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Archive for the ‘2009 MLB Playoffs’


Questioning the “Almighty” Pitch Count 1

Posted on October 17, 2009 by Richard Marsh
Pitch counts are right up Count Dracula's alley, but how good are they for major league pitchers?

Pitch counts are right up Count Dracula's alley, but how good are they for major league pitchers?

I have never been one to second guess. It’s so easy after the fact to say he should have done this or he should have done that. If you raise the concern before it happens, then you have some validity in making a point.

I am what many would consider an “old timer” when it comes to watching baseball. It’s been over a half a century and plenty of games have happened where it’s very easy to say why did you do this when speaking of a manager’s move.

I am not a “traditionalist.” I like the modern game. I love Interleague Play, even if it’s the Seattle Mariners against the Colorado Rockies. I’m not crazy about the Designated Hitter, but I do wish for consistency for both leagues.

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How “Manny” is Manny Ramirez These Days? 2

Posted on October 16, 2009 by Don Spieles
NLCS Game 1: Philadelphia Phillies at Los Angeles Dodgers

Since his return from a 50-game suspension, Manny Ramirez has struggled to regain his offensive form.

Manny Ramirez has had a long strange trip on the way to this year’s postseason.  The question on many lips then is: “Is Manny still Being Manny?”

Boston fans and media coined the phrase “Manny Being Manny” as a gentle, catch-all euphemism many of the things that the slugger did while playing for the Red Sox.  There was his outfield play that sometimes bordered on the comical.  There were is strange behaviors with the press, putting forth a sort of “I’m shy” affect where reporters were concerned.  When he had to answer nature’s call (or a call on his cell phone) he was known to disappear in the Green Monster to… well, do whatever he needed to do.

All of Manny’s quirkiness was tolerated with a smile and a shake of the head for one reason: He hit a ton.

Well, to be specific, he hit a ton when he wanted to.  Read the rest of this entry →

Pedro Martinez is Back on the Main Stage 2

Posted on October 16, 2009 by Richard Marsh
Diamondbacks-Phillies

Pedro Martinez is back on the main stage with the Philadelphia Phillies.

It is no secret among these parts of my love affair with Pedro Martinez. I can qualify that statement by the countless number of articles I have devoted to him in the past year on these very pages. I have been enormously critical of the Mets organization for their lack of foresight when it comes to this living legend.

I have said it more than once, that if Pedro were to have been resigned by the Mets, his buddy Manny Ramirez would have roamed left field this past year in Citi-Field. But those were pipe dreams, and the reality of another post season begins to today for Pedro when he takes the mound against another former Philadephia Pitcher Vincent Padilla, which excites me as a fan to get the opportunity to, once again, be in the presence of a true future Hall of Famer, and the best pitcher of this past generation.

I love it.

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NLCS Preview: Can the Phillies Do It Again? 1

Posted on October 15, 2009 by Richard Marsh
MLB 2008 - NLCS Game5 - Phillies Beat Dodgers 5-1

The Philadelphia Phillies will look to repeat their success over the Dodgers from a year ago.

When I think back to the 20 years I lived just across the Delaware River in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, I always felt like a big fish out of water trying desperately to catch my breath.

It’s not easy being a Mets fan in South Jersey when every living soul north to Trenton, east to the Jersey Shore, and south to the twin bridges into Delaware eats, breathes, and sleeps with never-ending Philadelphia sports talk.

Whether it is the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, or Sixers, these are some of the most passionate fans in the world.

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The Truth About A-Rod in the Postseason 0

Posted on October 13, 2009 by Don Spieles
Yankees Rodriguez homers during game 3 of the ALDS in Minneapolis

Alex Rodriguez has not been as bad in postseason play as the media want you to believe.

Whether you’re a Yankee fan, baseball fan, or even if you’re just a gal who thinks that he looks good in a uniform, you have probably heard that Alex Rodriguez is lousy in the playoffs. It has been the mantra for media members whenever they talk about his playing prowess.  “Is he great? Yeah, but look how he plays in the postseason!”

In the recent ALDS against Minnesota, A-Rod managed to get some hits, including a game tying home run in game two.  With the newest headlines telling us that he may finally be coming around where October play is concerned, it’s about time that we really looked at it – in a historical perspective.

Of all the great Yankees, Mickey Mantle ranks at the top of many lists for the ultimate Yankee offensive threat.  He didn’t hit as many jacks as Ruth, but his speed, switch-hitting, and postseason experience matters more, at least in this conversation.  Reggie Jackson, who had a relatively short career with New York, carries the name “Mr. October” so who better to compare with the highest paid player in baseball history.

So, when you hold the numbers of these two legends up against the beleaguered current third-baseman from the Bronx Bombers, how do they look?

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Yankees and Angels Ride Brooms To The ALCS 4

Posted on October 12, 2009 by Don Spieles
Game 2 ALDS - Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Angels

Erick Aybar and the Angels swept the Red Sox to earn a date with the Yankees in the American League Championship Series.

With Halloween approaching, it seems only fitting that the Angels and Yankees should ride brooms into the ALCS, sweeping Minnesota and Boston respectively.  Based on those performances, baseball fans are in for a postseason that is markedly different from the recent past.

The Angels, who have left the dance early in ’04, ’07, and ’08 – all to the Red Sox – finally found a way to beat the Boston bunch.  Pitching turned out to be the answer for the Halos, held the sometimes potent Boston line-up to a .186 batting average as they blew past them for a berth in the ALCS.

John Lackey and Jered Weaver, combined for some impressive numbers over the first two games.  A combined ERA of .062, 7.1 innings in each of their starts allowed only one single run. And while Darren Oliver’s game three performance was lack luster, the Angels put together a come-from-behind win, compliments of a timely single by Vlad Guerrero.

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