World Series


It seems to be en vogue to cite the Tigers pitchers fielding woes as a reason for their defeat. See below from Murray Chass in the New York Times:

What we learned from the World Series: Pitchers can throw a baseball 60 feet 6 inches with great precision, but add a few feet, and they’re recklessly inaccurate.

Four times Detroit pitchers failed to throw to first or third base accurately, and the errors resulted in unearned runs that, in turn, resulted in costly losses.

Of course errors never help win championships, but in this case I really believe it was the Cardinals’ depth and their ability to mix and match the right role-players around the middle of their lineup that won the title. This is clearly evident in the choice of David Eckstein as WS MVP. Who would have guessed that the team with Prince Albert hitting in the three hole would have a tiny, scrappy shortstop named MVP?

It was the ability of guys like Eckstein, Spezio, Taguchi, and Belliard who did what needed to be done, rather than each trying to win the game on their own. This is the difference between the Cards and the Yankees.

To be continued…

I read something by Bernie Miklasz on St. Louis Today .com. He reminded me of something:

I still believe this is much ado about little, because good lefthanded pitchers such as Rogers give the Cardinals fits, and they didn’t hit Rogers even after Rogers came clean (sort of).  

I remember being struck by how bad t. Louis hitters faired against Mets lefties during the LCS. I don’t want to take anything away from Oliver Perez’s gutsy performance, but I think that simply throwing from the left side helped his performance tremendously.

You wouldn’t think it with all of those righties in that lineup, Pujols, Rolen, Encarnacion. I’d have to see stats, but my memory was that Edmonds–the lefty–didn’t even fair as badly as some of his right handed teammates. Wonder why that is?

It was the cardinals role players and lesser sticks that did the Mets in. Spezio, Taguchi, and Molina really made the difference. That is why I still like the Cardinals in 6. Once they get back to St. Louis and get to play with real baseball rules LaRussa’s ability to mix and match his lineup — not because of his brilliance but because Walt Jocketty put together such a deep roster — will help them easily take 2 of 3 from the Tigers at home.

Leyland is going to have trouble when he has to decide whether or not to bring in Zumaya to pitch out of a 2-out jam in the 7th, knowing that his spot in the lineup is due up the next inning and they’ll need to pinch hit for him.

If I am right, it should be an interesting game 6 with Rogers heading back to the hill with his team down 3-2 and all of the world looking for a smudge on his palm.

OK, this post is mainly here to test to see whether my name will be displayed as author on this post. No sense in having a two-man blog if readers can’t tell who wrote what.

But while I’m at it, the more I think about it, the more I think it is weird the way LaRussa handled the whole thing. He said he knew going into the game that Rogers was using something. I wonder if his players will resent him since they lost the game. Whether it is true or not, people are bound to think it has to do with his now famous friendship with Leyland.

Also, ESPN has reported that the “dirt” is some sort of medical gunk that is used to help heal wounds. Apparently NFL receivers use this stuff too. They say it remains sticky for 12 hours after washing it off. That would explain why Rogers continued to pitch like a world beater after removing the stain.

Like my esteemed colleague, I guess I don’t care much either. But after being crushed by the Cardinals in a gut-wrenching series, I was sort of planning on rooting for the Tigers too. It is hard enough rooting for those AL communists, but now they are cheaters too…it is getting hard to continue to root for them.

I have to admit I feel a little dirty rooting for the AL team in the World Series, but I’m still looking for my revenge on the Cardinals beating up yet again my Padres. It’s such a bastardization of baseball to me. NL is like chess and AL is like checkers. There is so much less strategy involved. Too many professional hitters. I like seeing a weaker line up. I like seeing a manager struggle with later innings decisions. Should he pinch hit for the strong glove/weak stick man in hopes of a big hit off the bench? Will that decision bite the manager in the butt as the game progresses? All the AL manager has to be aware of whether or not his pitcher is out of gas. Where’s the skill in that? All he has to do is see the juiced up speed of the radar gun to realize his pitcher is starting to slow down. He doesn’t even really have to look at the pitcher. What do these guys do in the dugout? I guess they may have to decide on the occasional defensive substitution in later innings, but not much more then that. Would anybody like to explain to me their love of the AL style of play?

I’m not too concerned about “dirtgate” (yeah I went there). It does make me wonder though how I would feel if it happened against the team I was rooting for. I don’t think too much of it either because LaRussa didn’t make too much of it and he seems like the type that would take advantage of any chance he could get.

That “clump of dirt” was awfully suspicious. Spotscenter had Rodgers claiming he noticed the “dirt” in question before being told and one of the umps said that he asked Rodgers to wash it off. LaRussa wouldn’t comment.

Sportscenter also had footage of him with the same suspicious “clump of dirt” in the same place in his two previous playoff starts.

All very fishy. LaRussa generally takes every opportunity to tweak the opposing team, I’m very surprised he didn’t make this a federal case. Maybe he laid off out of respect for Leyland or for the sake of the series. Though, if it were the latter, I would have preferred he get Rodgers booted. But I’m still mad at Rodgers for walking in that run in the 1999 LCS.