Random Playoff Thoughts

Dave · October 5, 2007 at 7:37 am · Filed Under Mariners 

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?


136 Responses to “Random Playoff Thoughts”

  1. Doc Baseball on October 5th, 2007 2:34 pm

    Chip Carey in the Yankee-Indian broadcast just said Cabrera was a great pick-up and that the Cleveland Indians are great at evaluating talent.

    All-righty, then, guess that ends that discussion !

  2. joser on October 5th, 2007 2:35 pm

    I wrote a whole post about evaluating trades, too, to talk about these very issues. Oh, those were the days.

    I know, I was just thinking about that. And hoping all the folks rehashing that debate (and the particular details of the Garcia and Cabrera trades at the time and in retrospect) would go find that thread and post there so that we could discuss, I don’t know, the greatness of the words “Fausto Carmona.”

    But you know, Dave opened the door to this in his post by bringing up Bavasi’s trade of Cabrera so I guess we deserve it. Will we drown them out with game comments eventually, or is there going to be another post for that and we can leave the at-the-timers vs the in-retrospectionists to fight it out in their own wasteland?

  3. rrose on October 5th, 2007 2:36 pm


    I never saw Garciaparra or Dobbs as anything more than stopgap depth, while Cabrera was a legitimate plus-prospect.

    By the same token, I would be reluctant to deal Balentien unless I was very excited about what I was getting in return, because I don’t see Jeremy Reed as the source of legitimate outfield depth.

    Would I sacrifice depth for a key, long-term piece I didn’t feel I could get elsewhere? Yes. Would I sacrifice depth for a desired piece without regard to price or long-term projections? No.

  4. eponymous coward on October 5th, 2007 2:36 pm

    “I’m just saying that the criticisms of the Garcia and Cabrera trades are based on what we know NOW; based on what we knew at the time, they were pretty decent trades.”

    That’s your quote. It is my opinion that you are making a tortured reading of the post and the ensuing comment thread I posted if you are seriously arguing that people were evaluating Cabrera/Perez as “pretty decent”, and the criticism is all being made in hindsight. I see a thread where a lot of people are saying “bad trade”.

    As for straw men- YOU are the one equating the Garcia and Cabrera trades and implying the criticism is all being made in hindsight. I’m pretty sure I could dig up many, MANY quotes from Dave and other commenters saying the package we got for Garcia was great at the time.

  5. msb on October 5th, 2007 2:41 pm

    Bavasi not been fixated on Carl Everett’s veteran intangibles…

    well, it was Hargrove who picked Everett off the LHS list.

    c’mon Indians! Pettitte is old and washed-up!

  6. terry on October 5th, 2007 3:10 pm


    Has your opinion changed concerning VORP because of where replacement level is set for DH and perhaps first base or do you think replacement level is way too low across the whole positional spectrum?

  7. Otto on October 5th, 2007 3:51 pm

    Lets see A-rod go 0-for in the ALDS

  8. kenshabby on October 5th, 2007 5:02 pm

    Well, Chip finally got his sac bunt – hope he’s happy.

  9. Red Apple on October 5th, 2007 5:28 pm

    I remember the buzz here about Asdrubal a few years ago. Alas, he’s gone and finding success elsewhere. Funny how top prospects can contribute when they get a chance to play. 🙁

  10. juneau_fan on October 5th, 2007 5:30 pm

    That was a particularly sweet A-rod strike-out.

    Nice how the final strike came right after scolding broadcaster saying they were fools to pitch to him because of all his regular season success.

  11. msb on October 5th, 2007 6:01 pm

    #108– he even got a shout-out on NPR tonight …

  12. Otto on October 5th, 2007 6:31 pm

    Here is Cabrera’s chance to shine!

  13. DMZ on October 5th, 2007 6:39 pm

    Go Tribe.

  14. kenshabby on October 5th, 2007 6:39 pm

    *Points at Steinbrenner and laughs* Nyah, nyah! 🙂

  15. joser on October 5th, 2007 6:40 pm

    Hafner the hero.

    Of course, the Yankees are the only team in the history of the 5-game division series to come back from 0-2 to win (the “Jeter flip” series vs the A’s).

  16. kenshabby on October 5th, 2007 6:42 pm

    Yikes, what’s wrong with Dice-K?

  17. joser on October 5th, 2007 6:48 pm

    “I am… Fausto Carmona! You killed my father…prepare to die!”

    You know, I actually thought of that. But that would only apply to the men. For the women, it would be “prepare to swoon” or perhaps “prepare to surrender your virtue” or something. Not short or pithy enough in any case.

    Though perhaps “prepare to meet my sword” would work…. (“Meet my little friend”?)

  18. Jeff Sullivan on October 5th, 2007 6:49 pm

    Are we forgetting someone, joser?

  19. Swungonandbelted on October 5th, 2007 7:25 pm

    I was about to say…wasn’t there another team that lost two in NY only to come back and win the series…..in…. 1995 or so? =)

  20. JH on October 5th, 2007 7:25 pm

    Many someones.

    The Mariners ’95 and ’01 come immediately to mind, as does the Red Sox ’03. Pretty sure there’ve been several others.

  21. jlc on October 5th, 2007 8:00 pm

    Baker says the coaches (except Pentland) got their walking papers. This team certainly needs all the pitching coaching it can get. He’s thinking Charlton may come back for the bullpen.

    Wonder who the bench coach will be. Maybe that’ll make some difference next year.

  22. jlc on October 5th, 2007 8:16 pm

    Sorry, just found the new thread.

  23. Slippery Elmer on October 5th, 2007 8:51 pm

    Asdrubal had several weak attempts in the clutch today. I’m sure he’ll come around, though. Perhaps he’ll be the hero in game 3. Gotta like the Indians going up 2-0 on the Yanks!

  24. jlc on October 5th, 2007 9:35 pm

    The Yankees losing is its own reward. But when a team like Cleveland does them in, it’s even better.

  25. msb on October 5th, 2007 9:53 pm

    ah, Manny.

    so, have they identified the ball-grabbing fan yet?

  26. Mike Snow on October 5th, 2007 9:57 pm

    Danny Vinik of suburban Boston, according to the AP story.

  27. HamNasty on October 5th, 2007 10:48 pm

    That new meatball pitch K-Rod put in his rep is pretty nice. Do we know if Manny’s ball landed yet?

    I know this doesn’t make any sense really, but! Doesn’t it almost make more sense to pitch to Ortiz in Fenway? Manny only has to hit it about 315 down the line and the run is in. Ortiz has to hit it 380 to get it over the fence. I know the handed matchup and Ortiz’s success in late innings, but Manny is probably a future Hall of Famer and your choosing to pitch to him with a short porch? Both choices suck and walking Ortiz is the right thing to do but I don’t want to pitch to Manny with a short porch if I have any other choice.

  28. scott19 on October 5th, 2007 11:03 pm

    And again, on tonight’s Monster Chiller Horror Late Movie, an encore presentation of Man-nah Ramirez in…DIE ANGELS DIE! 🙂

  29. shortbus on October 6th, 2007 12:44 am

    I was so frustrated watching how much fun the Red Sox fans were having at the game tonight you’d think they were called the Boston “Stupid f’ing Mariners!!”

  30. DAMellen on October 6th, 2007 1:47 am

    Why shouldn’t Rollins win the MVP? He had a great year. I agree that Utley is a better player, but he also missed a month. Is Rollins that bad a fielder?

  31. Jurgen on October 6th, 2007 7:35 am

    Why won’t the Red Sox be good sports and roll over and die like the Yankees!? Didn’t they get the memo? That this was going to be an all underdogs post-season?

    129: It has nothing to do with his fielding. But at the plate he lead the lead in outs, for starters.

  32. scott19 on October 6th, 2007 11:52 am

    And, in stores now, don’t forget to pick up the soundtrack to DIE ANGELS DIE…featuring the hit single “MAH-NAH, MAH-NAH”! 🙂

  33. DAMellen on October 6th, 2007 1:31 pm

    Meh. I don’t think that’s a good reason. The guy got on base reasonably well, hit with a lot of power, stole bases, played an important defense position, and played it well from what I’ve heard. If you can do all that, I think you at least deserve MVP consideration.

  34. Jurgen on October 6th, 2007 3:50 pm

    132: Consideration, sure, but ahead of Wright, Holliday, Pujols, Peavy, Utley, Jones…? That’s where you lose me.

  35. DAMellen on October 6th, 2007 9:45 pm

    Utley and Chipper missed a lot of time and Holliday played in Coors. I think that takes their value way down. As for Wright, Pujols, and Peavy, yeah I think they’re in the running. Right up there with J Rol.

  36. HamNasty on October 8th, 2007 8:53 pm

    Never a bad day when the Yanks get eliminated.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.