Utley: Godsend

utleinator2

The machine behind the man

Courtesy of Costesflaming bat.

Back to the Bronx for Game 6.

“Chase Utley, you are the man!”

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Nick Swisher, 29, Will Be Best Remembered for His Relatively High .OBP

Police approached Joe Blanton quietly as the pitcher put out his hands to be cuffed. He didn’t say anything, he just let the officers lead him off the field and push his head down as they ducked into the dug-out. Meanwhile, Sgt. Thomas Patterson pulled a sheet over the victim’s faux-hawked head. 46,000 witnesses looked on.

“I’m sure we’ll uncover more about the relationship between the two as time goes on,” said Sgt. Patterson. “But, yes, we do think it was premeditated. We’ll continue to investigate.” He looked glumly towards the batters box, stained with a three inch patch of pin-striped blood. “It’s such a shame to see a guy with such a high on base percentage go like that. I mean, his average was terrible, but he sure knew how to walk.”

Nick Swisher, RF, Yankees, aged just 29, leaves behind a career .245 avg in 6 seasons in the majors though with decent power numbers and a good on base percentage. Joe Girardi, Yankees Manager, said that Swisher was one of the best number 7 hitters he ever knew. “And I knew a lot of them,” Girardi said.

Authorities are still unsure of what caused Blanton to throw the fatal pitch, though they suspect that the dispute was from their days together on Billy Beane’s Oakland Athletics, a team that patched together a mediocre offense that walked a lot, combining statistical analysis with breathtaking boredom.

Swisher, Blanton

Nick Swisher is best remembered for acting like an ass at every available opportunity

In the photograph above, Swisher (right) looks on in sheer oblivion. Joe Blanton is pictured on the left, cold and calculating. “He would scare you, ya know?” said Phillies’ third baseman, Pedro Feliz.

Though police are certain that Blanton acted alone, there is reason to suspect the existence of an accomplice, perhaps pictured here thrusting his hand towards Nick Swisher’s crotch.

However, other theories abound.

“I suspect Ruiz,” said Ron Hudson, a Phillies fan. “Last night, in Game 3, Swisher bowled into Ruiz with his knee up. I think he told Blanton to throw that pitch.”

Others disagree. “Nick was acting like an ass on second base last night when he got that double. He was also acting like an ass when he got that home-run. He was also acting like he batted higher than .249 this season when he acted like an ass after flying out late in the game,” said a Yankees player, alias “A-Rod”. “I don’t know. Anyone could have been in on it.”

As authorities investigate the murder, fans will ponder his .114 batting average in the post season up to Game 3. He’ll also be remembered for his wit.

“The way things have been going, to pull off a win like this gives us momentum and confidence,” said Swisher during the regular season after a win. “The way it happened was cool.”

The Tensi… – oh, who am I kidding – Depression Mounts

Mets fan? Yes.
Watching the World Series? I suppose.
Is this the worst thing ever? Since ’96 and ’99? Quite possibly.

Do I appease my Long Island friends and ‘root’ for the Yanks or appease my blogmates and ‘root’ for the Phils. Theoretically I could root for the Mets, but that’s just insane (mostly all still injured).

sad mr met

Money
Yanks: Payroll that dwarfs everything…including Ryan Howard’s desire for Subway Subs. The Steinbrenner family could buy me my own island…they would be jerks about it, but they could do it.
Phils: $8 mill less and they would be half of the Yanks. They play in Citizen’s Bank Park…nope, banks no longer have any money.
Winner: Yanks – They would overpay me despite the fact that I’m a scrawny white guy with poor vision. $200,000 a year would be pretty sweet.

Ballpark
Yanks: I went to the previous Yankee Stadium once. Hideki Irabu sucked and they lost 16-5. I don’t know what the new place is like besides ridiculously overpriced in all areas. I hear you have to pay for oxygen. Also, naming a stadium after your team is kind of boring; no identity is formed because you already know who plays there.
Phils: CBP. Nice place. Huge upgrade over the Vet. Cozy place. Great views from any seat. Affordable. Is this one obvious yet?
Winner: Phils – It’s a great park.

Looks
Yanks: Jeter – Herpes? A-Rod – Frosted Tips. Posada – He looks like a two-handled cup. Matsui – Ugliest thing since…Godzilla. Sabathia – Linebacker? The Rest – They’re all men.
Phils: Howard – Slimmed down…and besides his annoying affiliation with Jared this is very positive. Werth – Looks kind of like an alien. Utley – Ok, actually pretty hot. Feliz – Phils’ Matsui. Lidge – A man of Herodotus! Hamels – Needs a haircut. The Rest – I’m seriously not gay.
Winner: My girlfriend. I really do have one.

Talent
The Mets have more talent in their injured everywheres than both of these teams together….right?
Winner: Everybody loses. Except the World Series winner.

Luck
Yanks: I will go out on a limb here and say when you buy everything there isn’t much need for luck. And when several very obviously blown calls go your way over the course of several games…luck leaves the equation and you can start positing other theories.
Phils: Over the past two seasons the new Big Red Machine has managed to push through with no major injuries to any big player. Sure, some players have missed time, but no starting fielder not playing catcher has played less than 133 games. This season, Ibanez was the low at 134, but no one else played less than 155. In ’08 they had 4 starters with 30 or more starts. This season, the main reason they failed to hit that goal again was because they had to move healthy starters to bullpen duty for trade acquisitions. When Pedro is using the old “I’m the healthiest I’ve been in years” line (Mets fans know this one well) and it turns out to be true there is something afoot (the truth?). Perhaps there was some magic in those old red hats they wore.
Winner: Yanks. Who have also managed to remain eerily healthy. Matsui showed up for 142 games…and he looks like he’s 50…a real ugly 50.

Tabloids
Yanks: NYC…NYY…A-Rod…Jeter…that’s like a daily newspaper right there.
Phils: If a Phil does something it probably gets second status to a Yank scoop…unless you punch your wife in public. Although if Howard smashes Subway Jared’s face in then I will wholeheartedly root for the Phils.
Winner: Yanks – But this is a really stupid category to win.

Former Mets
Yanks: I was sad when the Mets traded Xavier Nady to the Pirates, but at least we got Oliver Perez. The Mets almost signed A-Rod, but some random agent (yes, Boras) convinced him to take more money instead of signing for the preferred team…Reyes softened that blow by missing large amounts of time because his hamstrings suck. Finally, the Mets, in a scouting move that was quite unlike them, snatched A.J. Burnett up in the 8th round of the ’95 draft. Before he could appear for them, Mets management made amends for actually picking a good pitcher and traded him to Florida in a deal where Leiter became a familiar face. Leiter, who won a WS with the Marlins in ’97 (against Lee and Sabathia’s former employers, the Indians), helped the Mets almost do that (against the Yanks), while Burnett, who never helped the Mets win anything, won a WS with the Marlins in ’03 (against the Yanks). Stupidly weird, right?
Phils: Well, there’s Pedro. Part of me hates him for all his failings as a Met and part of me wants him to do well because he was an absolutely brilliant pitcher (at least his first Met season wasn’t a washout). Chan Ho Park made one start for the Mets where he absolutely blew it. I saw that game. One game was enough for Park, but this past season they kept giving Redding and Parnell starts. Miguel Cairo, who isn’t on the WS roster, spent an unspectacular season with the Mets, sandwiched between two Yank seasons.
Winner: The Mets! It’s like we’re really there!

Being the Yankees
Yanks: …are the Yankees.
Phils: …are not a bunch of overpaid tax-evading twits.
Winner: The Bush White House. Spending tons of money with repeated letdowns and the very occasional success…who else does this?

Recap
Yanks have the money, Phils have the park, I have a girlfriend, Everybody can suck it, Yanks are slightly mysteriously luckier than the Phils, Everybody wants to read about Yankee players waggling their dicks at assorted women, The Mets had players that are now former Mets, 2000-2008 was a letdown.

Final Winner: Barack Obama! Is there anything he can’t do!

Who I Will Root For: Being a Mets fan I have to remain true to my roots. The NHL’s NY Islanders will help me stay in the losing groove.

What’s that, espn? Aces are important?

ESPN’s position as vanguard of in-depth baseball analysis continues with their latest gem: a top-10 list of players who are important in this upcoming World Series.

Baseball’s tea leaves being more subtle and multilayered than other professional sports, ESPN did not leave this important piece of prophecy to one writer. No, this gem of a post was composed by “many of ESPN’s baseball writers, analysts and contributors.”  Some of the key points:

  • Important player #1: Cliff Lee.  Reason: “Lee is the Phillies’ Game 1 starter; he would also likely start Game 5.”
  • Important player #2: CC Sabathia.  Reason: “Sabathia will start Game 1 for the Yankees and could start Games 4 and 7 if Joe Girardi chooses to [start him].”

Other important players ESPN wants the world to keep an eye on: Alex Rodriguez!  Ryan Howard!  And wait, Mariano Rivera!?!?

Thank you, ESPN, for reminding us that the most important players in this World Series are the best players on each team, particularly the ones who will play the most.  We had not considered this.

Perhaps ESPN is trying to educate those people who will confused the World Series with the World Series of Poker, and want to know who the Phil Iveys and Phil Hellmuths are.  Covering the top end so thoroughly, I thought I’d identify the bottom 5 least-important players to this World Series.   Note that the World Series rosters have not been released yet, but ESPN didn’t wait for them, so neither are we.

All Swings Considered asked many of its baseball writers, analysts and contributors who were on gchat at the moment to rank the players. Here are the results:

  1. Jerry Hairston Jr, bench, Yankees.  Why is he not important? He probably won’t play, unless Girardi decides to play him (<– analysis!).
  2. Francisco Cervelli, C, Yankees.  Why is he not important? He’s the third catcher on the roster, probably.  And Girardi wouldn’t even use #2 catcher Jose Molina if Burnett wasn’t such a head case and baseball didn’t have its One Catching Molina Per Postseason Series rule.
  3. Mike Harkey, bullpen coach, Yankees.  Why is he not important? If at all possible, the Yankees will use only Mariano Rivera out of the bullpen.  Rivera does not need a bullpen coach.  If the Yankees are forced to use other relievers, Mike Harkey is not going to help.  Which brings us to:
  4. The Rest of the Yankees bullpen.  Why are they not important? The Yankees spent $1.073 billion dollars on 9 players, and none of them pitch in the bullpen.
  5. The Easter Bunny.  Why is he not important? Baseball prostituting itself to television contracts, combined with bad weather, mean there is only a 15% chance that the World Series lasts until next Easter.

Honorable mention: Kenji Johjima, Lynn Cheney, Roosevelt’s Face On Mount Rushmore.

ESPN analysts take the coward’s way out

espn predictions

The only guy taking the Phillies is the fantasy guy from Philly? if this were the Spanish Civil War, Stark and Crasnick would be lined up against a wall and shot.

In any event, I’m looking forward to comparing this screenshot to the end result. These predictions have a convenient habit of disappearing from the homepage when things don’t work out according to plan.

ozziecanseco says: Phillies in 7.

Jayson Werth is not receiving constructive criticism

As my inaugural post to All Swings Considered, I’d like to mention my least favorite swing in baseball: Jayson Werth. It comes in two varieties.

  1. The Modified Crescent Position. In this one, he bends his back knee down to the dirt, approximating a yoga position I’ve seen my friends do.
  2. The Confident Stride (pictured). For higher pitches; the dramatic lean forward, pushing off his back foot and swinging the bat around like a shopkeeper cleaning his store while singing.

Note: it is important, in both swings, to puff your cheeks out like Louie Armstrong.

Dads (or moms!), don’t teach your son to hit like this man. If you see your son pantomiming Werth’s swing, take away his dessert and make him watch Albert Pujols in slow motion until he understands.

No!   Yes!

No! ----- Yes!

If Werth homers to right-center off Sabathia this World Series, I’ll throw my lager in excitement and frustration.

The Ultimate Showdown

Tons of things can be said about this upcoming world series.  Good versus Evil.  Righteous versus the wicked.  Upper middle class versus fiendishly wealthy.

Let’s face it…this is shaping up to be an all-time series.  The most explosive AL team vs the most explosive NL team.  The defending WFC vs the team with the highest payroll, most expensive new home, and biggest bandwagon fans on the planet (sorry Red Sox Nation, you just squeezed in 2nd).  The home grown boys against the best team money can buy.  LET’S GO TO THE TALE OF THE TAPE!

Offenses:

These are two full blown nuclear superpowers. 1-6 these two lineups are retardedly potent.  Jeter-Damon-Teixera-Arod-Godzilla-Posada.  Rollins-Victorino-Utley-Howard-Werth-Ibanez.  Those literally are all-star lineups.  However, I firmly believe the battle for offensive superiority in this series will not come from these hitters….but from the bottom three’s.  Lets look at who we got shakin’.
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