Random Playoff Thoughts
Some disjointed musings from the first couple of days of playoff baseball.
1. The starting pitchers of games 1 and 2 so far: Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Jeff Francis, Cole Hamels, Carlos Zambrano, Brandon Webb, Franklin Morales, Kyle Kendrick, C.C. Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang, Doug Davis, Ted Lilly.
Davis and Lilly are both 31 years old. Everyone else is under 30, and a third of the group are under 25.
When push comes to shove, the MLB managers who found themselves in the playoffs will take talent over experience every single time. Let’s hope John McLaren’s taking notes.
2. I’m rooting for the Indians to win it all, and I’m rooting for Asdrubal Cabrera to have a good long career, but still, every time he does something like hit a fastball 400 feet in the playoffs, there’s a part of me that wants to throw something. Thanks Bill.
3. How can anyone watch last night’s game and still think Derek Jeter isn’t the worst defensive shortstop in the American League? There were a couple of balls that are routine plays for most shortstops that he didn’t come within three feet of. That Chien-Ming Wang has been able to achieve any real success with Jeter behind him is remarkable.
4. Chip Caray showed off some righteous indignation last night when Derek Jeter didn’t lay a bunt down with runners at 1st and 2nd and nobody out trailing by two, calling this “an automatic bunt situation” in the National League. He completely failed to grasp the fact that Derek Jeter isn’t Mark Lemke, and bunting with a hitter of his caliber is rarely a good idea. Bobby Abreu followed Jeter’s non bunt with an RBI double, further showing how bad an idea bunting would have been in that situation, especially for the Yankees.
Then, a few innings later, when Chien-Ming Wang is getting rocked by the Indians as they turn the game into a blowout, Carey actually outright states that the momentum of the game turned when Jeter decided not to bunt, and that perhaps if he had laid one down, the Yankees would still be winning.
They gave up 12 runs, including four homers, and Chip Carey wants fans to believe that the Yankees lost because Derek Jeter didn’t bunt right before Bobby Abreu doubled down the left field line, rendering any theoretical bunt pointless. There’s nothing like ignoring reality to try to drive home an agenda, eh Chip? Maybe learn something about baseball strategy before you try to lecture fans who know more about the game than you do.
5. Has anyone ever stopped to think that if Ryan Howard is really as good as the media told us he was last year, and Jimmy Rollins is really as good as the media is telling us this year, why is Chase Utley still obviously the best player on that Phillies team?