Playoff News and Notes
After a couple of days, the Phillies and Dodgers are up 2-0 in their NLDS and the Red Sox and Rays are leading 1-0 as the latter two teams head into their second games this evening. Meanwhile, the White Sox and Angels need to post victories to prevent going down 0-2 a la the Brewers and Cubs, which are facing elimination tomorrow.
White Sox (Mark Buehrle) at Rays (Scott Kazmir), 6:00 ET
Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka) at Angels (Ervin Santana), 9:30 ET
The early game matches two left handers, a veteran finesse pitcher and a young power pitcher. The late contest involves two right handers. The free-swinging Angels may be just what the doctor ordered to cure Dice-K's tendency to throw lots of pitches and allow a walk every two innings. Look for Mark Teixeira, the only Halo who brings a patient and selective approach to the plate, to loom large in tonight's tilt.
Questions that come to mind:
Is this morning's bailout bill aimed toward the credit crunch in the banking system or squarely at the Brewers and Cubs?
Has C.C. Sabathia pitched his last game for Milwaukee? Where will he end up next season?
Why did so many underestimate the Dodgers when, in fact, they looked every bit as good as the Cubs coming into the NLDS?
Will the Dodgers overpay for Manny Ramirez this fall/winter? If you were Frank McCourt would you give him a five-year, $100 million contract? With a long-term deal in hand, will Manny be Manny? Or will he continue to bust his ass on the field and be Mr. Congeniality in the clubhouse?
With the Yankees missing the playoffs for the first time since 1993 and on the verge of significantly increasing its already MLB-leading revenues, how hard will the Steinbrenners and Brian Cashman go after Sabathia, Ramirez, and Teixeira? Whether these three sign with the Yankees or not, rest assured that they are all going to get nine-figure contracts at prices averaging close to $20M per season.
Has there ever been five players (Sabathia, Ramirez, Teixeira, Jason Bay, and Rich Harden) who switched leagues during the season and played such prominent roles down the stretch and are all doing their thing in the post-season?
Is Joe Torre loving October or what? The Yankees are out and the Dodgers are in.
Speaking of Manny and how good he has been since joining the Dodgers, do you realize that Andre Ethier (.360/.442/.640) has been nearly as productive as his new teammate (.396/.489/.743) since the latter's arrival on August 1?
Now explain to me why Ned Colletti signed Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones the past two off-seasons?
Is Evan Longoria any good? Where will he go in your fantasy draft next year?
Is Javier Vazquez the most maddening starting pitcher in baseball?
The city of Chicago is 0-3 in the post-season. Does the "L" in the L train stand for what I think it does?
At the same time, the city of Los Angeles is 2-1 if you include the Anaheim-based Angels. The Dodgers are doing their part to forge a freeway series but will the Angels, winners of 16 more games during the regular season, hold end up their end of the bargain?
With the benefit of hindsight, who do you think will win the four division series, the two league championship series, and the World Series? And, of course, who do you *want* to win? I'm looking at you Chicago fans.