Everything was flowing for the Dodgers Thursday night, on the road against the Philadelphia Phillies. SP Derek Lowe was pitching a gem against ace Cole Hamels. Up 2-0 heading into the bottom of the 6th inning when BOOM, a routing grounder to ss Rafael Furcal, fielded cleanly, thrown 200 feet off the 1st base bag. Next batter Chase Utley and bye bye lead, 2-run CRUSH, tie game. Two batters later, solo shot by $14 million a year man himself, Pat Burrell. Goodbye momentum, goodby delusions of stealing game 1, goodbye series? Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions but this was huge. The Dodgers had this one in the bag. Stifling the Phillies, on their way to the World Series. Stupid Furcal. Routine play. And how fragile are pitchers these days? He’s a ground ball pitcher. So your infield f-ed up the play. Suck it up, shake it off and get the next guy out. Talk about a glass jaw. Maybe I’m not giving the Dodgers any credit but they looked unstoppable against the Cubs and up until the 6th inning, seemed to the Phillies’ number. Game 2 will be bigger than big. Let’s see if Chad Billingsley can bring it home for the Dodgers. Maybe Rafael Furcal will redeem himself by getting on base? Maybe the call needs to be put into the mafia so we can all watch a Red Sox vs. Manny Dodgers World Series. I’m on the phone right now.
Let’s see, a week, ago, Chicago Cubs Ace, and I use that term very lightly, pitched no-hitter. Everyone talking about how he’s come around, after signing the big contract, after all his character problems. Enter Friday, a home game against the St. Louis Cardinals, 1.2 innings pitched, 8 earned runs. Are you kidding me? How is that possible? Was the no-no a fluke? What happened to the good old days when pitchers were, well, consistent. I’ve been following Big Z for years now (sure he was on my fantasy team many a time). The the poster child for inconsistency. You never know what you’re going to get from this guy. Lights out one start; shelled the next. Blame it on lack of concentration, blame it on fatigue. You can find a million excuses, we all know they’re like… well, you know what. The Cubs will probably make the playoffs. Everyone’s expecting them to tear it up and make the World Series. But let me tell you something, if Big Z doesn’t clean up his act, sure they might get to the big one, but as soon as they run into a solid team (i.e. Angels), the Cubbies will realize that that they don’t stand a chance. If you don’t believe me, go ask the 2007 Cleveland Indians, and how their aced C.C. Sabathia burned ’em time and time again by the Boston Red Sox. If you’re happy just to be there, great, be happy then. But if you’re like most fans, then you’re striving for the ring/cup/trophy. Take my advice: Don’t believe the Zambrano hype. Sorry Cubs’ fans, the truth hurts.
The King Jim Leyritz, a former major league baseball player, was charged with manslaughter on Friday for driving under the influence and killing another driver. Many of you don’t remember, but Leyritz was one of the “clutchest” post season designated hitters I’ve seen. He punished the Atlanta Braves many a times, as a Padre and a Yankee. He quietly disappeared at the end of his career. It’s sad to see this guy’s career go down. Another athletes, another felony, what a surprise.
It’s a good thing that MLB votes for their awards before the post-season starts, if not C.C. Sabathia would not be the Cy Young Award winner. C.C. who had a stellar regular season, just didn’t show up in the playoffs. Then again this is a regular season award, so let’s give the big man some credit, he was the best pitcher this past season, slightly better than second place finisher Josh Beckett. Beckett on the other hand had a out of this world post-season, leading the Red Sox to the World Series title and pitching like the second coming of Sandy Koufax. I’m not going to take anything away from the big guy, and entering the final season of his contract with the Indians, Sabathia will be paid handsomely. I would just like my aces to show up for the playoffs. So Beckett will just have to take his World Series ring and be happy with that. Sabathia becomes the first Cleveland pitcher to win the Cy Young Award in 35 years, and who knows, the core of this team is coming back next season and with one more year of experience under their belt, 2008 might be the year of the Tribe.
Yay, woohoo, Dodgers instant favorite to win west… YEAH RIGHT. Before all you bandwagon Dodgers fans think that this guy is going to lead the Dodgers to the World Series, think again. In fact, forget about it. The Dodgers are not only outmanned by both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the NL Champ Colorado Rockies, but they have PLENTY of holes in their roster. The manager is not going to add an extra 3 runs a game or 10 wins a season. Baseball is one of those sports where the manager matters the least. That coupled with the garbage talent the Dodgers have compiled yields a 3rd-4th place NL West finish, again. Juan Pierre has no power and no throwing arm, Luis Gonzales, Jeff Kent and Nomar are on their last breaths, Furcal can’t seem to get on base. I like Loney, Russell Martin, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp but you need a big time slugger. A legitimate threat in the lineup to scare opposing pitchers. As for the Dodger pitching, Penny is an ace, Lowe is decent, but Loaiza, Billingsy and Wells, c’mon now. Schmidt is overpaid and will probably never get back to the level he was with the Giants. As for the bullpen, can we really count on anyone other than Saito, and that’s if you ever get to him. Let’s tell it like it is, the Dodgers need plenty and are far from contending. So stop the dreamin’ LA, because last time I checked, Torre’s contract prohibits him from being a player/coach. The truth hurts, but I love you guys and I would hate to see you in pain through the dog days of the season.
The champagne was still flowing in the Red Sox clubhouse when Alex Rodriguez opted out of his Yankees contract. Everyone knew that A-Rod had ten days after the World Series to opt out of the remaining three years of his contract, but no one expected it to come this early. This on the heels of the Yankees preparing to offer him a five year extension worth $150 million. The Yankees have said repeatedly that if Rodriguez opted out, they would not pursue him on the free agent market. Now we have a chance to see if they stay true to their word. Not long after Rodriguez and his agent, Scott Boras filed, Hank Steinbrenner issued a statement saying that Rodriguez doesn’t appreciate the privelage of being a Yankee and that they basically don’t want him around. Sounds like fighting words to me. Now the list of suitors can line up for quite possibly the greatest player of our generation. The list should be a short one, with the Angels, Cubs, and the Red Sox believed to be the only ones that can afford him. This will be the greatest contract in the history of sports. Stay tuned.
Did someone forget to tell the “red hot” Colorado Rockies that the World Series has started. Looks like the Rockies have already begun planning their offseason. With another loss on Saturday to the Boston Red Sox, a.k.a. the new Yankees, the Rockies are on the verge of being swept in the World Series. I don’t know about you guys, but it seems like the Rockies are just happy to be here. No one outside of Denver expected them to make the playoffs. And the way they’re playing right now, I’m not sure if they expected to be here. Nevertheless, again props to the Red Sox for cruising through the playoffs in what I consider the EASIEST road to the playoff; the hapless Angels, gutless Indians, and the spineless Rockies. I know I’m gonna get a lot of hate mail but let’s call a spade a spade. The Red Sox are the best team in the playoffs, and the teams they faced throughout simply bent over for them. Let me be the first to congratulate the 2007 MLB World Series Champs, the Boston Red Sox. And I never want to hear anyone say that the NL is as good as the AL. Talk about a lopsided win. Go ahead, talk about it…
Nothing fancy about this article, I just wonder if the NL stands a chance against the superior AL? I’m not sure if it’s the Red Sox or what, but all I know if that the Sox just seem like a pro team and everyone they face, pop warner. It’s obvious that the Rockies are in a must win situation tonight. SIDE NOTE: I’m sitting here watching the game in the 2nd inning and J.D. Drew just got nailed in the ankle (ooooh, that’s gotta hurt). Suck it up baby, rub some $$$ on it and it will go away. Back to the article, the Rockies need to also sweep at home. The Red Sox don’t lose too often at Fenway, and they don’t lose game 6s and 7s. So if you want the ring Rockies, it’s go time.
Quite possibly the game’s best post season pitcher? In another exemplary performance, Boston ace Josh Beckett shut down the Cleveland Indians yet once again, proving that he should be considered one of the best, if not THE BEST clutch pitchers ever. Beckett struck out 11 in 8 innings en route to a 7-1 victory over the Indians at Cleveland. This guy has stepped up for his team time and time again. I’m proud to say that yes, he was on my fantasy team. It’s unfortunate the Beckett can’t pitch everyday, because he’s the only players Boston can count on. Now it’s on to game 6 with Schilling going against Carmona in Boston. Which Schill is going to show up is a mystery to us all. But if Boston wins game 6, are they going to send Dice to the mound? I hope Francona has something up his sleeve because Dice and Game 7 is a recipe for disaster.
Is it just me or is ESPN owned by the New York Yankees? Call me crazy but I thought the Yankees were eliminated by Cleveland over a week ago. That’s right, the same Cleveland that is one win away from the World Series, but you wouldn’t know that unless you paid close attention because ESPN is too busy reporting about Yankees orginazational meetings in Tampa at George Steinbrenner’s house. Is it necessary to talk about organizational meetings? You don’t hear about the San Diego Padres having organizational meetings, or how about the Los Angeles Angels. No, you just keep hearing about the Yankees, and how there is no decision yet about Joe Torre, or how The Boss is giving control to his sons, or how Don Mattingly really is ready to manage if called upon. Every day there is something new. Now I’m not naive, I know the Yankees are the biggest sports franchise in America, but come on. Do we really need to know when so and so cleaned out his locker and what brand of cologne he was wearing. So if you’re keeping score at home, there is still no word on Joe Torre, and believe me, he is waiting by the phone like that little school girl waiting for the school hunk to call her back. Grow some balls Joe and tell Steinbrenner to take his job and shove it up his ass, I think you’ve earned that right haven’t you? And Mattingly, we are all relieved to hear that you are ready to manage. So tune in tomorrow for another update on ESPN about their beloved Yankees.