Thinking Blue (Stinks)
This MLB postseason has been quantifiably less uninteresting to me, more so than just about any other that I can recal, for about a half dozen reasons.
1.) I have watched less baseball either in person or on TV this year than any other season of my lifetime, due to getting married and well, not having cable TV.
2.) The NFL season has a plethora of intriguing plot lines this year (The death of LT’s career, the 49ers being somewhat decent, Darren McFadden blowing up millions of fantasy teams worldwide, people writing about hating people who write or talk about Brett Favre, the this is a he-Yuuuuuge story and then the sudden disappearance of said he-Yuuuuuge story regarding Jerry Jones’ enormous widescreen monitor and the likelihood of punts hitting it, the inhuman abilities of Drew Brees and Peyton Manning, Tom Brady actually being human, the Broncos and Bengals don’t suck???, the Cowboys do suck???, and of course the Michael Crabtree saga).
3.) The inevitable rise of Blake Griffin, making the Clippers relevant in the world again. Well, at least relevant in a way other than, “Hey, I wonder how Dumb-leavy is going to screw up their lottery pick this year?”
Which surprisingly enough, the inept GM/ Head Coach has nailed two drafts running, netting Eric Gordan and DeAndre Jordan in 2008 and snatching up Griffin this year.
I love not having to hide my eyes with the start of a NBA season. It’s a great feeling. Be happy for me. It will last only as long as Griffin’s knees do.
(Knocking on wood feverishly…)
4.) Steroids/ HGH. I don’t care what anyone says about A-Rod rising from the ashes of his outed steroid use this past spring, to become the new Joe Carter (the Reggie Jackson comparisons have gotten stale), the A-Rod/ Manny/ Big Papi sagas tainted this past season. They did. You can’t convince me otherwise. You would only be wasting your breath.
5.) The two AL teams vying for a World Series birth are the Yankees and the Angels. The Yankees and the Angels.
(Give me a second, I need to finish dry heaving.)
As an A’s/ Dodgers fan I cannot stand the Halos. And the only thing the Yanks have going for them, is that they aren’t the Red Sox. When in the freaking world did the Yankees become less despisable than the Sox? Oh yeah, 2008, when they traded Manny to L.A.
At least the Angels have the whole, “This is for Adenhart!” thing going for them.
Still, picking between the two is like picking between room temperature mayonnaise and luke-warm coffee.
And they have to play the Phillies? C’mon baseball gods! Why do you torment me?
6.) The Dodgers suck. And they blew it. And they really suck and totally blew it.
I blame Billingsley. Who’s with me?
The guy was the opening day starter for crying out loud and yet he’s coming out of the pen in the playoffs? Pathetic. But I don’t blame Joe Torre at all for that decision. It was the right move. Chad was far too inconsistent the second half of the year. Starting him would have been like swimming in a pool with a tiger shark. Sure you might make it out alive, but then again, you might not. Would you be willing to take that chance?
Torre wasn’t. And I wouldn’t have taken it either.
Now starting Hiroki Kuroda over ALDS Game 1 starter, Randy Wolf, in Game 3 of the ALCS? I won’t even try to defend that decision. Torre definitely had on his Bad Idea Jeans for that one.
All in all though, this postseason (and late regular season) brought two positive things to light for Dodger fans and one major negative.
-“Wait ’til next year.”
Time to dust off one more old cliche. Wait, maybe that one isn’t really a positive after all. Even if it does evoke memories of Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese and Roy Campenella.
-Clayton Kershaw, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp are studs.
No longer are these Three Musketeers prospects or stars in the making. They are stars. Flat-out. Kershaw will be a Cy Young candidate next year. Kemp and Ethier were just explosive at the dish, in a way the Manny Ramirez should have been. Kemp also became an excellent defensive center fielder throughout the season as well. The future is now boys.
Now if only Russell Martin hadn’t retired after ’08. Wait… he’s still playing? No he’s not. Quit messing with me. Oh crap, he actually is still on the roster. Well, I’ll be.
-Manny Ramirez is embarrassing himself.
Hitting .290 with 19 home runs may not seem like an embarrassment, but considering Frank McCourt shelled out the dough to Manny (no small feat), he’s expected to play much better than he did. Especially towards the tail end of the season. Manny hit only eight rockets the final third of the season. He missed the first third of the season due to a positive PED test. He was mediocre in between.
Make no mistake about it, Kemp and Ethier carried the load offensively for the Dodgers in ’09. And Manny is set to make $20-million next year? Geez. But L.A. knew the risk of offering Ramirez a deal including the ’10 player option, which Manny would have to be beyond stupid to opt out of. And it was worth it. They took a risk and it didn’t really pay off. At least last year anyway.
If L.A. really does want to wait ’til next year, they need that risk to pay off in 2010. That and for Billingsley to remember he’s supposed to be an elite pitcher. Maybe he can get together with Cole Hamels this offseason, sit in wicker chairs, play checkers and wonder where it all went wrong. Or a better idea: maybe he can work out ferociously with pitching coach, Rick Honeycutt and Kershaw and come to spring training ready to man-up next year.
But it could be worse. I could be a Padres fan.
(It’s just too easy, Pads fans. I need to find a more challenging way to heap insults. I’m growing bored of directing zingers at you.)
Either way, I just want my October to be baseball focused again. It’s supposed to be my favorite month for three reasons: A) The MLB playoffs/ World Series; B) My birthday; C) Halloween.
I’m not supposed to be focused on the NFL and NBA. I’m a baseball-first fan for crying out loud!
But with Phillies – Yanks/ Angels awaiting me next week, I’m not holding my breath for MLB to make a roaring October comeback. Oh well, bring on Blake Griffin and Michael Crabtree I suppose.
Wait ’til next year. It’s all I can do.