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Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Recap, Analysis, and Today's Games 

Tuesday's Playoff Games:

Florida Marlins 0
San Francisco Giants 2

Jason Schmidt gave the Marlins a rude awakening, pitching a masterful 2-hit shutout. It was the first playoff shutout for the Giants in 16 years.

Chicago Cubs 4
Atlanta Braves 2

Kerry Wood was dominant through 7 1/3 innings, giving up 2 runs on 2 hits and going 2-for-4 at the plate, including a two run double that gave the Cubs the lead.

Minnesota Twins 3
New York Yankees 1

Eddie Guardado was shaky in the bottom of the ninth, and was saved by a fantastic catch by Shane Spencer, who was certainly the Twins greatest acquisition during the season.

Today's Games:
Marlins @ Giants (Game 2)
Penny @ Ponson
Advantage: Marlins

The Marlins got a rude wakeup call, and will be looking for blood. Watch for them to play well.

Cubs @ Braves (Game 2)
Zambrano @ Hampton
Advantage: Toss-up

Zambrano is probably arm-tired, but Hampton has a poor NLDS history. The Cubs should be feeling good after yesterday's game, so I am leaning a little toward Chicago. Nothing certain, though.

Red Aox @ Athletics (Game 1)
Martinez @ Hudson
Advantage: Red Sox

Pedro and Hitting. Hudson may not stand much of a chance.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Looking At The Playoffs 

First, allow me to apologize for my prolonged absence from these pages. I was doing a project for my American History class. I plan to be posting more throughout the playoffs.
Now, let me go off-course and talk about my hometown team before I take a look at the playoffs. The Diamondbacks finished their disappointing season with a 9-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals yesterday. I was fortunate to have seats. Now, these seats were not good. If you ever go to a D-Backs game, avoid the picnic area at all costs. That said, I am very disappointed in the Diamondbacks. They had all the ingredients for another great season. But they failed miserably. There were some good things about the season, including the young players (Kata, Cintron, Hammock, Webb, etc.), and the blend of the youngsters with the veteran players. I hope that next season, the Diamondbacks rebound and have a great season.
But this isn't a Diamondbacks blog, so lets look at the playoffs.
I really like the playoffs this year, because it isn't a cut-and-dried affair. I don't know who will win, I don't know who the team to beat is, and I love the possible matchups. For instance, the Cubs against the Red Sox in the World Series? You couldn't script a Series any better than that. Also, Minnesota and Florida are more proof that a team with a lower payroll can reach the playoffs.
The playoffs start tomorrow with the Cubs playing the Braves, and the Marlins facing the Giants. I am looking at the Cubs and Marlins to win, because of one thing: pitching. That is something the Braves and Giants have, but not in quantity. The Cubs and Marlins have great pitching.
Well, I need to get back to Calculus homework. Hopefully I'll survive.

Why do you torture me, Brian Henderson of 12 Maple Lane?!

Friday, September 26, 2003

Very Busy 

Sorry about the lack of posts. I have been very busy with school stuff. I should have something over the weekend. Sorry again.

Friday, September 19, 2003

I was wrong 

Looks like my prediction that the Cardinals would win the NL Central was wrong. The Redbirds are 5 games back with 8 left to play. They haven't been statistically eliminated yet, but it is only a matter of time. So I feel like I have to make a new prediction. Problem is, I can't. It is too close to decide between the Cubs and the Astros right now. So, I'm going to be nice to the Cubs. They are certainly going to win the NL Central. Remember that, unless it's wrong. Then forget it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Warthog Jump 

Okay, this isn't baseball related, but it's so damn funny. This video clip is 3:29 long. It is just some guy who spent hours playing the X-Box game Halo. He blows stuff sky-high. It's incredibly funny. I recommend a high-bandwidth connection. My 28.8k is killing me.
Warthog Jump

Vlad to Mets? 

I think that it is very possible for Vladimir Guerrero to go to the Mets in the offseason. The Mets need a little more pop in the lineup, and Vlad is not getting any recognition becasue he is stuck in Montreal. This would be a good deal for both the Mets and for Guerrero. And since some Mets front office personnel have called Guerrero the "best in the majors," the Expos should get something good out of the deal.

Friday, September 12, 2003


The All-Star Game. It's always counted. It's been a showcase of the greatest players the game has to offer. The fans get to see their favorite players. But this year, for some reason, Major League Baseball and Fox decided that the 74th All-Star Game had to really "count" this time. An exhibition game was turned into something that could and probably will decide who wins the World Series. The league that won the All-Star Game would get homefield advantage in the Series. That brought us to July 15. The National League was leading 5-1 in the bottom of the sixth on the strength of a two-run double by Andruw Jones. But the AL made a comeback spanning 3 innings that was capped by a pinch-hit, two-run homer by Hank Blalock in the bottom of the eigth. The homerun was off Eric Gagne, and was basically a blown save, his only of the year. The BS doesn't show in the stats, but it affects the playoffs.
Why should the World Series be decided by a guy bowing a save in an exhibition game that doesn't mean anything? It puts asses in the seats, yes. But why? Why mess up the system? I don't know. But I would like to know something else. If it "counts," why can't the managers choose the players? If they can only use the players the fans want to see, how can they win? They should be able to pick the players themselves and use them the way they would in a pennant game, which is what MLB is trying to make the All-Star game into. I just don't get it. But you know, it is so fitting that the World Series could be lost by the NL because of a Dodger. Don't you agree?

Monday, September 08, 2003

D-backs done 

The Diamondbacks are finished. I hate to say it, but it is true. They are five games back. That by itself is not an insurmountable number. But when it is combined with another number, it's looks nearly impossible. The other number is also five. That's how many teams are ahead of the D-backs in the Wild Card race. It seems nearly impossible for all five of the teams ahead of them to suddenly lose it, and for the Diamondbacks to get hot at the same time. However, the outlook for next year is bright. They will have a more experienced Brandon Webb pitching every fifth day, and they will also have the rookies who were so good in June and July. The should be able to recapture the division crown next year.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Cubs In First? 

Don't worry, your monitor is fine. You're not seeing things. With a victory over the Brewers tonight, the Chicago Cubs jumped over the Astros into first place in the N.L. Central. With just 3 weeks left in the season, the Cubs have one of the easiest stretch schedules in all of baseball. They play the 3 against the Expos, 6 versus the Reds, 3 against the Mets, and 7 against the Pirates. If they don't make it into the postseason with that schedule, there should be an investigation. We are talking about the battlin' Cubbies, though, so don't hold your breath.
Steve Finley of the Diamondbacks seems to be picking it up. After a horrible August, he is 9 for his last 19.
Matt Morris is looking better and better for the Cardinals since coming off the DL. He three-hit the Reds after pitching no-hit ball into the seventh.
Dontrelle Willis won his first game in his last five starts. However, he still is running far behind Brandon Webb in the Rookie Of The Year race.

Friday, September 05, 2003

Umpires 2 

However, the umpires aren't the sole cause of wins and losses. Just minutes ago in the D-bcaks/Giants game, Marquis Grissom caught a sinking liner with one on and two outs. But first base umpire Tim Tschida called it a trapped ball. The Diamondbacks, who had a 2-1 advantage at the time, took advantage of the good brak and scored 6 more runs, making it 8-1. But the umpire didn't cause all those runs to be scored. The Giants bullpen did. They couldn't get an out. See what I'm saying? It's not the umpires fault. Well, not entirely. :P


Umpires. Say this one word and you can start a conversation that will last for hours. The main topic is the way they call the game. And this year, the umpires are freaking horrible. They can't seem to do anything right. This Questec system has completely changed the way the plate umpires call balls and strikes. Just ask Curt Shilling, who keeps records of the hitters and the umpires. He says that the strike zones have changed significantly. But the plate isn't the only area where umpires are worse. The field umpires have been much worse as well. Calls at the bases are being screwed up all over the damn place. For instance, Carlos Zambrano of the Cubs had a no-hitter going recently against the Diamondbacks recently. Shea Hillenbrand came up to the plate and hit a slow dribbler to third. The throw beat him, and Shea was clearly out by a step. But first-base umpire Bill Miller called Hillenbrand safe, breaking up the no-no. Calls like that are commonpllace this year.
Don't tell me that I can't know how hard it is to be an umpire, becaause I know. I am an umpire myself (Not in the big leagues). So I am aware of the difficulties. But the fact is, umpires have been bad this season. And unfortunately, they don't have to answer for their poor performance. They get paid the same regardless. And MLB is not trying to get them to improve, or even take responsibility. That is wrong.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

D-Baxter Responsible 

A poll on 620ktar.com HERE is the following:
The Question
Who is to blame for the Diamondbacks struggles?

The Running Tally

Bob Brenly 18.1%

Dwayne Murphy 1.2%

The players 23.3%

Buck Showalter 0.4%

D-Baxter 57%