Thursday, October 04, 2007

Perhaps it wouldn't have made much of a difference tonight, and maybe I'm more than a little tainted by bitterness, but kudos to Joe Torre for playing Doug Mientkiewicz and leaving Jason Giambi on the bench. Hindsight, as they say is 20-20, but going with a guy for his defense and leaving an infinitely better hitter on the bench is so National League. In fact, it smacks of Dusty Baker in his prime, and what a prime it was.

And then when it came time to pinch hit for Mientkiewicz, Torre threw Shelly Duncan out there instead of Giambi. I realize that Duncan is a right handed batter, and maybe Giambi didn't have terrific numbers against Sabathia. But wouldn't you feel better with a guy who has won an MVP award, even one tainted by allegations of steroids, over a guy whose greatest claim to fame is being the son of the Cardinals pitching coach.

The trouble with conventional wisdom is that it's conventional. So what if every body knows something? 95% of people are total nitwits. Derek Jeter came into the game batting .500 lifetime off Sabathia and sporting a very good postseason average in general, but he didn't exactly rip it up in this game. Hell, CC Sabathia walked six guys tonight (one was intentional) and none of them scored.

And if ever there were an omen that a given night would not be a given player's night, it had to come tonight. Mientkiewicz almost ended up a scratch from the lineup before the game even started when he tripped over a cameraman from a New York TV station getting off the team bus. Who in their right mind thought that things would break his way after that? What more did he have to do, walk under a ladder, cross paths with a black cat? For a profession that is notoriously rife with superstitious dudes, there is no way he should have seen the field after that.

Torre played the percentages right into a 0-1 hole in this series. Now things are looking good for Red Sox fans, which is always bad for America. This postseason is starting to remind me of the Beatles song Uncle Albert. I don't hear it very often, since I don't like the Beatles and I don't listen to the radio very much. But when I hear it, it confuses and vexes me.

Every time I hear the start of that song, I start thinking to myself that maybe I'm wrong about the Beatles, that they might not be as bad as I had thought previously. Then the second part of the song with the aggravating uptempo music and the random nonsense about Admiral Halsey kicks in, and I find myself hating the song and the band more than ever.

I've come a long way around to say this, but if the Yankees lose, the only other team I'd like to see win this World Series is the Chicago Cubs. So I find myself stuck rooting for teams that I can't stand simply because they stand in the way of the team I really hate. If neither the Yankees nor the Cubs advance, I am in a lose-LOSE situation. Either the Indians win, and I'm bummed, or the Red Sox win and their fans are happy, which is a nightmare scenario I'd rather not envision right now.

By the way, thanks to the Major League Baseball playoff promos, I have had to reevaluate my opinion of Dane Cook. At first, I never cared about him even though Bill Simmons whined about him, which is generally a sign a guy isn't a total douche. But now, I've seen way too many of those stupid "There's Only One October" ads and I hope he gets some wasting disease.

And kudos to the genius at TBS who went into a meeting and said: "I know what let's do. Let's put Tony Gwynn in a booth with Bob Brenley and Chip Carey and we'll have them broadcast the New York Yankees series." This guy should get a Peabody Award, or at the very least the Nobel Peace Prize. Those three worked together like vodka and anti-freeze.

Tony Gwynn is a nice guy, and he brings a lot to the table. Bob Brenley just might be brain-dead. I'm just glad he left his comments on the stadium wind situation behind on Cubs telecasts. But Chip Carey has to stand second only to Joe Buck in shaming a famous grandfather who is also a broadcasting legend. The shameful indecency with which he celebrated every single development in favor of the Indians this evening was sickening.

I found myself forced to switch over to the end of Twelve Angry Men on Turner Classic Movies before I was pressed into service in the Ryan Garko Hall of Fame movement. Yeah, he hit two home runs tonight, but I've missed a great deal if Ryan Garko is considered a big bat in a lineup. Speaking of Twelve Angry Men, if there aren't twelve angry men in the Yankee clubhouse (and with morons like Damon and Mientkiewicz, there might not be) then there ought to be.

And while I'm on the subject of TBS: how is FrankTV going to change the face of late night TV? Is it going to be the worst show ever? I know he has a good impression for John Madden and for the President. His Nicholson is passable, but his Pacino is terrible. And those are the four featured in the commercials that have run somewhere in the neighborhood of a quadrillion times now. He better be holding a hell of a lot of A material in the vault, or the American people have to be an order of magnitude dumber than I think they are for this show to succeed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the reason you're confused and vexed about the '07 playoffs is because your entire line of reasoning is based upon a false assumption. "Uncle Albert" is not a Beatles Song. It's a Paul McCartney song on his "Ram" album.