The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Cubs’

Replay is killing sports

Posted by keithosaunders on October 16, 2017

Replay reviews is the worst thing to happen to sports in the past ten years.  Fans of replay never tire of saying you have to get the call right.  Never mind that it makes a slow-moving sport slower, the truth must win out!   My response to that remains that the game is losing its soul.  A shortstop makes an error and so does an ump.  And you know what?  The umps usually get it right.  It’s not as if they’re on the take.  As for the close plays…who cares?!  That’s life.

In the 8th inning of the deciding NLDS game five between the Cubs and Nationals – a one run game – Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton was ruled safe on a close pick off play.  Let’s go to the video tape!  The review folks in the New York bunker proceeded to spend five minutes reviewing the play frame by frame, Zapruder-style, to discover that for 1/100 of a second Lobaton’s foot was off the bag.  He was ruled out.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post wrote, ‘For 100 years, Lobaton would have been safe, the original and seemingly obvious call, and everybody would have moved on to the next pitch, unbothered and riveted to the eighth inning of a one-run game. As Thursday night became Friday morning, a ballpark engaged in near-forensic video study, squinting to see if Lobaton’s leg had come off the base at a moment when Rizzo’s glove touched him.’ 

I’ve thought all along that replay is ruining sports and nothing has come along to change my opinion.  Between replay reviews, innumerable trips to the mound, and double digit pitching changes leading to five hour (9 inning) post season games, we’re stuck with a sport that is fast becoming unwatchable.

Say what you want about the other three major sports, they aren’t interminable to watch.  What’s the difference between a bunch of technocrats painstakingly making a call – that is still debatable – and an ump making a bang bang call in the moment?  The difference is that one is anti-climatic (and still sometimes wrong) and the other is exciting.

Image result for jose lobaton pickoff

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Bring on the playoffs

Posted by keithosaunders on September 30, 2017

This was a terrible year to be a Mets fan.  The team suffered a barrage of injuries early on, unloading much of the 2015 World Series lineup by the trading deadline.  It appears that Matt Harvey, thanks to overuse during the 2015 post season, is all but washed up. Mea culpa:  I was one of those who supported pitching him during that post season, and I still believe it was the right thing to do.  You don’t get many shots at a World Series ring, especially if you’re a Met.

This was also a terrible year for pennant races.  The National League seemed all but decided by the All Star break, although the Brewers made a run for the Central, and at this writing are still alive for a wild card slot. (although the Rockie’s magic number is 1.) I really can’t get too excited about wild card races, however, especially when the Mets are not in it.

Much to my chagrin the Yankees are good again.  I’m hoping that the upstart Twins can take them out in the gimmicky one-game play-in, but who am I kidding – the Twins are the Yankee’s bitch.

In the junior circuit I’ll be pulling for either the Astros or Indians.  Houston has never won a World Series and has only played in one of them.  It would be nice to see them get through.

In the NL I’ll be rooting for the Dodgers.  I can’t stand the Cubs fans, who I find insufferable, so I’ll be content with their team bowing out.  The Cubs seem to be peaking at the right time, however, and I would be surprised if they do not make it back to the Series. The good thing about the Dodgers going deep into the post season would be to watch these idiot Giants fans up here suffer. (I live in the Bay Area)  Talk about front runners!

Well that’s it.  I don’t have a dog in this race so I’m hoping for some good games and a minimum of exposure to Joe Buck.

Let’s go!

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The [non existent] National League Pennant Races

Posted by keithosaunders on August 4, 2017

Baseball in the modern age is nothing short of depressing.  First of all these games are interminable.  Each steroidally-enhanced pitcher takes a year between pitches before walking the ballpark.  Throw in catcher’s and coaches visits to the mound and you’ve got yourself a snooze fest.  I honestly don’t see how anyone can watch a regular season game in real time.
The National League playoff picture is all but set thanks to a top heavy western division.  The Dodgers are on a hot streak that hasn’t been seen in baseball in decades, and the Diamondbacks and Rockies seemed poised to secure the two wild card slots.  The Nationals have wrapped up the East, leaving us with a tepid Central division race figured to be won in a cakewalk by last year’s champion Cubs.
I find it depressing how at this time of year, teams are either buyers or sellers, thus eliminating the chances of a late season playoff run from an underdog. I hate to say it but I’m for adding more playoff teams.  Who cares at this point?  The integrity of the playoffs is already ruined, can we at least have some decent races?  Let’s throw caution to the wind and go the way of the NHL & NBA.  8 playoff teams in each league, baby!

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The bullpens are out of control

Posted by keithosaunders on April 19, 2017

Baseball these days is almost unwatchable.  Without a device that can skip through commercials you’re watching drama on a par with paint drying.  The only time I can watch a game in real time is when I have it on in the background while I’m practicing,  or when I’m eating.  Thanks to a revolving door of relief pitchers from the 6th inning on, the game has slowed to a crawl.  Throw in a few booth reviews and the snail-like pace of most pitchers and hitters and you’ve got yourself a cheap sedative.

What is it with these corporate push-button managers?  They’ve got bullpens, often eight deep, stacked with loutish buffoons, each one throwing in the high 90s.  Yet these pampered gorillas are seemingly incapable of throwing more than one inning at a time.

Then you’ve got the delicate genius managers in the mold of Tony La Russa, such as Cubs manager, Joe Maddon, and Cardinals skipper, Mike Matheny, who mix and match righties and lefties until you want to throw a shoe at the screen.  God forbid these guys ever get into a marathon 20 inning game, they’ll have to forfeit when they run out of players.

 

Delicate genius

Image result for Tony Larussa

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Let the intentional walking begin

Posted by keithosaunders on April 2, 2017

Baseball games are really going to fly by now.  Forget the fact that every single close play at first base warrants a three minutes review, intentional walks are now automatic!  Now that’s progress.

This year, rather than a normal baseball prediction post, I’m going to present a baseball soulful (wishful thinking) prediction post.

In the NL East the Mets, flush with pitching, Cespedes, and just enough hitting, will dominate and cruise to their third ever World Series victory.

In the NL Central the Cubs will revert to form and miss the playoffs – the first of 110 more years without a championship. The Pittsburgh Pirates will win the division with the Brewers taking the wild card.

In the NL West, having lost track of whether or not they’re supposed to win in an odd year, the Giants will begin 166 straight years of last place finishes.  The Dodgers will win the west, losing to the Mets in the NLCS.

Moving along to the junior circuit, in the AL West we have my dark horse prediction:  My East Bay homies, the Oakland As will shock the world!  You read it here first.

In the AL Central the Detroit Tigers will win the division, as well as the pennant before losing to the Mets in a 6 game World Series.

In the Al East the Yankees will go 6-156.  The Bluejays will win the division and Joey Batista will set an MLB record with double digit bat flips.  Baltimore gets the wild card.

There you have it:  Major League Baseball according to Keitho.

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Billy goat begone!

Posted by keithosaunders on November 3, 2016

 

For the first time in my life — for the first time in anyone’s life – the Cubs have won the World Series.  On the way they overcame a  3-1 deficit in games, the last two being on the road, and a delicate genius, hands-on manager who did everything in his power to sabotage his team’s victory.

This was the worst managed Series deciding game I have ever seen.  Joe Maddon is one of these managers, from the Tony LaRussa school, who likes to let you know he’s in the dugout running things.  He pulled starter, Kyle Hendricks, out of the game too soon, attempted a squeeze with two strikes and one out where a fly ball would have scored a run, and had burned Aroldis Chapman needlessly in game 6 so that he had nothing left for game 7 when he really needed him.

Terry Francona, on the other hand, stuck with his starter, Corey Kluber, too long.  Kluber, who has been pitching on short rest throughout the series was running on fumes.  Francona had fresh arms on the bench – Danny Salazar and Trevor Bauer — and he chose to stick with Kluber.

Still, it was one of the great Series games, packed with drama and tension and I was glad to have seen it. In fact, I stumbled into a windfall.  When I arrived at my solo gig I found that the game was on their TV.  The owner asked me if I would mind waiting for it to end before beginning to play.  Suppressing a grin I said, “Well…I suppose,” while thinking, ‘Oh baby!’ By the time the game ended my gig was over.  I ended up playing three and a half tunes during the game’s rain delay.

Years ago I had missed the greatest World Series ending of all time while at one of my gigs – the Joe Carter walkoff home run in 2003.  I was prepared to miss another classic, telling myself I could take it and that nothing could be as bad as 1993.  But the truth is I would have been upset to miss this game.  It was a great game despite the momentum-killing booth reviews, the incessant droning of Joe Buck, and the perpetual pitcher-changes.

Now  on to football!

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The Indians v the Cubs: Battle of the disgruntled senior citizens

Posted by keithosaunders on October 26, 2016

This World Series is sexy time for senior citizens.  Which disgruntled alte kaker fans will finally get to see their team win a championship?  Will it be old Grammy Ginny from Skokie, or Grandpa Mortie from Cuyahoga Heights?  Mortie was knee-high to a grasshopper the last time the Indians won a Series, the poor bastard.  Ginny wasn’t even a twinkle in Great Grammy Gertrude’s eyes back in aught-eight.

One thing is for certain, in addition to de rigueur shots of fans praying, it will be all seniors all the time at Fox.  This is the feel good series of the century.  Forget your corporate N.Y. Crankees, or the staid, tired Redsox Nation, this is the stuff that dreams are made of.

Myself, I’m on the Indians bandwagon bigtime.  I feel there has to be one team in sports that never wins, and that team should be the Cubs.   Right now the Cubs fans are still [somewhat] sympathetic.  I don’t want them to morph into the arrogant, insufferable mess that comprises the Boston Redsox and San Francisco Giants fan base.  Let there still be one bastion of humility.

Image result for old Cubs fanImage result for old Indians fan

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Buh bye Giants

Posted by keithosaunders on October 12, 2016

At last I can begin to enjoy the playoffs now that this even year garbage has been put to bed.  Once again push button, corporate managing ruled the day and this time it came back to bite Giants manager Bruce Boche in the ass.

Matt Moore had well exceeded the sacred number of 100 pitches – the number that no major league pitcher , regardless of size and make-up shall be allowed to exceed, lest his career be struck dead by the God of sore arms.  The Cubs could not touch Moore but it was their good fortune that delicate genius, Bruce Boche, saw to it that they received their fair chance to score somes runs.  What a gentleman!

Out came the parade of relievers.  In modern day baseball lefties can only get lefties out.  Except, that is, when they walk them.  Binc binc binc, leftie, righty, lefty, righty, leftie, righty and the Cubs win.   Fly the W!

The Cubs, who have a delicate genius manager of their own in Joe Madden, could be ripe to be taken in the next round, hopefully by the Dodgers –  I’m sick of these douche teams advancing.  I’m looking at you, Nationals.

In the meantime the Giants can grab there crying towels, on sale at Target, and lick their wounds until next April.

 

crying-towel

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NLCS GO TIME

Posted by keithosaunders on October 17, 2015

mets hatSomewhere on a lonely, deserted, slab of rock in the desolate radiation-infused paradise in the middle of the San Francisco Bay that is Treasure Island there exists a lone, abandoned Mets cap. But this is no ordinary bit of refuse. This is a cap with the power to see a little team from Flushing known as THE METS on a journey through the baseball post season. It is a journey that has only one possible ending; a trip down the canyon of heroes on a different island. The island in which my brain has been spattered. All over. Manhattan.

So to all you Cubbies fans who have waited 107 years for a title. I say to you, what’s one more year? For it is the pride, the power, the Treasure Island radiation, that is going to insure the inevitable. Oh yeah, folks.

It…is…GO TIME!!!!!

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It’s go time

Posted by keithosaunders on October 13, 2015

If you had told me on April 6th when the Mets opened In Washington against the Nationals, that on October 13th they would be playing a playoff game against the Dodgers that could propel them to the NLCS, I would have laughed in your face. But here they are, poised for success in this most improbable season that turned on a dime with the July 31st acquisition of Yoenis Cespedes.

Matt Harvey was mediocre last night versus the feckless Dodgers, but when you’re facing third-rate starters such as Brett Anderson and your lineup possesses gamers like Curtis Granderson and the aforementioned Cespedes, it doesn’t much matter. The Dodgers [probably wisely] sat Chase Utley, but at this stage of his career he is not an impact player unless you count chippy slides.

As for Harvey, I don’t blame him for not being sharp, what with nearly a two week layoff.  In this era of pitch counts and coddling it is unrealistic to expect your ‘ace’ starter to have any kind of rhythm in his biggest start of the year. I wonder what Juan Marichal and Bob Gibson think of today’s crop of tin-men. Hopefully, if the Mets move on, Harvey will be stronger in the NLCS.  They will need him against a frothing-at-the-mouth, too young to be scared Cubs lineup. (yes I have written the Cardinals off)

In the meantime the Mets have a game to win.  Rookie Steven Matz and his sore back will face Clayton Kershaw, who will be starting on three days of rest. The realist in me wants to believe that the pressure of pitching in a closeout game in hostile Citi Field will be too much for Kershaw, who thus far in his storied career has been a playoff washout.  The fatalist in me, however, hears a voice buried deep inside of my head saying, ‘He’s due.  He’s due.’

This is it, Mets.  FINISH THEM.

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