Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 4, 2006
BASEBALL: Prepping for Game One

I've got just a minute to blog this morning - quick thoughts:

*There really is nothing more frustrating in professional sports than having a great regular season and not being able to field the same team in the postseason. With the exception of David Wells begging out of a big game, and perhaps Dwight Gooden running out of gas in 1996, this sort of thing never happens to the Yankees. That said, as to Game One itself, if we get John Maine pitching on his regular rest, well, we could do worse.

*This is the Dodgers lineup over the last two months, which in contrast to LA's full-season numbers is a steady nine. While old warhorses like Kent and Lofton are locked in now, the really scary guys are Furcal and Drew. Furcal really is the star of this team, and a guy whose value to the Braves - and loss this year - was not fully appreciated. And has there been anything more improbable than Marlon Anderson slugging .813 over his tenure in LA?

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:42 AM | Baseball 2006 | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Trust me, the Braves & their fans knew of Furcal's importance. They wanted him back and tried to bring him back...but the Dodgers simply overpaid to get him and he'd have been an idiot to have refused that deal and the Braves would have been fools to have matched it.

Posted by: RW at October 4, 2006 8:30 AM

I'm not sure how to define a fool with the Braves, and Schuerholz is certainly not that. Furcal was the Braves' best player last year. I th ink the fairly small Braves fan base knew he was very good, but not that he was the best. Now if you want to build a team around a core group, Furcal is one of those good enough to be in the core, sort of like Posada say, but not a Jeter. So if the Braves are to retool, they might have chosen to give up a few years to build for another decade.

This time around, I bet Schuerholz builds from the bullpen out. Having the greatest starting pitching in history gave him little to show for (and yes while I don't discount the amazing number of division records, it's rings that count--go back 15 years, and so far they are tied with the Angels, Sox and Diamondbacks: 1 ring).

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at October 4, 2006 9:29 AM

There's one thing more frustrating: sitting at work at 10:59, watching the damn clock CRAWL!

I'm never gonna make it. I may have to start drinking well before game time.

Posted by: Mike at October 4, 2006 11:00 AM

Woo hoo! El Duque has a torn calf and is left off the roster. Maine to start game 1. Oliver Perez makes the roster.

I hope everyone enjoyed June and July. October is going to be a very short month.

Posted by: Al at October 4, 2006 11:40 AM

The Yankees' recent experiences with Kevin Brown against the Red Sox also come to mind.

Posted by: Jerry at October 4, 2006 11:50 AM

Classic A-Rod last night. Exactly why Yankee fans hate him. Single after the Giambi dinger that made it 5-0, whiffs later when it is 5-3 and a guy on. You have to love a guy with absolutely no sack at all.

Posted by: jim at October 4, 2006 2:53 PM

The Yanks do, in the overall, have a very good record at getting the team healthy for October. I've been a Yankee fan since '77 and have obviously been watching them very closely for the past 10 years (and all the way back to '77, but anyway), and I'm still not entirely sure why this is, and if the Mets are in any way at fault here. The Yanks are ultra-cautious when guys get injured, and then, of coure, there's the Tampa facility where they send guys for their rehab. Also, they have tended to get guys with great records of durability. Aside from the last point, I think any team could be ultra-cautious and rehab guys right and still be the victim of this kind of thing. I don't know that the Yanks' good record with this in any way impugns the Mets in regard to Pedro and Duque.

In any case, while I hate the Red Sox, I really fucking hate the Dodgers. That's the one score the Yanks have yet to settle in the time I've been a fan, 1981. Go Mets; kick these guys' asses all the way back La-La Land. Mets in 3.

Posted by: Thom at October 4, 2006 3:24 PM

Also, very funny stuff from Mike Vaccaro in today's New Post, on Duque now being out:

"Under those circumstances, there really is only one option: Ask Maine to throw like hell for five innings, then see if the bullpen is equal to its accolades.

"Unless, of course, Jerry Koosman, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, has good stuff. That could change everything."

Posted by: Thom at October 4, 2006 3:31 PM

Good luck with the rook starting tonight. Beltran and company better have their hitting shows on.

Posted by: maddirishman at October 4, 2006 4:34 PM

Steve Phillips? I hate ESPN.

Posted by: abe at October 4, 2006 5:32 PM

Ditto.

Posted by: Thom at October 4, 2006 7:06 PM

Thom - Don't you guys have a score to settle with the Angels?

Posted by: The Crank at October 4, 2006 10:51 PM

Oh hell yes, but that came after the period of catharsis that was 1996-2000, and what were exorcised in those 5 years were all the demons that sprang up from 1981-1995. I'm about the same age as you, Crank. My formative years as a Yankee fan came during years where the Yankees got progressively worse, and finally bottomed out in the early '90s, and that period left a lot of scars. I still have nightmares in which Lee Guetterman, not Mariano Rivera, comes in to try to protect a 5-run lead in the ninth. The '96ers (what I call the bandwagoneers who became Yankee fans in October, 1996) expect the Yankees to win the World Series every year and think George Steinbrenner is the greatest human being ever to walk the Earth since Christ. Even after the past 10 years, I still watch Yankee games waiting for the other shoe to drop, and George Steinbrenner crica 1986 is the Boss who will forever be burned into my consciousness. The only iniquity from that era that has gone unrectified is losing to the Dodgers in '81, and thus it means a lot more to me than Angels '02.

Yes, I realize I'm overdoing it, and that by now, I have a lifetime of good memories to more than counterbalance the bad, and nothing to complain about. What can I say? I'm a fan; we're not generally known for being logical. :)

Also: 1) I'm still terrified of the Angels. They still have the Yankees' number; 2) they're the Angels; and 3) The Yankee-Dodger thing goes back a long way in baseball history, back to when they were Dem Bums, and right now, the Dodgers have the upper hand.

Posted by: Thom at October 5, 2006 4:36 PM
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