Skip to content

Random observations from ALCS Game 2

Oct 18, 2009, 10:26 AM EDT

Epic game.  Stuff worth discussing further:

Question to those who believe that ballplayers actually have some
inborn ability to perform (or not) in the clutch as opposed it simply
being a matter of chance:  when did A-Rod “learn” this ability?  Last
winter?  Some time over the course of the season?  Did he read the
Cliff’s Notes during the All-Star break? Inquiring minds want to know .
. .

Despite his heroics in the 11th, I’m sure some folks will still say
something snarky about his popup with the bases loaded in the 12th.  It
takes longer to give up irrational A-Rod hate than it does to learn to
be clutch.

First we heard over and over again about how fundamentally sound the
Twins were supposed to be and about how they do all of the little
things right.  Then we heard over and over again about how
fundamentally sound the Angels were supposed to be and about how they
do all of the little things right.  The Yankees may have won all five
of their postseason games so far anyway, but poor fundamentals on the
part of the Twins and Angels have made it a hell of a lot easier for them.

That said, if Chone Figgins comes up with the Izturis overthrow
cleanly, I think there’s a good chance Hairston would have been out at
home.  Not that it matters a bit.  Should have taken the out at first,
Macier.

As I sipped my beer and waited for the commercial break to end, I
wondered to myself: “is there a single person watching this game who
said ‘you know, I wasn’t going to get Direct TV, but now that the Black
Eyed Peas have weighed in on it, I’m going to take the plunge.'”

In case Angels fans are wondering, Fuentes is owed $9 million next
year, and has an option that vests for 2011 if he finishes 55 games. 
Yes, blown saves in the 9th count as “games finished.”  Enjoy next
season!

In contrast, Mariano Rivera, despite looking like he’s about 55 now, is
still basically unhittable.  Two and a third, and the Angels couldn’t
touch him.  I think even Angels fans have to agree that there’s never
been another relief pitcher like that guy, and that we’re all lucky to
have seen him in action.  Our grandkids will be talking about him.

I never thought I’d say this, but after a round and a half of Chip
Caray, Joe Buck is actually a sound for sore ears.  He’s still
basically terrible, but he’s less offensive than the other terrible announcer who only has his job because of nepotism.

I won’t dwell on it because the play ultimately didn’t have any impact
on the game’s outcome, but the safe call on Erick Aybar’s attempted
double play in the bottom of the 10th is the sort of thing that will
have people talking.  You know the deal: the old “neighborhood” play,
where they usually give the shortstop some leeway on actually touching
the bag with the ball in his hands when a runner is bearing down on
him.  I understand the reason for the leeway: we don’t want dudes
getting hurt down there if it can be avoided, but you at least have to
skip your feet across the bag a bit, right?  Aybar just straddled it.  Video here. I think it was the right call.

Like I said, epic game (at least for everyone who isn’t an Angels
fan).  I’m glad that, if they had to have a five-hour+, 13-inning
affair, that it happened on a Saturday night.  The Angels are in deep
trouble.  To win, they basically have to beat Sabathia twice now,
right? Good luck with that . . .

  1. Ryan - Oct 19, 2009 at 1:30 PM

    I was so glad to hear Joe Buck’s voice. As much as I hate him, it was a blessing not to have to hear the sounds of the TBS announcers inhaling and exhaling with the nose whistles. So gross.

  2. Mike - Oct 19, 2009 at 2:51 PM

    All good points on the anti-Yankee bias and the call of the “neighborhood play”. There was no reason for Aybar NOT to touch the base, he was under no pressure. In my mind, you have to touch the base to get the out call. Everyone knows that they are given some latitude about WHEN they touch the base (and whether they actually have the ball at the time), but I never thought you could just stand there next to the base and expect to get the call. You would think that after so much discussion between them, either Buck or McCarver might have said, “It might have been a good idea to tag the base since he was right there”, but no, instead go after the umpire and suggest that Aybar NEVER touches the base, which McCarver then had to swallow. Those other three DPs were more difficult turns than that last one, again, no comment on that point

  3. Larry Ryan - Feb 15, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    I think your blog is great. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Found it on Bing though. I love the suggestions and just trying to wrap my head around it, it’s mind boggling. Thanks

  4. Waffeleisen - Mar 1, 2010 at 10:14 AM

    Fine Post. I searched the whole cyberspace for something like “Random observations from ALCS Game 2 – HardballTalk – Baseball – NBC Sports”. Thx very much, it had helped.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. H. Pence (2145)
  2. M. Morse (2099)
  3. Y. Cespedes (2037)
  4. J. Panik (2007)
  5. M. Moustakas (1978)