Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Can't Stop, Won't Stop
2007-09-11 05:42
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

So Roy Halladay was pitching a brilliant game last night, but fell apart in the 9th as the Blue Jays lost to the Tigers, 5-4. Go freakin' figure. Got to be one of the best moments of the season for Detroit. Magglio Ordonez had four hits including the game-winner. Man, he's had some kind of season, hasn't he?

The Tigers, who play a double-header against the Texas Rangers today, now trail the Yankees by just three-and-a-half games. The Red Sox lead is down to five games, as they lost a close one to the Devil Rays last night, 1-0.

The Blue Jays won't make the post-season but they can play the role of spoilers, starting tonight against the Yankees. Here's hoping our boys continue to play well this week; here's hoping they win this series in Toronto. 'Nuff said.

Comments (71)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-09-11 06:02:35
1.   Chyll Will
2007-09-11 06:19:00
2.   Jersey
Still can't believe Detroit won that game last night. You could make the case that Halladay should have sat after throwing 110 pitches through 8, but he's thrown over 120 in three of his previous four starts. Sheesh.
2007-09-11 06:36:15
3.   yankz
I'm a little worried. The pitching matchups are overwhelmingly in the BJ's favor.
2007-09-11 07:05:54
4.   Sliced Bread
Turns out Roger will be with the team in Toronto today, showing Cash, Joe, Gator, etc. what he's got in a bullpen session.

Even if that goes well, I'd like to see him for at least an inning this series before they decide whether to give him the Sunday night start in Boston.

The bullpen is going to get work aplenty in Toronto. Why not put Rocket to the test against their hitters?

If this is Rocket's last hurrah, it would be fitting that he pitch in Toronto and Boston down the stretch.

2007-09-11 07:15:52
5.   williamnyy23
2 I couldn't believe it either...had the Tigers lost, I think Detroit would have started packing it in for the season. Between dropping 5 games behind in loss column and losing Bonderman and now posibly Zumaya to injury, you couldn't blame the Tigers for allowing a loss to linger. Instead, they get a great come from behind win, which could provide the needed momentum to get through today's doubleheader.
2007-09-11 07:15:55
6.   unpopster
3 at least we miss Halladay. he owns us.
2007-09-11 07:32:00
7.   Knuckles
Is it awful to say that I feel more like watching college and NFL football this weekend than all 3 of the Yanks-Sox tilts? I just have a feeling these teams are on a collision course for another ALCS and don't want to dive into the hype just yet…

I was reading a preview of the world cup, and they interviewed a Kiwi (NZ has gone into most of the cups as the runaway favorite, but usually manage to stumble), who said he and his mates almost can't enjoy the games because they know a win is a relief and a loss is too unbearable to think about. Reminds me of some recent Octobers around here...

2007-09-11 07:42:58
8.   williamnyy23
7 Yes, it is awful to say. I'd rather watch Scranton vs. Pawtucket than college or the NFL.
2007-09-11 07:59:51
9.   monkeypants
8 Good God, the NFL is almost unbearable. And when I do sit down to watch a game, I am forced to root for the NY Giants. Blech.
2007-09-11 08:23:44
10.   williamnyy23
9 Speaking of football, in one week's time, one of the most successful teams in the recent NFL had a player suspended for HGH and was accussed of systematic cheating, but Jay Gibbons being linked to HGH has somehow been a bigger scandal. While I am glad that baseball is held to a higher standard, I still find that
juxtaposition pretty amazing.
2007-09-11 08:27:52
11.   Sliced Bread
7 I'm with you re: preferred avoidance of the "rivalry" hype, but as a NY Giants fan I'd rather watch almost anything than football these days (and I have a feeling Jets fans are with me on this).

Plus, the pitching matchups in Boston are too good to ignore. They're outstanding, even if it's Hughes instead of Clemens on Sunday.

2007-09-11 08:32:28
12.   Chyll Will
7 Honestly, I wish baseball would just go back to a balanced schedule. I know there's not much excitement in seeing Texas or KC more than one trip per season, but the tilts with Boston are overkill at this point and only seem to serve to build unnecessary emnity among players and fans. The soap-opera shyt turns me off more than watching the Yanks against a boring team. And while they're at it, interleague play as a whole is not nearly as exciting as it probably sounded at the meeting. I know, it's show business and $$$ to them and all, but this has a lot less to do with breaking tradition and more to do with actual entertainment (real $$$), which interleague play is not; I don't believe the argument about fans from far-flung areas gettig to see the Yankees for the first time, because it would only occur every four years for them, and then what? (see Colorado) It's like a really annoying commercial played over and over again.

Not that anyone would care, but if it were up to me I'd keep the wild-card; everything else should go back to when it was interesting, or at least go back to the drawing board.

2007-09-11 08:38:59
13.   monkeypants
12 Interesting--I far prefer the imbalanced schedule, as it helps legitimize division championships and it helps build good rivalries (though a million games against the Rays is a snoozer).

On the other hand, maybe with the WC they should just scrap the imbalanced schedule. Then again, getting back to our WC debate from a few days ago, maybe they should just scrap the divisions and take the top four teams from each league for the play offs.

And for whatever reason one can cite, I'm all for scrapping interleague play.

2007-09-11 08:41:20
14.   williamnyy23
12 I am in the opposite camp...I love the unbalanced schedule. Of course, with the wild card, it makes very little sense. I would love to see MLB split each league into 4 divisions with one division winner, instead of having a wild card. This way, winning a division would have more integrity and the unbalanced schedule would be more palatable because you'd only play 3 teams 18-19x. Of course, the one drawback would be having to add two new teams in the AL.
2007-09-11 08:44:57
15.   Chyll Will
11 I'm with you. I can't even root for my brother's team (Raiders). Bah!

10 Baseball is more institutional than football. It is further from entertainment than the other sports because of it's relationship with history, government and mass media; Baseball is probably the only sport that translates well in all traditional forms of media (radio, TV, newspapers) and has the sweetest time schedule of the year (spring, summer, fall). And, not everyone can relate to football as easily as they can baseball (Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto versus Gary "The Flea" Harrell, who had a better career?) Those are subjective arguments, but I think they hold water. To me, it only goes to show what's really important to the powers that be in regards to what has a more compelling influence on the whole country in general.

2007-09-11 08:48:09
16.   markp
I couldn't agree more about the four divisions. It makes too much sense to ever be implemented (also it allows fewer teams a reasonable chance into September.)
2007-09-11 08:53:08
17.   Jersey
7 World Cup of what? Cricket?

I hear you guys about the NFL (and the Giants - how do you squander that performance from Eli last Sunday?!?), but I can't knock college football. I've been campaigning with my buddies to change our "football day festivities" from Sunday to Saturday for years.

2007-09-11 08:54:17
18.   yankz
17 I'm with you on college, and I don't hate NFL. It's all right when you have free time.
2007-09-11 08:54:21
19.   Chyll Will
14 Having four divisions makes sense if you keep the wild card, so it seems like an argument should be made for either/or (wild card/balance or four divisions/imbalance) For what it's worth, I'm on the side that doesn't care for the built-in rivalries because of the strong potential for lack of talent (2 new teams as you note) or massive incompetence (i.e. Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh) driving down the interest for extended periods of time (could you imagine an entire division of Tampa Bays, it could happen...), but I'm willing to try them for what it's worth.
2007-09-11 08:55:45
20.   monkeypants
12 By the way, for how long did baseball have the balanced schedule? I mean, the balanced schedule was a creation of the divisions. Sure, the schedule was balanced before, but that's a bit misleading--there was only one "division" in each league, so you played each team the same number of times. Once the divisions came around, the AL went to a more balanced schedule, but as I recall, the NL kept its schedule less balanced, especially when it was 14 teams in the AL and only 12 in the NL. In the NL, teams played 18 v. division and 12 v. non-division. The NL only adopted a balanced schedule in 1993, the first year of the Rockies and Marlins. For how many years, then, during teh division era did both leagues have a balanced schedule?
2007-09-11 09:02:38
21.   Jersey
18 And I didn't even go to a D-1 school. =) Although I might end up a Terp or a Hokie for grad school at least...
2007-09-11 09:09:33
22.   JL25and3
I disagree that the unbalanced schedule helps build good rivalries. If anything, I think it stifles them. The Yankees and Red Sox will have a great rivalry as long as both teams are good, and it would be just as good at 11 or 13 games as it is at 19. In fact, it might be better with fewer games, because 19 games does tend to dissipate the excitement a bit.

Meanwhile, 57 games against Toronto, Baltimore and TB do absolutely nothing to build any rivalries. (Doesn't it seem like the Yankees play Tampa Bay a lot more than the others?) But the current scheduling makes it almost impossible to build rivalries outside the division.

Once upon a time, the Yankees had a great rivalry with Kansas City; more recently, they had one with Seattle. If they played more games against Detroit and Anaheim, those could be pretty good rivalries now as well. But we don't get to see them enough to know their players, not the way we used to know Brett and Otis, or Griffey and freakin' Edgar Martinez.

Good teams playing each other in important games are what build rivalries. 19 games against the Orioles does bupkes.

2007-09-11 09:18:04
23.   Zack
7 I would always rather watch RWC action that most anything, but since I can only watch a few games in replay on VS. baseball gets the nod. The NFL, while I enjoy football, is getting to points of ridiculousness. In the MNF game last night, the announcers were literally giddy with excitement when Chad Johnson scored a TD in anticipation of his celebration. Insane. Of course, its ESPN, so there it is...

The unbalanced schedule seems to have the power to singlehandedly KILL all rivalries, as the Yanks-Sox match up is so often now and so overblown that it takes all the fun out of it.

2007-09-11 09:21:30
24.   Chyll Will
20 Good question, for which I admit I can't answer right away. Furthermore, I see the reasoning for unbalancing, but I also see how regional conflicts have forced it off the road, if you will. Not simple in any regard, even if you even out each league with an even number of teams and divisions. But why on earth does it seem like the way it is now seems to be the most aggrivating? Is it because it compromises all the viable choices into segments of each?
2007-09-11 09:25:30
25.   Bama Yankee
15 "I can't even root for my brother's team (Raiders)"

Your brother plays for the Raiders?

2007-09-11 09:34:57
26.   Chyll Will
25 (LOL) Sorry, poor choice of words. He's a Raiders fan (though he could have played if he wanted to, even now.) Not the traditional Raiders fan, but a (literally) strong supporter of the Silver & Black. He used to be a Jets fan like me until they released Namath. He supports my Jets fandom, except on gameday when they meet. He has, on occasion, tried to lure me over to the dark side, though... Uncle Woodrow's a Giants fan, so we're all sunk.
2007-09-11 09:36:55
27.   pwicked
22 " might be better with fewer games, because 19 games does tend to dissipate the excitement a bit." Are you serious? We're 4 back in the lost column with three to play against Boston and the excitement has somehow dissipated? Wow...
2007-09-11 09:40:31
28.   Max
I'm not against the unbalanced schedule, but I can't say I love it either. I think 12 and 22 said it best for me...I wouldn't mind some other rivalries developing outside the East.

And living in Boston, the soap-opera stuff is unbearable for 19 games a year, and leads to all sorts of silliness and purple prose masquerading as journalism (case in point -- the "article" in the Boston Globe about why the Yankees "don't like" Youkilis -- where nobody bothered to ask the Yankees what they thought, presumably because the idea that a Yankee would care enough to dislike a role player with delusions of grandeur is beyond laughable).

2007-09-11 09:42:47
29.   seamus
for me...

college football > yankees > nfl > mlb

Football is my favorite sport to watch. But watching NFL these days is frustrating since I'm a Giants fan. But I'd still rather watch any old NFL game than any old MLB game. Only the Yanks capture my attention on such a high level. I like baseball, but I just really appreciate the complexity in football.

2007-09-11 09:56:37
30.   Bama Yankee
26 Just making sure... ;-)

So, your brother was a Namath fan and then became a Raider fan when Kenny Stabler was the quarterback. Hmmm, that's a couple of former Crimson Tide QB's, are your sure your brother is not a Bama fan? ;-) Actually, there are still a few Jets and Raiders fans down here in Alabama due to those two guys. Now, you see a lot of Seahawks jersey because of Shaun Alexander.

2007-09-11 09:58:04
31.   Chyll Will
29 "I like baseball, but I just really appreciate the complexity in football. "

I see it like this:

Football - Throw the ball, catch the ball, run the ball, knock people the f@#$ out, play the game.

Baseball - Throw the ball, catch the ball, hit the ball, eat the ball, tell 'em to go f@#$ themselves if necessary, play the game.

Advantage: baseball >;)

2007-09-11 10:03:32
32.   Bama Yankee
29 What's up with your boys at Notre Dame this year? At least you get Michigan this week. ;-)
2007-09-11 10:05:54
33.   Rob Middletown CT
I like the unbalanced schedule. I don't like interleague play.

Btw, apparently Glaus re-injured his foot. Maybe he won't play this series.

2007-09-11 10:06:09
34.   yankz
I'd watch a great college football game over, say, Pirates-Nationals, two teams I could care less about.
2007-09-11 10:10:36
35.   Chyll Will
30 According to him, he's not that full of 'bama, but I'm not so sure >;) No, I think it was Marcus Allen and Lyle Alzado that did it for him, so I don't know who he rooted for until then; unless he was just a lurking Jets fan that whole time. Come to think of it, he's big on particular players, but classic Raiders seems to suit his style. I think he finds me being a Jets fan more amusing than anything else.
2007-09-11 10:13:01
36.   seamus
32 Inexperience mostly I think. Our Junior and Senior classes are barren (thanks Ty). So most of the talent is freshman and sophomores. Our offensive line is the biggest mess. I think you'll see ND improve over the year but finish, say 5-6 or 6-5. Next year is when ND will make a mark (weakest schedule in decades with lots of returning starters - only 2 on offense graduate).

How is Bama doing? I haven't seen their games.

2007-09-11 10:14:09
37.   Start Spreading the News
32 Stoppable force meets movable object.

Like Womack batting against a Farnsworth meatball pitch...

2007-09-11 10:14:32
38.   yankz
Here's the ESPN/Chad Johnson thing:

ESPN could not be more of a POS.

2007-09-11 10:15:36
39.   Chyll Will
30 If it makes you feel better, I am related to someone famous, but I'll save that for serious consideration >;)
2007-09-11 10:19:42
40.   seamus
32 also, that game this weekend should be interesting. Both ND and Michigan are desperate for a win. I have no idea how I feel about this game. Probably if ND can move the ball on offense, we'll win. But we haven't done that yet.
2007-09-11 10:23:10
41.   Sliced Bread
39 If it's Karim Garcia we demand to know now.
2007-09-11 10:24:03
42.   seamus
41 lol!
2007-09-11 10:24:39
43.   Bama Yankee
41 Could Chyll Will be related to this guy:
2007-09-11 10:25:02
44.   Chyll Will
41 What?? I mean, who??
2007-09-11 10:26:04
45.   YankeeInMichigan
2 5 Credit the Tigers with taking advantage of the gifts, but the Blue Jays sure were in a giving mood. First they put in Jansen instead of Downs against the lefty-challenged Granderson. Then they pitch around the 0-24 Sheffield with Ordonez on deck. Let's hope they show similar generosity against the Yanks.

20 From 1969 through 1976, all teams played 18 against division rivals and 12 against teams of the other division. In 1977, when the AL expanded to 14 teams, they went to an essentially balanced schedule, i.e. 13 against division rivals and 12 against teams of the other division. I recall bemoaning the reduction in intra-divsional games at the time.

I believe that the overkill in the Yanks-Red Sox rivalry is created not by the unbalanced schedule but by the Wild Card. Regular season games between divisional rivals lose their importance if the two teams are destined to meet in the ALCS. If their were a WC in 1978, Bucky Dent and Goose Gossage would have been replaced with a tie-breaking formula.

2007-09-11 10:28:53
46.   Chyll Will
43 (Note to self: crickets are golden...) >;)
2007-09-11 10:31:31
47.   YankeeInMichigan
Rangers are knocking around Chad Durbin so far. 2-0 in 2nd.
2007-09-11 10:31:39
48.   Bama Yankee
36 & 40 Yeah, that ND-Mich game will be interesting to watch. I don't think they have both ever been winless going into that game.

Bama is 2-0 with wins over Western Carolina and Vanderbilt (not exactly stellar opponents). We have looked good so far (we usually struggle against Vandy for some reason, but we beat them 24-10). Nick Saban seems to have the team in better shape physically and mentally this year. We'll see what we've got this week against Arkansas. Hopefully, Saban will earn his $4M with a win against Auburn this year...

2007-09-11 10:31:51
49.   Sliced Bread
43 Link didn't work for me.

Mel "Blank"?

2007-09-11 10:33:19
50.   Bob Timmermann
I think they've met in the first game of the season haven't they?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-09-11 10:36:31
51.   seamus
50 probably, but it is true that both teams have never been 0-2 in the same year!
2007-09-11 10:38:20
52.   Chyll Will
49 Actually, there's a closer (though vicarious) connection to cartoons in my family when you consider my brother's name is Joe... (even funnier that he called me at work just a few minutes ago...)
2007-09-11 10:40:37
53.   Bama Yankee
50 Good eye. I guess you got me with that one (and I thought no one ever read my football related posts).

Maybe I should have said that they have never both been winless while not being loss-less... ;-)

2007-09-11 11:01:36
54.   YankeeInMichigan
The State of Michigan is in a state of shock right now. It's been quite some time since the Lions have had a better record than the Wolverines.
2007-09-11 11:47:06
55.   SF Yanks
39 Whatcha got? Supposedly Joe D is my "distant" cousin. Whatever the hell that means. He was married to my Grandmother's sister something. There's a connection and it's stops after sister. While it may not be the closest cousin, whatever it is, I'll take it. And yeah, I've been braggin about this one my whole life so don't deflate my balloon ;)

I like to think that my fascinating baseball talent came from him. Although, the back to back to back homeruns I gave up leading off my last all-star game, definitely came from somebody else. Maybe Farnsworth's tree?

2007-09-11 11:50:54
56.   OldYanksFan
We are headed into the Post Season, with a Yankee October in possible doubt for the first time in 11 years... and people are talking about Football?

Fuckin' Football!
Please... winters are hard enough as is. Lets revel in baseball while we still can.

2007-09-11 11:56:39
57.   yankz
56 Um...why does this bother you so much? If people want to talk about it, let them. No one's stopping you from talking about baseball.
2007-09-11 11:58:17
58.   JL25and3
I agree with 56 .
2007-09-11 12:03:20
59.   Chyll Will
55 Nah-ah-ah, you have to wait just like everyone else; although yours is pretty cool >;)

56 Wowzers, you want I should get you an egg cream for dem nerves? My treat >;)

2007-09-11 12:03:30
60.   JL25and3
27 Obviously, three September games against the team you're four behind will always be exciting. That's what makes rivalries interesting.

But over the course of the season, and from year to year, I think the amount they play is overkill.

2007-09-11 12:04:31
61.   Bama Yankee
55 Come on now, everyone knows the Farnsworth family tree did not fork...
2007-09-11 12:05:19
62.   Chyll Will
57 ,58 Egg creams for everyone!!!
2007-09-11 12:07:59
63.   Bama Yankee
Sorry for the football talk, but it sure does beat the heck out of another round of pounding on the deceased equine...
2007-09-11 12:08:43
64.   Chyll Will
61 Deliciously low >;)
2007-09-11 12:12:21
65.   JL25and3
63 Point taken. If last night's discussion had continued into today, I was prepared to launch a broadside on the evils of Gary Sheffield.
2007-09-11 12:13:32
66.   seamus
65 last night's discussion was annoying. I just don't get the point of it after a while...
2007-09-11 12:19:42
67.   OldYanksFan
My biggest issue with the schedule is all the nasty long distance travel. The 3 divisions and imbalanced schedule helps to that extent.

Here are some things I'd like to discuss.
TWO divisions. East and West.
Top 2 teams in each league playoff.
#1 East plays #2 West
#1 West plays #2 East

All 5 game series. Less travel. See the entire pitching staff. No missing the ace. Strategy becomes more important. You see the same pitchers and batters more, so being able to adjust becomes more important.

Each team plays 7 in their league, 7 in the other league.

7 teams x 5 games x 2 (home & away) x 2 leagues = 140 games. 20 games Interleague, within the league, 4 teams x 5 games = 20 games. 2 are Home, 2 away.

160 game seaon, 2 extra games for 7 game Division playoff.

Road trips are 15 games - 3 teams x 5 games and 10 games - 2 teams.

Minimum 1 day off after long travel.
(Chicago for 5, last game is day game. Travel after game. Cleveland for 5, last game is day game. Travel after game. Texas for 5, last game is day game. 1 Day off, sometimes 2. Travel back to NY.)

One road trip per team. For 14 teams, that 5-7 trips/yr.

Less travel, longer homestands, longer road trips.

2007-09-11 12:26:08
68.   Chyll Will
67 I'm all for it, but the networks and ownership would fight you to their last drop of toxic waste. Anything that potentially leaves money on the table (i.e. advertising bucks) would be of no interest to them. Sure, in the long run they would make that money back by increased fan interest, but networks never seem to be interested in baseball in the long run unless you tie "higher revenue projections" to the end of the sentence.

Still, it's cool, when do we start?

2007-09-11 12:37:53
69.   SF Yanks
59 Alright, but I'm anxious to hear it. I like hearing people's trees, roots, branches, etc. and what they lead to.
2007-09-11 12:38:51
70.   JL25and3
Meanwhile, apropos of nothing, I realized what I'm going to call Shelley Duncan. Big kid with tons of energy and enthusiasm so irrepressible that it threatens serious bodily harm: Marmaduke.
2007-09-11 13:01:49
71.   Chyll Will
69 I'll make it worth your while with decent storytelling. I would give a hint, but some of you might be of that era and would know almost instantly. Geez, now I'm anxious to tell >;)

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