Friday, October 19, 2007

Baseball Tonight

3 Ws, 26Ks, 1 BB, 1.17 ERA. Is there anything else that needs to be written about Josh Fucking Beckett? This is a Bob Gibsonesque performance. In fact, Gibson had it easy. Three postseason wins? You've already got your ring back in the 60s. This is vintage Pedro stuff. Beckett's three games have been utterly dominating. He can't win the ALCS for this team by himself, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Beckett come in from the 'pen to pull Dice K's ass out of the fire in game 7 and have the Indians collapse into a collective fetal position at the sight of Commander Kick Ass striding to the mound.

Thank God, he's swinging at a .500 clip and carrying half the offensive weight of the team or Manny might get under my skin. No, not for his comments the other day that had all the morons in Boston all fired up. Manny was refreshingly honest when he noted that losing "isn't the end of the world." It's not. And recognizing that is probably why he stays loose, and is the all-time leader in postseason HRs, and rides a fifteen game hitting streak (tied with Pete Rose for the all-time record) into Game 6.

Should Manny have gotten down on the play at the plate early last night? Absolutely. When David "Already Scheduled My Knee Surgery" Ortiz hustles 270 feet to score from first, should Manny have made more than 90 feet of baserunning progress? Absolutely. Has his showboating crossed from mildly amusing to actually embarrassing? Yes.

But as long as Manny's producing like this: .440 BA, .611 OBP, .960 SLG with 4 HRs and 12 RBI in 8 playoff games, I'll pretty much forgive anything. I love that goddamn goofball.

At risk of being labelled a concern troll, I'll throw my two cents in on l'affaire de Torre... No, I don't think the keys are Torre's for as long as he wants them—his contract is up, and by the (unrealistic) standards of his employer, his performance has been a disappointment, and nobody should be "manager for life."

I think the time was right, with the team headed into a bit of a youth/rebuild-on-the-fly mode, for a new manager. But the whole way Torre was handled this postseason was pretty disgraceful. This is a man who has presided over a stretch of success unmatched since the days of Casey Stengle, and in a much, much more difficult environment in every way. He has been nothing but professional and gracious and deserved to be treated with a lot more respect than the corpse of George Steinbrenner and his two douchebag sons gave him.

Not that I wouldn't wish this anyway, but I hope the Yankees suck next year. Specificallly, I hope they hire Mattingly, fail to make the playoffs, and Cashman finds himself without a job next October.

Here's Torre's press conference. Classy even after flying down to Tampa to get slapped in the face.

I hope Mark Cuban buys the Cubs. No group of tired old owners and douchebag Commissioner could deserve an in-your-face guy like Cuban more.

FANTASY A REALITY (or vice versa)
Speaking of greedy motherfuckers running baseball, a federal appeals court denied MLB their ridiculous attempt to restrict other entities from using player's names and statistics for fantasy leagues. In its infinite closeminded- and shortsightedness, MLB tied to create a monopoly and shut down all the other fantasy operators. As if the advent of fantasy baseball isn;t the greatest thing that's happened to that sport in a generation. Morons.


Toast said...

But the whole way Torre was handled this postseason was pretty disgraceful.

No. Just... NO.

The way everyone's treating Torre like a fucking martyr is actually radicalizing me in the other direction. He had a great run, but three first-round exits with these teams (and these payrolls) is unacceptable. The Yankees absolutely are held to a different standard and he knows that better than anyone. Oh, and a $5M contract that could have earned him $8M is not a "slap in the face". Good fucking grief.

Mike said...

Beckett doesn't deserve the Cy Young, but he's an October stud, no other way around it. Damn.

Mr Furious said...

Toast, dude, I am calling bullshit, and playing the "recent fan" card on you big time...

Years between playoff appearances before Torre arrived: 14

Since? Zero. He made the playoffs for twelve straight years. During the Steinbrenner Era, I would argue Torre was the Yankee tradition and set the fucking standard he is being unfairly measured against.

The last time ANY team had a comparable level of success was in the 50s. And yes, it was the Yankees, but there were no "playoffs" like Torre has to win now, there was win the division, and you're in the Wrold Series. Period. Torre has to win seven playoff games to even get to the World Series, eleven to bring home the ring.

Casey Stengle had an even more stacked team, and only needed to win best of seven once.

During the Steinbrenner Era of "Excellence" of 34 years, he changed managers 18 times in the first 22 years. In twelve years since, Torre won 1173 games, all the other managers during the Reign of King George combined for only 1770 in almost twice as many games.

Who set the fucking standard here? George or Joe?

Mr Furious said...

Wait. I'm not done.

You bitch about first round exits? The best of five LDS series is the most arbitrary way of determining the best team outside the BCS in college football. This year? Did Torre have a single game with a favorable pitching matchup? Not even close, really. The Indians trotted out two 19-game winners, either of whom could win the Cy Young.

And even with that, the Indians weren't an upset, they were the better team!. All year long and especially in a short series.

Toast said...

I'm sorry, we don't accept the "Recent Fan" card. Cash only please.

Hey, if you wanna be dick and try to pull rank on me, knock yourself out. There are plenty of long-time Yankee fans out there who agree with me. See the guys at NoMaas for one prominent example. Bottom line, I've got my opinion and you've got yours and I don't mind disagreeing. But the "You're Just a Recent Fan" bit strikes me as a cheap way of privileging your own position.

Toast said...

Also, I want to be clear on something: You can make the case for Torre all day long. Talk about his accomplishments, compare him with other managers, yadda yadda yadda. That's all good. I'm receptive to those arguments. I'm just sick of the media, Torre loyalists, and Haters playing this thing up as the Passion of the Joe. Baseball's a fucking business. The Steinbrenners are not evil for making the offer they did or for being lukewarm on having him back. And Joe's not a goddamned martyr. If he thinks he was wronged he can go cry himself to sleep on the millions of dollars the Yankees have paid him.

Mr Furious said...

I have no problem with the Yankees replacing Torre. As I said, I think it was time. I just think there was a classy way to do it, and a shitty way. and the Yanks chose the shitty way.

I actually think he was manager one year too many.

Mr Furious said...

I am NOT arguing Torre deserved to stay. All I'm saying is he deserved to be treated with more respect by the organization.

As far as my calling you out, I was mostly kidding, but I did want to set the context, and make clear what Torre accomplished. Even what he did on your watch was impressive. No other team made the playoffs every year even during that time.

As far as "these teams (and these payrolls)" Torre wasn't cooking with his groceries. The biggest weakness on this team going into the season and early on was pitching, and all they did to solve that was bring a 45 year old out of retirement. And payroll? It wasn't Torre that wrote Mussina, Giambi, Pavano and Damon checks for seventy mil this year.

Toast said...

And I just completely disagree. I don't think there was anything shitty about how they played it. I think that the storylines to the contrary are just more tiresome Hater bullshit. People piling on the Yankees ownership because, well, that's what everyone's expected to do.

Angelos said...

As usual, Toast is wrong.

Agreed, Mr. F. I'm all for change too, and blogged so myself.

But the young Steinbrenners needed to swing their newly acquired dicks around, and Torre was their target.

Toast, yes, no one "deserves" a job. F and I aren't agitating for Torre's rehiring, nor his sainthood.

But this lacked class and grace. Period.

And Mr. F may have been just doing the "bait Toast" bit, he's absolutely right. You actually don't have a clue what being a Yankee fan from 73-95 was like (disclaimer - my "awareness" started in 1975). And no, watching "Bronx is Burning" doesn't count. Go Wiki Bob Lemon, for example.