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Let's do this thing

Bill:
Forecast for game time: 50 degrees with a steady 15mph wind out the West Northwest … Ah, Octobah baseball in Baseball City, USA!

 

Mike:
You believe this dude in a CNNSI in a prediction piece gives the bullpen "edge" to Cleveland?

 

Mike:
WTF? I mean how can a bullpen than contains Borowski evah have the edge ovah a pen with Jonathan Papelbon?

 

Bill:
Yeah, well, on the othah hand baseball uber pundit Pinto writes that "Boston is a nearly flawless team."

 

Bill:
I've nevah much undahstook the human desiah to play the role of Pythia, you know.

 

Mike:
Yeah, I guess it's that need to try to make ordah out of chaos.

 

Mike:
Ironic isn't it, since it's the great unknowing chaos that makes the playoffs magical?

 

Bill:
Seriously, the only prediction worth considering is Lou Gorman's — "The sun will rise, the sun will set and tomorrow I'll eat lunch."

 

Comments

Watching the NL game last night was like watching lambs being fed before their march into Fenway for the sacrificial slaughter.

Not. A. Chance.

What did you guys think of the interference call?

Since I could care less who wins the NLCS, I am (for once) am unbiased on this.

It was interference.

Anyway, looking forward to some real baseball tonight.

Missed the interference call. I was playing in traffic in the Ted Williams...the damn thing closes nightly at 11:30PM and yet they *still* have to close it down to one lane on the entrance ramp from the airport forcing the tolls to back up starting around 9 PM?? Why can't we get some civil engineers worth a damn in this city?

Oh well, Beckett > CC Sabathia. We all know it. Even the vaunted tribe knows it. Let's see it in action. Early runs and chase CC from the game instead of letting him find his groove and go all 9.

We're once again seeing the Sox that were in action in April and May.

It really does seem as if they've found their second wind.

Nice piece on Ortiz today in the NYT (are we allowed to read that?) here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/12/sports/baseball/12alcs.html?_r=1&ref=sports&oref=slogin

I thought it was a good, hard slide, Bob.

Had the same thought about the NL teams.
It was like when I was going through basketball tryouts at BC High while the coach had the real team in a classroom neadby going over some plays on the blackboard. The tryouts/NLCS are just a formality.

I fear this series would go nine games if it could.
Both teams seem equally matched.
It will be great theater.

Any day that begins with a Pythia
reference can only be good.

In re: NLCS

aside from trying to find it (Channel 68 on my cable system), wtf is a team with Jeff Frances as its ace doing in the playoffs? An BJ Upton's younger brother? same question. And Nancy's younger sibling as well. It's just weird.

lc

Vermonter, I agree that INITIALLY it was a good, hard slide. But when his arm came up and knocked what's-his-name off the bag, that made it interference. It was a manly version of A-Fraud's bitch-slap.

Basically, I asked myself what I would think if that was a player going into Dustin or Julio.

I think it would be interference.

That said, it certainly wouldn't have been called in the days of Ty Cobb.

Or even Pete Rose.

I have invited all the intelligent wisecracking Indians fans I know to read this strip for the next few days. Have all zero of them shown up?

A couple of things worry me about seeing the Rockies in the WS.

1. The thin air in Denver. Will the thin air screw with the entire staff mentally? Will it affect their stuff?

2. The average date of first snowfall in Denver is 10/19. You start playing baseball in 31 degree snow flurries and all kinds of weird things can happen.

Tessie, exactly how long was that list?

Hey Joe in Philly, when were you at BC High?

I have to admit I was surprised what the Rockos did to Brandon Webb last night. I don't know where they got those bats, but the Sox should see about ordering a crate for the rest of the postseason. It's kinda freaky that the NLCS will be decided by who swings the bats better, but that's the only way Arizona's going to get past Colorado. If you're expecting Doug Davis or yes, even Livan Hernandez, to shut down the Rockies while they're playing with house money, think again.

I'm saying it now, don't discount the NL this year if the World Series goes through Colorado.

That being said, can we not look past the Indians just yet? There's a whole, adult-sized seven game series ahead of us here.

Bob, no doubt the arm came up. Point taken.

Perhaps I long for the old days when breaking up a double play meant something. Curse political correctness and the softening of our sports! (Yes, I'm allowed to live in Vermont and say that.) Hockey fights, spikes up, Buddy Harrelson and Pete Rose fighting at second base, leather helmets, etc. But I digress.

If I was umping I would have let it go. Good, hard slide. Like finishing a check in hockey. I thought it was a sound, and legal, baseball slide. It's a grey area, though, and that's my bias.

No doubt, however, if it happened to Lugo or Pedro I'd be screaming at the tube.

I'm with Bob on the interference call.

As for Sox-Indians, I have a feeling that the two teams aren't really evenly matched, or that their play won't be. My prediction is a five game series.

Dewey: BCH 86-90.

I watched the Rockies steamroll the Phillies in person. Helton, Holliday and Hawpe can hit with the best. Tulowitzki has show he can hang, too.

I see Rox-Sox. And lots of hot chocolate.

But Tribe TIme will be tough time.

It was interference. In no way should you EVER feel the urgent need to try and destroy the second baseman's knee and/or testicles with your shoulder and elbow while attempting to break up a double play. There was way too much upper body involved. The ump made the right call.

I'll take the Sox in a best-of-seven against either of the teams in the NL, but... seriously, you guys, after watching virtually every Rockies game since the end of September, I'm convinced they are a force to be reckoned with. The pitching and defense have been incredible (yes, I am still talking about the Rockies right now) and the bats do their job. They just might pull it off.

Rockies have taken 4 out of 6 from the Sox during the last 2 series. There is magic in the air here in Denver. There is no other way to describe it. They also own Webb so it was no surprise that they won. AZ is the team that doesn't belong.

Well, if it's Rox/Sox, my brother in law had better step up to the plate with his season tickets at Coors.

lc

Scott's correct: The Rockies have that Angels in 2002 feeling.

Let's get this straight: CC Sabathia is at least 30-40 pounds overweight and will likely tire even in 50 degree weather.

Would some of you people please turn on ESPN2 two hours on Saturday before the Red Sox game and root for the Commodores vs. Georgia?

I don't ask for much.

And yes, when I get the "you frontrunning fucking Yankees fan" comment I calmly shut down the conversation by informing that I support Vanderbilt.

No way- he's YOUR brother-in-law too? I was counting on him for tix

JO, I have a new-found respect for you (ok, not really) in re Vanderbilt. After all, I was the one all honked over Stanford's win v. USC yesterday. The Nashville Nothings are even a step below them.

lc

denversoxfan-isn't that the point of breaking up the DP? If the guy doesn't move he gets hurt, so he has to move and it's harder to get the out. I doubt that his intent was related to an "urgent need to...destroy" the guy. If the ump thinks he went too far, as you do, then he makes that call...as you would. I think he was playing an NLCS game the way it should be played...hard.

Seems that most agree that it was interference. So I'll be sure to get another look.

I wish the Bruins hit as hard as that guy slid into second.

CC Sabathia is at least 30-40 pounds overweight and will likely tire even in 50 degree weather.

Huh? Have you seen this guy go 9 innings in mid-July in 90 degree summer sun? He's a machine on the mound. A large, sweaty machine, but I have to give him props. When I don my goalie gear and go play roller hockey in the summer, I use CC as my motivation to keep on playing through the heat stroke.

Unless I missed some sort of sarcasm there...

All that being said...Beckett is still better.

I particularly enjoyed Harbaugh's criticism of his alma mater Michigan early this season...then Stan beats USC...excellent.

Vandy has bright spots, in particular one Earl Bennett at WR. I suspect that the Patriots are eyeing him in the second round, he reminds one of Troy Brown. I have a feeling he's going to get off against Georgia's suspect D. Go Commodores.

The first half of Upton's sort of slide is fine, but he crossed the interference line when his shoulder and arm took a 90 degree turn towards third. If you happen to break up the double play while sliding into 2nd it is legit. If your actions to break up the play have nothing to do with reaching the base safely, it becomes interference. At regular speed it looks clean enough, but in slow mo you can clearly see Upton reach out to his left and attempt to interfere with the throw.

BTW J.O., Vandy has fine taste in basketball coaches. I always thought Stallings might be in line to replace Keady at Purdue. But it all worked out as Matt Painter is off to a great start.

If the umpire doesn't call it, it's not interference.

Kaz, Sabathia was tired in game one vs. NYY. Lost-the-plate kind of tired. Patience is a virtue.

Jason O, How was your trip to New Orleans? Did you get the charbroiled oysters?

I will be routing for Vandy so Auburn's win looks more impressive. The thing that sucks about Stanford beating USC is now LSU is #1 and I can't stand LSU. And all the commentary about the team having endured Katrina makes me sick. Baton Rouge had to endure heavy traffic post-Katrina due to displaced New Orleanians. Wah Wah.

I got my education on one of the finer points of the interference rule at Fenway in Game 3 of the 2003 ALDS vs. Oakland, which I personally witnessed from the CF bleachers.

Scenario one:

Runner on 2nd, one out, line drive to center. Runner runs into the 3rd baseman before the outfielder throws the ball, touches 3rd base, keeps running. Third baseman fields outfielder's throw (I think he had to pick it up) and throws to catcher. Runner is clearly tagged before he gets to the plate on a close play.

Scenario two:
Less than two outs, liner to left. Runner goes towards 3rd, throw is late to 3rd and runner runs into 3rd baseman who is out of position. Runner touches 3rd base, takes two steps off of 3rd base and starts screaming at umpire and pointing to 3rd baseman. Throw gets past 3rd baseman, rolls to catcher. Catcher picks up ball, runs down to 3rd, tags runner.

Who's out?

Scenario one runner (Boston) was called safe (scoring the run) on interference. The fans were screaming for it immediately. There was a fair amount of controversy from the Oakland dugout, but after a bit they calmed down.

OTOH, the Oakland dugout went absolutely apeshit when their runner was called out in scenario two, which followed scenario one about 2-1/2 innings later. Before the ruling was issued, both managers pled their cases and then the umpires had a lengthy conference before announcing their decision. Those of us listening on our radios got the explanation; a runner who is interfered with must continue to attempt to advance to be called safe at the next base. Stop and scream like a baby at the umpire and you are subject to being put out.

Whoops; that was Game 4, not Game 3. Game 3 was won by Trot Nixon's 11th inning home run, IIRC his first at-bat after many days on the disabled list. It landed about 50 feet from me (I got to both games). Both these games were elimination games for Boston.

Something I then told my daughter who was sitting next to me and is now a college head coach for women's softball; even if you are making hundreds of thousands of dollars or millions of dollars a year to play baseball, I can see where you will still make physical mistakes. But you damn well ought not to help lose a game because you didn't know the rules.

re: interference

Our own OC did it back in '04 against Renteria (I think). Not as much contact but the OC definitely threw a form arm - no interference call. Upton gets busted for the contact and moving away from the base.

BTW - When did Phoenix turn into Philly?

ParkerStPete exactly none. (And I know a lot of Tribe fans!)

The interference call can be extremely hard to judge. I've umpired many LL games and it is even hard at this level.

I was doing the bases for an All-Star game once and there was a runner on 2nd. Ground ball to short, the runner and the SS arrive at the same spot simultaneously, ball bounds away and all runners are safe. What's the call? I called everyone safe but I was wrong and knew shortly thereafter. The SS had the rigt to make the play, the runner needed to go around or wait.

I later gave a close call at first to the other team to make up for it. Too slippery a slope fopr an amateur like me, I'm afraid, but it felt like the right thing to do at the time.

Ron-I didn't know the part about continuing on.

According to the folks on MLB This Morning (XM 175) the interference rules changed for this season, and it's an umpire's point of emphasis. Whatever happened before this year does not apply as an example either way. The reason for the change was injuries to players being paid $10 million a year. Except at homeplate, baseball is no longer a contact sport.

The interference call was absolutely correct. Period.

And no, the slide was illegal even without the arm. If your INTENT is to not go to the bag but to interfere with the fielder, that is illegal. The normal interpretation of that is that the path to the base is yours, and outside the path is not, with any questionable slides going to the runner.

But this was not questionable. He went way away from the base, directed his body past the base toward the fielder. That's clearly illegal by any sane interpretation of the rule, with or without his arm, because his intent was clearly not to get to the base, but to interfere with the fielder.

And it was a near carbon-copy of A-Rod's slide.


ALSO: great strip today, h.b.

ALSO: reminder to everyone to watch Tim McCarver Blues. Aw yeah, baby.

NoLa, Auburn's loss to Miss. St. was a fluke. They are no joke.

No charbroiled oysters, but a good time had by all...you don't happen to have an extra liver handy, do you?

Pudge, you should send that to EEI. Bet they'd play it on-air.

But then that weasel Meter-Maid would probably rip it and try to run you out of town.

Still.

I disagree, Pudge. It IS legal for a runner to slide such that his hand can reach the base but his body is an arm's length from the base with clear intent to upset the fielder. This is NOT illegal. It happens all the time. As long as you can reach the base, your body does not have to go directly TO the base. The runner in this case actually slid OVER the base.

Again, OF COURSE his intent was to "intefere" with the fielder, that is the definition of legally breaking up a double play...getting in his way. Going past the base with the body toward the fielder defines going hard into second base to break up the DP.

The arm thing I can see as possible interference, but not the actual slide. He went in hard and legal. Period.

Vermonter is right. It is the job of the runner to attempt to interfere with the second baseman and break up the double play. However, the runner has to do it within the context of reaching base. If the runner slides to the base, but basically does so in a way to disrupt or collide with the defender, that's okay. But, you cannot go after the defender while ignoring the base. The way the rule tries to distinguish those activities is by maintaining that the runner can reach the base with a hand (being an arms length away).

Now, when I saw the replay, I agreed with the ump's opinion that the runner strayed too far from the base and therefore violated the rule. I thought the ump got the call right, only because the runner deviated TOO far from the base (more than an arm's length).

I wish we were having this conversation in a bar over some beers.

Peoples, let's not talk Rox-Sox. It has a huge J.Q. (Jinx Quotient)....and lc, I love you bro but where's the love for Jeff Frances? He was a first rounder, pitched masterfully last night and, I guess more importantly, pitched for my alma mater.

Let's Go Red Sox Clap,Clap,Clap-Clap-Clap!

I like watching the NLCS, because I love baseball and don't have to adjust my opinions to root for anyone. If anyone's in doubt re: interference call, watch the replay in the middle of this video clip:
http://sports.espn.go.com/broadband/video/videopage?videoId=3059832&categoryId=2521705

The runner practically launches himself off the base at the 2B. In slow-mo it's ridiculous. The ump didn't even hesitate.

//I wish we were having this conversation in a bar over some beers.//

Actually, I am.

'nother Jameson, Linda?

(Kidding, boss, kidding.)

Burp.

/When I don my goalie gear and go play roller hockey in the summer/
Kaz, that I'd love to see.

Best I can do, sdu

No action shots from the summer, but it's about as close as I've got online right now.

Ok, one more from my old league's photo gallery

There, that's all your gettin'. Kaz in net. Action shot!

tnx - helps to kill some of this stressful pre-game time - 'oh would tomorrow were come' (fucking agincourt)

love that mean face btw - it is truly Papelbonesque

マジックナンバー = 7

i'm trying to type this as quietly as i can since it's very silent here in cleveland. they won't take kindly to our spanking c.c. like that so i'm gonna lay low. if we jump all over carmona, most indian fans will surrender to us on site.

got to watch the game with rj and logan since they weren't allowed to be with any indians fans tonight. we all had a lot of fun together and will do it again tomorrow. let's go red sox!

what does that say soxdownunder?

/I wish we were having this conversation in a bar over some beers./

vermonter, i hope we can do that when i get a chance to bring logan to boston!

tessie, it says 'magic number'

I hope your sibling relationship survives the next week!

Is Logan a Sock or an Indian or confused?

Boom.

Ortiz, Manny, 1.000 OBP tonight.

Beckett > CC.

Boom.

nice

logan is firmly in the Red Sox camp! his other grandma bought him some indians clothes but rj put them in a safe until this series is over :D

vermonter: no. The rule says that if in the view of the umpire the goal was to interfere instead of tag the base, that is illegal interference.

The rule says absolutely nothing about touching the base. That's just been a rule of thumb some people use, to help the umpire determine intent.

Bob: they can't drive me out, I live in WA!

Besides, the media already tried to run me out when I voted for Nomar 40,000 times for the All-Star game. It didn't work, though I eventually left on my own. :-)

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