So here we are, two down and two to go. The Phillies and Yankees have unceremoniously dispatched the Reds and Twins respectively while the Giants are a win away (thanks to Brooks Conrad) and Tampa Bay has returned from the depths to even the series with Texas. There have been a lot of big moments, plays, miss called plays, check swings, and more in the space of 13 games.
- Bill Buckner had a terrific career for the LA Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and California Angels. He led the National League in hitting in 1980, was an all-star in 81 and had a lifetime batting average of .289. Unfortunately for Buckner, he is remembered for one play. Let’s hope that something positive happens for Brooks Conrad. Unlike Buckner who made the majors quickly, Conrad has played over 1,100 minor league games and less than 200 major league games.
- Are we really going to argue about check swings and think that instant replay is going to solve that? How many times have you watched a game with a buddy and still argued over whether something was a swing or a check swing even with super-duper, double-strength, instant replay?
- And speaking of instant replay, do we really want the games stopped to check on every call? Okay so maybe you are thinking I’m saying this because I’m a Giants fan and Posey was out. Well earlier this year in a game against the Mets they would have won a game they lost if there was instant replay.
- Instant replay discussions drive me crazy because no one gets to actively second guess a football coach or a baseball manager. 4th and 1 and a toss sweep is called instead of pounding the ball up the middle, no one gets to question the coach. And oh my gosh, if a reporter DOES question said coach in the post-game news conference, well, how dare you. Of course the head coach knows more than you.
- Okay, so when players quit making errors and coaches/managers quit making mistakes, then we should have expanded replay.
- Quick, off the top of your head think about the biggest baseball play you can think of over the last 30 or 40 years and then wonder whether instant replay would have helped. Now do the same for football. As I was typing this, I thought about Ed Armbrister and Franco Harris. Armbrister and catchers interference and Harris and the double touch.
- How many random thoughts have I typed before I talk about Roy Halladay? He was one walk, one 3-2 pitch away from a perfect game in the playoffs. That was just about as dominating a no-hitter as I’ve seen in a long time. There was really nothing much close to a hit.
- Speaking of dominating, how about Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum. Baseball has very quietly returned to the past where good/great pitching nearly always beat good/great hitting.
- It’s a shame with all the good pitching and with Tampa and Texas now moving to game 5, that we are collectively spending so much time talking about errors and bad umpiring.
- We learned again last night in the Braves and Giants game just how tough it can be to get 27 outs, especially those last three. With Billy Wagner injured, the Braves relied on a couple of guys that have been lights out in the 7th and 8th innings. So much tougher to get three outs when they are the last three of a game.
- My hats off to Cincinnati and Minnesota even though they didn’t win a game in their respective playoff series. The poor Twins keep getting matched up with the Yankees. And the Reds ran into the buzz saw otherwise known as the Philadelphia Phillies.
- My love to the Giants aside, I can’t see anyone beating the Phillies in a series. Pitching, Defense and Hitting, what more could you want?