The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Albert Pujols’

Elimination day

Posted by keithosaunders on October 9, 2011

At last I can exhale and begin to enjoy the 2011 baseball season now that the corporate automaton known as the Yankees have been eliminated by the Detriot Tigers.  That’s twice in five years that the smug, arrogant Yankee fans have looked past the Tigers towards the ALCS, and each time, much to their chagrin, their clean-cut, star-laden team has come up short.

How did the Yankees lose that game?  They had men on base in every inning except the first and the ninth, yet they could only score two runs.  Playoff A-Rod is an out waiting to happen.  I wonder if the Yankees are beginning to regret the contract that they gave him.  Who am I kdding — they could sign Pujois, Lincecum, and Cliff Lee next week and not blink. 

Here is the opening of longtime New York sports radio host, Chris Russo’s show the morning after the Yankees were eliminated.  It’s worth a listen.

But enough about the Yankees.  Let’s talk Brewers baseball.  There were two classic game fives on Friday night, but few games will match the intensity and drama of the Brewers deciding game versus the surprising and resilient Arizona Diamondbacks. 

This is why we watch baseball:  Not to see high-wattage super-teams composed of mercenary, colorless players, but to see the unbridled elation from teams such as Milwaukee. (or Arizona, had they advanced)   

Elation may have been an understatement.  I have never seen a team go so wild over a divisional series win before.  Granted Milwaukee won it with a walkoff hit in the bottom of the 10th, coming on the heels of Arizona failing to score a go-ahead run after they had loaded the bases loaded in the top of the ninth.  Still — the way they were carrying on you would have thought they had won the World Series.  

The sideline reporter tried to interview Prince Fielder, but the big guy would have none of it.  He grunted a few syllables before saying he had to go.  After a couple of comments from Ryan Braun, the hero of the hour, Nyger Morgan, popped his head into the frame and the reporter, quick as a cat whirled around and shouted, “Nyger, a few words please!”  Morgan had turned to the crowd and was shouting something at them.  All of a sudden you see this hand with a television mic extend towards Morgan and then you hear, “FUCK YEAH! FUCK YEAH!”

You know it’s been a couple of good days in the Keitho household when you get a Yankee elimination followed by unscripted F bombs on TV.  

Finally the reporter corals Morgan for an interview and he’s still looking around at the crowd and hugging various players, and finally he turns to her and says, “I got nothing for you,” and leaves for the clubhouse. 

 What the?!  The Brewers are the anti-corporation, dissing the media.  I love it!  

The next thing TBS showed was the clubhouse and I had never seen so much champagne flowing and such carrying on.  I counted eight bottles, and believe me, they were flowing.

Psst…Brewers…you haven’t won anything yet. 

 Ah, who am I kidding, I can’t stay mad at them.  I’ll be rooting for them to advance to the World Series, if no other reason than to see how much more amped up their celebrations can get.  Pass the cheese!

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Grand Central Division

Posted by keithosaunders on July 25, 2011

CENTRAL W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA DIFF STRK L10
Pittsburgh 52 47 .525 26-25 26-22 382 378 +4 Won 1 6-4
St. Louis 53 48 .525 25-21 28-27 474 438 +36 Lost 1 5-5
Milwaukee 54 49 .524 33-14 21-35 443 452 -9 Lost 2 5-5
Cincinnati 50 51 .495 3 27-23 23-28 469 433 +36 Won 2 5-5
Chicago Cubs 42 60 .412 11.5 25-31 17-29 411 507 -96 Won 3 5-5
Houston 33 68 .327 20 17-36 16-32 388 506 -118 Lost 3 3-7

Don’t look now but there’s a classic pennant race shaping up and it’s not where you’d expect.  Forget your AL East with its twin behemoth Yankees and Redsox — their passion play will not begin until October, since the team that doesn’t win the division figures to take the wild card.

The action this year resides in the NL Central; that erstwhile laughing-stock of a division.  There, four teams sit separated by two games in the standings.  Given the fact that the NL East-residing Atlanta Braves figure to take the wild card, only one Central club will advance to the playoffs.

My sentiments lie with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are at this writing, leading the division by percentage points over the Cardinals.  The Pirates have reached the rarefied air of five games above .500, threatening to break their ignominious streak of consecutive losing seasons, currently at eighteen.  It is the longest such streak in professional sports. 

The Buccos are winning with a team of gritty, young ball players.  (that’s what several consecutive years of high draft picks, and a savvy GM will do for you) It’s rare for me to watch a Pirate game in which I fail to utter the sentence, “Who is that guy?”  

Andrew McCutchen is a speedy young center fielder who has 59 RBI.  Their second baseman is Neil Walker, a slick fielder, and a good run producer as well.  Their only semi-star is Lyle Overbay, who is playing first base.  The pitching has been surprisingly solid behind Kevin Correia, Jeff Karstens, and Paul Maholm, and their closer, Joel Hanrahan, has been superb. 

The Cardinals are the favorites, with their murderers row middle of the lineup — Pujols, Holiday, and Berkman — but I’m hoping that their shaky bullpen will see to it that the do not run away and hide. 

Milwaukee was a sexy pick at the beginning of the season, and they are proving themselves worthy of the hype.  They’re a good team, and as long as K-Rod doesn’t blow too many games, they are going to be fine.  They’re another team I would like to see take the next step. 

I can’t stand the Reds pitching.  Johnny Cueto?  Edinson Volquez?  Homer Bailey?  It speaks volumes that Dontrelle Willis is making a comeback with this staff.  Still, they’re  another good hitting club that may be able to hang around. 

You see, this is why interleague play is a sham.  Here you have four teams in a pennant race, and they’re all going to playing each other come August and September.  While the Yankees, Phillies, and Redsox, spend September sorting out their post season rotations, there will be daily blood-lettings in the middle of the country.  Interleague is a distraction from pennant race baseball.  It is a novelty act that has worn thin.

If MLB has its way, however, we will see the expansion of interleague play, as well as the end of pennant races as we have known them since 1969, the year divisional play was introduced.  There has been a plan floated around that would do away with divisions, creating two 15 team leagues.  The schedule would be balanced, meaning that all teams would play each other the same amount of times, regardless of league.  Imagine if the Pirates played the Royals the same amount of times as they did the Cardinals.   

Baseball seems high bent on removing any sense of tradition from the game, rendering it corporate and soulless.  All the more reason for us to savor what could well be one of the last great divisional races.  

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