Friday, October 28, 2011

Unbearably Bad Baseball

Best World Series game ever? Are you freaking serious?

I have heard that term used at least five separate times already to describe Game 6 of the 2011 World Series from Thursday night, when the Cardinals snatched victory from the jaws of defeat repeatedly in winning the game and forcing a deciding Game 7 with a walkoff home run in the bottom of the 11th inning. And my first thought when I heard that description was "What are these people, four years old?"

Come on guys. Best World Series game ever? A game in which:

The home team gives up a run in the top of the first inning, in a game in which they have to win, or go home.

The road team then follows up by immediately giving up two runs in their defensive half of the first inning, in a game where they had already grabbed a lead that, if it held, would bring them their first world championship in franchise history?

A game with five errors, including multiple crucial missteps by the Rangers in the late innings to blow not one, not two, but three separate leads after the 7th inning?

Not one, not two, but three blown saves by the Rangers? All in one game?

28 hits allowed by the two teams in 11 innings? 19 runs?

Come on, guys. This might have been an exciting game, but please don't fall into the clueless monkey's trap of just calling whatever the most recent game is, the "best game of all time". My lord. I can think of at least five better World Series games than this, just in the past decade or so. Anybody remember John Smoltz vs. Jack Morris in 1991, still the best World Series of my lifetime? Anybody remember the infamous Dodgers - Oakland game featuring Kirk Gibson and "I don't believe what I just saw!" in 1988? I mean, it's not like I'm going back 80 years or something. The list just goes on and on and on of far better ball games than last night's straight-out massacre of the game of baseball itself.

Game 6 of the 2011 World Series was a freaking embarrassment is what it was. And, sadly, it's a microcosm for what this entire World Series has been. In addition to being the least-watched World Series in modern television history, these two teams have butchered what are generally considered the tenets of great post-season baseball over and over again, night after night, like two blind kids with sticks just bumping into each other and swinging blindly game after game. Believe me, as a lifelong baseball fan and especially as a Phillies fan, it has been absolutely painful to watch.

As bad as the Rangers have been about giving up 1st and 2nd inning runs to the Cardinals in this Series and then having to play the rest of the game from behind, you've had the Cardinals' starting pitchers not make it through the 4th inning three times already in six games. I mean, just think about how bad that is! And they've actually won three of these games anyways! It's like these teams are just putting children out there on the mound, lobbing 'em in, and letting the other team just whack away, batting-practice style. They might as well just set up a tee on home plate and play a good old-fashioned 1st grade little league game. As a longtime baseball fan who is used to pretty much always seeing good pitching in the Series, this matchup has truly been an abomination to behold.

You've had the Rangers now with 8 errors in 6 games, including two critical errors in Game 6 to go along with 3 errors from the Cardinals in the same game (the "best game of all time", ha!), with the Cardinals chipping in with five errors of their own over the 6 games so far in the Series. As a general statement, the fielding in this Series has been nothing short of atrocious, with even the big stars on both teams repeatedly costing their teams games by failing to execute the very basics of the game on defense, blowing leads and ruining big chances for either team to grab absolutely crucial wins.

The managing by Ron Washington and Tony LaRussa has been highly questionable to say the least -- enough to make even Phillies' idiot manager Charlie Manuel look smart -- with in particular LaRussa making gaffe after gaffe in an uncharacteristically sloppy show from a guy who is thought to be one of the better managers in the game today. The guy couldn't even figure out how to call for the right pitcher to come in in Game 5, for crying out loud! Is this even real? You would never have believed that bullpen story if you didn't see it with your own eyes. LaRussa has also muffed at least one if not two critical at-bats from Albert Pujols with ill-timed and poorly thought-out steals or hit-and-run calls in very key spots. And meanwhile, Ron Washington is so coked up that he isn't even starting his ace Derek Holland, he of the 16-5 regular season record and the absolute shutdown of the Cardinals in Game 4, on full fucking rest, in Game 7 tonight, in favor of Matt Harrison, who took 73 pitches to get not even through the 4th inning in a Game 4 blowout by the Cardinals, while LaRussa is at least smart enough to take advantage of the extra day off due to the Game 6 rainout and start his ace Chris Carpenter in the deciding game of the Series. Honestly, if you told me to purposefully go out there and manage like an asshole, I'm not sure I would have come up with some of these moves. If Matt Harrison gets shelled again tonight and the Cardinals win the Series, so help me god Ron Washington better get his ass fired, or that franchise will never win a World Series during the lifetime of anyone reading this post right now. They'll be calling it "The Curse of the Cokehead" by the time your great-grandchildren are into baseball, you heard it here first.

So the pitching has been utterly abysmal in this World Series, and the fielding has been almost just as bad. The managers are out there embarrassing themselves and the game of baseball night in and night out. Basically, everything but the offenses have been utterly and completely putrid between both of these teams, now over six games and counting. The baseball audience has been itching for some actual good baseball so badly that in a game with featuring five errors and three blown saves, not just idiot fans but shitheads on ESPN and in baseball are actually trying to claim it's the best World Series game of all time? Oh. My. God. Again, as a fan of easily the best team in the sport during 2011, and one with the greatest pitching anyone has seen in generations, the best I can hope for at this point is that the Cardinals -- who have got to be massive favorites to win the Series tonight -- and the Rangers at least stop insulting the game long enough to play nine relatively clean innings of ball, and that we can declare a winner that, although obviously not really able to say they played "well" in the Series, can at least be able to know that they played better than their opponents by the time all is said and done. But please don't be one of those fools calling Game 6 the best game of all time. "The game where neither team wanted to win badly enough to string together a couple of clean innings of baseball" is about as far as you can reasonably go.

The Cardinals earned every inch of their appearance here in the 2011 World Series, and I'm not even beginning to take anything away from them and you've never heard me say that they don't belong here where they are right now. But my god, the Phillies would have swept this series so badly against the hapless Rangers, they probably would have called it on the "mercy rule" after three games. I hope the Phillies players are out there watching this series and suffering like I am, night after night. Because the play of these two teams just plain sucks.

Labels: , , , , ,


Blogger Josie said...

Well...when you put it THAT way...

8:18 PM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

, Ron Washington is so coked up that he isn't even starting his ace Derek Holland, he of the 16-5 regular season record and the absolute shutdown of the Cardinals in Game 4, on full fucking rest,

Correction: Holland pitched last night for 2 innings. I assume he's available (tonight) in relief, but not to start (because of this).

8:58 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Pitching Holland last night was the single worst move in a series just chock full of really dumb moves, on both sides. Nobody will ever let Wash forget about it, either, if his team loses tonight. I mean, LaRussa found a way to not pitch Carpenter last night even though he used 7 pitchers of his own. And it was only 11 innings, to have pitched Holland was just unforgiveable, there is just no excuse for that kind of a decision. I honestly feel terrible for Texas fans because of that. But you can bet that you and all the other Cardinals fans out there are salivating....

9:22 PM  
Blogger l.e.s.ter said...

Not to mention Joe Buck and Tim McCarver calling the game...

1:41 AM  
Blogger Bayne_S said...

Advantage West Coast!!

I got home from work in 8th inning was not offended by the game I watched (although was confused to see Holland in game)

7:14 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

IMO last night's game was the most EXCITING World Series game that I can recall. Do you have any that you think could top it?

8:25 AM  
Blogger Fred aka TwoBlackAces said...

Lightning? are you serious? Without a doubt of world series games that I have seen with my own eyes, the 1988 Game 1 takes it hands down. Rewatch that last inning, and then tell me this game 6 topped that? I agree completely with Hoy, and frankly, I'd fire Washington Summarily if I was Ryan.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I don't know how Washington keeps his job after forcing himself to start Harrison in Game 7 and having him only go 4 innings, while his opposing manager went with Carpenter and got the win. I don't get the feeling Ryan is going to fire Washington, but I do get the feeling we'll be talking about the Curse of the Cokehead for years to come.

Lightning, FWIW I do think this game was exciting, but I'll take a 1-0 game or the 1988 game over Game 6 any day. Somehow I think you need good baseball for a game to be that exciting to me.

4:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your World Champion St. Louis Cardinals....biotch.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Congrats, Don.

I hope you send a thank-you bouquet to Ron Washington. What an unthinkable idiot.

9:20 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home