the credit, it certainly wasn’t something I started.

        • jjyank

          I know. But you’re who I heard it from, and these seemed to exemplify it fairly well.

        • RetroRob

          I’m pretty sure it was TommieSmithJohnCarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            I’m pretty sure that TSJC:

            1) Started this site.
            2) Created every meme
            3) Gave Mitt Romney his debate notes (NOTE: Not opinion)
            4) Gets to fuck all 50 states before the Miss America pageant.

            • RetroRob

              I’m beginning to wonder if TSJC was actually real.

              He’s RAB’s Captain Tuttle, a reference I doubt few will understand.

              • Pat D

                I had to look up Captain Tuttle.

                I refuse to believe that TSJC did not exist. I’m pretty sure he knows Mike personally.

                If I found that TSJC did not exist, I just don’t think I could go on living.

                • RetroRob

                  “We can all be comforted by the thought that he’s not really gone, there’s a little Tommie left in all of us, in fact you might say that all of us together made up TSJC. Our grief will pass, it’s already hard to remember how Tommie talked, how he looked. His little laugh. Thankfully he’s left behind a memorial. We salute you TommieSmithJohnCarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder. Humanitarian and healer. Good luck doctor in that great big waiting room in the sky.”

  • The Real Greg

    Tigers take Game 1 3-1

  • Captain_Turbo

    I feel obligated to point out that the playoffs this year are much more enjoyable if only because THE PHILLIES ARE NOT IN THEM!

    (Sorry for shouting. No, not really, it felt good.)

    • jjyank

      Haha, I can’t blame you. I really hate the Phillies as well. One less team with a fan base comprised of towels and a terrible mascot. Huzzah!

      • Pat D

        Philadelphia fans are the bane of my existence.

        Well……one of them. I mean, there are a lot of banes of my existence. One of them, however, is not Bane.

        Anyone catch the Bane reference on 30 Rock this week? Classic.

  • David N

    That was a great play by whoever’s playing first for the Giants.

    • vicki

      belt. thinking he’s derek jeter or something.

  • Captain_Turbo

    Wow, Cueto out with an injury. That throws a monkey wrench in the works for Cincy.

    • vicki

      huge. on paper i think they were the favorite to win it all. this is big.

      • Laz

        He is their ace, so now the top 2 nl teams lost one of their best starters. Could be big if the yankees can advance far with the reds and nats much weaker.

    • Nathan

      I wasn’t looking at the TV when the call for time was called but when I heard he didn’t throw it, I thought to myself that it would at least mess up his timing, mechanics and maybe be hurt.

      Boy was I right…too bad, I’m rooting against the Giants.

  • The Real Greg

    Do we know what happened to him?

    • Captain_Turbo

      Back spasms apparently.

  • David N

    That sudden silence you heard is the city of Cincinnati holding its collective breath.

  • Captain_Turbo

    Ah, the NL and their batting pitchers… how quaint.

    • jjyank

      But…that’s teh way baseballz is supposed to be playedd!!!??!!onez!

      …say all my Mets fans friends. I will never understand why an automatic out (or the occasional sac bunt) every time through the line up is “better baseball”.

      • Captain_Turbo

        It’s like saying an NFL quarterback should play defense. Dumb.

        • CUYanks

          I disagree with this. I enjoy the DH and love how it creates an avenue for aging players to stay in the game, but having pitchers hit, as in the NL, is not “dumb.” It’s basically the default. After all, we don’t differentiate between the 2b, 3b, SS, etc in the lineup, as they can switch, so specifically singling out one player to replace with a hitter is definitely unusual. NFL/NBA etc are not good comparisons because players are allowed to be substituted in and out freely. You do realize that the majority of the Yankees championship teams did have pitchers hit, right?

          • Pat D

            Utter nonsense.

            Pitchers don’t hit in college or the minors, so why expect them to hit in the majors?

            You say that NFL/NBA comparisons are not good? Fine. You know what else isn’t a good comparison to the DH era of baseball in terms of how championships are won? The non-DH era of baseball where pitchers still tried to hit in lower levels. That’s a completely irrelevant comparison.

            • CUYanks

              The argument is not in reference to what is done in the minors/college. In college, hitters use metal bats. Each of those leagues have their reasons to do as they do. (I would imagine minor leagues are interested in developing as many potential hitters as possible.)

              It’s also not an argument as to what “should” be done now, given the situation with pitchers not hitting in the minors, etc. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to have the DH in the majors now, GIVEN the minors use it.

              The argument is that philosophically it is an alteration of the original game of baseball, and if you think about the spirit of the game, it is certainly an artificial addition. The main idea of baseball is that you have your 9 players, who will play in the field and then form a batting order, and you can sub any of them out (without bringing them back in). I understand the practical benefits of the DH, just as there would be practical benefits if, say, we added a second DH for the worst position player hitter, etc. I just think the baseball “purist” has a solid point in supporting the NL way.

              Also, in my opinion, beginning a response with “utter nonsense” does not strengthen one’s argument.

              • Captain_Turbo

                Games adapt and change to the times.

                • CUYanks

                  Indeed, and some people support the changes and some people resent the changes. Both sides have reasonable arguments.

                  • Captain_Turbo

                    No argument there.

              • Pat D

                Utter nonsense. No, just kidding.

                I get your point, I just don’t share those views. It’s a bit like a, and I’m going to get into trouble for this, a political discussion in that one side favors progress and the other one does not.

                You can’t keep falling back on tradition or “that’s how we did it then” in any facet of life and continue to grow and survive. Wasn’t one of the reasons they added the DH in the first place was in response to the near dead ball 60′s and the fact that the NFL was beginning to overtake baseball in popularity? It was something that had to be done. This is what I find a lot of “purists” don’t get or don’t want to get.

                When I suggested that the DH should be in both leagues in the presence of a Mets fan uncle of mine, he just said, “Then why bother having managers?” As if that’s all a manager is supposed to do? Knowing when to pinch hit or bring in a reliever or any other thing a manager has to do could be done automatically?

                It’s just not an argument that, to me, makes any sense.

                • CUYanks

                  Yeah, I understand that and it’s a fair argument. I’m a Yankees fan after all. That being said, I definitely don’t mind the alternate universe that is NL baseball. I get kinda annoyed when my AL friends completely dismiss the NL way, considering they are only sticking to what baseball was in both leagues up until 1973 (?). I do see the DH as a more extreme form of progress than many of the other changes (i.e. night games, better equipment, instant replay) in that is significantly changes the form of the game.

                  Practically speaking, though, for those who support the DH, why stop at one DH then?

                  • Pat D

                    I always say that it’s in the NL’s best interest to adapt the DH. Mostly because the AL routinely trounces them in interleague play year after year after year. The problem is that NL fans don’t think so since they’ve still won several WS and All-Star games, as they don’t understand the difference between 1 random game, a best of 7 series, and the hundreds of interleague games each year.

                    Why not two DH’s? That would seem excessive. Having a DH for a pitcher is valid for the reasons I said earlier. To add, pitching is hard enough, probably the hardest position on the field, so pitchers should just focus on that. Position players still have to hit all the way to the major leagues and should be competent.

                    Now if we wanna talk about designated runners…that’s another story.

                  • jjyank

                    “Practically speaking, though, for those who support the DH, why stop at one DH then?”

                    Not sure what you mean there. I fully support the DH, because pitchers are not paid to hit, they don’t practice hitting, and they are not any good at hitting. So why let them bat?

                    If the NL wants to keep it that way, fine. I won’t bitch about it if its not my league. But I don’t get the quoted statement. Why stop at what? DHing for the pitcher is a pretty reasonable stopping point.

                    Position players hit. Pitchers do not. That’s how teams (in both leagues) find value. That’s why guys like Posada, Cano, Bernie Williams, Jeter, Tulo, McCutchen, Trout, Harper, Yadier Molina, etc, etc, etc, are valuable. Becuase there are players who out-hit their positional counter parts.

                    Tell me, how many pitchers at the plate do you go “damn…I know he’s a pitcher, but you better walk him” they way you would say “damn…catchers generally can’t hit, but I better walk Posada”? None, right?

                    So there’s the line. It’s been drawn, and it’s been implemented. Why stop there? Because that’s the rational place to draw the line.

                    Sorry if this sounded combative. I just have too mant NL fan friends.

                    /end rant

                    • CUYanks

                      Haha. Well in the AL we have some really terrible number 9 hitters. The John McDonalds of the world. Wouldn’t having a second DH for a light-hitting (but slick-fielding) position player add excitement and run-scoring, as well as create more jobs, in a similar way that the first DH does?

                    • jjyank

                      No. That #9 hitter is generally, what? A short stop, a catcher, etc.? That would diminish the value of players like Jeter, Posada, and all the other names I threw up above, and more. The point is where, some teams have their SS hitting 9th, other teams have guys like Jeter, Tulo, Desmond, etc. Where some teams have a catcher hitting 9th, others have Molina, McCann, Aviles, Martin, Napoli, etc. That’s an argument that cannot be made with pitchers. So, like I said, that’s where the line is drawn. Because it makes sense to draw it there.

                    • CUYanks

                      Fair enough, though you don’t have to specify the position where the second DH would replace. It would simply be the choice of the team as the worst hitting position player. As a result, people who hit well at traditionally weak-hitting positions would still have surplus value because it would allow the team to designated hit for a different player.

                    • jjyank

                      I’m not sure I get your point here. If the pitcher was a batter, and you had to designate the DH for the worst hitting batter…it would be the pitcher 99% of the time, right?

                      Unless you’re still talking about two DHs. I don’t think anyone wants two DHs, and I’m not sure why you’re still asking about it, to be honest. The DH exists to replace the player on the team that is the worst at hitting, which is pretty much always the pitcher. Pitcher’s don’t even practice hitting, so why bother?

                      Even shitty hitting position player at least practice the art of hitting. They at least work at it. Their monetary value in contracts is tied to hitting. That is why it matters for them. Nobody shells out big contract to pitchers because “oh, and he has a lot of pop in his bat too!” Position players, however bad they may be, are paid (in part, of course) to hit.

              • Jerry

                The “pitcher” position has always been fundamentally different from all the other defensive positions, since it initiates each “pitch” and since it can cause outs or put runners on base merely via pitches, without having to do anything “in the field”.

                Over time, this special position has become more and more specialized — developing from something someone could do every other day for a whole game, to every few games, to only 5-7 innings every five games or 1-2 innings every 2 out of 3 games. As it has grown more and more specialized it has grown more and more demanding — a pitcher no longer needs to be able to go 9 innings all the time, but he needs to be really really good at whatever his specialty is. That’s kinda the whole point of specialization.

                It’s no surprise that pitchers in general even prior to super-specialization were not especially good hitters. They were already playing a uniquely demanding defensive position and so it’s no surprise they didn’t/couldn’t concentrate on offense as much. Similarly it’s no surprise that pitchers got worse with hitting as the specialization of the position increased. At what other position is it EXPECTED that you will be pulled from the game after 6-7 or 1-2 innings, whatever your hitting ability may be? Being good at your pitching specialization is itself a pretty huge demand, much more so than, say, being competent at left field. It leaves little time for working on offensive ability. Do you think starters want to take BP on days off resting their arm?

                So, it’s not at all “artificial” that the DH has developed. It’s a very natural development given the unique specialized nature of the pitcher position. It is only “artificial” if you pick a given historical moment in the evolution of baseball and say “That is what baseball ‘really’ is”.

                • CUYanks

                  You’re definitely right that the pitcher has become more specialized, but technically in the NL, any of the position players could take the mound on any given pitch, so really only the process of the pitch itself is specialized. Don’t you think it’s at least interesting the possibility of having two position players who can play pitcher and interchanging them based on platoon matchups, as the NL could allow? The AL kinda ruins this.

                  • Jerry

                    Yes, actually — I’m really interested in the idea of teams doing radical convention-breaking things like that. A lot of what passes for “baseball management” is slavish adherence to tradition, whether or not it’s actually a smart/effective thing to do. Like, the way relief pitchers work is built in part on this whole idea that “the closer” exists to get “the save”, a very specific arbitrary statistic. I don’t think this leads to optimal bullpen management.

                    • CUYanks

                      Yeah. I would love to see more outside-the-box managing. The main problem is the media is so tradition-based (and sometimes lacks a deep understanding of the game of baseball) that it will second guess to death any of those decisions if they appear to go wrong. That’s why the perfect place to try these things out is a small market place where the manager has the undying respect of his players/media (see: Maddon, Joe). Any idea for the kinds of radical things you might propose?

                    • CUYanks

                      One thing I thought about is that it really could be standard gamesmanship for players to swing at the 4th ball on the intentional walk, especially when a pitcher is struggling to get the ball accurately to the plate (and a wild pitch is a possibility). After all, if the opposing manager decided to walk you on 0-0, why would he change his mind when the count is 3-1, and this way you make the pitcher throw another dangerous pitch (with the potential for a WP or balk).

                  • jjyank

                    “Could allow”. Sure. But how many manager would risk injury by throwing pitchers out into the field on a regular basis? I don’t see the benefit to outweigh the risk there.

                    • CUYanks

                      Yeah. I mean it’s been done kinda recently. I remember the Braves doing it in an extra inning game. You really need specific personnel/situations though.

                    • jjyank

                      Yeah, they did it once. In one game. But as a regular thing? No way.

          • Captain_Turbo

            That’s the ancient past. It’s like saying the majority of humans fought sabre-tooth tigers. The DH is the future!

            • CUYanks

              Haha. I do agree that the DH is the future. The players union has an investment in it.

          • Jerry

            I disagree with this. I enjoy the forward pass in football and love how it creates offense I actually want to watch, but not allowing the forward pass, as in earlier NFL, is not “dumb”. It is basically the default. For a very long time, there was no forward pass in football, so that is the right and “default” way to do things.

            Similarly, roughly half of the NBA champions starting in 1947 won without a three-point line. We don’t differentiate between 3-footers and 10-footers – why should we differentiate between 18-footers and 23-footers? Singling out one spot on the court to be worth more points is definitely unusual. Also, there are no two- or three-pointers in soccer. So, a basketball league without three-point shots would be the default.

          • Jerry

            I disagree with this. I enjoy the forward pass in football and love how it creates offense I actually want to watch, but not allowing the forward pass, as in earlier NFL, is not “dumb”. It is basically the default. For a very long time, there was no forward pass in football, so that is the right and “default” way to do things.

            Similarly, roughly half of the NBA champions starting in 1947 won without a three-point line. We don’t differentiate between 3-footers and 10-footers – why should we differentiate between 18-footers and 23-footers? Singling out one spot on the court to be worth more points is definitely unusual. Also, there are no two- or three-pointers in soccer. So, a basketball league without three-point shots would be the default.

            • Captain_Turbo

              Jerry double-post jinx, you owe me a beer.

              • Jerry

                My finger twitched, hit the button twice. Weird.

                What are you drinking?

                • Captain_Turbo

                  Sierra Nevada.

            • vicki

              pretty much this.

              grow up, national league.

          • vicki

            night baseball ruined the game!

            • MannyGeee

              And then they brought in the coloreds!!!! Now it rooooned…. (since never changing the game seems to be ‘en vogue’)

    • SammySosasBleachingCream

      If pitchers actually could hit, even like .200 or something, I probably wouldn’t mind seeing them bat. But two-strike bunt attempts do not get my juices flowing.

      • CUYanks

        Would robot pitchers with laser precision get your juices flowing? I think that would be pretty awesome.

        • vicki

          at least gps for calling balls and strikes.

      • RetroRob

        …and that does get to the heart of the issue. When an NL fan talks about baseball and the way the game should be played (meaning without a DH) and by the Knickerbocker Rules of the 1800s, they’re basically ignoring that when the game was created pitchers could hit. Babe Ruth was not the only pitcher to become a position player. It happened more frequently in the games early days, much more so before Ruth’s time. As is the case in Little League, during the early days of the game, many times the best athlete on the field many was the pitcher. The level of competition kept increasing that it became more and more challenging for pitchers to actually hit.

        If this was the case back in the 1800s, the game’s creators never would have allowed pitchers to hit. They probably wouldn’t have created the DH either (although it was discussed nearly a century back). My guess is they would have treated the pitcher as a very different animal, as he is, and only had the eight position players bat.

        The NL and their fans can continue with pitchers hitting. I don’t care. I just don’t want to ever see if come back in the AL. Yet somehow NL fans want to dictate that. You never hear it the other way around.

        • CUYanks

          I like it how it is. It adds a little extra intrigue to the World Series when one team has to play by the other’s rules. And I don’t buy the argument that it’s unfair to the NL because the AL team “has a guy specifically designed to be the DH.” They conveniently forget the fact that the AL team has to pay that player more too, so it’s not some sort of free roll in roster construction.

          • RetroRob

            I’m fine with both leagues having a different approach when it comes to pitchers/DHs. I do not want to force NL teams and their fans to adopt the DH. I certainly don’t want to them dictating what I watch in the AL.

            I don’t buy the argument either that the NL is at a disadvantage anymore than the AL is at a disadvantage. In some ways, teams that have full-time DHs like the Red Sox are at more of a disadvantage is those players can’t play the field.

            Where I think the advantage comes to the AL is it forces clubs to build deeper lineups, more offense that goes beyond the DH. It’s the approach the AL has that makes it a deeper, stronger league. I also think the DH slot is not that much of an additional expense when you take into account that it allows teams to rotate their players into the DH slot and give the “half day” rests. A team paying a high salary to a star can maximize his value more in the AL than they can in the NL, IMHO.

            • MannyGeee

              I actually think its the opposite. The DH rule puts an AL team at a disadvantage. now you have to give Andy Pettitte an AB when he hasn’t held one in literally 3 seasons. Or teach geniuses like Jim Leyland & Buck Showalter how to double switch properly…

              (don’t worry, Girardi has a whole section in the binder on this…)

        • SammySosasBleachingCream

          Plus everyone’s just so disingenuous about the whole thing. You have the old-timer guys, who on the one hand say “you’re a part of this offense too. Your at-bat is just as important as everyone else’s. That’s the way the game is played.” Then they turn right around and say “but don’t run hard to first, don’t take a legit swing if there are runners on base, don’t try to score from second, and oh by the way we’ll be pinch-hitting for you just as soon as humanly possible.”
          Which is it? Are pitcher at-bats important, or are we all basically admitting they’re a waste of everyone’s time? The phrase “clearing the pitcher’s spot” has become a joke.

  • vicki

    i know i risk derision here but must give proper respect to my gamecocks, humiliating the bulldogs on national tv tonight. thang of beauty, both sides of the ball.

    • Yankeesfan1217

      Gamecocks suck. Go Tigers!!! ( Note I am a Clemson student)

      • vicki

        they play football in the acc? lol.

        go cocks!

        • Pat D

          One day, the SEC’s uppance will come!

          • vicki

            shaking your fist at the heavens?

            • Pat D

              What heavens?

              • vicki

                at the skies, then? can we stipulate skies, hitch?

                • Pat D

                  I’ll go with skies.

                  But, no, I’m not fist shaking over that. I reserve my fist shaking for things that grind my gears worse.

                  Like when I can’t find the droids I’m looking for.

                  • Captain_Turbo

                    I just like to add that I made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. FYI.

                    • Pat D
                    • vicki

                      you nerds and your star trek references.

                    • Pat D

                      That was a Star Wars reference. Now you just look silly.

                    • vicki

                      wait, reallly? i had no idea.

                      blink, blink.

  • RetroRob

    The Reds will certainly be in good shape if they hold on to win this game and then Cueto comes back for game 3.

    • Pat D

      Back spasms can be tricky. Bringing him back in Game 3 might be pushing it.

      • CUYanks

        I think the way Latos has been pitching in the second half, it’s not too big of a dropoff having him in the 1st and 5th game instead of Cueto. It’s only that middle game (going from Latos to ??) where there could be a big dropoff. They can’t replace Cueto with Leake to start game 4 unless they’re willing to have him miss the potential NLCS, correct?

        • Get Phelps Up

          That’s right. I’d imagine they’d just take a reliever off the roster, and use a 6 man bullpen.

          • CUYanks

            You mean in the NLCS?

            • Get Phelps Up

              For the rest of the NLDS. They take Leake off and put the reliever back on for the NLCS.

              • CUYanks

                They can only replace an injured player, though. So they would have to fake an injury to Sam LeCure or something.

                • Get Phelps Up

                  You’re right…I guess they could also bring back Latos for Game 4 on 3 days rest.

                  • CUYanks

                    If they’re lucky, it might only go 3.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Beating Cain once, in SF, and the potential of Cueto’s coming back to pitch again (Pat’s point above taken) soon may be huge for Cincy.

    Still, Go Giants!

  • vicki

    can we set aside our progress v. tradition arguments and all agree that having relievers warm up along the baselines is just plain stupid? this is a new park too.

    • Captain_Turbo

      Second.

    • jjyank

      Really stupid. Let the guys warm up without worrying about foul balls, right? Give them a damn bullpen.

      • Pat D

        Won’t happen unless someone in one of these “bullpens” gets killed by a line drive.

        • Captain_Turbo

          They should make the Giants tear down the whole stadium and build it the right way. Someone get Bud Selig on the phone!

        • vicki

          i feel like i saw a close call where a fielder going for a flyball tripped over a mound in foul territory.

          seriously, i get nostalgia but this is dangerous.

          and they’re cheating their fans out of enter sandman drama.

    • CUYanks

      Why not just have them warm up behind 2nd base while they’re at it. Just as long as they promise to get out of the way of the batted balls.

  • Pat D

    Notre Dame is going to be ranked #6 now. I am now very, very worried.

  • Pat D

    This article made me cringe.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/playbo.....-2012#more

    • Get Phelps Up

      I wish they kept McLouth and Ciriaco.

  • Get Phelps Up

    Don’t the Reds know they can’t win in the playoffs with homers???

  • CUYanks

    I know this is now outdated, but have people seen this montage of Yu Darvish’s 221 strikeouts this season. I also endorse the first music Choice. I miss George.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXO8ByR0H7g

    • Pat D

      I was up very late the night George died and saw it announced on CNN at like 3 in the morning. I left a note for my parents that it happened, then went to bed. I woke up in the morning and was so upset I didn’t go to work that day.

      I also never listened to any of his solo music until after his death, nor did I hear any of the Traveling Wilburys stuff. I regretted that a lot, because in a lot of ways George’s solo career is 2nd favorite for me amongst The Beatles.

      “Wah-Wah,” “Isn’t It a Pity?,” “Beware of Darkness,” “All Things Must Pass,” “Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll),” “Sue Me Sue You Blues,” “The Light That Has Lighted the World,” “This Song,” “Crackerbox Palace,” “Got My Mind Set on You,” “When We Was Fab,” “Poor Little Girl,” “Cheer Down,” and “Stuck Inside a Cloud” are some of my all-time favorites.

      • CUYanks

        I think there is absolutely no doubt George Harrison was the most underrated member of the Beatles.

        • Ringo

          Darn, darn darn.

          • CUYanks

            Hey, at least you’re alive!

      • Deep Thoughts

        I remember reading about it in The Onion. The headline was:

        GEORGE HARRISON DEAD
        Ringo Next

    • David N

      That pitch is just filthy. Glad we don’t have to face him.

      • CUYanks

        Yeah, I’ll take our chances with the magical Joe Saunders.

    • RetroRob

      Before I watched the video, I thought you meant you missed George Steinbrenner, since he probably would have signed Darvish. Didn’t realize it was referencing George Harrison.

      In my fantasy league one of the owners cut Darvish when he hit a rough patch in mid season. I claimed him immediately since it’s a keeper’s league. He was great from that day forward.

      Also glad the Yankees don’t have to face him.

      • CUYanks

        I didn’t even think of this, but you’re probably right. I guess when it comes to George, there can be only 2.

      • vicki

        i made the same leap of logic.

  • CUYanks

    Does Aroldis Chapman ever come in for 4-out saves? This seems like a good time.

  • vicki

    hey, torre didn’t kill his career after all.

    good for you, jonathan broxton. good for you.

  • RetroRob

    Chapman melting down?

    • RetroRob

      …seems not.

    • vicki

      vulgar velo ain’t all.

  • Mike HC

    Is there any team in the history of baseball that is as fat and out of shape as the Tigers? Delmon Young, Cabrera and Fielder … Not even trying to be insulting, I just can’t see a team this fat winning the WS.

    • SammySosasBleachingCream

      Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were fat.

      • RetroRob

        The Iron Horse was a workout fanatic.