Thursday, October 13, 2005

100th Entry -- Some Potpourri

Since this is going to be a potpourri column, I think it appropriate to begin with current events. And considering I’m doing this at noon on Thursday, and it won’t reach a single eye other than my own until 1 or 1:30, I won’t bother giving the details.

Nor am I really going to comment on what transpired last night in Chicago. All I will say is that it was definitely a toss-up, and the ump can’t go around deceiving players like that. End of opinion. However, there is a major, major downside that goes along with all of this that transcends what happens on the field.

Doug Eddings has successfully given Joe Buck and Tim McCarver a topic to chew up, spit out, and grind into the dirt for the next three weeks if the White Sox advance. Can you imagine this series going to seven games? Game Seven would be unwatchable, unless you hit the Mute or SAP button on your TV. These guys are going to harp on this subject until the White Sox are eliminated or win the World Series.

A controversial call like this is never good for publicity, and with the way broadcast journalism has moved over the past few years, it gets even worse. I can’t even begin to fathom how many times either of the two dunderheads in the FOX booth will bring up this fact. To venture a guess, I would say during each of Pierzynski’s at bats, and whenever there is a dropped third strike.

And by the World Series, should Chicago advance, McCarver will have such a jaded memory of the incident that he’ll start calling A.J. Pierzynski “B.J. Ryan,” and the umpire “Paul Edinger.”

I was hoping to comment on Game One of the NLCS, but there’s really not much to say. Pettitte just wasn’t at the top of his game, and the Cardinals played like a 100-win team and took advantage. There are worse things than losing Game One on the road, especially when you still have Clemens and Oswalt in your rotation. Tonight, however, is going to be a crucial game for the ‘Stros.

Losing tonight means sweeping three games at home, Three, Four and Five. The Astros have the ability to pull that off, but no one wants to paint themselves into a corner so quickly. Thankfully, they have Roy Oswalt on the mound to stop the bleeding. Unfortunately, Mark Mulder holds the ball on the other end.

I’m not going to offer up a prediction, because I think that becomes silly at this time of year. The atmosphere around these series is volatile at best, and what should happen rarely does happen. And no one can preach to that like Yankees fans over the last five years.

What I do know is that even if the Astros drop tonight’s game, I’m still not going to call them cooked. They’ve rebounded from worse (see: 15-30), and they have the horses to carry the load. Is it clear who I’m pulling for in this series?

I’m trying to hold myself back right now from filibustering about the DH rule, which always comes to mind at this time of year. Must…restrain…self. Argument…done…to death. Okay, I’ll compromise and allow myself one quick blurb on it.

Managing an American League game is like managing two games simultaneously, the hitting/fielding game and the pitching game. A change can be made in one with little or no consequence on the other. In the National League, however, the two games are intertwined, and the decisions made affect both parts of the game. These two styles have their ups and downs, and there are detractors on each side. I’m just pointing out the difference here, not opining either. Must…restrain…

For adequate restraint, I’ll simply move back to the Yanks, where there are 8 billion things to talk about at this time of year. Everyone’s getting antsy, including me, to find out exactly what’s going on with next year. The managerial and general managerial positions are the first on the list that have Yankees fans wracking their brains, followed closely by center fielder, bullpen help, and a catcher.

Once again I’m still waiting for the season to be officially over before I launch into my Yankees diagnosis for ’06. There are so many angles to consider that if I put one up today, it wouldn’t nearly be adequate. So many factors to consider, so many opinions to read so that a more full picture of the situation can be painted.

You know what’s funny about all of this? I rely more on message boards like Behind the Bombers for reasonable opinions on the state of the Yankees than sources like the New York Post or the Newark Star Ledger. Hell, even the paper I read religiously for sports, the New York Daily News has me frustrated at their lack of insight and foresight in this matter.

As the managerial/coaching questions are answered and positions are filled, the personnel decisions can be more clearly analyzed. I’m as impatient as anyone when it comes to this stuff, but without patience, we’re all just talking out of our asses.