There was no joy in Metsville
Might-he Jackal had struck out…
HEHHHHH HEH HEH HEH
The experts had mostly predicted a Yankees-Mets rematch of the 2000 WS
Yanks over Tigers (wrong)
Twins over A’s (wrong)
Yanks over Twins (3 strikes and you’re out)
Padres over Cards (wrong)
Mets over Dodgers (hey – they got one right)
Mets over Pads (double wrong)
Lots of complaints from the sportswriters, partly because a whole lot of them are closet (and sometimes not so closet) Jeter/Yankee fans. Lots of complaints from stat geeks who are obsessed with “paper” and saying that in reality, only the stats in the regular season are important because what happens in a short series is “luck.”
The sportswriters have consoled themselves with all the accounts of how the Tigers lost 119 games 3 years ago – even th0ugh this is not a team composed of the exact same players, and how Jim Leyland is the magic man, the winner, ignoring how he up and quit on the Rockies as soon as he realized that winning in Coors was not ever gonna happen. But the Cards, the Cards hanging on has upset darn near everybody who is not a Cards fan or a St. Louis sportswriter or anyone old enough to remember the last great WS of the high mound era.
I keep reading it over and over and over again – whine, whine – but the Cards are the worst regular season team to play in the WS – we want the “best” teams to face each other.
Well, baseball is NOT what it was in 1968, the last year of the Pitchers’ Era, the last year before division play started. There are almost twice the number of teams. There is an unbalanced schedule. There is (unfortunately) interleague play. Fact is that if the contest rules are different for each contestant, then you simply can’t conclude that team A did better than team B in the exact same contest. You CAN say that team A won 100 of 162 games and team B won 8 of 162 games, but like, so???
At the end of the year, in each league, the three teams who win their divisions and the team who has won the most games but did not win a division title are separated from the rest. So, who is the “best team?” AND remember that the roster of a playoff team may have quite a different composition than the roster it had for even the first 3 months of the year.
But is there that certain somethng about playoffs that arouse some players, some teams? Is it suddenly “real” and somehow guys just fight harder? Do they find some sort of grim determination to win that had been lacking before? Not that they didn’t TRY to win, but some sort of something extra?
How does Brandon Backe, a very league average pitcher pitch waaayyy above league average in the playoffs, including 2 playoff games of 8 inning shutout ball?
How on earth does Kenny freaking Rogers pitch THREE games of 8 inning shutout ball at age 41? Where did THAT come from?
I disagree that this is simply attributable to luck – that is disrespecting a player as a human being – pitching 3 shutout games in a row in the playoffs in the same YEAR after years of playoff failure is not simply luck. Anthony Reyes pitching the game of his life might be called luck. But not 3 times in a row. Nope.
And the Cardinals pulling their sore, aching DL ready selves together to win 2 series in a row that they were “supposed” to lose – well, sorry, this is not just rolling computer dice. In the end, the best team is the one who wins and there is more to winning than looking at stats of what went before. Because that was then and this is now, this is the real thing and sometimes ragtag bands of grim determined people outfight larger and better equipped groups.
And it IS baseball, so youneverknow…
UPDATE: about all the columnists lip flapping bout did/did not Kenny Rogers have some illegal foreign substance and this is why the ball moved and the Cards didn’t hit… All I can say is this – they don’t know TLR like I know TLR and if for one second he thought he could get Rogers kicked out of that game he would have. TLR objects to EVERYTHING he can if he thinks he can get an advantage, trust me on this. Well, I guess I can say something more (hey, I’m a girl, it’s what we do…) Kenny Rogers didn’t exactly do worse after washing his hands after the first inning when the smudge was noticed, did he? And am I the only one who is wondering why TLR didn’t pinch hit for Molina with bases loaded 2 out in the bottom of the 9th?