Sunday, October 02, 2005

Nine innings: 10.02.05

Zipping through nine innings while wondering when Joe Torre forgot there's no crying in baseball . . .

1) So if the next few days play out the way we think it will, the Yankees will face the talented, tested Angels in the ALDS, while the Sox (Red) will claim the wild card and take on the other flawed Sox (Whiteys) in the other first-round series. So tell me again why the Yankees were celebrating so joyously today?

2) How's this for a cruel irony? Cleveland's playoff hopes depend in part on old friend Jaret Wright beating the Red Sox today. Indians fans remember Wright as one of their all-time enigmas; the hard-throwing, hot-headed Clemens wannabe who started Game 7 of the 1997 World Series as a rookie, looked like a future ace, but was too immature and injury-prone to make the most of his talent. Sox fans remember him as the pitcher the Indians refused to part with in exchange for Pedro Martinez, thus opening the door for the Sox to wheel Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr. to Montreal for the Best Pitcher Since Koufax in the winter of '97. And now Pavano and Wright are overpaid, underperforming Yankees. The baseball gods work in mysterious ways.

3) Enough's enough, Tito. Play the Splendid Helmet, even against lefties. Give Kevin Youkilis the at-bats he's long deserved. Hell, give Carlos Quintana a call and see if he's interested in a comeback. But please - we beg you, please - quit writing Kevin Millar's name on the lineup card. He's murdering this team, with both his impotence at the plate and with his stainless steel glove. Then again, we've been saying that all summer to no avail, haven't we? At this point, our best hope is some sort of household accident. Where's Irving Fryar's wife when you need her?

4) TATB got quite a few emails the other day after opining that Jonathan Papelbon is currently the best pitcher on the Sox, some agreeing with us but most asking how we could overlook Tim Wakefield. Well, we said it then, and unfortunately, it proved true today: You can never completely trust a knuckleballer, no matter how well he's pitching at the moment.

5) The idiots at Fox had the nerve to play REM's "Everybody Hurts" over a montage of somewhat solemn but mostly disinterested Sox fans in the seventh inning. It might have pissed me off had it not immediately been identified as one more blatant attempt to pander to their New York audience. McCarver and his fellow pinstripe-polishing morons are still trying to deny last year happened, aren't they? Man, I wish Fox had never gotten involved in sports broadcasting - do they do anything that isn't intended to give the viewer a migraine? I won't even get into detail on their grating "GameBreaks," in which uneventful moments from the White Sox/Indians game took up a larger portion of the screen than did the Red Sox/Yankees. Vin Scully and Tony Kubek must wonder where the once-traditional Saturday Game of the Week went so horribly, loudly, garishly, unwatchably wrong.

6) And speaking of grating announcers, Jerry Trupiano needs to A) Shut up, B) Shut the (bleep) up, or C) Go away. Not only is he up to his usual aggravating antics - howling "THERE'S A DRIVE!!" on every damn routine flyball, talkin' Cardinals at every opportunity, showing up for work, you know, the usual stuff - but he's also taken on a condescending tone toward Joe Castiglione when things are going wrong for the Sox, at one point admonishing him during the Jays series, "Relax, it's a game." It was so inexplicable, so stunning, so wrong, I almost drove off the road when I heard it. It's pretty clear Trupiano has no sense - or worse, no regard - for the feelings of his audience. Bottom line: I hope he spontaneously combusts. On the air. And Castig has "accidentally" misplaced the fire extinguisher.

7) The following comment is today's reason why remains TATB's favorite blog that isn't, well, TATB:

Going into his last start of the season, Randy Johnson needs to win 14 of the two remaining Yankees games to reach his John Kruk-predicted 30-win mark.

Whaddaya say, Randy? Let's prove Krukie right!

"Oh, Randy, don't listen to them . . . I think you're beautiful."

8) My eyes could be deceiving me, but it looks like Jason Giambi has regained the "four" pounds he lost last year when he quit "eating" "hamburgers". (And feel free to substitute, at your own discretion of course, "30" for "four", "injecting into his rear end" for "eating," and "every foreign substance up to and including battery acid" for "hamburgers.") In a related note, I'm pretty sure the Giambino was wearing an "A-Rod Loofahs My Stretch Marks" t-shirt under his jersey today.

9) As for today's Completely Random Baseball Card:

"I'll take the roast duck with mango salsa . . ."

(I know. Damon/caveman jokes. So last year.)