Leftridge: Despite Scribe’s Protests, World Series Begins on Wednesday

First, allow me to apologize in advance for writing about—GAG—baseball. I know from reading The Scribe’s missives that baseball is sucky and horrible and that nobody cares. It’s yesterday’s news, you idiots, and—according to his scientific polling of hot young waitresses who work at the comedy club, “the 12th most popular sport in the world, behind the Portuguese Infant Racing League and just ahead of the WNBA,” and, “what’s a baseball? Who are you and why are you talking to me, creepster?”

But the World Series begins Wednesday, so I figure that I should at least say SOMETHING, right? Just in case a handful of baseball fans stumble upon our humble little website.

 The Detroit Tigers finally did what everyone thought they’d do all along: looked like hundreds of millions of dollars worth of dominance when it mattered the most. Oh sure, they barely led in the AL Central at all this season, but when they found themselves with their back to the wall, they came out in force, first knocking out the Oakland Athletics in five games, and then absolutely RULING the New York Yankees with a four game sweep.

Seriously– how am I JUST NOW noticing Scherzer’s Bowie-eyes?

They did it with timely hitting from their Triple Crown Winner Miguel Cabrera, and impressive outputs from shortstop Jhonny Peralta (2 of his 7 hits in 18 AB were home runs) and center fielder Austin Jackson who hit .353. Delmon Young, a man who only tends to show up when he’s needed most, drove in 6 runs on 6 hits and was named ALCS MVP.

But the real winner here was the pitching. OH, the glorious pitching.

Permanent Cy Young winner Justin Verlander was the most dominant pitcher in baseball, as per usual, going  3-0 with a 0.74 ERA all while holding opponents to an AVG of .122. He struck out 25 in 24 innings while only walking 5.

Mizzou alum Max Scherzer went 1-0 in the playoffs with a WHIP of 0.73 and an ERA of 0.82. (I also noticed– for the first time– that he has two VERY different colored eyes. I had to rewind several times to make sure it wasn’t just the booze.)

Anibal Sanchez, who was acquired from the Marlins in July and is a notable off season free agent (ATTN: DAYTON MOORE), looked nearly as amazing.

Yes, the offense came through when needed, but the pitching was virtually perfect.

Over on the other side, on the “senior circuit” as it is affectionately known, the St. Louis Cardinals looked like they were well on their way to an easy series victory against the overmatched San Francisco Giants. BUT NOT SO FAST! The Cardinals collapsed in a flurry of errors (seriously—a horrendous amount of missteps and plain old stupid baseball) and the Giants, scrappy, determined and with fierce playoff beards in full effect, capitalized like kids on Sesame Street.

Starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, 12 year vet and just decent pitcher, turned into the ghost of Juan Marichal (who will be pissed when he finds out that I proclaimed him dead) in game six, striking out a career high nine and holding the Cards hitless through their first 16 batters. He’s been doing this kind of thing throughout the entirety of the playoffs, too, going 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA.

Pablo, being round.

Armadillidiidae-like third baseman Pablo Sandoval cemented his legacy as San Francisco folk hero by accruing 15 hits in 11 games, 3 of which were home runs (impressive, since only 12 left the yard in the regular season).

All in all, the Giants ended the Cardinals’ year in much the same way the Cardinals have done to so many others over the past few seasons: by failing to die over and over again, like Michael Myers sitting back up after taking a butcher knife to the sternum.

And as they waltz into the World Series, this tenacity and wherewithal is a tremendous asset; one cannot say enough about momentum, especially in a game built on grinding out games over a period of days.

Additionally, they’ve got the Tigers rust on their side. Having nearly a week off often has the opposite effect of what you’d think. Resting legs and arms for such an extended period after 6 months of abuse SHOULD be a good thing; unfortunately for the Tigers, though, a rolling stone and moss and all of that stuff. And statistics tend to support the notion that complacency can be problematic.

All of this being said, however, I think the Tigers are just too dominant. Their pitching is consistent and frighteningly unhittable a good majority of the time, and their offense hasn’t even exploded yet.

From After-Thought to MVP: The Marco Scutaro Story

Despite the layoff, and the magic that the Giants have seemed to capture (Old Man Marco Scutaro isn’t likely to hit .500 in the World Series like he did in the NLCS), I think the Tigers take this in 6 games.

Regardless, I think it figures to be an entertaining series. It’s just too bad that no one will see it, because, you know, baseball is WORSE THAN HITLER.

 

 

Come chat about the World Series with me on Twitter, @StanfordWhistle

http://www.mb-kc.com/
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18 Responses to Leftridge: Despite Scribe’s Protests, World Series Begins on Wednesday

  1. Super Dave says:

    Great story and proof why one shouldn’t listen to the so called scribe.

    • Thanks, Dave.

      The point wasn’t necessarily to pick on Glazer (at least, not completely), it’s just a little funny how dismissive he is about baseball simply because HE has no interest in it. Granted, it’s not nearly as popular as football these days, but that doesn’t mean that everyone views it with such abject scorn.

  2. mark smith says:

    As an aside, the Portuguese Infant Racing League is where Glazer found his last three girlfriends. He was betting the trifecta at the Pampers Cup and ended up scoring the future cell phone numbers of Misses win, place, and show.

  3. Rick Nichols says:

    “My” Cards, up 3-1 over San Francisco, sure let me down in the NLCS, as I had them playing in the Series against the Tigers. Still sticking with the boys from the Motor City in the Fall Classic, but they’ll need seven games to ultimately dispose of the Giants. Here’s hoping for seven closely-contested games – no 9-0 routs for either side. Play ball!

    • Brandon Leftridge says:

      Yeah, with no rooting interest, I’d just like a close, fun-to-watch series. (I have a feeling it will be.)

  4. admin says:

    I think what the Scribe is – perhaps less artfully – trying to say is that where baseball once ruled the roost among American sports fans, it doesn’t have near the following it once did.

    Statistics support that ticket sales may be up, but don’t forget there are more than 100 million more bodies walking around today than there were back when Craig was a kiddie. And there’s far more readily available competition for the entertainment dollar – and not just in pro sports – but video games, wrestling, you name it.

    Here’s an excerpt from a Bleacher report column about baseball by Patrick McDermott:

    “Major League Baseball needs help! It may seem like the game is in good standing with attendance figures at healthy levels league-wide and unprecedented labor peace, but… it’s clear that the game still has a way to go.

    “The game has shifted from being the thing to sort of a niche sport. Baseball has stagnated to the point where you’re either a passionate fan or you could care less about it, causing it to miss out on a huge segment of the market: the casual fan.”

    An interesting take.

    • Brandon Leftridge says:

      Again—I don’t disagree with his principle idea—baseball’s fan base IS shrinking, and it isn’t NEARLY on par with the NFL— my beef is with his assertion that NOBODY cares. There are still millions and millions of people the world over who care about baseball, you know, unless you listen to Craig. The league is still making billions. It isn’t going anywhere.

      It will also be interesting to see how the concussions, lawsuits and new understanding of long-term health effects will impact the NFL. Again—it’ll never GO anywhere, but as less kids grow up with their parents’ approval to play, it may lead to strange things down the road.

    • tiad says:

      Maybe someday the Scribe will learn to actually say what he means, instead of “trying” to say it. And somewhere in that far-off, distant land, he might one day be worth reading.

  5. Kerouac says:

    PREDICTIONS

    GIANTS win the Series in 6 games, possibly only 5… Ryan Braun wins the NL MVP over Buster Posey in a close race… Miguel Cabrera wins AL MVP (but is not as valuable as the Angels Mike Trout, AL ROY winner)… the Royals will return to KC in 2013, sadly.

    • Brandon Leftridge says:

      I think you’re right on all matters… except the Series outcome.

      Also, I think Posey deserves the NL MVP, but I don’t think he’ll get it.

      • Kerouac says:

        How close will the NL MVP voting be? ‘Razor-burn’ close.

        ~

        I found the following (below) on the internet

        While there aren’t hard and fast guidelines for what actually constitutes the Most Valuable Player, the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) gives the voters guidelines.

        Among them:

        “There is no clear-cut definition of what ‘Most Valuable’ means. It is up to the individual voter to decide who was Most Valuable Player in each league to his team. The MVP need not come from a division winner or other playoff qualifier.”

        - BUT -

        “The rules of the voting remain the same as they were written on the first ballot in 1931: (1) the actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense & defense; (2) the number of games played; (3) the general character, disposition, loyalty & effort; (4) former winners are eligible; and (5) members of the committee may vote for more than one member of a team.”

        - and -

        “give serious consideration to all your selections, from 1 to 10.” (voters understand 10th-place votes can influence the outcome of an election, so must fill in all 10 places on the ballot and they are to consider only regular-season performances. The writers must also keep in mind all players are MVP ‘eligible’, including pitchers and designated hitters.”

        ________

        So placing in post season is not a requirement, previous winners are not disqualified, total games played matter and general ‘rep’ if you will are among the considerations – as well integrity.

        That latter aspect is potentially dubious: for example, Braun’s 2011 PED exoneration not dismissed as it should be (i.e, a non consideratur or ‘non consideration’), personal bias, subjectivity can enter the voting process – taking sides or ‘partiality’.

        Mano y mano 2012 Braun vs Posey, and using the voting criteria alone & not the voters personal addendums (which are supposed to be strictly verboten):

        Braun played 154 games, Posey 148 (and only 114 of those as a catcher for Posey) – both players are good citizens according the police blotter, or ‘rep’ (accusation is not conviction)… that leaves actual value in terms of each players ‘offense’ as well ‘defense’.

        Braun – 41 112 .319 /.391 OBP / .595 SLG % /.987 OPS /30 sbs / .979 FIELDING % / 356 total bases /

        Posey – 24 103 .336 / .408 OBP /.549 SLG % /.957 OPS /1 sb /.991 FIELDING % / 291 total bases /

        Braun has the better (stats) while Posey played catcher which is a more taxing position but that’s not a criteria. Braun led the NL in hrs, runs, OPS, slugging % and total bases; Posey led the NL in batting average* (the asterisk due the fact teammate Melky Cabrera actually won it, but asked to be disqualified, and was.) Neither Braun nor Posey is considered more than adequate re: their defensive prowess.

        So who wins it?

        Stay tuned.

        _______

        *
        I’m a bit of an anomaly. Chiefs fan first & foremost, Raiders/AFL fan since the 1960s secondly. For the record I’m also a long-time Dodgers fan in baseball and the GIANTS are actually my second favorite team – it’s true (a sports fan before anything else and as such I felt Braun deserved the MVP in 2011 & not LA’s Kemp.)

        I’m rooting for the GIANTS and Posey the World Series, but feel Braun is the best & most valuable player in the NL. When MLB’s other ‘best player’ candidates are considered their complete, all-around game, I don’t think Braun takes a back seat to anyone.

        • Gully says:

          Don’t you think that when it comes down to the actual voting, Braun’s “technicality” escape, plus the Giants’ postseason success are going to make Posey the winner? I don’t think it will be as close as you do, with Posey winning easily.

  6. Gully says:

    More in an effort to encourage discussion, even rancor, than anything else, it must be mentioned that while baseball is certainly no longer the nation’s pastime, it has a rabid fan-base that clearly is head and shoulders over the football crowd in intelligence and knowledge. It is wonderful, even absurd what sabremetrics has done for the sport. Moneyball may have been a simplistic effort from Hollywood, but the nature of the analysis from baseball makes football look like what it is, nothing more than stylized ground war, one with deliriously inconsistent rules (why does the clock stop on an incomplete pass?) and such an overwhelming willingness to ignore certain infractions. How many football plays, from the line of scrimmage, really involve a “hold”? Anyone who has officiated football (yes, I have) knows the answer is “all of them” How many mid and deep routes involve illegal use of hands by defender or receiver, usually both? Nearly all.
    Face it, baseball may be declining in popularity, well behind football, but its fans are smarted and more sophisticated. George Carlin’s words ring true:

    Baseball is a nineteenth-century pastoral game.
    Football is a twentieth-century technological struggle.

    Baseball is played on a diamond, in a park.The baseball park!
    Football is played on a gridiron, in a stadium, sometimes called Soldier Field or War Memorial Stadium.

    Baseball begins in the spring, the season of new life.
    Football begins in the fall, when everything’s dying.

    In football you wear a helmet.
    In baseball you wear a cap.

    Football is concerned with downs – what down is it?
    Baseball is concerned with ups – who’s up?

    In football you receive a penalty.
    In baseball you make an error.

    In football the specialist comes in to kick.
    In baseball the specialist comes in to relieve somebody.

    Football has hitting, clipping, spearing, piling on, personal fouls, late hitting and unnecessary roughness.
    Baseball has the sacrifice.

    Football is played in any kind of weather: rain, snow, sleet, hail, fog…
    In baseball, if it rains, we don’t go out to play.

    Baseball has the seventh inning stretch.
    Football has the two minute warning.

    Baseball has no time limit: we don’t know when it’s gonna end – might have extra innings.
    Football is rigidly timed, and it will end even if we’ve got to go to sudden death.

    In baseball, during the game, in the stands, there’s kind of a picnic feeling; emotions may run high or low, but there’s not too much unpleasantness.
    In football, during the game in the stands, you can be sure that at least twenty-seven times you’re capable of taking the life of a fellow human being.

    And finally, the objectives of the two games are completely different:

    In football the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy’s defensive line.

    In baseball the object is to go home! And to be safe! – I hope I’ll be safe at home!

  7. Hearne says:

    I’ll second that – on the surface at least – baseball fans appear to have far more couth than football fans. And presumably more smarts maybe.
    Attending a Chiefs game at Arrowhead is an exercise in barbarism.
    What I don’t get though is how football and baseball fans can say soccer is boring. Unlike both sports the action in soccer is nonstop. It takes nearly four hours to play one hour of football. And baseball is the slowest moving game I know of next to chess

  8. Gully says:

    Real football, what we insist on calling soccer, is indeed an exciting game and will continue to make inroads on American football, as concussions increase, lawsuits increase and insurers back away. The fact that lots more kids play ‘soccer’ than football just gives us an indication of what the future holds. Baseball had its reign, football will too, but time (and lawyers) march(es) on.

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