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Posts Tagged ‘Meaningful Baseball’

Did Mariano Rivera Use Spitballs?

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What would the baseball postseason be without some good ole controversy to get the fans worked up into a lather? Not one worth watching, I say. And as if one cue, we now have the Mariano Rivera spitball incident, courtesy of an Angels in the Outfield crew. One of the ringleaders of the Rivera outcry, a writer over at the SBNation outlet for Angles baseball, goes by the “Rev Halofan” handle, completing my weak pun attempt.

The issue, which was well documented over at Halos Heaven, has to do with Mariano Rivera spitting in the vicinity of the baseball after completing his warm up tosses. Granted, the video looks suspect — there’s even a conspiracy theory to go along with it — but consider the level of downright “I do not give one damn” attitude you’d have to even consider pulling such a stunt on live TV during the ALCS.

Of course, if you are buying into the idea that Fox is in cahoots with the Yankees and the cut away to Mike Scioscia was to hide Rivera’s dastardly deed, it’s easier to believe the best closer in the history of Major League Baseball is a cheater.

Wouldn’t the wiser idea be if someone of Rivera’s stature and experience was going to cheat, he’d be a lot more, oh I don’t know, subtle about it? Even if the conspiracy theory about Fox protecting the Yankees is correct, if there was an iota of suspicion that had merit, there are enough Yankee detractors in the mainstream media to go at Rivera full bore. So far, there’s only been predictable speculation.

Twins Win! Twins Win! Twins Win!

Fan video from the game

163 games and 9 innings weren’t enough to decide which team would win the AL Central and advance to the MLB Playoffs, where a date with the New York Yankees await. No, the Twins and the Tigers still needed extra innings to determine their fate, and after the baseline chalk cleared, the Minnesota Twins defeated the Detroit Tigers 6-5. Your hero? Carlos Gomez, who scored the winning run; although, some could argue home plate umpire Randy Marsh deserves a mention here too.

Just ask Brandon Inge.

Alas, missed hit batsmen aside, the Twins are moving on, and their award is the aforementioned Yankees. The series starts today, as a matter of fact, in about seven hours. The Twins will undoubtedly be drained after last night’s heroics, but the if they can ride the emotional high, you never know, they just might steal Game 1. Talk about a cherry on top of a delicious sundae for Twins fans. Speaking of, I hope you guys are alive enough to enjoy the start of the Yankees/Twins series.

Hopefully, the Twins nation didn’t drink themselves into oblivion after Gomez scored the winning run.

An Orgy of Playoff Baseball

Cole Hamels

Baseball got the real season started yesterday and what did we learn? After getting dominated by Cole Hamels, 3-1 (Hamels had nine strikeouts) it looks like the Brewers might need CC Sabathia to pitch the remaining games. Everyone of them.

Game 2 between Philly and Milwaukee is today at 6:00/5:00 Central. The pitchers are Sabathia and Brett Myers.

Most post season baseball after the jump >>

Meaningful Baseball – Angels Clinch A Post Season Berth

Angels Clinch

The California Angels of Los Angeles and Anaheim became the first team to clinch a post season berth last night with their 4-2 win over the Yankees. After the game was finished, the Angels celebrated like any team would, dousing each other with sparkling wine and other libations. Even though Torii Hunter was suspended for his little dance with Pudge Rodriguez, he still enjoyed the celebration by “swimming” in the puddles of alcohol left behind. He called it his Michael Phelps impression.

While the rest of the teams in contention for the post season seem to be focused on the various ways they can relinquish a division lead, the Angels have been one of the most consistent teams this season; a fact that makes them a favorite to win the World Series. In the meanwhile, teams like the Cubs, Dodgers, Rays, White Sox, and Mets still have work to do before they can collect their post season tickets.

With only something like 17 days left in the regular season, most of the above storylines will sort themselves out in a hurry, but until then, that gives fans some entertaining baseball while the remaining teams fighting for division crowns and wild card slots sort themselves out. Currently, the wild card leaders are the Boston Red Sex in the American League and the Milwaukee Brewers in the National.

Both teams have a little breathing room in regards to the teams chasing them but there is enough time remaining for the Brewers and Red Sox to choke their position away.

Meaningful Baseball – Are The Yankees Done?


After last night’s 11-3 beatdown courtesy of all-time Yankee fan favorites, the Boston Red Sox. Because of the loss, the Yankees are now seven games behind the Red Sox for the AL Wild Card berth, and it looks like the Bronx Bombers will miss the postseason for the first time since 1993.

Is this why Joe Torre was removed parted with on mutually agreeable terms?

For the Red Sox, last night’s win gave them a 2.5 game lead over the Minnesota Twins, who are hot on the heels of the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central. Since the Yankees started their last Yankee Stadium series with the beloved Red Sox, they’ve been outscored 18-6. I doubt this is the way Hank Steinbrenner wanted Boston’s last visit to the historic stadium to go. His team is in danger of being swept today, which would add insult to the injury that is realizing the Yanks — barring a Major League-like miracle — are done when it comes to postseason play this year.

The majority of the Red Sox damage was provided by second baseman, Dustin Pedoria, who hit a game-sealing grand slam in the eighth. According to ESPN, Pedoria is the first Red Sox second baseman to hit a grand slam against the Yankees in 50 years.

The third game of this particular Sox/Yankees series is already in progress.

Phillies, Mets Play Meaningful Baseball

Jimmy Rollins

Finally, it’s that time of year. The time where football comes back into our life and when Major League Baseball starts getting into the part of the schedule that matters. This is the time of year teams are fighting for division crowns and wild card positions, something they’ve admittedly done all year; but now is the time where the overall picture is clearer with concerns to which teams are in playoff position, who are the award candidates and who has been the biggest disappointment.

With little over 30 games left on each team’s schedule, we are now entering the do-or-die portion of baseball, making last night’s Mets/Phillies game the most important one the schedule. In an eerily similar storyline as last season, the Mets are trying to hold off the charging Phillies, who, before the first pitch was thrown, trailed the Mets by half a game for the NL East league.

The Mets jumped out to 7-0 lead but failed to hold off the charging Phillies who rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth. The comeback was powered by Ryan Howard’s 35th home run, Jimmy Rollins’ 5-7, three-RBI night and the game-tying double from Eric Bruntlett to send the game to extras.

Once the game got to the free baseball portion, the teams played an additional four innings before the Phillies won it in the bottom of the 13th. The winning run was scored by Shane Victorino who tripled to lead off the inning. Victorino was batted in by Chris Coste, giving the Phils the 8-7 victory and the overall lead in the NL East.

If the Mets collapse against the Phillies reminds fans of last season, it’s with good reason. As you probably recall, during the final month of 2007, the Mets gave up the NL East championship by losing 12 of their last 17 games. After blowing their 22nd save of 2008, it’s easy to see why Mets fans are reminded of last season’s debacle. The question is, can they avoid another collapse or will they be able to bounce back and regain the NL East lead from Philadelphia?

Tonight, the Mets have an opportunity to salve last night’s wounds as Johan Santana takes the mound. In his previous outings against Philadelphia, Santana has given up seven runs in 23 innings while striking out 20. However, Santana has only earned one win for these efforts.

If the Mets expect to catch and hold-off the Phillies, they’ll need to do better by their ace. For their sakes, they should hope Santana goes as long as possible, pitching a complete game if necessary.