Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Wednesday 10/03 A.M. Quickie:
MLB Playoff Preview! Your Champ Is...

Today's Names to Know: Cubs. Phillies. Rockies. D'backs. Yankees. Red Sox. Indians. Angels.

This is an utterly phenomenal baseball playoff field.

All 8 teams present must-watch storylines. I'm not sure there's ever been a playoff field this loaded -- this guaranteed -- to have something dramatic end up as the result. Let me rank the Top 6 potential outcomes for a World Series Champ:

(1) Cubs: Eclipses everone and everything else. Would be the nationally shared sports event of the last 20 years, easily eclipsing the Red Sox winning in 2004.

(Ideally, for maximum ratings, the Cubs would beat the Red Sox. But the Yankees would work nicely too. The Cubs beating the Indians would be kind of sad. The Cubs beating the Angels would be fine. Hey: If the limp Cards can win a title last year, then this Cubs team can win now.)

(2) Indians: If only because, next to the Cubs, they've had the longest drought without a World Series title (or any meaningful title).

(3) Phillies: Because Phillies fans deserve it. Ideally, they too would beat the Red Sox or Yankees to get it done, if only to ease Philadelphia's inferiority complex. (Can you imagine having an inferiority complex about Boston, which has its own inferiority complex about NYC.)

(4) Rockies: They aren't sexy. They have none of the decades of losing legacy that the Cubs, Indians or Phillies have. But they are the hottest team in baseball and a wonderful worst-to-first story.

(5) Yankees or Red Sox: Please don't let this happen. Please don't let this happen. Please don't let this happen. The rest of us just wouldn't be able to take the jacked-up levels of pre-existing smugness.

(6) D'backs or Angels: The least appealing champs (Angels-D'backs in the World Series would be a complete dud, from a "national event" perspective), but this champ would stake its claim as the best baseball team of the decade, with TWO World Series titles. Not unsubstantial.

The Predictions*:
NLDS: Cubs d. D'backs (5); Phils d. Rox (5)
ALDS: Sox d. Angels (5); Indians d. Yanks (5)
LCS: Phils d. Cubs (7); Indians d. Sox (7)
WS: Indians d. Phillies in 7

* - Last year, I believe I was wrong on every single series. So I guess you could call these my aspirational picks. This is for another time, but I'm not sure how I feel about the Cubs winning the World Series. It'll create a time-space continuum wormhole.

I don't think I'm crazy to say that while I'd love to see it, I think it would permanently ruin one of the strongest foundational myths of the sport: The Cubs' annual futility. Like I said about the Red Sox winning it all in 2004: Congratulations! You're now as "special" of a franchise as the Angels or Diamondbacks.

Dean of MSM baseball columnists Tom Boswell sums up the playoff field nicely here (although, as usual, he's a wee bit too bullish on baseball's place in the national conversation).

On to the other news of the day. More of Today's Names to Know: Isiah Thomas. Michael Vick. Willie Randolph. Tim McClelland. Carlos Pena. Dmitri Young. Andruw Jones. Memphis. Tony Joiner. Mitch Cozad. Chad Johnson. Dario Franchitti. Gilbert Arenas. And More!

Isiah and MSG found guilty, Dolan and MSG will pay $11.6 million in damages: The real damages, TBD, will come from the NBA. With the guilty verdict in the books, it slides into David Stern's domain, where "punitive damages" might have a little more teeth than mere dollars.

Mike Vick takes an 8-hour PETA course about... empathy: The thought of this is funnier than any SNL sketch of the past 10 years.

Willie Randolph will be back with the Mets: Seeing how he's coming off managing the worst collapse in MLB history, presumably the driving force behind his return was the good news is that things can't possibly get worse.

Rockies/Replay, Cont'd: Great discussion in the comments yesterday about instant replay in baseball. The fact that ump Tim McClelland insists he'd call the play the exact same way if he had another chance PROVES that the sport needs instant replay. Even with the benefit of watching a replay himself, he still makes the wrong call. WTF?!

Carlos Pena, Dmitri Young win MLB Comeback Players of the Year: Young was particularly impressive, given his various off-field problems (drugs, crime) and the fact that he was all but out of baseball a year ago.

Red Sox leave Tim Wakefield off the ALDS roster: First of all, he's not ready to contribute. Second, they don't need him in a 5-game series anyway.

Braves part ways with Andruw Jones: He's one of those players who will look very odd in another team's uniform.

Memphis wins emotional nationally televised game: Playing with heavy hearts just days after the murder of teammate Taylor Bradford, Memphis beat Marshall in an eerily timed nationally televised game on ESPN.

Florida football captain arrested: More troubles for the Gators, after senior safety Tony Joiner (Tim Tebow's roommate!) was arrested Tuesday for burglary. Karmic boomerang! It's all falling apart! (Actually, the guy who was allegedly burglarized says it was all a misunderstanding. We salute you, as-yet-unidentified booster who undoubtedly called the guy to help him "remember" his story.)

Mitch Cozad gets 7 years for stabbing his Northern Colorado teammate, in an attempt to win the job as starting punter, which ranked among the freakiest stories of the decade. He will now be battling for the starting punter job for the Cellblock D All-Stars.

Chad Johnson vs. the Bengals: I missed this yesterday, because I didn't watch the game. Was Chad Johnson out of line to berate his QB on national TV? Yes. Do I suspect he did it for the attention? Yes. Does that have a place in the NFL? Probably, and here's why: We cannot glorify his entertainment value, then act appalled when he takes it too far in the pursuit of our attention.

NFL "C" captain patches: There's an article in today's WashPost about the new NFL thing where team captains wear "C" patches on their jerseys. In hockey, this is awesome and distinctive; in the NFL, this is stupid-looking and lame. Here's the link.

NASCAR: Dario Franchitti is coming to NASCAR, which means that Ashley Judd is coming to NASCAR, which needs no further explanation.

Meanwhile, Busch will be replaced by Nationwide as the title sponsor of the AAA/JV/B-league series in the sport.

Video Games: NBA Live 08 releases! Anyone get this on the release day yesterday? How was it? I might get it just because it has my favorite pro athlete Gilbert Arenas on the cover.

-- D.S.

131 comments:

Sparty said...

Are they the Florida Gators? Or are they the 1980s Oklahoma Sooners?

Sparty said...

I know they have been getting all the recruits the Canes usually get, but geez, at least the Canes could keep these things quiet.

pv845 said...

I can take any team winning other than the Red Sox. After 2004 and the crap the world had to live with for the next year, they deserve another drought. I personally would love to see the Rockies win it all.

I still think that instant replay in on that play would not have solved anything.

You are dead on with the Vick statement.

I hope that boomerang comes back and takes out a few more Gators.

Mark R said...

I'd swap the Red Sox/Yankees and D-backs/Angels. I'd rather see the latter play each other than either the Red Sox or Yankees win.

Big D said...

Since I've been absent for awhile, a handful of thoughts:

1) Absolutely correct about the comedy of both a Boston inferiority complex and the Vick "class". Both of those made me giggle for awhile, and I'm a Masshole born and bred.

2) Can't talk about an inferiority complex without oncluding Chicago, can we? I mean, isn't Chicago "The Second City" Or am I mistaken? It is 8AM and I've already been at work for two hours without coffee - my mind isn't as sharp as it used to be.

3) I don't think I'd call the D-Backs or Angels the best team of the decade, but I'd certainly endorse best franchise. Most of the players from the Angels' 2002 World Series are gone, and I think every single D-Back from '01 has moved on. Except Randy Johnson, but let's face it - he doesn't really count this year, right?

I'm sure there's more, but I'm far too exhausted to think of it right now. Let me go hit Starbucks a couple times and I'll come back. Maybe. Or I'll go run a couple hundred laps. One or the other really.

Matt T said...

It will be very odd to see Andruw in another uniform, but it is time. I'll miss those wonderful catches in Center, but his struggles at the plate are bad and his asking price is way too much.

Is it ironic that an insurance company is sponsoring racing?

rafael said...

I did read how the owner of the impound lot said the Gator was supposed to come get the car..that the gate was left open for him..

yet..the player had to force the gate open to sneak the car out?

lol

Sparty said...

i didn't know barry switzer was coaching the gators...

CMFost said...

Dan not paying attention again, according to ESPN they have talked to Stern and there will be no further penalties from the NBA for Isiah or the KNicks

CMFost said...

My Playoff Predictions

Alds: Yankees in 4, Sox in 3
NLDS: Cubs in 5, Phillies in 4

ALCS: Sox in 7
NLCS: Cubs in 7

World Series - Cubs in 7

Sparty said...

"We cannot glorify his entertainment value, then act appalled when he takes it too far in the pursuit of our attention."

um, yes we can. everything else was for fun, nobody was being hurt by his actions. this was dumb, stupid, degrading to his teammate and completely uncalled for. how you can blur the line on this is ridiculous.

CMFost said...

oh wait that can not happen since I believe the Cubs and Red Sox playing in the World Series is the final sign that Armageddon is coming

Luke Bell said...

The Cubs winning it all would be worse than the Sox in 2004. I would rather the Yankees win it again than the Cubs.

That said, who will stop the Cubs? Despite the record, I think they are the most dangerous team left in the NL, in terms of combination of pitching and hitting. Maybe they can make the World Series and get swept by the Indians or something.

I would be wrong on all my predictions like Dan, but I am rooting for an Indians-Philles World Series. I don't think you can go wrong with that, and it avoids the appocolypse of a Cubs World Series.

Sparty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sparty said...

lmao, just gonna say that cmfost

CMFost said...

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said that center-fielder Gary Matthews Jr. and pitcher Bartolo Colon will not be on the team's postseason roster. The decision on both players was made after the Angels worked out at Fenway yesterday. Matthews has patellar tendinitis in his left knee, while Colon, who pitched out of the bullpen Saturday in only his third relief appearance of his big-league career, was scratched because of ongoing elbow problems.

Ken Dynamo said...

remember when ankiel was the unanimous comeback player of the year FEEL GOOD STORY OF 2007???

I do. what a fraud. what a pathetic loser ankiel is. a TWO TIME loser. good riddance you filthy animal.

Hugh McSnatchercraft said...

please, as a cleveland fan, everyone get off the bandwagon. we all know that we're gonna choke, don't make it worse with expectations. just let the yankees beat us in peace.

Lance A Boyle said...

"Mike Vick takes an 8-hour PETA course about... empathy: The thought of this is funnier than any SNL sketch of the past 10 years."

So is toe fungus

re: Andruw Jones moving to another team...

Which cities do his kids live in?

jhawkjjm said...

Uniwatch discussed the patches about a month or so ago.

If you thought 2004 was bad with the Sox winning, then you better hope and pray that the Cubs don't win.

And as mentioned already, Stern said there would be no punishment against Isiah because civil matters are not part of their conduct policy or whatnot. Don't know if that included MSG or not since that's an owner.

CMFost said...

"Mike Vick takes an 8-hour PETA course about... empathy: The thought of this is funnier than any SNL sketch of the past 10 years."


Dan did you not see the "Dick in a Box" Sketch with Justin Timberlake.

GuyInTheCorner said...

For the record, the assertion that the playoff field is "loaded" is crazy. The AL is loaded. The NL is.... well, the NL.

Did you really pick every single series to go the max? 5 games for all the DS and 7 games for both CS and the WS? This is no doubt so that if the team you picked wins in 4, 5, 6, or 7 you can say you picked them and if the other team wins in 6 or 7 you can say you were close.

GuyInTheCorner said...

David Stern was just on some media outlet and said that he will not punish MSG, Dolan, or Isiah because it was a civil matter and not a criminal one.

GuyInTheCorner said...

Your idea that the fact that instant replay could still get the call wrong proves that they need it makes no sense.

If you could use instant replay and still get it wrong doesn't that mean that it is less accurate and therefore less reliable and therefore maybe shouldn't be used?

The heroin sheik said...

The weird thing about the tony joiner arrest is that the gate was left unlocked not open so he had to open it then realizing what he did he kept the car in the lot til someone showed up and was closing the gate again. I think he realized he needed to wait a little longer which I think give credence to the fact tht he had arranged to get the car in the first place. Still watson's towing are evil. I don't think I know a person who went to Uf who hasn't had their car towed by them after leaving it somewhere for a few minutes. Of course it wasn't even his car but his gf's. Sad.

good riddance to Andruw Jones. He is overrated and overpriced. He hasn't been worth his pay in a few years.

I actually hope the Cubs make the WS only to choke at the end so I can laugh at all these doughy fucks here in chicago. I plan on hanging out near wrigley with my girl for every home game during the playoffs. She seems to think that since she moved back home that ought to be enough good karma to help them win. I can't wait to get my ass kicked for talking trash.

Tim H. said...

Busch series = JV. Odd when many Nextel cup drivers race in this. I don't get it.

Andruw Jones - saw this coming a mile away. His production is declining and his "great defense" has been in decline for years. Not worth the price.

Baseball replay - The Rockies/Padres game had TWO instances where TV replays were inconclusive. Could it help? Sure. But I expect this would expand into unforeseen new areas (fair vs. foul, check swings, etc.). Let the coach get 1 challenge per game or something. We already know that umps don't care for the video strike/ball cameras.

I'm a Red Sox fan, but I'd like to see the Indians and Phils in the WS. Can you imagine the Phils winning it the same season they reach 10K losses? That's cool.

Sparty said...

no one has made an argument worth listening too regarding instant replay in baseball. the people who want it are the same people who like interleague (which has run its course).

and aren't all campus towing companies evil? they lurk around corners waiting for someone to park illegally for 2 secs.

Eagle in Brighton said...

Instant replay goes against the integrity of a baseball game- the whole sport is based off of a human judgment call that is balls and strikes. Some say replay only for HR/Foul Ball issues, which is less of an issue in my mind, but by instituting it in the first place, MLB would align itself on a slippery slope. This isn't college football: lets leave the integrity of the person in the game and get off this replay foolishness.

Boomhauertjs said...

Dan, don't buy NBA Live. Get NBA 2k8. It's the superior game. Trust me.

Dan picks the Tribe. ARRRRGGGHHHH!!! The kiss of death!!!

DanShanoff.com said...

Actually, I'd compare the people who don't like instant replay to the people who didn't like the idea of introducing a Wild Card. And, man, the Wild Card TOTALLY ruined baseball, didn't it? -- D.S.

blue said...

dan-

how would you punish a manager for getting a replay challenge wrong? How would you keep him from using it just to get a guy warm in the 'pen.

Eagle in Brighton said...

Sorry to break it to you Dan, but the ALCS Champ is coming from the AL East.

With that said, nothing would bother me more than a ARI/LAA champion simply because their fanbases are so fickle, the environment in their stadiums is so bland/choreographed, that they practically come across as the nouveau riche of baseball.

Regardless of your personal biases, you have to admit the Cubs/Sox/Yanks have three of the top 5 fanbases in baseball, and I would rather see cities in which baseball is truly king (such as these + Phily for its eternal suffering) bring home a title, rather than reward some middle-aged coastal transplants in ARI/Anaheim.

blue said...

what if we just went to a system like Tennis where there are a system of beeps and sounds and humans aren't involved anymore? What if we just had robots for pitchers?

Brian in Oxford said...

I don't know, Dan. Ask the Yankees, they keep getting knocked out by wild-card teams year after year....

Luke Bell said...

No replay in baseball. The umpires are correct well over 99% of the time. Replay is a crutch that allows for bad officiating. Along with all the other reasons against it, I don't think we need to make the games any longer than what they already are.

blue said...

dan-
you sir are a moron

blue said...

brian in oxford-

I really enjoy your blog...keep up the good work.

Kage said...

Dan - what would you want the umpire to say? "I totally blew the call, we should have replay?"

He would have instantly become a black-sheep in the umpire world.

Eagle in Brighton said...

@DanShanoff.com: Baseball is all about cadence and timing. Though "getting the call right" can't be discounted, the externality of this increased precision is essentially the disruption of the very fabric of the game- it's pace.

The WC is different, because with expansion, expanding the playoff field made sense to preserve a practical ratio of playoff participants to non-pp.

This is more akin to introducing 3 1:30 timeouts to both baseball squads like it is football or something- it just will never happen.

Eagle in Brighton said...

Nor should it.

CMFost said...

the only instance that Instant Replay could work in Baseball is in terms of the fields boundaries, such as is it or is not a Home Run. Unlike the other pro sports baseball does not have a clock and stoppages of play. How do you handle base runners when you have a disputed call at Home plate? Do you send them back to the base they were at before the play or do you guess and say they were on this base. THAT IS WHY INSTANT REPLAY COULD NEVER WORK IN BASEBALL.

CorrND said...

The NASCAR Nationwide Series. I'm no racing fan, but that's got a nice ring to it.

Subway was reportedly also in the running, which would have made it the NASCAR Subway Series. A little odd for racing...

TBender said...

KDynamo, you have serious issues. That said, I'm surprised Hamilton didn't win.


And actually Dan, the Wild Card did ruin baseball. It made the season somewhat irrelevant. Winning the division isn't as important as it used to be. MLB should have added two more teams, gone to 4 divisions per league, and there's your 4 playoff teams.

Instant replay isn't practical for baseball. What if a trap/catch gets overturned? Do players get placed where the umpire thinks they should be? What about other runners on contested safe/out calls?

Sparty said...

I didn't say anything against the wild card, not the biggest fan for it, doesn't hurt the game, it is not unfair whereas interleague is not balanced. Instant replay would be that slippery slope that eagle in brighton just pointed out.

interleague has damaged the game because the Yanks are off playing the Mets 6 times and not everyone in the divison is. also it has created the unbalanced intraleague schedule where the red sox and yanks play eachother 18 times and the royals and rangers 6 times a piece. and yes i know the argument is that they play the drays 18 times. but still not fair and balanced.

Sparty said...

good point tbender regarding the wild card, didn't look at it that way. wouldn't go so far as to say it ruined baseball. definitely kept fans more interested.

but lets be honest, instant replay wouldn't be a money maker for MLB either, so why would they waste their time considering it? The invention of interleague and the wild card was to make money through fan interest.

Sparty said...

btw, i still hate the DH too even though i cheer for an AL team.

pv845 said...

I have another thought regarding the use of instant replay in baseball. The games seem slow as hell anyway. Do we really want to make it slower by having challenges?

CMFost said...

amen PV

nooch said...

re interleague: I think that its great, because you get to see team you wouldnt have, i.e., I got to see the red sox in philly...HOWEVER, i do think that all teams in the same division should play the same interleague schedule for the afformentioned fairness factor.

re wild card: this was brilliant and dare i say, fair. It made up for that good team that didnt make the playoffs even though they had a better record than another division winner. Not to mention, it added a week of me sitting on the couch drinking beer every year.

re instant replay: im not a fan of it in ANY sport...i mean, if you use technology to make calls, then why involve human judgement on any part of the game at all? Just set up a laser box over the plate to call balls and strikes and sensors to call foul balls. You could get away with one ump and a laptop. Also, personally, I find that part of the allure of sports is the controversy around the blown or wrong call...it gives true fans something to talk about, refer about and makes games live longer than if they were perfectly played and reffed...nothing better than a group of friends drinking and arguing over the "what if's" of games past. (disclaimer: I'm also a fan of the current ncaa bowl system which provides oodles of controversy every year)

CycleDan said...

Dan,
I agree that this is one of the most exciting postseasons in MLB in a long time. All 4 AL teams are better than any of the NL teams but after they get through beating each other up, we can see a NL team sneak in there like the Cards last year.

CycleDan said...

Isiah Thomas is functionally retarded. He has been a failure at everything he has done except for playing pro basketball because that doesn't require much intelligence. That being said, $11.6M because he tried to kiss a woman once and used the word bitch. What is going on in our society unless the jury was composed of disgruntled Knicks fans - then I can understand it. The most hypocritical statement of all time was the woman saying she did it for all women who didn't have the means she has to fight harassment. Really? Is she donating her $11.6M to legal defense funds for victims of sexual harassment? Didn't think so.

Sparty said...

it will be tough to top the 03 playoffs. both exciting LCS series. with great storylines. and one of the great postseasons by Beckett.

CycleDan said...

As a person who had my car towed during a snowstorm in college, I sympathize for that Florida player. It wasn't like he was holding up a store. If the guy wasn't a football player at a big time program it would be a total non-story.

I came out of a night time lab and had to get home to study for an exam the next day. My car was gone and so were the other 10 cars parked there. There was a small sign that said no parking in the corner completely covered in snow. I had to go hit it to knock off the snow to even see that it said no parking. It took 3 hours and $75 to get my car back. I earned about $5/hr in college so that was 15 hours worth of labor wasted.

The only justice was that I appealed that ticket and another one. I had graduated by the time they ruled against me so I never paid them and have never given a single cent to them either since I graduated. Think I am bitter still?

chitown italian said...

Why no mention of Allan F'ing up the All Star games with his: "This time it counts" bullshit? What about last year or next year? Do they not count? What a joke he has turned that game into.

When I was stationed in CA I went to the 1992 All Star. What a great EXHIBITION!!! It is for the fans and the players to have FUN not determine home field advantage during the WS.

What happens when the American League wins the All Star game (again) but the National League teams has 10, 12, 15 more wins than the AL team they play in the WS? Thanks for your hard work during the year but screw you NL the AL gets home field.

Allan needs to accept responsibility for screwing up the All Star game in Milwaukee and set things right by making it an exhibition again.

Home field should be determined by the team with the most wins during the regular season. Period. Why play 162 games then just to get hosed during the WS.

P.S. Please stop inter-league. The novelty has worn out. Schedule more rivalry games: Sox/Yanks, Cubs/Cards, Braves/Mets, etc.

chitown italian said...

Holy Crap!! CYCLEDAN, the same thought crossed my mind yesterday.

How much is this woman going to donate to the defenses of women sexual harassed in the workplace???

None, that's how much. Hypocrite.

Chaddogg said...

Heroinsheik - "laughing at all these doughy fucks in Chicago"?

Not a nice way to talk about your girl, man.

If you hate the Cubs, leave the city...or join the White Sox fans at their white-trash pity party/bonfire on the South Side. No one north of the Chicago River wants you around anyways.

CMFost said...

Chitown since every team in AL that made the playoffs has a better record then every team in the playoffs from then NL, it worked out right this year and it did not seem to hurt the Cardinals last year that they did not have home field

Luke Bell said...

The Cubs are a disease. If the White Sox played in Wrigley instead, they would have just as many annoying pink hat "fans." The Cubs are not loveable losers--they are just losers. Anyone but the Cubs! :)

pv845 said...

I by no means condone work place harrassment and I agree with the sentiment that Isiah is a screw-up, but the quote from the "victim" yesterday that she did this for all the women in America is crap. She did it for one reason alone, money!

I hate the DH, but that is more because I think that most pitchers could put up the power numbers that the Royals' DH has in the past several years.

Coach Chip said...

If the Diamondbacks make it to the World Series do they put Micah Owings at DH?

TBender said...

pv: Baseball is no slower than football, once you cut out the replays of every single rush up the middle for 2 yards.

ToddTheJackass said...

(5) Yankees or Red Sox: Please don't let this happen. Please don't let this happen. Please don't let this happen. The rest of us just wouldn't be able to take the jacked-up levels of pre-existing smugness.

Dan, you realize this is why we all completely HATE Florida, right?

Ftrain said...

Re: NBA Live '08

Agree with Boomhauertjs.

NBA 2K8 is where its at. It has been for years now. Better gameplay, more realistic.

Unlike Madden, EA has really drop the ball (no pun intended) on their basketball series. Why do you think they have such slick marketing campaign?

Kurt said...

I say get rid of the Wild Card. It should be named the "Red Sox Card" in the American League, because they seem to sneak in there every year. I'd take the Yankees missing the playoffs this year just so only one team from the AL East gets in the playoffs in the future. It's time to stop this nonsense of the Red Sox coasting into the Wild Card every year. I also don't mind getting rid of the DH, then Ortiz will have to play first base or sit the bench.

Sparty said...

um kurt, the sox didn't make it last year, and the sox won the east this year.

chitown italian said...

This ones for you Luke Bell. Enjoy the playoffs:

The Cubs Drinking Game (I did not create this but it's damn funny):

Take One Drink

* Any camera shot of a celebrity in the stands wearing Cubs gear
* The commentator mentions the Cubs haven’t won the series in 99 years
* TV cameras show a white “W” flag
* Wrigley field is described as any of the following: charming, historic, quaint, gorgeous, landmark, priceless, classic, vintage, iconic
* A sign in the crowd depicts the Cubs logo with some other word besides “Cubs”
* Drink at all mentions of goats, black cats, Bartman and curses
* A commentator mentions Carlos Zambrano’s contract extension
* Drink every time you feel an undeniable urge to punch Ernie Johnson in the face. In second thought, just drink once.

Take Two Drinks

* Lou Pinella goes batshit crazy at the umpire
* Felix Pie enters the game as a pinch runner or defensive replacement
* Ron Santo is shown broadcasting the game from a nearby booth
* “It’s Gonna Happen” shirts are seen or mentioned by the broadcasters
* Announcers mention that Kerry Wood is frequently injured
* A shirtless fan is shown (double if it’s a lady!)
* The announcers mention that Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot were college teammates
* The White Sox 2005 championship is mentioned

Finish your Drink!

* Daryle Ward plays the field
* Daryle Ward advances past first base
* Someone explains Eamus Catuli
* Announcers mention Carlos Marmol is a converted catcher
* Carlos Zambrano punches someone
* A Cubs pitcher pinch hits

ToddTheJackass said...

Since Dan came up with his list of teams to root for, and reasons to root for them, I think a list of reasons NOT to root for the various teams almost seems more appropriate.

Yankees - Because they're still evil. If they won again, I think you'd realize that all along you hated them more than anyone, but just that they'd been mediocre for awhile now.

Red Sox - Shit I live in Boston and love the Red Sox, but yeah, we got carried away with 2004 and have become really whiny/arrogant ever since. Sorry about that...

Cubs - Do you want another 2004 Red Sox situation? Really? On behalf of Red Sox fans, I apologize to the Cubs for this, but you guys can't win now, or you'll become just like our fan base. That's not a good thing. Actually, North Siders tend to be really fair weather and touristy anyway, and most people know the blue collar real fans actually root for the White Sox anyway.

Phillies - Because there's nothing funnier than seeing fat men from South Jersey cry. Whereas Red Sox fans tend to get whiny about things which no one wants to hear, everyone loves to hear Philly fans get pissed at everything.

D'Backs - Do they even have fans? Seriously, do they?

Angels - Growing up in the OC, let me tell you, there are no more undeserving fans than those in the OC. My god are they fairweather, it's so ridiculous until you go there. Seriously, most of the fans there are a freakin' joke. Just think about this: thunder sticks and rally monkeys.

So that leaves 2 teams potentially not to root against:

Rockies - Far from being a tortured franchise, but they never have had a good team. Plus their lineup doesn't really have anyone that hateable, right? Well, unless you're a Mets fan.

Indians - Find me one person that hates CC Sabathia or Grady Sizemore? Seriously, who doesn't love those guys? Cleveland is a good baseball town as well, and you don't hear Indians fans bitch all the time about not having won in awhile. They deserve one.

Natsfan74 said...

I like interleague play -- as I get to see teams that I otherwise would not. But, it has ruined baseball. Fans still go in large numbers, so it is here to stay. But, the rivalry thing -- Cubs play the White Sox, Mets play Yankees, Red Sox play Braves... completely unbalances the fairness of the schedule when the Cardinals are playing the Royals.... Interleague play has also killed the All-Star game (along with the "This time it matters" crap). Seeing player match-ups that we wouldn't otherwise see made the All-Star game fun. Now, it's just another crappy exhibition that has to have some relevance (this time it matters), or the stars would all skip it to spend 3 days at home (see -- NFL ProBowl).

But, I liked the old method of alternating home field between AL and NL teams every year. With the DH difference, it definitely helps an AL team to have HFA every year. A guy like Ortiz couldn't last on an NL team -- he can't field, and would be way too expensive to keep around as a bench player/ pinch hitter.

ToddTheJackass said...

Ortiz can sort of field. At least he's probably no worse than a Carlos Delgado or Ryan Howard. He's not as bad as Giambi, Frank Thomas, or Hafner. He generally holds his own during interleague play, and certainly did fine in the '04 World Series. The issue this year would've been his knees.

Anyway, who likes to see the pitcher hit? Unless it's Micah Owings, Dontrelle, or Carlos Zambrano I suppose...

CMFost said...

chitown with your game you will be drunk before the pregame show is over.

jhawkjjm said...

Ortiz could play the field if he needed to, he does in interleague games and did against the Cardinals in the World Series. Just because he doesn't play doesn't mean he can't.

I'd argue that the NL teams actually benefit from games in the AL parks. It basically gives the NL team another hitter they normally don't have and removes the pitcher from having to bat. Just like the AL teams, it allows teams to play their hitters who may be weaker on defense, like SF moving Bonds to the DH or the Astros moving Bagwell.

I don't know enough about the NL teams this year, but for example more Holliday to DH and put in more speed and a better defensive outfielder. That's an advantage of being in an AL park for the NL team.

nooch said...

I dunno...$11.6 million sounds alot better deal for isiah than the point guard contracts he has signed...ya think she has a good perimeter shot?

marcomarco said...

As a lifelong fan of the Sox, growing up collecting cards/stickers of Boggs, Barrett, Evans, Rice, Oil Can, Clemens etc. (I still have every Providence Journal sports section from 1986) - I can't blame anyone for hating the 2007 sox.

I blame the farrelly brothers and Jimmy "Effing" Fallon for the pink hat phenomenon. I despise these front-running-latch-on-to-the-latest-feelgood-story, instant history bunch of puds.

In reading comments the past few months (today especially), a strange thing just happened to me. Thoughts I never imagined possible.

If the sox falter, I hope the yankees win it all.

For two reasons:
1. They can reclaim their #1 hated crown
2. To stick it in everyone's face

That said, I hope the Sox sweep the Yanks, and then the Cubs.

Larry said...

Laughing at Vick might suggest someone else needs to take a class in empathy.

Sparty said...

i find it hilarious that real sox fans are finally seeing that they have become what they were suppose to hate. They are Anakin Skywalker

The heroin sheik said...

chaddogg that is the funniest thing I have read in a while. I almost pissed my pants. Sadly my girl isn't all that doughy but tan and borderline anorexic. I think the reason so many people are so fat in chicago is that every restaurant seems to have to put italian beef and hot dogs on the menu. Hell I cook at a fine dining establishment and we serve that crap at catering functions for hors doevres. I swear everyone here seems to look just like the guys in the old SNL skit where they all yelled da bears.

CMFost said...

As a Sox fan I still hate the Yankees but I hate the Pink Hat wearing Frauds more.

But I still could never and I mean never root for the Yankees.

The heroin sheik said...

Also in Florida you can get charged with burglary for putting your hand in an open window of a car even though you are not taking anything. It is basically entering someone else's property or car without their permission regardless of whether or not you plan on stealing something. If you take something they add on a theft charge. It is kinda weird. Still the towing company that Tony Joiner was involved with isn't a campus towing company but one for the entire city. They are especially bad at towing people who are going to the courthouse not that I know anything about going to court in Gainesville.

Sparty said...

and we don't want you cmfost, we really don't

ToddTheJackass said...

I dunno CM, there's nothing worse than a Yankees fan from Jersey. BC was full of them, and god they sucked.

I still maintain for $10 million I'd become a Yankees fan. But for now I still hate the fuckers with a passion.

The heroin sheik said...

I wonder how many people who dislike interleague play also dislike the DH. I hate the DH I think that is stupid unless the Rays get Bonds then it is great, yet I kinda like interleague play and the Wild Card. I like getting to play the Braves every now and then so I can taunt chipper about not keeping it in his pants or make fun of Rafael Furcal always getting DUI's. Then again as a Rays fan it is odd playing the other teams in the east who are all so far away from us. IT is more like it is the Northeast and then us way down south. When they were thinking about realignment a few years ago they really should have put the Rays in the NL East so we would have natural rivalries.

Doesn't this seem to make more sense if you don't care about tradition.

AL East Yanks, Sux, BJ's, Orioles and Mets or Phils

NL East Braves, Rays, Marlins, Mets/Phillies, Nats

The heroin sheik said...

Todd if you hate yankees fans never go to tampa. All the snowbirds come down and they are all from NYC. I think there are more yankee's fans in the Bay area than there are Rays fans.

marcomarco said...

i find it hilarious that real sox fans are finally seeing that they have become what they were suppose to hate. They are Anakin Skywalker

Don't misunderstand me, I still hate your team and everything they stand for.

The rooting would be an anarchy type thing. Like dropping a SBD stinker just before exiting an elevator full of employees whining about their job, and listening to the carnage as the doors close.

Sparty said...

thanks todd, thats was cool

ToddTheJackass said...

I aim to please Sparty...

By the way, you don't think Don Mattingly should be a Hall of Famer, do you? (Trust me, best not to answer)...

marcomarco said...

Yes, i just compared the Yankees to a ripe fart.

------------------
Re:Mattingly
As a coach or a player?

Either way, the yanks have yet to win anything with him in the dugout.

CycleDan said...

MarcoMarco,
As a native NYer who rooted for the Yankees since I was a little kid I have a deep dark confession that I rarely admit even to myself. I actually rooted for the Red Sox after they beat the Yanks.
When I was a kid, there were a lot more actual fist fights in the stands during Yankee-RedSox games but there wasn't this stupid 1918 curse crap that we kept hearing about. I just wanted it to end. I figure let the Red Sox win one and stop this curse crap.

The Red Sox are not going to match the Yankees 26 world series wins any time soon.

Also, during college I lived with an asshole from Boston who made me really hate everything Boston sports related. Now I have some friends who grew up as Red Sox fans who are pretty good guys so I figure it would be nice for them to win one.

Of course, it is real important to show 2004 was an aberration rather than a shift in the baseball world. I would love to see the Yanks take down the Sox in the ALCS this year to show all is right in the world.

pv845 said...

I do agree with the unbalanced interleague schedule, but the Cards-Royals isn't the example that you wanted. The teams have battled to a .500 record the past two years. That is well above the Royals overall average. Unless you were incinuating that the Royals do better against the NL in which case I agree.

CycleDan said...

Mattingly had a great career until back injuries cut it short. He was one of the top fielding and hitting 1st basement in his time. HOF? Probably not since I think admission has become too easy lately. It would be nice to see him get his first ring this year even if it is as a coach and not a player.

To the Red Sox fans - do you think Ortiz if HOF material?

ToddTheJackass said...

Ortiz would need 4/5 more years at this level (35+ HRs/110RBI/.300/heroics) to warrant any discussion, especially as a DH. Right now he has 266 HRs, and he'd probably need 500 to have it happen, so I just don't see it happening. Right now, he's definitely not in the picture.

Anyway, I was more making a joke about the discussion Verbal and I had over Mattingly awhile back that dragged on and on (neither of us, especially me, could let it go).

CycleDan said...

I grew up with the DH in the AL so that doesn't bother me too much. I think having 8/30 teams make the playoffs is just right and the WC had kept the fans of many teams interested late in the season so overall it has been a very positive thing for baseball - look at attendance figures as validation.

I have become used to interleague play but still don't like it too much. Like people here said, the unbalanced schedule is what makes it unfair. The one thing it shows is how superior the AL is lately to the NL. In the late 70's and much of the 80's I think most people agreed that the NL had the top teams. They won something like 15 straight all star games as well. Those things cycle over time.

Sparty said...

no, i do not think he should be a hall of famer, and I do not think kirby puckett should be either. i go opposite with the kirby argument. i will not use him as the reason that mattingly should be in, i use mattingly as the reason kirby should be out.

Sparty said...

and the problem with interleague isn't just the unbalance of scheduling in the play, like mets/yanks. its the effect it took on the leagues in regular play. the unbalance the rest of the year sucks. I want to play the Royals 18 times damn it!

Sparty said...

who is more dominant? AL over NL, or AFC over NFC?

Sparty said...

or throw this in there too, NBA West over East?

marcomarco said...

Re: Ortiz HOF. Echo Todd's sentiment. Way too early.

Re: CycleDan. Appreciate the story, but if you keep spouting "26 rings" I may change my mind.

Re: Sparty. who is more dominant? AL over NL, or AFC over NFC?

AFC over NFC, by a landslide. Interesting to consider though.

CMFost said...

AFC over NFC by a ton

CMFost said...

Ortiz does not have any chance of being in a Hall of Fame other then the Red Sox Hall of Fame

Jingoist said...

Anyone else besides Dan praying there is no NBA Live "Cover Jinx" on poor Gilbert?

Anyone?

*Crickets*

CMFost said...

Since 1997 the AFC is 8-2 in Super Bowls, The AL is 6-4 in World Series, The West Conference is 7-4

Sparty said...

that would suck for agent 0, he's fun to watch.

Sparty said...

but was any league more dominant than the NFC from what 83 to 96?

The heroin sheik said...

I think the AL is better now and typically has been the more dominant league over the last hundred years even if there have been periods when the NL might have been better.

The same goes for the NFL in that the AFC is better now but historically I think the NFC has been the better conference. 80's and 90's the NFC dominated while the last ten years has pretty much been all AFC except for the royal asskicking the Bucs layed on the Raiders as they should have considering who was their coach that year.

PatriotsNation said...

My Playoff Predictions

Alds: Yankees in 4, Sox in 3
NLDS: Cubs in 5, Phillies in 4

ALCS: Yankees in 6
NLCS: Cubs in 7

World Series - Yankees in 5

PatriotsNation said...

NHL tonight!! Habs first game vs Canes, predicting a 4-2 habs victory!!

CMFost said...

What is this NHL you talk of?

CMFost said...

yeah a 15-1 is pretty tough run to beat

Jen said...

My cousins are Yankee fans from Jersey, but they aren't your typical Jersey boys either. My cousin who played ball with DeJesus and Cust has the "take 'em or leave 'em" attitude, but his brother!? UGH, he is a pain in the ass. He started a poll on our football pool site as to how bad the Indians are going to lose. He's also a Michigan fan for some unknown reason. Thank God the Buckeyes have owned them lately.

The heroin sheik said...

I wonder who are the most obnoxious fans in all of sports. I know that my fellow gators are about as bad as you can get when it comes to being obnoxious but the truth is with as dominant as our program has been the last few years we have earned the right to talk trash. Sure we piss everyone off but I really think it is no different than all the crap that the sox fans gave the yankees after coming back from 3-down. Personally I think the most obnoxious fans are from Miami because they all seem to think that they are the greatest program in any sport of all time and you have to be rich as hell to go there since it is a private school.

Eagle in Brighton said...

I would say the AL has been the more dominant league since the mid-90's simply because the depth of the title contenders they offer year in and year out. Whether it was Cleveland, than the Yankees, and than the Red Sox, it just seemed like even when the NL won the WS (see last season), they weren't the "best" "team" of the season.

In terms of SB titles, the AFC has been a force, but with this year as a perfect example, once you get past NE and Indy, the NFL is wide open. Ultimatly, the depth of the AL trumps the AFC's lack; though both are the class of their respective leagues.

WedgeMcWedgy said...

Rockies up 3-0 early

Brian in Oxford said...

I think the AL won one all-star game combined in the 60s and 70s (up until the Fred Lynn grand slam game in chicago), so although it's odd, it was just a cycle.

More hockey, less NBA...sounds good to me. ESPN magazine says there's some secret talks between the NHL and the network. Apparently in the article, the network wouldn't confirm/deny anything for the magazine story.

Phillies in 3, although now that it's 3-0, not so sure...
Cubs in 5
Sox in 3
Yanks in 4 (sorry Jen)

ryan from boston,ma said...

EA Sports makes the worst basketball games,Dan.Go with NBA 2K8 unless you are a moron.

Eagle in Brighton said...

Sox in 4
Yanks in 5
Phills in 4
Cubs in 5

= the percent league championship series' one could imagine. The sound of fan apathy (ARI) and ambivalence (LAA) at their teams losses would be deafening.

Jen said...

I think New York fans are pretty obnoxious, but most of the time it is because that person is not even a native of New York, they have just jumped on the national bandwagon and like Jeter or A-Rod.

In the Midwest, Detroit and Michigan fans are obnoxious and they probably say the same about Cleveland and Ohio State fans. I am not one of those fans though ;)

Sparty said...

Michigan and Notre Dame football fans, in a dead heat. they are the most obnoxious fans. Michigan has won one title in the last 50+ years and act as if they are God's gift to football. ND hasn't won in bowl game since Clinton took office the first time, and nothing is more annoying listening to them reason the willingham firing and not blaming weis for anything that is going wrong right now.

CMFost said...

ND or Miami fans are the worst hands down....

Sparty said...

Tony from the Bronx is pretty damn annoying. Thats the Yankee fan who ruins it all for us Yankee fans. The guy who calls up Mike and the Mad Dog and wants to trade Jeter after he makes a couple errors in one game.

chitown italian said...

Damn it Sparty...Do not use President references here. You make my head hurt.

Best of luck to your teams in the playoffs and for God's sake quit picking the Cubs. I have set low expectations after the 03 debacle.

Great coaching Dusty. Up 5 to 3 with KW on the mound in game 7. Jackass!

Sparty said...

sorry chitown, couldn't come up with a pop culture reference. i am not bill simmons.

ToddTheJackass said...

Woah, woah... I think we're leaving out Duke bball fans as being awful too. My nightmare person has to be a Republican from New Jersey who went to BU, roots for the Yankees, Notre Dame football, Duke Baseketball, and dislikes bunny rabbits. I'd slash that person's tires for sure!

The heroin sheik said...

Chitown just curious but what would be a good bar out by wrigley to watch the playoff games. My girl hasn't lived here in ten years and has no idea where would be a good place to watch the games.

Sparty said...

Duke bball fans are annoying, luckily they are not as scattered around the country as Michigan/ND football fans. But they do suck.

Thomas said...

all series going to their max Shanoff? really? has this/will this ever happen?

Chaddogg said...

Heroin - Despite insulting you and your girl (no hard feelings, just hate people hating on the Cubs), I'll offer a couple good bar ideas in Wrigleyville for game-watching:

Casey Morans
Sluggers
Cubbie Bear
Murphy's

You'll have to get to ALL of them early, though. It's gonna be a big night, with the weather awesome, for people to go out and catch these games.

The heroin sheik said...

My girl is a huge cubs fan even if she is from the south burbs. I give her shit all the time for bartman. I would actually rather the cubs win over any team other than the halos this year but i know it will be unbearable if they win form what I heard about how this place was after the sox won. If you see a guy in a rays jersey on out by wrigley it is most likely me. Hell when I went to game 5 of the yankees marlins series a few years back I was sporting my tony saunders jersey.

Chaddogg said...

A guy from the Tampa area, who went to UF, living in Chicago? We have a lot in common....I didn't go to UF (I headed to Northwestern), but almost everyone from my high school class graduated from UF in 2001....

I'm not heading up Wrigleyville way for any games yet....although it's a possibility this weekend or in future rounds. It's gonna be crazy, man.

The heroin sheik said...

what high school did you go to ? I went to lakewood and northside christian but took a few yrs off before going away to college. Instead i did the juco route at spjc.

Big D said...

3rd inning, Sox/Angels

After a passed ball on the catcher, Manny ramirez barely advanced to second base. The national TBS color announcer makes the following comment:

"That's the thing about Manny - he's a really underrated, great baserunner..."

Do you even have to watch baseball to broadcast games anymore? I cannot think of any situation in which a person could watch a Red Sox game in which Manny Ramirez participated, and come away with the impression that he is an underrated great baserunner.

I really hate national broadcasts sometimes. Usually it involves Tim McCarver or Joe Morgan, but this is just as bad.

CycleDan said...

Wow Becket was awesome tonight!

Dan Mega said...

Chaddog- "white trash"? Why don't you just do what most Cubs fans in Wrigleyville do, call us "n*ggers" instead.