Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
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2006-10-12 10:05
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

I don't have much of vested interest in the ALCS playoffs but am rooting for the A's. Man, Frank Thomas just missed hitting a game-winning grand slam in the ninth inning last night. Instead he popped-out to end the game. It reminded me that when I played baseball in high school, missing a fat pitch and popping it up felt much worse than striking out. Yo, did you guys see Rodney in the eighth inning? Christmas. His change-up/fastball combo was simply devastating. And though I'll continue to pull for Oakland, I don't really dislike the Tigers. Heck, I predicted that The Gambler wouldn't win another game in the post-season, but up 2-0, at home, he's got zero pressure on him. So let me revise that: Kenny Rogers will not win any kind of pressure game this October.

Here's a thought: how much of a boost does Pudge Rodriguez's reputation get should the Tigers win? Yeah, he's already a Hall of Famer, but I mean, he was just killed a few years ago when he bolted Florida for the pathetic Tigers. While there has been more than a fare share of snickering when it comes to Pudge's svelt figure over the past two years (he was one of the lucky ones who didn't get caught, the thinking goes), he continues to be a dangerous defensive catcher and still has some life in his bat. He's had a ton of talented pitchers to work with in Florida and now, in Detroit, but he certainly hasn't screwed them up. How you like me now, indeed.

As for the NLCS, I'll be honest, deep-down, I just don't have it in me to actively root for the Mets. I've tried to do it, cause they are from New York and all, but I suppose it just goes against my nature. That said, I wouldn't be upset if they won it all as they are an exceedingly likable bunch. Not only that, but I've got some very dear friends that are die-hard Met fans and I would just be thrilled for them should the boys from Queens pull it out. I interviewed "the voice of the Mets" Gary Cohen the other day for SI.com. Check it out. My hunch is that we're going to see the Mets and Tigers in the Serious. As far as match-ups go, we could certainly do worse.

Comments (95)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-10-12 10:27:30
1.   Schteeve
Alex, there must be some mistake, the baseball season ended last Saturday. I'm not sure what these folks in Detroit, Oakland, New York and St Louis are up to, I assume it some sort of extended Spring Training or something.

Anyway, if anyone needs me I'll be watching videos of fat kids singing along to techno music on YouTube.

2006-10-12 10:27:45
2.   Yankee Fan In Boston
i'm rooting for the tigers.

if forced into the situation, i usually root for the team that takes the yankees out, because if you're going to lose, it might as well be to the champs.

also, they scored some major points with me when they took the party out of the locker room and shared that moment with the fans.

regardless of who goes on, the series will be very fun to watch.

2006-10-12 10:33:03
3.   Shaun P
Maybe its bitter on my part, but for now, I am actively rooting against the Tigers. I'm sure by the time its all over, I won't really care. But now is a different story.

Not being from the city, and not growing up around almost any Mets fans (obnoxious or otherwise), I have no trouble rooting for them. My old roommate is a huge Mets fan and it would make his year to see them win it all.

2006-10-12 10:33:35
4.   Chyll Will
I feel you on the Mets, Alex. My uncle is more of a Mets fan than a Yankee fan, only because he was a Brooklyn Dodger fan before they left town. My only real good will feelings for the Mets was back in the New York Hot Tracks-Yo!MTV Raps era. These days, I can only bring myself to root for Willie and Omar, the rest are just players on another team. Eh.
2006-10-12 10:33:38
5.   Yankee Fan In Boston
1
wow.

i thought i'd plug "fat" and "techno" into youtube...

this came up:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NuBw6xUK6A

and so did my lunch.

thanks, schteeve.

2006-10-12 10:35:47
6.   Cliff Corcoran
I actually find this Mets team pretty likeable, so I'll be rooting for them despite their uniforms. Wiz Kid Wright, Ex-Yank Willie, Shoulda-been Yankee Beltran, Delgado was always a guy I liked despite his tendency to crush the Yanks, seeing Reyes finally put it together, watching HOFer Glavine carry a rotation in shambles, Wagner is the best NL closer of the past decade, Pete Abraham keeps saying what a great guy Cliff Floyd is, and I'm happy to root for the name, etc. etc.

In the AL, I'm tempted to root for the Tigers as I have some connections to Michigan and for the reason YFIB states in 2, but I keep looking at that teem and thinking "this isn't a championship team, this is a team that's a year or two away from being a championship team." Of course the A's are in the same spot.

How about the Mets getting El Duque back for the WS and taking it all the way? I could dig it.

(oh, and yes, I'm back, and I'll have some new posts up next week that look back at the 2006 season before I look ahead to the winter and 2007 in the weeks that follow)

2006-10-12 10:41:00
7.   Dimelo
I'm kind of indifferent about the playoffs. I won't watch the AL games, I can't stand seeing the Tigers - especially the Gambler. I'm still not over that Kenny Rogers game, I'm still seeing him yelling and screaming. I would love nothing more than to jump into the television and slap him with a camera.

If there's anyone I'll root for would be the Mets, though it is blasphemous. I wouldn't even call it openly rooting either. I'd like to see Reyes and Wright elevated to superstar level though - they deserve it. For some reason Met fans make all sorts of stupid remarks about the Yankees and it doesn't bother me one bit. I don't care about the backpages, I read the damn news online anyway. Let Big Stein worry about that. They aren't in the AL East and their name isn't the Boston Red Sox or Toronto Blue Jays. Unless we play them in the Serious, it's like they are invisible to me.

Plus if the Mets and Wright win the "Serious" then that would open the door for all sorts of news stories about the other 3rd baseman in the Bronx. It's not like we've had enough of those. Plus if Wright hits a walk-off to win the entire thing it might make the drama and light on "poor" ARod a little stronger.

I was a big supporter of the guy, but now I want to see him get as much attention as humanly possible. I want everything to be on ARod. For example, if the Yanks are able to pry Willis from the Marlins but all ARod has to do is agree to be traded. He doesn't agree to be traded and the spotlight is even bigger on him. If in the 70's we had the Bronx Zoo, I don't know what we'll call this next fiasco.

Plus I'm pissed at NoMaas man love for ARod and their hatred for Torre. I just don't get it.

2006-10-12 10:43:18
8.   Dimelo
Who is this Cliff Corcoran guy?

Welcome back, Man....if you would've been here then I'm sure the Yanks would have advanced. I put the blame squarely on your shoulders. Just kidding....though I'm sure the thought had to cross your mind.

2006-10-12 10:47:10
9.   standuptriple
I went to the ALCS game last night. That Tiger team is very scrappy. They took everything the A's threw at them (granted some of it was Loaiza) and didn't flinch. I guess I'm ok with losing to the eventual champs.
I'm waiting for some Uncle Milton love anytime now.
Note to NYY FO, it never hurts to have excessin the bullpen (see ANA ver.2002 and CWS ver.2005). That is all.
2006-10-12 10:49:43
10.   Cliff Corcoran
8 Actually, no it hadn't. They seemed to lose just fine with me watching last year.

9 I for one have never doubted Bradley's talent, only his ability to stay healthy, which he failed to do again this year.

2006-10-12 10:55:56
11.   Sliced Bread
Hey, welcome back, Cliff.

Couldn't care less who wins Tigers-A's series, but man, beating the Yanks sure seems to energize teams.

As a former kid from Flushing, Queens the Mets still have a place in my heart.

My family moved out to Long Island in 1976 as I was turning 10. I had several birthday parties at Shea when we lived in Queens, and a lot of great memories from Shea. But my dad was a lifelong Yanks fan, and all the baseball books I read as a kid were filled with Yanks history, and even when we were at the Mets games I remember my dad telling me Yankees stories.

1976 wasn't a bad year for a kid to jump on the Yanks bandwagon. '77-'78, and I never looked back. As a 2nd baseman, I was all Willie Randolph all the time.

'86 Series I was a junior at the State University of NY at Albany. I remember only a few of us wore Yankees caps at the time. The bars and keg parties were a sea of Mets caps, and NY Giants hats. You stood out in the crowd wearing a Yanks cap at SUNY Albany ('84-'88).

During the '86 Series, a bunch of us Yanks and Mets fans rented a cargo van and drove to Boston. Tailgated outside Fenway, and listened to the game on the radio. I remember one young Sox fan passing by, asking his father (about me): "Why's that guy wearing a Yankees hat?" as if he'd never seen one before.

Yeah, I'm rooting for the Mets even if it means taking crap from Mets fans for a while. They have players I'd love as Yankees, but I'm mostly rooting for Willie, who is right up there with Bernie as my all-time favorite.

2006-10-12 11:04:51
12.   Bluebleeder87
i'm rooting for the "motor city" my self, but there is a soft spot for the A's in my heart as well i'm from California
2006-10-12 11:05:30
13.   Shaun P
6 Good to see you, Cliff. Looking forward to your posts, and getting back to thinking about baseball and not tragedy.
2006-10-12 11:06:20
14.   pistolpete
Can't do it, can't root for the Mets at all. I've taken too much abuse from their fans over the years to give them any sort of satisfaction.

They love to revel in Yankees anguish? I'll only be glad to return the favor. Go Tigers/A's.

2006-10-12 11:06:56
15.   Peter
I'm kind of on the fence about this. I think of the A's as my 3rd favorite AL team, so I'm rooting for them in that respect, but a Tigers victory would soften the blow from last week.
The Cards used to be my favorite NL team but I sort of lost interest in them after 2004. My brother is a Mets fan and he's over in Iraq right now, so I'd like to email him good news about his team, but I'm just completely indifferent towards them.
I guess I'll just hope for good baseball and watch the proverbial chips fall where they fall.
2006-10-12 11:10:19
16.   bp1
I fell asleep during the game last night. I enjoy watching baseball - no matter who is playing - but the passion is gone. This ALDS hangover is lingering. The thought of a winter long A-Rod drama makes my stomach upset.

11 We're the same age. My best friend in college was a Royals fan - and to this day I'm still not sure why. We had to agree to disagree on that point, although the truce was alwasy tested when the subject of Brett vs Goose came up. He's still a Royal's fan. Go figure. I think I've had the better end of the deal since then.

2006-10-12 11:13:53
17.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
In LA, there's a little affection that translates for having Mike Scioscia manage the Angels to (some) success. I'm curious of the Yankee fan finds the same in Willie Randolph managing the Mets...
2006-10-12 11:19:11
18.   bp1
17 Yeah, a little. Willie was a favorite of mine as a kid, like most kids who grew up watching the late 70's Yankees. I will always wish him success, but there's a little sadness. Sort of like when you're kids start to grow independent. You're proud - but at the same time a little sad. I dunno. I was hoping he'd take over for Joe, but that ain't gonna happen, I don't think.

Yeah - I want Willie to win it this year. I'll stay up to watch the post game if they do, and I'll smile, but I'll be wishing he was doing it as a Yankee skipper instead.

Probably selfish on my part.

2006-10-12 11:19:33
19.   Cliff Corcoran
17 Works for me. I rooted for the '86 Mets but have generally disliked the team since that squad imploded. With Willie at the healm of a good looking team I'm getting a bit of that spirit of '86 all over again.
2006-10-12 11:20:36
20.   Cliff Corcoran
18 I always wanted Girardi to take over for Joe, still might happen. Willie grew up a Mets fan in Brooklyn, he's back home and it's great to see him succeeding.
2006-10-12 11:23:25
21.   wsporter
I'm rooting for the Tigers in the AL. Hell I'd like the team that took us to make it. At least we can say we lost to the best. I would like Willie's boys to take it all though.
2006-10-12 11:29:11
22.   Schteeve
Does it make me a bad baseball fan that I could give a crap about any of the other MLB teams? Seriously, when I watch games in which the Yanks aren't playing, I just root for whoever is losing, because I don't really want anyone else to win.
2006-10-12 11:34:02
23.   Knuckles
I was rooting for the Mets so they could get their asses handed to them by the Yanks.
Now? No way, Jose.
I'm rooting for the Giants and Devils.
2006-10-12 11:36:07
24.   mehmattski
22 Not a bad fan, just a different fan I guess. For me, watching baseball is always pleasurable, and I've found it exciting to watch even regular season games between two teams I have no connection to. One favorite example is this game:

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/B05150MIL2003.htm

Between the Cubs and Brewers in May, 2003. It lasted 17 innings. I watched every one of them, and even annoyed some family members when I refused to join them at dinner because I had to see the end of the game.

I guess 2003 was my most recent peak in being obsessed with all of baseball... I also watched every inning of all the postseason games that year. This year, meanwhile, I've been completely obsessed with the Yankees, at the expense of learning about other teams. Now that I've found great blogs from a lot of different teams, hopefully next year I can get back to being a giant baseball nerd, instead of just a giant Yankees nerd.

As for this postseason, I'm interested in the games, usually I just root for a "good game" rather than for/against any non Yanks for Red Sox team. But honestly... trying to watch the games with the FOX announcers makes me want to change the channel.

2006-10-12 11:39:27
25.   Yankee Fan In Boston
24 attempting to compete with the people in my fantasy league has kept me up to date with the major ebbs and flows of most teams and some players i would otherwise not follow.

...it doesn't help too much, as i was 7th out of 10 this campaign.

2006-10-12 11:41:21
26.   Knuckles
Off topic (sorry) but is anyone in a decent NBA fantasy league (preferably Yahoo) that has open spots? Or would any Bronx Banterers be interested in forming one?

The ongoing league we had at my former job has kind of splintered and fallen apart as we all left the company, and it's more fun to play against people you 'know' rather than strangers...

2006-10-12 11:42:49
27.   Cliff Corcoran
24 Don't get me started on FOX. They showed a super slow low-angle replay of the close play at the plate on Craig Monroe last night, but threw up a loud (literally) "FOX Replay" graffic that took the length of the replay to finish zip-crashing onto the screen, completely distracting from the replay itself. I'm still not sure if I think he was safe or not.
2006-10-12 11:44:03
28.   Cliff Corcoran
26 Some of my coworkers here are doing something with the National Book Award candidates, but I don't think it's open to the public.

That is what you meant by NBA, right?

2006-10-12 11:44:04
29.   unpopster
I guess I'm rooting for the Tigers as well because, as many have pointed out in above posts, if the Yanks are gonna lose to someone, it might as well be to the WS champs. Plus, I've got a few friends in Motown and they're pretty chill guys.

I also can't root for the A's because should they win it all, the "Billy Beane is a genius" meme will be sickening. It's bad enough we gotta hear it when he's never gotten his team out of the ALDS, but if they actually win it all they'll be non-stop BEANEBALL coverage from now until hell freezes over.

But OMG, I also think we're witnessing that proverbial "postseason steamrolling" that we sometimes see in October. The 2006 Tigers are the 2005 White Sox. They are on a serious roll and I just don't think anyone can beat them right now. I really don't like Leyland but you've just got to give the guy props because he took a flailing team and motivated them into world beaters.

As for the Mets, I like the team, I like Willie, I have a lot of friends who are Met fans, but if they actually win the World Serious, we Yankee fans in NYC will be living in a nightmare. No sir, I don't want to live through that shite.

2006-10-12 11:46:17
30.   Yankee Fan In Boston
29
they're in the ALCS now.

...lucky bastards.

2006-10-12 11:46:26
31.   Knuckles
28 Actually, it's the No Bunting Allowed league. Been trying to get Jeter to join for years, unsuccessfully.
2006-10-12 11:46:51
32.   pistolpete
25 I'm like you- I consider myself a lot more knowledgeable than I used to be, thanks to the wheelings and dealings of my Yahoo fantasy league.

I don't really watch the games as a whole, but I do check in and watch for about 5-6 minutes at a time - depending on what's happening on the field. If there's ducks on the pond, I'll usually see what the end result of the inning is and then move on.

I think I used to watch the playoffs more often as a child in the 80's, when the Yanks NEVER made it and I really didn't know what the emotion of 'elimination bitterness' felt like...

2006-10-12 11:49:16
33.   Sliced Bread
29 "As for the Mets, I like the team, I like Willie, I have a lot of friends who are Met fans, but if they actually win the World Serious, we Yankee fans in NYC will be living in a nightmare. No sir, I don't want to live through that shite."

Well said, unpopster, but I think we've already survived worse.

2006-10-12 11:51:29
34.   Schteeve
Ok, I don't like Kenny Rogers. I can't stand him as a matter of fact. So I can't root for the Tigers. I can't root for the Mets because to me, that's like cheating on your girl with her sister. No matter how hot her sister is, it still doesn't sit well with me. The Cards, well i used to date a girl from St Louis and that didn't end well, so I'm not rooting for the Cards, which leaves me with Oakland.

I think I can live with Oakland.

2006-10-12 11:53:27
35.   mehmattski
A point many may not have considered. If the Tigers win the Serious, then guess who would possess a World Series Ring?

That's right.

Neifi!

2006-10-12 11:55:08
36.   Cliff Corcoran
29 I don't see a Mets win being such a big deal for Yankee fans. This has been the Mets year, if they're gonna win it, why not let it be this year when the Yanks are already out of it.
2006-10-12 11:57:19
37.   Cliff Corcoran
35 Hey, Tony Womack has one, why not Neifi!? What's worse, Kenny Rogers will have two.
2006-10-12 12:01:14
38.   unpopster
33 yeah, my Red Sox-lovin' friends really gave it to me after 2004...but most of them lived either in New England or points beyond NYC. If the Mets actually win it all, there'll be a million fat bozos like "The King of Queens" Kevin James roaming the streets of MY city.
2006-10-12 12:01:23
39.   Start Spreading the News
36 you clearly don't know a lot of obnoxious Met fans.

The teasing and ribbing will be really bad this year, especially when the Yanks were the favorite going into the playoffs.

Plus I really want the A's to win to finally shut up the anti-sabermetrics crowd. Not that it will prove anything, but to the anti-saber crowd, a WS legitimizes the approach.

2006-10-12 12:04:52
40.   SF Yanks
I have to root for the Tigers. If they smack around and shut out the other teams, the Yanks don't look so bad. That way the blame doesn't get pointed at ARod, I mean, any of the Yankees.
2006-10-12 12:05:24
41.   pistolpete
39 We'd also be in for an absolute eternity of replays of the clinching radio call on WFAN, courtesy of Gary Cohen...
2006-10-12 12:11:52
42.   bp1
Well, I guess I've got it coming to me if the Mets win. My wife and I were going to dinner with friends a few weekends ago, the husband being a lifelong Mets fan. It was after Pedro's 2nd outing after coming back, and I made a snarky comment something like "Geez, Pedro pitched last night and didn't even cry.".

Payback's a b*tch, right?

This is why I avoided all the "Boston Massacre" talk in August. Yes, we essentially eliminated Boston's playoff chances that weekend, but I think the Yankees left something on the field that they never got back. The fire did not burn quite as brightly afterward. I don't believe jinxes, well - not really - but I was afraid that giving that weekend a "name" was a bit premature.

(sigh)

2006-10-12 12:12:04
43.   Yankee Fan In Boston
38, 41
you are describing my life for the past 2 years... only instead of the king of queens, imagine jimmy fallon...

it was renewed again literally 20 minutes after game four of the ALDS this year. i stepped out my front door and a neighbor, who i am certain has seen me sporting yankee t-shirts, shouts from across the street, "you like the game?!? beautiful."

eh. whatever. my team didn't finish behind the blue jays.

my sympathies if the mets pull this off... but it would be really impressive given their pitching situation... which would only exacerbate your situation...

go tigers!

2006-10-12 12:13:45
44.   Sliced Bread
34 What if your girl's hot sister (who happens to be dating Willie Randolph?) kicks Kenny Rogers in the junk, and throws a drink in face? You'd cheer for that, wouldn't you?

38 39 Most of my Mets lovin' friends are the mild-mannered variety, and if they hate the Yanks, they at least respect them. That said, it's already getting bad now that they're "advising" me how the Yanks need to fix themselves -- but that I can handle.
I don't think we'll ever see anything less gracious, and more obnoxiously in our Yankees-loving mugs than the '04 Red Sox fans. At least I hope not.

2006-10-12 12:18:07
45.   Shaun P
37 Its bad enough that Kenny got his first one thanks to the Yanks. He ought not to have a second.

Willie, meanwhile, is working on getting his 7th, and I would be very glad for him if he did.

29 Maybe the "trade A-Rod" stories are dead now anyway - but if the A's winning would put those stories out for good, I'd happily listen to 6 months of "Billy Beane = genius".

I would also be fascinated to see Joe Morgan's reaction, as he continues to believe that Beane wrote Moneyball. Or at least he did the last time someone asked him in a chat.

2006-10-12 12:22:17
46.   Shaun P
44 Sliced, once again, my co-workers are all staring at me and wondering why I can't stop laughing.
2006-10-12 12:30:09
47.   Bama Yankee
It's nice to have Cliff back with us (we missed you buddy, "National Book Award candidates" LOL).

Also, (ditto to Shaun P) thanks Sliced for making me laugh with 44.

2006-10-12 12:50:29
48.   Fred Vincy
I've actually taken a bit of pride in how well the teams that have eliminated us have done: '01 D'Backs, '02 Angels, '03 Marlins, and '04 Red Sox were all world champs. It takes a very good team to beat the Yankees....
2006-10-12 12:57:25
49.   das411
Aren't the Tigers sort of the ultimate Anti-Moneyball team this year?
2006-10-12 13:08:22
50.   JL25and3
Someone asked yesterday why I don't like Tony LaRussa. I answered, but right as other news caught all our attention.

First off, it's not at all like my dislike of Sheffield. He's in an entirely separate class from everyone else - not because of the intensity, but because of the reasons behind it.

I think LaRussa overmanages brutally, but it's precisely that overmanaging that gets him hailed as a genius. It certainly isn't much fun to watch - three pitching changes in an inning is brutal on the fans, and I don't think it really makes a difference in the game. He overuses bunts and other one-run, "productive out" strategies - and again, gets praised as a genius precisely because of it.

And maybe the main reason I don't like him is that I think he has carefully fostered that image of himself as a genius.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-10-12 13:12:51
51.   rbj
I'll root for the Tigers. If you're going to get beat, get beat by the World Series Champs. (This offer is void in Massachusetts).

Plus, I've seen a lot of the Tigers as Mudhens, it's easier to root for guys you've followed.

And I thought Pudge just stopped eating cheeseburgers.

2006-10-12 13:20:26
52.   JL25and3
51 I kind of like the Mets and like it when they do well. Some of my oldest friends in the world are Mets fans; they hate the Yankees but not irrationally, and they don't rub my face in it.

I have longstanding good feelings about both A's and Tigers, so I'm not sure how to choose between them. I liked the Tigers of the late 60's, when I had to choose a second team to root for in the latter part of the season. But then, the '72-'74 A's were an even more enjoyable team.

Also, Kirk Gibson and Rickey Henderson make my short list of players I'd pay to see. There were players better than Gibson but not more fun to watch; and there was no one either better or more fun than Rickey.

The Cards are the one team I'll actively root against. There's the LaRussa factor, as I've said. On top of that, I've never forgiven them for 1964, the first World Series I remember at all. Hell, I'm not sure I forgive them for 1926.

2006-10-12 13:25:46
53.   KJC
Question for NYY fans: who do you hate more -- Kenny Rogers or Curt Schilling? (Or can you even pick one?)
2006-10-12 13:27:41
54.   JL25and3
Kenny Rogers
2006-10-12 13:27:48
55.   unpopster
53 The Mouth, hands down!
2006-10-12 13:31:36
56.   Schteeve
To the best of my knowledge Curt Schilling has never committed assault and battery on one of his colleagues and been allowed to keep his job. So I dislike Kenny a lot more than I dislike Schill.
2006-10-12 13:34:35
57.   Schteeve
I think if I wasn't a Yankee fan, I'd be an A's fan. I like their off field style. Swisher looks like a fun dude, same goes for Zito. And Scutaro seems pretty easy to root for. I have a feeling that Cano is going to be a lot like Chavez someday (good and bad in that certainly.)

So, go As!!!!

2006-10-12 13:47:58
58.   Shaun P
53 I don't hate either of them. Rogers was a bum for the Yanks in '96 and '97 (and he blew the chance for the first possible Subway Serious in '99) - but he was the chit that became Scott Brosius. For all his warts, Schilling has his ALS foundation, and his wife promotes skin cancer awareness.

That said, I still don't like either.

2006-10-12 13:50:52
59.   Shaun P
50 That was me, JL, and thanks for repeating it here. I missed it in all the goings on.

You make some great points. I always thought highly of TLR before this year. But the garbage TLR said about Edmonds while he was suffering from post-concussion syndrome really angered me. TLR is supposed to be a smart guy - he ought to know better.

2006-10-12 14:11:11
60.   3rd gen yankee fan
53 Bloody Sock Schilling. The guy never shuts up.

I can't root for the A's, due to some old "friends" who would never root for the Yankees to represent the AL under any circumstances. The Cards, I'll never forgive them for laying down in 2004. For four straight! Excuse me while my head explodes! At this point I just hope to see some good baseball and I think we'll get that out of the Tigers/Mets.

I dunno how the A's are gonna get past the freezing weather in Detroit! Brrrr! http://weather.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/iwszone?Sites=:miz076

See that's another reason why October baseball should always be played in NY.

2006-10-12 14:14:39
61.   Ravenscar
I'm coming at this from a different angle as a Mets fan, but I am definitely actively rooting for hte Tigers to win. Reasons?

1. The A's are enormously dull and unlikeable to me personally (sorry Ken), especially Eric Chavez and Nick Swisher's little bitchy Buster Brown mope. It's an effort for me to watch them play. With the possible exception of Danny Haren. It's kind of a shame as I was there during Timmy Hudson's first 2 years - very exciting.

2. Tigers/Mets will be a VERY fun series, lots of good personalities

3. The Tigers are my dad's team, and my great-grandfather saw Ty Cobb play.

4. No matter how much hatred, disdain, or disgust any Yankees fan has for Kenny Rogers, I contend that it cannot come close to how the Mets fans feel about him. We want him in Shea and we will rain down destruction on him.

2006-10-12 14:15:22
62.   3rd gen yankee fan
39 Seriously. The Mets fans had been bashing the Yankees for four days straight on NY craigslist rant-n-rave up to yesterday. It was ugly.
2006-10-12 14:30:49
63.   standuptriple
Anybody wonder that if the A's make it to the WS Joe Morgan might actually HAVE to read Moneyball? That may be worth it in itself. The A's are a good org to get behind. Lots of player development on all levels and they try to keep guys they draft. It's pretty opposite of the Yanks, but I must admit they have a strategy that they adhere to and that is admirable. I just don't think they can get past the Tigers though.
I met Tony LaRussa a couple years ago. He was doing a fundraiser for his pet project (pardon the pun) around Xmas and all the people were more interested in shopping than getting autographs and donating. I went up and spoke to him for a minute. I went to college with Mike Crudale and we talked about him. After I left I was so mad at myself for not asking why he didn't bunt on Schilling. I bet he would have given me a pretty candid answer.
-1 me.
2006-10-12 14:48:32
64.   randym77
My dad always told me that once your team is out, you should transfer your loyalty to a team in the same division, and on up. So, for example, if you're a Cowboys fan, and the 'Boys are out, you should root for the Giants or Redskins or other NFC East team, and once no NFC East teams are left, you should root for another NFC team.

I have never been able to do that. Redskins-Cowboys is the only NFL rivalry that's up there with Yankees-Red Sox; in its heyday, it was probably even more intense. Hell will freeze over before I root for them. Once my team is out of it, I find it a lot easier to enjoy the game when I don't have strong feelings about whoever is playing. Then, I can just enjoy it as a game, for the sheer beauty of the sport.

I don't have strong feelings about any of the teams that are left. I wouldn't mind the Mets winning. I have fond memories of the '86 series. I was across the river from Sliced Bread, watching it in a dorm lounge at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy. I was just starting to get interested in baseball at the time. I was too ignorant to fully appreciate that series, but it was compelling, even for a newbie.

But I don't think the NL has a chance. I think Detroit's going to roll. And I don't mind that, either. I don't even mind Kenny Rogers.

2006-10-12 14:59:11
65.   Yankee Fan In Boston
personally, i think that if the As were going to climb back into this, it would've happened in the 9th last night.

perhaps i have been spoiled, but the late-90s juggernaut came through in those situations. bradley's perfect hopper up the middle to load 'em up? the stuff of fairy tales...

that was the moment that could have knocked the wind out of the tigers, but it didn't happen.

i could be wrong, and i'd love to see a closer series, but i don't know if oakland can come back in motown. (other than the game started by kenny rogers.)

2006-10-12 15:15:36
66.   standuptriple
Well, Rogers was SUPPOSED to be owned by the Yanks. Um...let us never speak of that again. Rogers owns the A's. So maybe we're in topsy-turvy post season mode. At least that's what I'm smokin'...
2006-10-12 15:18:17
67.   singledd
Really.... who cares.
The best I can do is root for Frank Thomas.

Cliff... PLEASE....
Put up a YANKEES thread fast.
I'm going through withdrawal.

2006-10-12 15:21:47
68.   singledd
October 12, 2006 -- Randy Johnson's back problem, which will likely require surgery, didn't surface in September.

According to agent Alan Nero, Johnson was experiencing pain from May on.

"People don't realize, he pitched hurt all year," Nero said. "The guy played hurt all year after the first month."

http://tinyurl.com/y7tbgx

2006-10-12 15:25:58
69.   BklynBmr
For me, the season is over. The feeling really sank in when I poured over the weekend's NFL matchups, and started catching up on the Giants.

I tried to get excited about the Mutts (for no other reason than it's a NY team), but my heart's not in it. Much like the Red Sox, I don't mind the team, its the fans I can't take. I can't get worked up about the A's either way, and I almost forgot who the Mets were playing.

That leaves the Tigers, who I also could not care less about with the sole exception of one fan — a good friend from Detroit who hates the Yankees and takes great glee in rubbing the last six postseasons in my face. And a bandwagon Tiger fan at that. Last season, he couldn't name two players on the team, this year he's Mr. Tiger. I want him to suffer. A lot. So, it's anybody but the Tigers, hot stove stuff, and 'Lets go, New York Football Giants'!

2006-10-12 15:41:01
70.   randym77
This guy thinks Girardi is the right man for the job in Chicago:

http://www.lincolncourier.com/story.asp?SID=3272&SEC=10

And he wants A-Rod, too.

===
Don't be fooled by A-Rod's "struggles." Just as Jose Contreras escaped New York and helped the White Sox win the World Series, a change would benefit Rodriguez greatly. Besides, every club should have a player who struggles as he did in 2006: 35 homers, 121 RBIs, .290 average, .392 on-base percentage.
===

What would it take to land A-rod?

===
The Cubs could put together a package of Aramis Ramirez (if they re-sign the hustle-resistant third baseman), Mark Prior and Ryan Dempster. Prior has outlived his usefulness in Chicago; the Yankees, desperate for power pitching, might gamble they could resurrect his career. New York also might value Dempster as Mariano Rivera's set-up man or a fourth starter.
===

2006-10-12 15:41:27
71.   singledd
SG has some pretty revealing number up at RLYW (http://yankeefan.blogspot.com/).

The PS numbers were dreadful, especially defense. Melky's season numbers were surprsing bad (check our his ZR), as were ARod's (even worse then we think).

2006-10-12 16:00:36
72.   randym77
71 Holy crap, is that for real? We'd have been better off with T-Long and Bubba than with Melky and Bernie???
2006-10-12 16:46:09
73.   pistolpete
70 Prior?!! BWAHAHAHAHAA.

Hey, maybe he can commute to "work" with Pavano.

2006-10-12 17:00:21
74.   nick
Alex--is that the right link??
Don't you mean
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXlMM3jck-M
2006-10-12 17:39:04
75.   rbj
Ya know, it's real stupid to have a Cubs fan up in a tree, upset that his team was eliminated from the post season. Unless they're talking about the 2007 season.
2006-10-12 18:10:54
76.   mehmattski
This is about to make me very angry:

Jeff Weaver has now pitched 8 scoreless innings in this post season. Coming into the 2006 post season, Weaver had allowed 8 earned runs in 7.4 innings...

You won't like me when I'm angry.

Also, Tim Welke's strike zone stretches all the way to Brooklyn.

2006-10-12 18:16:15
77.   Simone
71 Those post season stats are beyond horrific. After seeing those numbers it is obvious why the Yankees lost. I'm glad to see that someone else recognizes that Mussina put the Yankees in a hole by blowing game 2.

The scrutiny that Ivan Rodriguez has escaped for his drastic weight loss goes to show the hypocrisy of the media and fans who claim to be outraged by steriod use.

2006-10-12 18:17:48
78.   Stormer Sports
That last play was just one more illustration of why Carlos Beltran is associated with the wrong color pinstripes.
2006-10-12 18:25:12
79.   mehmattski
Kenny Rogers? Jeff Weaver? David Wells? Talk about the brigade of disappointing Yankees' post season performances rising from the dead.

The next thing you know, the Mets will win the NLCS and then sign Kevin Brown to pitch in the Serious, followed by the inevitable perfect game.

2006-10-12 18:28:32
80.   Stormer Sports
79

"But Mel, I am keeping the ball down."

2006-10-12 18:28:49
81.   3rd gen yankee fan
80 Necromancy. It's uncanny.
2006-10-12 18:29:17
82.   3rd gen yankee fan
oops I meant 79
2006-10-12 18:32:43
83.   mikeplugh
Welcome back Cliff! Ah, the bliss of married life. (It's still blissful, right?)

We've all been thanking you and Alex for providing this great place to discuss the Yankees and whatever else we're thinking about for that matter. I've been busy this season with Canyon of Heroes and Matsuzaka Watch, and this has always been my most enjoyable stop of the day, especially during games. I get a real sense of the pulse of intelligent and respectful Yankee fans when I'm here with the BB gang.

Matsuzaka Watch is kind of an amateur attempt at evaluating the biggest star in Japan. I've been following him for about 3 years now, and I thought I'd find my internet niche by starting a blog. With him coming to the US next year, things have blown up. I've found myself in various places around the bulletin board sphere talking about him and putting some misconceptions to bed.

The thing I've realized more than anything else in this whole experience, is that Bronx Banter is a wonderful island paradise. I occasionally see some people from here at the other bulletin boards, but most of the time people are casual fans without a lot of deep exploration of the sport or the issues. They're smart and interested and like to share their opinions. That's cool. Then there are the people who are looking to start a fight. They're not trolls, per se, but rather people who have made up their minds about something and won't engage in a fluid discussion. They would rather break than bend.

It's a horrible experience for anyone who wants to debate and discuss. It's amazing to me that the anonymity of the web so often brings out the worst in people. It doesn't happen here, and that's why it's home.

Thanks y'all.

2006-10-12 18:44:12
84.   Stormer Sports
77

Wow. Do you remember our minor argument druring game 3? You accused me of giving up on the Yanks, which at that point, given their play, I pretty much had. I admit I gave up, I admit it.

Now, will you admit that you have some sort of misplaced animoisity towards Mike Mussina? You have been harping on this since mid-game 3.

Mike Mussina's pitching in game 2 was no more or less respomsible for the NLDS loss than the play of any other player. I think the fact that he had a small small lead is what sticks in your craw, considering the Yankees couldn't buy a run that series. Game two was no more or less important than any other game in that series, less game four. Even following the game two loss, we were tied in the series. So, if you are going to blame anyone, which I don't believe we should, it would be Randy Johnson, he was the pitcher responsible for putting us behind in the series two games to one. Maybe it is his salary, maybe the tiny three run lead he had, I don't know what it is. What I do know, is that it's unfair. It would be like blaming the offensive woes of the team on Arod, when no one but Jeter or Posada, or to a lesser degree Damon did shit in that series. Wang was the only guy to pitch well in that series, and that's the story of why we lost, not Mike Mussina. I mean statistically speaking, Mussina was the second best starter in that series. Sure, he didn't hold a three run lead, but the offense didn't support any of our starters other than Wang. If you want to blame anyone, blame Joe Torre for not starting Wang in game four. Otherwise, that series was one big shared embarassment, both offensively and defensively.

What's good for the Goose is . . . .

2006-10-12 18:51:17
85.   Stormer Sports
. . . or you could also blame the North Atlantic weather paterns for raining out game 2, or the Grinch, or the Boogy Man I suppose.
2006-10-12 18:58:36
86.   mikeplugh
77 84

I have this perspective on Mussina. He's been an excellent pitcher for the Yankees in his time here. He's dominated like a true ace on many occasions. In the playoffs, he's had the unfortunate task of opposing guys better than him on many occasions. Even in the regular season, I remember a few years when he was asked to start opposite Pedro 4 times in a row.

Moose has been one of the best, and most consistent, pitchers of his generation. He was paid like an ace, often pitched like an ace, but probably was kind of a 1a kind of guy. He was never Clemens, Pedro, Randy Johnson (in his day), or Johan Santana. The Yankees needed him to be that in recent years with the departure of Cone and Clemens. The game he lost against Detroit was unfortunate. We handed him a lead and he didn't hold it. Still, 4 runs isn't the end of the world with our lineup and it really could have gone either way. Verlander's ERA+ was basically the same as Mussina's this year.

I will always fondly remember Moose as a guy who gave his best everytime out. I will remember him as a guy that fought for the Yankees and came up a little short. If I try to put him in the "ace" context that Pedro and Clemens and company occupy, he doesn't quite measure up. I think of him like Barry Zito. Great pitcher, but not the Top 5 of his time.

2006-10-12 19:11:01
87.   Stormer Sports
86

I agree with you. We did need him to be the ace, but what you need, and what can actually occur are two dofferent things.

Thanks for your insight, you put it better than I did.

I guess after all the Arod bashing this year, which I admit participating in for a time, was just too much. It took far too much fun from my enjoyment of the games. I wanted to try to nip a Mussina bashing in the bud, by pointing out how silly it is to blame him any more or less than anyone else. It isn't his fault that the Yankees' offense made 4 runs look like 20. I am a little guilty of the same behavior, as I think Torre had to start Wang in game 4 and manage a little bit more like Leyland with his staff. However, I don't necessarily think either of those things would have saved that series.

NY's new Mr. Clutch goes deep for the Mets!

It's like bizarro world. Glavine and Weaver pitching like aces, Zito gets bombed, eeks.

2006-10-12 19:28:26
88.   Stormer Sports
"Glavine and Maine, and Pray for Rain."

Gotta love those Mets fans.

2006-10-12 19:40:52
89.   Simone
84 86 Between the ongoing defense of Drew Bledsoe and Mike Mussina, I feel like I'm losing my sanity slightly. Mussina has had his moments of glory in the post-season. I'll never forget him getting the Yankees out of the 4th inning of the 2003 ACLS, 2 men and no one out. However, Mussina's performance in game 2 of the 2006 ALDS was crushing. He gave up that lead in the next 2 innings and then the lead was gone the inning after. It is all well and good to point to offense and the defense, but Mussina was the main person whose failure cost the Yankees that game. It isn't silly, it is a fact.
2006-10-12 20:21:13
90.   Stormer Sports
89

Well, he was the starting pitcher, so I guess you could say he was a large part of the reason the game was lost. But not everyone can pitch like Jeff Weaver or Tom Glavine. I had to say it. My larger point is that you and others were and I suppose are, placing too much blame or emphasis on that one game. 4 Runs is not a mountain. Johnson and Wright were far worse. So in an effort to understand the animosity toward Mussina I had to think about it. The game was close for a while, so I think maybe that's why it stings more than game 3 or 4. However, the offense didn't score in any of the games following game 1, so it wouldn't have mattered if we had Sandy Koufax out there.

In 2006 the Yankees scored 930 runs. Detroit scored only 822. The fact of the matter is that we should have been able to score some runs, even against Detroit's pitching. Mussina only gave up 4 runs. The Yankees ERA was 4.41, while Detroit's was 3.84.

All I am saying is that Johnson and Wright were horrible, so singling out Moose is unfair, had nothing more or less to do with us losing that series, than did anyine else, and something else must be grinding your gears.

2006-10-12 20:31:31
91.   Stormer Sports
It's a team game, and no one should be singled out unless the mistakes or inadaquacies are so glaring, as to make it impossible to do otherwise.

As for Bledsoe, I don't think it matters with that team. NO OFFENSIVE LINE! A perenially overrated coach, an overly intrusive owner, and a tumor of a superstar. The Cowboys' season was over before it began. So I'm with you, they won't win doing what they're doing, they might as well start Romo. However, Parcells gave up the real nuts and bolts of coaching years ago, so good luck.

2006-10-12 20:49:08
92.   mikeplugh
Simone, I know you don't care for Mussina is some respects, but do you think there's a price that we can safely agree on to bring him back next season?

Without him, and presumably Wright, there are a couple of holes to fill.

Wang
Zito/Matsuzaka
Johnson
XXX
Rasner/Karstens

I'm guessing that we'll fill the first hole with Zito or Matsuzaka. That could be off base. Reports are that Zito isn't in New York's plans, and that Seattle may spend silly money to get Matsuzaka. In that case, we'd almost have to bring back Moose just to tread water. The second hole needs to be filled by a proven MLB guy. With rookies in the #5 spot, an experience #4 is a must.

Thoughts?

2006-10-12 21:40:44
93.   bobtaco
93 I think that is the doomsday scenario and probably makes a title in 2007 very unlikely. I am afraid that Seattle is going to pull out all the stops to match Matsuzaka with Felix Hernandez.
2006-10-12 23:31:18
94.   Yu-Hsing Chen
71 defensive ratings are often deciving, and different sources contradicitng. i usually take it with a grain of salt...

On Moose, unless we somehow land both Zito and Matsuzaka, i doubt we can pass him up if he's willing to go for a 2 year 20M type of deal.

This is of course, all assuming no big ass A-rod trade happens, which would obviously change the focus and plans .

It will be interseting to see how Cashman pull this off season off, suffice to say though that his work isn't nearly as hard as the mess that Theo needs to work with now. they have a opening in SS and about 6 out of 8 position filled with mediocrity. and some of those mediocrity are pretty old too. (Lowell.. Varitek..)

2006-10-13 04:37:45
95.   Simone
92 Mike, I agree that the Yankees have to bring back Mussina for a 2 year stinit. I don't see that they have much choice. There isn't a lot of reasonably priced pitching on the market this off season. I just want Joe and Cashman to recognize that Mussina is old and is now essentially a 5 inning pitcher. By the end of the season and the play offs, Joe needs to have the quick hook with Moose and not let him pitch into the 6th inning.

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