Monday, October 12, 2009

'I got it! I got it!' See, how hard was that?

It's freezing cold outside, but at least we have playoff baseball to keep us warm.

The playoffs have been pretty good so far, including that one-game tiebreaker between the Twins and the Tigers which may have been one of the best baseball games I've ever seen. One thing that's disappointed me, though, is a lack of fundamentals by these teams, which are supposed to be the best teams in the league.

Take this, for example: how many times, just during these playoffs, have we seen near-collisions on popups because players refuse to simply CALL FOR THE BALL? I don't understand it. This is little league stuff. Call for the damn ball! We've also seen some horrendous baserunning, resulting in lost runs and lost games. Rockies star Troy Tulowitski just pulled his own baserunning bonehead play a few moments ago.

Fans of some of the losing teams may blame poor umpiring, and yes, there have been some questionable calls. The Twins were the victims of bad calls during their series with the Yankees. But it's not why they lost.

As a Royals fan who takes great pride in the team's 1985 World Series trophy, I always bristle when fans blame bad calls for lost ballgames. Cardinals fans still blame Don Denkinger for "The Call" in Game 6 of the 1985 series. These idiots forget, though, that the Cardinals also dropped a routine fly ball in that inning, and also runners advanced on a passed ball. (And, Jorge Orta was thrown out on the basepaths, rendering the negative effects of "The Call" virtually irrelevant.) And, of course, they also forget the 11-0 drubbing they took at the hands of the Royals in Game 7.

The Twins lost to the Yankees because of mistakes, plain and simple.

If Philadelphia can pull out a win tonight or in Game 5, we'll have the Phillies vs. the Dodgers and the Yankees vs. the Angels.

I'm rooting for Angels-Phillies. I think this would be the most entertaining series. Yankees-Dodgers would be interesting for the Joe Torre angle (and the first season in new Yankee Stadium). Angels-Dodgers would be good for the crosstown rivalry, and it would be cool to see the Angels win for Nick Adenhart. The best baseball would be played between the Yankees and the Phillies, though.

So any way it goes down we'll have a great storyline to follow, and a fun World Series.

Just call for the damn ball!

--Matt Kelsey

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