Blog Archives

Framing Pitches – Jose Molina, you cunning devil.

Makes it seem like far less of a coincidence that it was Jose Molina catching when Brett Lawrie was twice denied a walk.

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The all-star lineup

After 15 years of having the Yankees (and to a smaller degree, the Red Sox) as the MLB team with the killer roster, it took me longer than it should have to realize that it’s now the Phillies who have that role – and in the NL, to boot, for ages considered the weaker league.  Rollins, Utley, Pence, Howard, Victorino, Ibanez.  6 quality hitters that can generate runs any inning.  Compares well to Jeter, Damon, Teixeira, Rodriguez, Matsui, Posada, Cano (2009 Yankees), or even to Henderson, White, Alomar, Carter, Olerud, Molitor.  Not only that, but they have one of the best pitching rotations I’ve ever known.  Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Oswalt, and young Vance Worley?  Scary.   Their fourth starter was the ace of his previous team.

I tend to cheer for the underdog in sports. (I wonder what that means psychologically…)  When the Phillies were coming together, I was enjoying their pursuit of a championship.  I’m still not tired of them, because this group has only won one Series.  And I really want Doc to win a ring, because we in Toronto still have a collective major crush on the best player ever to wear a Jays uniform.  It’s sad for us that he’ll probably enter the Hall of Fame as a Phillie.

Not to say it always happens.  I booed the Yanks even when they started winning in ’96.  But the rising of the Red Sox and Rays earlier this decade was enjoyable, despite them also being division rivals.

 

I think that the all-star lineup is far more common in baseball, with it not having a salary cap, meaning a team with a lot of money can go out and buy a good team.  The NFL seems to have the most different playoff-bound teams and champions.  The NHL might be the biggest test of good management, with a tight salary cap forcing good drafting and development, and scouting projection as necessary in order to build a winning team.  (Detroit Red Wings, I tip my cap to you.)

The NBA has a few all-star rosters, and is far more disparate than MLB.  I hate how a few teams absolutely dominate the league, and that’s pretty much always the case.  I don’t have the stats, but I’d bet that the NBA has the fewest playoff upsets of all major leagues.

Cricket and Baseball

I love Toronto.  Only in a city this diverse would I find out that India won the world cricket championship, without the media.  It was even my first guess when I stepped out of the subway and saw about 25 people cheering and waving Indian flags.

Last night I went to the Jays home opener.  I’d never been to a sellout game (or anything even close) and the crowd fever was contagious.  I was excited enough anyway.  Congrats to Robbie Alomar and Pat Gillick for their inductions into the Hall of Fame.  Now I wonder if they’ll retire Alomar’s #12.  Toronto teams don’t seem to like retiring numbers, but I like the gesture to players who contribute so much to the local sports scene.

Farewell, Roy Halladay

Serious rumours circulating about a trade sending Halladay to the Phillies in return for some prospects. I don’t know prospects well enough to know if we’re getting a good deal, but I know we needed to trade Halladay soon, while a team could get him for the whole year. He sure as hell wasn’t going to re-sign with us, so getting a few top quality prospects for him is definitely about as good as you can hope for as a Jays fan.

Also important is what Halladay wants. He’s been such a great Jay over the years. One of the best pitchers in the game, on and off the field. He’s taken hometown discounts to stay in our city with our team. He’s gone unrecognized by media by playing for our secluded Canadian team, not getting the credit that he deserves. He hasn’t bashed teammates or managers, and he gives it his all every time out. Hell, he came so close to a no-hitter in his second career start.

You couldn’t expect more from any player than what we got from Halladay. Philadelphia, you don’t know how lucky you are.

South Park’s Baseball Episode

In the finals between South Park and Denver, the Denver team is so good at sucking that they can pitch the ball at South Park’s bats, and hit fly balls into South Park’s gloves.

But Denver, like all the other teams, has been trying to lose the whole time. So just how incredible must the other teams in Denver’s division have been, for Denver to have been the team that was *worst* at losing?