The World According to Keitho

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Posts Tagged ‘Washington Nationals’

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

Advertisements

Posted in baseball, sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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!

Posted in baseball | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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

Posted in baseball, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The revolving door of pitching

Posted by keithosaunders on September 9, 2016

With the rosters having expanded for September, baseball games are becoming nearly unwatchable.  Push-button managers such as the Giant’s Bruce Bochy take advantage of 13 man bullpens by using as many as four pitchers in an inning.  Nine inning games are becoming four hour affairs.  Baseball, now wedded to computer print outs and saber-metrics, has become a push button sport. Seemingly no right handed pitcher is capable of retiring a lefty and vice versa.

In the old days pitchers such as Rollie Fingers, Kent Tekulve, and Bruce Sutter were able to pitch as many as three innings at a stretch.  Dick Tidrow once pitched eight innings in relief during a long extra inning game.  Funny how those old time pitchers were able to retire both lefties and righties.

I have to commend the Washington Nationals on their deft handling of Stephen Strasburg. They have babied him in his formative years so as not to overtax his delicate arm, going as far as shutting him down for the season in September of 2012 when they were a playoff team.  Better to have him fresh for subsequent years since they would surely be a World Series team.  What’s this…they haven’t made the Series yet?  And Strasburg has broken down like clockwork every season?  Oh well – you can never be too careful!

 

Image result for stephen strasburg injury

Posted in baseball, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Papelbon, Harper, and a sport without a soul

Posted by keithosaunders on September 28, 2015

There’s something wrong with baseball these days but it’s difficult to put one’s finger on the reason.  It’s as if the force is out of alignment. Oh wait a second, it just came to me –  the players are a bunch of jerks!

Let’s see if we can sort this out.  Manny Machado showboats after hitting a homerun.  Two innings later Jonathan Papelbon retaliates the old school way, the biblical way, by plunking Machado with a high and tight fastball.

Harper, jerk that he is, throws Pap under the bus telling the press that it was uncalled for and that the upshot would be that he (Harper) would surely be beaned in the next game.  He described Pap’s bean ball as “pretty tired.”

Flash forward a day or so and Harper does not run out a fly ball during a key at bat. Papelbon, Mr tough love, can then be seen screaming at Harper as he returns to the dugout.  Heated words are exchanged between the two ‘gladiators.’ before a fight breaks out in which Pap chokes Harper.  Stay classy, Jonathan.

Papelbon, in his bungling way has pulled off a coup once thought impossible – he’s made Harper appear sympathetic.  Yes, I agree with the old school credo that bean balls have their place, but you don’t show up your team’s future MVP on national television.  Take that shit to the locker room!  Furthermore not running out a fly ball isn’t the end of the world, particularly when the emotion that led to it came out of frustration, not ennui.

All of this is mere window dressing, however.  A kind of sorbet before the real baseball drama begins:  The playoffs!  This year featuring a certain team from Flushing known as THE NEW YORK METS!

Posted in baseball | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

New York City to Harvey: Man up!

Posted by keithosaunders on September 6, 2015

The latest news out of Mets-ville is that Matt Harvey, their ace pitcher, has insinuated that he does not expect to pitch over 180 innings this season which would effectively shut him down for the post season.  This came as news to Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson, and the rest of the baseball world and predictably, social media exploded in a torrent of outrage and funny memes.

Have we learned nothing from the Stephen Strasburg shutdown debacle of 2013? The Nationals had made the playoffs for the first time in that franchise’s history (they were previously the Montreal Expos and came into the league in 1969) and looked poised to make a deep playoff run.  Instead it was one round and out.  For all the babying and coddling Strasburg still managed to suffer injuries the past two years while his team has underachieved and appear on the verge of having to rebuild.

Harvey, who for all of his talent comes off as an arrogant prick, must have underestimated the passion of the New York fans when he made his cryptic statement.  Either you want to pitch or you don’t. Are you a gamer or are you a bum?  Do you think that in the ’88 Series Oral Hershiser said to Tommy LaSorda, “Hey skip, maybe I’d better not pitch in relief on short rest. I’ve maxed out on my innings.”  Hell no!  Like Bob Gibson, Juan Marichal, Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling (that idiot) and Madison Bumgarner he said, “Give me the damn ball!”

Does Harvey thinks that the Mets will accrue post season berths with the regularity of the St Louis Cardinals or the Yankees of the 90s and 2000s?  If so, perhaps he should riffle through a stack of the past decade’s yearbooks.  It’s been a putrid string of seasons since 2009.  This on the heals of epic collapses in 2007 and 2008, not to mention a heartbreaking loss in the 2006 NLCS.

If Harvey really does not want to pitch in the post season I say ship him and his purse to Seattle or Tampa for prospects.  If that’s his mind set then he probably doesn’t have the heart to pitch in big-time games.

———————————————————————————————————

10h10 hours ago

I hope Matt Harvey understands he just became the first player to publicly abandon his team before the playoffs. Good luck with that, kid.

I bet $20 that Matt Harvey would start Game 1 for the Mets. I never thought i’d lose because Harvey didn’t want the ball.

    1. · Details

      </div>
      ” data-mentions=”Mets” data-you-follow=”false” data-follows-you=”false” data-you-block=”false”>

Posted in baseball | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The hype, it burns!

Posted by keithosaunders on June 8, 2010

You know I actually feel a little sorry for Stephen Strasburg.  He’s got to live up to hype of Superbowlian proportion. Imagine if he allows three runs in the first inning — the media will be calling for his head.  I would be surprised if ESPN, which if I’m not mistaken has a three-hour pregame show, has not come up with Academy Awards style music to lead in and out of the commercials.

At any rate, once this all dies down, between Strasburg, yesterday’s #1 draft pick Bryce Harper, and a few good trades, the Nats should be a good team for the foreseeable future.

Posted in baseball, sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »