Thursday, November 03, 2016

My thoughts on the World Series

Well, first of all, THAT is why baseball is the greatest game EVER. There are so many variables, so much strategy, and so much pressure to succeed in a sport where even the best fail 70% of the time. Athletes have to be versatile. They have to hit a baseball (which many say is the hardest thing to do in sports) and also field your position or pitch (unless you’re a Designated Hitter. And then you have to stay out of the clubhouse fridge during the game).

And then in the post-season, the tension gets ratcheted up another level. You don’t have 162 games to make your mark, you have seven. Or five. And Bill Murray comes to every game. (I wonder how many Cubs-Diamondbacks games he attended this year.)

Unlike with other sports, momentum for a series can change drastically from game to game depending on the starting pitcher. You could score ten runs one game then be shut out the next. Tom Brady is going to throw his touchdown passes on a pretty consistent basis (regardless of how much air is in the ball).

So I point that out to all the people who think baseball is just dull. It’s not (most of the time).

I was thrilled that the Cubs won. I only wish Harry Caray and Ron Santo were there to see it. I got to know Harry when I was doing play-by-play for the Padres. Proud to say I once peed next to him in the Wrigley Field press bathroom.

Harry Caray story:  Whenever I would go on the road I always brought a transistor radio and listened with an earpiece to the other team’s broadcast during the innings I wasn’t on. I picked up a lot of great nuggets, which is a nice way of saying I stole information from the other broadcasters. But we were in Chicago playing the Cubs. The visiting radio booth at Wrigley is very small. I was wedged into the front row along with my partner, Ted Leitner. Ted is on the air and I’m listening to Harry in the next booth.

There’s a fly ball to the Cubs centerfielder, Brian McRae. Harry says on the air, “Fly ball to center and Carmen McRae makes the catch.” I bust out laughing. But there’s nowhere I can go. Ted is glaring at me. I’m in a fetal position under the desk. I just couldn’t help myself. I must’ve laughed for ten minutes. When I finally told Ted he laughed for five.

Theo Epstein secured his spot in the Hall of Fame last night. Breaking the longtime Red Sox curse and now the longer-time Cubs curse? Welcome to Cooperstown. The Mariners should hire him now. They’ve never been to the World Series even once.

But before you anoint Theo as the undisputed genius of baseball, he also paid a fortune for Jason Heyward, the biggest bust in the game.

For my money, the MVP of the series was John Smoltz. A-Rod's analysis was also very good. Pete Rose is the Bud Melman of Fox sports.

Did the Cubs deserve to be World Champions? They had to beat two Cy Youwng winners – Clayton Kershaw and Corey Kluber.  They had to come back from a three game deficit.  They had to walk a mile from their bus to the Progressive Field clubhouse.  You bet they deserved to win.

They’re probably still partying at Wrigleyville (even if you read this on Saturday).

How not to celebrate in Chicago: In 1959 when the White Sox won the pennant, Mayor Daly sounded the Civil Defense alarm (the world’s loudest party noisemaker). But this was during the heat of the Cold War and there was mass hysteria as Chicagoians thought they were being attacked by nuclear missiles.

I think managers today over-manage the shit out of these games. It’s absurd that starting pitchers now only go five or six innings. In 1965 when the Dodgers beat the Twins in Game Seven of the World Series, Sandy Koufax only had one pitch working, was pitching on two-days rest, was on fumes, and hurled a complete game. That’s what starters DID. It kills me to hear announcers fawn all over a guy for only giving up two runs in five innings. “He was brilliant tonight.”

The end result is that both managers overworked their bullpens and paid the price. There's only so much you can whip those horses. 

Aroldis Chapman gave up the two-run homer to Davis to tie the game in the eighth, but was the pitcher of record when the Cubs scored so he was the winning pitcher. In baseball we say he “vultured” that win. (Although, credit where credit is due, he did go back out and pitch a scoreless 9th).

When the TV guys mentioned that Chapman had been suspended earlier in the season for Domestic Abuse (and I’m sure he was thrilled that Joe mentioned that) I was glad they didn't follow up by saying “So he’s a little more rested than the rest of the staff.” 

Wasn't it nice to see baseball on a channel we could all get? 

It’s hard to really root when you have laryngitis.

Does David Ross know how to make an exit, or what? To answer your next question: I checked and I don’t think he’s Jewish.

It's always a "Ross", isn't it?  David Ross.  Cody Ross. 

Home field disadvantage:  The home team won only two of the seven games.  

Nice to see Bonnie Hunt. I thought she was in the witness protection program.

Like I said on Twitter, I can’t root for any Ohio team with Trump leading in their polls. Sorry Indian fans. Otherwise, I love everything about your team and ballpark.  And you have a great announcer in Tom Hamilton. 

Did you take advantage of your free taco?

This will be the highest rated World Series in years. I’m sure it obliterated all late night competition. Seth Meyers, James Corden, THE GOLDEN GIRLS – all were left in the dust.  Stephen Colbert probably finished way behind the rain delay. 

I would let Steve Bartman ride in the parade. And I fully expect to see Ferris Bueller in there singing “Twist & Shout” on a float.

Not a great umpiring crew. Sam Holbrook was missing calls all night. And when you see how many calls are overturned during challenges you have to wonder how different the results of other World Series would have been had they had In-Game Reviews. I know Cardinal fans since despise Don Denkinger.

Last night was pretty much a “must win” game.   And yet, I hear idiot announcers say that in June. 

Nice touch showing that old Harry Caray Budweiser commercial after the game.

Happy for Pat Hughes who has been a world champion Cubs announcer even when they were in last place (which was often).

My son, Matt, is a great baseball fan and what a treat for this classic game to fall on his birthday. Cub fans will remember your birthday forever.

I’m always a little depressed at the end of the World Series because it means no more baseball. But for folks in LA, you can still get your fix by going to my play, GOING GOING GONE at the Hudson Theatre until November 20th. (Wasn't that shameless?)  This weekend (like last weekend) is completely sold out, but some tickets remain for the last two weekends. Come on out. You’ll laugh a lot more than at anything Pete Rose said during this series. Here’s where you go. Thanks.

Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs and their fans.    And a tip of the cap to the Cleveland Indians and their fans who are not voting for Trump. 


MikeN said...

Tom Brady was proven innocent by the NFL's own commissioned report, only people were late to notice it, including his lawyer who got confused at the appeals hearing. Has to do with the gloving, as Belichick explained. They analyzed it and said it didn't matter, but they missed a key detail which explains the pressures, namely that the Patriots inflated their footballs immediately after gloving, so the depressurizing would happen before the ref inspected them. Yet he measured a correct PSI which means he was using the gage he said he was using, and thus Pats are in the clear per the rest of the Wells Report.

Mike Barer said...

I love having baseball in November!

Stephen Marks said...

And when Harry glanced down at you from the next urinal and said "Holy Cow!" it must have been better than winning that Emmy. That shameless plug for Going, Going, Gone (Hudson Theater until Nov. 20th, some tickets still available) is forgiven after your great lines about Bonnie Hunt and Colbert.

Sorry but I'm fucking tired of Bill Murray. Pebble Beach, Wrigley Field, Neil Armstrong landing on your face, you make more bad movies then Alan Smithee. You're just Jim Belushi with a better agent. You're just like SNL, you were funny one time then stuck around for 40 years because nobody knows what to replace you with. You're like Jerry Lewis, always mugging for the camera and clowning around, except the French can't stand you.

Anyway, thanks for another wonderful post Ken, made me laugh.

Justin Russo said...

Ken- Any chance of moving your play(s) to NYC any time soon for your East Coast readers?!

Matt said...

The myth that hitting a baseball is the hardest thing in sports comes from a series of letters between Ted Williams and I believe Byron Nelson where they argued which was harder to hit, a moving baseball with a bat or a stationary golf ball with a golf club. These were golf clubs of the 1940s, so yes, it was very hard.

Personally I think running the ball while a 250 lb linebacker is chasing you is harder. And that is why there average careers are only 3 years.

Peter said...

Back to the Future Part II got its prediction about the Cubs out by just a year.

Even spookier though is the guy whose quote for his high school yearbook in 1993 was: "Chicago Cubs. 2016 World Series Champions. You heard it here first"
Yearbook prediction

Bob Gassel said...

Murray is not a fair-weather fan, he's been coming to games every year for decades, even when the team was awful.

Markus said...

"Well, first of all, THAT is why baseball is the greatest game EVER."

Okay, now you're just trolling.

Bryan north of seattle said...

Bill Murray once got a hit in a minor league game. He's as hooked as the rest of us.

Philip said...

Remember though, In 1965 Koufax was throwing off a higher mound, lowered in 1969 to get more offence into the game after Bob Gibson threw a 1.12 ERA in '68 and Yastrzemski was the only .300 hitter in the league!

I saw a statistic where Harper, whose numbers were sort of Ted Williams-ish (but not as good) by the age of 22 or whatever he is, but he had faced something like 300 more pitchers than Williams had already through 5 seasons. Its crazy how the game is changing in the SP/RP end of things lately. I foresee a time where you only have 3 starters and the other games are "bullpen" games - almost worked for Cleveland

Andrew said...

Indians fan here. Very sad to see them lose, but what an epic final game. Overall it was an incredible series. To see the Cubs come back from their deficit was exhilarating. Kudos to them.

I lived in Cleveland in 1997 when they lost the series to the Marlins. Talk about having your heart ripped out. Everyone felt like it was destiny for them to win. Until... not.

Ken, I can't recall you mentioning him, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on Herb Score. He was my introduction to baseball announcing. A real class act.

Buttermilk Sky said...

A channel we can all get, yes, but not hear. Every time someone hit the ball and the crowd reacted, the volume dropped and it was hard to hear the announcer. Should I blame Fox or Comcast?

Bill Murray named his son after Ernie Banks. He is a stone Cubs fan, whatever else you think of him.

Great Series.

JoeyH said...

Loved the Budweiser commercial.

Diane D said...

What a fabulous and fabulously long post about this year's World Series! Wow, I couldn't believe even this year's Cubs could come back from such a deficit. I was so curious what you thought about taking the starting pitcher out so early so I'm glad you addressed that. Wouldn't it be great if the Cubs won two years in a row? There doesn't seem to be any reason they couldn't.
Thanks for another great baseball post!!

Unknown said...

Can Joe Buck follow David Ross into retirement now, please?

emmphx said...

Your shot at the Diamondbacks is very sad. It's not every team that has an owner with the foresight to hire Tony la Russa as Chief Baseball Officer with such stellar....errrr...uh results. I mean, Greinke? And Shelby Miller?

BobinVT said...

The Fox coverage of the series was excellent. I'm no fan of ARod, but he has a real future as an analyst if he chooses to go that route. I always root for the AL team, and this year, the Indians really were getting extra love from me. They were a scrappy, low budget bunch of over achievers who were always underestimated by the 'experts". Oh by the way, they also lost their number two and three starters. By contrast, the Cubs were kind of like the evil empire. Far from the lovable losers that shaped their image. Unlimited money, and imported the genius curse breaker from Boston. And the Cubs were certainly the new trendy team after Boston broke their drought. While Theo Epstein broke both longstanding curses, he did it with aid of huge bankrolls in both cases. He undoubtedly made a lot of good moves, but as you point out, the Jason Heyward signing was a giant mistake, and was seen so at the time by most in baseball. Also, when he was running Boston, he may have been the only person on earth that thought Carl Crawford was a $20 million dollar per year ball player. So he could afford to make mistakes that would have ruined other teams. But I for one am glad the curse is over, mainly because I am tired of hearing about it.

emmphx said...

Must make a comment about David Ross. I was at the Dodgers-Diamondbacks fame with my then-kids (they are now a public defender and a CPA) when David Ross hit his first home run off a rookie pitcher name Mark Grace, who was a pre-sobriety first baseman with the Dbacks 9/2/02. Right after that home run, a fight broke out where we were seated, between a Giants fan and an off duty (obviously) LAPD cop.

BobinVT said...

I'm a bit baffled by Matt's argument that football is harder than baseball because the average in the NFL career is three years. That only proves how hard football is on the body, or maybe how many good football players there are because they are constantly being replaced by better (or younger, cheaper) ones Actually that kind of indicates that baseball is harder since there seem to be fewer MLB caliber baseball players out there than NFL caliber football players.

Victor Velasco said...

One hell of a series...but WTF was up with a bunt on a 3-2 count?

Unknown said...

The Carmen McRae story had to have happened in 1996 or 97. Very funny and interesting...Did you see Bill Murray on the field after the game trying to honk the horn of that "give a way" car? I think if he saw a key in the ignition he may have gotten in and done figure 8's in the outfield. Imagine that.

John Hammes said...

In earlier years, Harry would indeed have no problem using the bleachers as his broadcast "booth", and he DID keep a fishnet handy to catch the occasional foul ball heading his way. Good call to air that particular commercial and refreshing some memories.

blinky said...

There is good visual evidence for computer-called balls & strikes when you see a pitch a foot off the plate called a strike.
Second point: Joe Buck is a wanker. Not sure exactly why I don't like him but I don't.

RandomQues said...

Not related to baseball at all.. but I saw this video recently - "Stephen Fry on American vs British Comedy" . Do you have any comments? Do you agree with what he said about american comedy?

H Johnson said...

Great Series and a great post. I agree with you about the pitching changes. If they are serious about speeding up the game, forget about the batters stepping out of the box, keep the managers off the field. I hate adding rules to a perfect game, but if we're just gonna be witnesses to the manager's personal fantasy game, then maybe we better start thinking of a way to curb it. You could shorten the game time by a half an hour. Unfortunately then you'd be taking away the bonus commercials we all so enjoy, I mean hate.

And whats with the Bill Murray blast Mr. Marks? How can you hate on that mug. Turn on the news. There's plenty of other folks that deserve that kind of spew.

Go Dodgers 2017


Astroboy said...


Speaking of spooky how about this tweet from 2014:

GIO @RaysFanGio
2016 World Series.
Cubs vs Indians
And then the world will end with the score tied in game seven in extra innings

Unknown said...

Living in Chicago, this place is going nuts today. Every playoff/WS game I saw (on TV, $2k for standing room only??? nuts) everyone around us also mentioned jason Heyward and what a bust. But with the 24x7 coverage after the game, many players have come out and said how Jason Heyward was the spirit and energy that brought the team together during the rain delay. Many announcers have said it was worth it for his salary. But, meh.
Have you thought about taking your play over seas, it could be "Going Going GOooooaaaaallll!"
Since you are a Harry fan, this is a nice tribute to him, doing a "last call"
I work across the street from his restaurant. I'm sure this will be playing in the bar constantly

Stephen Marks said...

Fair enough Mr. Johnson good point, but it wasn't the news I was turning on nor the Bill Murray Show, it was sports.

Anonymous said...

Jack Brickhouse and his hey hey tag line are my memories.
I remember the first time in Right field Bleachers for a mid week double header with older brother the Cubs had the first pro game pitched by ken Holzman ( before he lost focus because of Mamie Van Doren) and fergusan jenkins v. Drysdale and Koufax.
Unfortunately that was my first exposure to beer beyond the occassional stolen sip so my memories might have been a bit foggy.

Anonymous said...

Back to which is harder, golf or baseball, Byron Nelson's clincher for golf was: "you have to play your foul balls".

I'm Outraged! said...

What the hell are you people talking about?

Charles H. Bryan said...

Very simply, it was great fun. I can't remember the last time I had this much fun watching a World Series (while using At Bat to listen to Pat Hughes). A great underdog v underdog story, and certainly better than almost every Super Bowl. Well done, MLB!

Diane D said...

Would someone please answer Victor V.'s question about a bunt on a 3-2 count?

MikeN said...

You couldn't root forth Cubs because Trump is leading in Ohio?
Then you have a big problem Ken, because Nate Silver tweeted about a week ago
that the Cubs(down 3-1 at the time) have a lower chance of winning that Trump.

Anonymous said...

Couple of points:
That wasn't Ken Holtzman and Mamie Van Doren, that was another Jewish pitcher Bo Belinsky and Mamie Van Doren

Harry Caray is viewed today as a drunken old entertainer. In the day, when he was with the Cardinals, then the White Sox (he and Jimmy Piersall were the best crew ever- ever) and for a little while with the Cubs, he was as sharp a baseball announcer as there was. Nobody knew the game better than him.

Baez was bunting because Madden likes that strategy and didn't have confidence Baez would lay off an eye high fast ball or a curve ball in the dirt for strike three.

John Smoltz knows a lot of baseball

The best thing that happened to the Cubs was the AL winning the All-Star Game. Yes, they lost home field advantage, but the DH was much more valuable to them than it was for the Indians. Schwarber was a huge addition to the lineup - and Madden finally took Bryant out of the two spot. The made no sense.He was never going to come up with more than one man on base. Much better as three hitter.

DwWashburn said...

A good Game 7 but not the best Game 7. That goes to 1991 Minnesota - Atlanta. Seventeen hits, five walks, NO ERRORS, and the game was 0-0 going into the bottom of the 10th. Lots of action, lots of great plays, and you actually had pitchers who could pitch into the 8th and beyond.

Jason Heyward reminds me a lot of Tony LaRussa. The Cubs won this year IN SPITE of Heyward, not because of him. That's the way I feel about LaRussa and my Cardinals. He pulled bonehead play after bonehead play and they still won. Heyward said he wanted to leave St Louis because Chicago's team was younger. He never said he was going to actually participate.

Has someone ever done a study on rain delays in the regular season? It seems like whatever team comes to the plate directly after a rain delay always scores. I told the group with me when the tarp came out that the Cubs would score in the 10th because of this and we know the result. And a fifteen minute delay? It took them that long to roll it out and roll it back.

Big Bonnie Hunt fan. Wish she could find some project that could use her talent for humor. I thought the talk show area would be where she would shine but her show didn't last long.

Jahn Ghalt said...

I agree that managers tend to pull starters - especially effective ones - too soon these days. They are not as fragile as they used to be. But there's a balance. Read Jane Leavy's Koufax bio (Lefty Legacy). What he willingly did with his arm was scary. Don't forget he was gone by age 30.

I'm glad the sound was drowned by the bar crowd when Fox' director told Buck to mention Chapman's "home life". Who the f##k cares about that E-Channel $#!T?? Makes sense, though, Fox has always catered to the lumpen masses - tending to the vulgar side with pretty much everything they do.

I always thought "Taco Hell's" free promotions took advantage of me!

"Ferris Bueller in there singing “Twist & Shout” on a float" - in 2016! Talk about a "twist" on the aging-rocker trope...

"Matt, is a great baseball fan" - did he play (unlike his old man)??

Sorry to say that, by jet, I'm six hours away (and who knows how many in LA traffic) from the Hudson. Congratulations on a popular success - I;m sure you, the actors, and everyone else are having a great time with your run.

Jahn Ghalt said...

Matt wrote:

The myth that hitting a baseball is the hardest thing in sports comes from a series of letters between Ted Williams and I believe Byron Nelson where they argued which was harder to hit, a moving baseball with a bat or a stationary golf ball with a golf club. These were golf clubs of the 1940s, so yes, it was very hard.

Thanks for this bit of sports history. IMO it is inarguable that hitting a pitched ball is the far more difficult feat. Not even close

Let's go a little past opinion:

You get one kind of club in baseball - 17 in the PGA.
Hitting involves a round bat - in golf you get flat surfaces - even the "woods" have mostly flat faces.
Not only does the ball stand still in golf - in baseball the speed varies and it hooks, dips, tails, sinks. In golf it hooks, dips, tails when YOU HIT IT!
In baseball you face nine fielders who can move and have custom-built gloves. In golf all the hazards stand motionless.

On to the ad hominem:

If Nelson were a mere fan, Teddy Baseball would abuse him like all the others and say "you CAN'T HIT!" (I would have loved to take that from the great Ted Williams).

(I didn't think i'd have so much fun with this)

There seem to be precious few biographies about Nelson. I found an autobiograpy and "Byron Nelson" by Martin Davis. In the latter Davis notes that Sam Byrd gave Nelson a good run in a PGA Championship. This was after Byrd had retired from major league baseball. BAseball Reference has an entry for Samuel Byrd - 1929-36 with BA/OBP/SLG = .274/.350/.412

In the memoir, Nelson stated he played outfield growing up and once played in an exhibition for the Medhens farm team vs. their parent Browns. To prepare he practice with the 'Hens for ten days. He wrote:

"In the practice sessions, I did all right on everything but batting. You just can't believe how fast that ball went past the plate. You really had to be ready to hit before it left the pitcher's hand, and I never quite caught on. "(emphasis mine)

He goes on. During the game:

" it was my turn to bat, and I whiffed. The fans started hollering, 'Better stick to golf, Nelson!' and 'Put Bucher back in!' Fredkept me in till the fourth inning, though, and then he said, 'Byron, you've had enough fun, and I really would like to win this game, so I'm taking you out.' That was fine with me. So Bucher goes back in, and strikes out his first time at the plate. Now the fans start yelling,"Put Nelson back in!"

(good story, huh?)


Come ON - this is TED WILLIAMS! Who the hell is Byron Nelson??

About the so-called Byron Nelson "clincher": "you have to play your foul balls".

OK, Nelson was a clever man but HE STILL CAN'T HIT!

sanford said...

Tough game to watch once Lester allowed 2 runs to score on a wild pitch. He did pitch well after that. Maddon was great all year and then he either managed scared or over managed by using Chapman when they led 5-2 in game 6. That was sort of understandable with a 3 run lead, but after Rizzo hit the 2 run homer Maddon s hould have taken him out. I realize he doesn't trust his bull pen but I think the pen could protect a 5 run lead. Taking Hendrix out was also stupid. He got squeezed on ball 3 and ended up walking the batter. He only threw 62 pitches. You have to leave him in for at least one more batter. He was pitching great after being hit kind of hard in the first couple of innings.

As for Heyward, whether a pep talk helps or not I can't say. Probably the rain delay helped as much and gave them a chance to regroup. Yes he was a bust offensively this year, but he played great defense. Some players are not always great in that first year of a big contract. Lester was some what similar last year. Kind of up and down. A lot of people were wondering why he got such a big contract. Didn't hear any complaints this year.

Cap'n Bob said...

I went to get a free taco around 11 a.m. and was told they only gave them out from 2 to 6. I didn't go back.

Anonymous said...

While the 1991 Game 7 was superb, it is hard to top the 1960 Game 7. Back and forth with all kinds of drama - see what happened to Tony Kubek.
And of course Maz- the only walk-off in Game 7.

1962 Game 7 wasn't shabby either. Ralph Terry on the mound, already given up Maz's homer two years before. Yanks leading Giants 1-0 with two outs, man on first for SF. Mays hits one into the corner that should have scored the runner and tied the game but Maris made a great relay throw to hold him at third. Second and third, two out, McCovey up first base open. They elect to pitch to McCovey instead of Cepeda, McCovey hits a game winning line drive - only it is right where Bobby Richardson is standing and the Yanks win 1-0. Terry is redeemed.

Andy Rose said...

Not only was the Harry Caray Final Call video surprisingly touching, it was an impressive production that took a remarkable bit of foresight. With the announcer clips alone, somebody had to go through hours and hours of footage to find things Harry said that could be shoehorned into a World Series call, not to mention a number of different final play scenarios. (I wonder if maybe the groundwork for that was laid last year when the Cubs got into the NLCS.) They had to get permission from the MLB, the Caray estate, and maybe Tribune Broadcasting.
Then they deployed what appeared to be at least five camera crews (each undoubedtly with some PAs in tow to get people to sign releases). And based on the time it was uploaded to YouTube, it looks like the final version had its editing, conform, effects, and color correction all done in only about six hours. Just from a technical standpoint, Anheuser-Busch deserves all the attention they're getting for this.

Anonymous said...

This is Nike's commercial. Will bring tears to your eyes.

I am thrilled that the Cubs won. I can never really hate the Cubs because of how they were in 2002 when Darryl Kile died. The love and compassion and care the team and the city showed to our team and our fans who were there just can't be forgotten. Enjoy it while you will seem like a really short winter!

Pam, St. Louis

MikeN said...

Regarding the bunt on 3-2, John Smoltz explained it during the broadcast. He thought it was a good idea, but the batter couldn't get the bunt down. If Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz is OK with it, it's fine by me. Note he was also against the intentional walks being given out in the 10th inning by the Indians. Rizzo ended up scoring the go ahead run.

At the time, people thought it was ridiculous that the Red Sox got Adrian Gonzalez for Rizzo & co. Now it is ridiculous that the Red Sox gave up Rizzo for Adrian Gonzalez, who they were lucky to unload on the Dodgers within a few years.

Anonymous said...

On the bunt, I am OK by it if Smoltz is. Though I think the Indians saw it coming and gave him a tough pitch to bunt with two strikes.

On the intentional walks, also good with Smoltz's view but we have to take into account, Smoltz is a hyper competitive pitcher and it violates their sensibilities to put people on base if they don't have to. You get the sense they want to go at every hitter.
It was made possible by Almora's great base running. If he doesn't advance to second on the fly out, no intentional walk.

You also could hear Smelt's irritation with Madden's pitching moves. Pulling Arrieta and then Hendricks and putting in Chapman with a five-run lead. You know he didn't think that was too good.

Captain Jack said...

Ken, I agree with you about pitching nowadays but Sandy Koufax is a TERRIBLE example. He had to retire a year later because his arm was shot.

And quit taking shots at Trump. I know it's a requirement to live in the LA area that you have to be a flaming liberal but if at least 45% of the people in this country are voting for him, you have to respect the numbers.

By Ken Levine said...

No, I don't. The man is a sociopath and could potentially destroy the United States of America. How can rational people not see that? How can caring individuals raising families not be horrified? How can even one woman vote for this man? I weep for that 45%. Actually, no, I weep for whatever percentage of that number is not racists, only interested in themselves, or just ignorant.

Jahn Ghalt said...

@ Captain Jack,

Seems like Ken was taking shots at the roughly 50% in recent Ohio polls who told pollsters they will (or already did) vote for Trump.

BTW, re "flaming liberals": what's a good "nickname" for their right-wing counterparts?

Jahn Ghalt said...


When I was 18 I talked my way into a white-collar job and have worked white-collar jobs ever since. Memory is not reliable but I remember a sign in a woman's office/cubicle circa 1983-85 which stated:

Sexual Harassment will not be TOLERATED

This sign was somewhat "popular" - in that I saw it in more than one place in clerical spaces in professional white-collar offices.

I'm going to guess that some of those women, and perhaps some of their daughters, nieces, sisters, friends, have already voted for Trump.

I'm going to guess

Diane D said...

Some people are using as their excuse to vote for Trump, their belief that Hillary is a criminal. Those people should adopt the philosophy the people of Louisiana adopted when David Duke was running for office against a man with a criminal record: A bumper sticker read "VOTE FOR THE CROOK; IT'S IMPORTANT!" (I don't believe Hillary is a criminal, however).

John the Red said...

I guess Cubs fans will remember MY birthday for all time, too! And while I'm not a huge baseball fan (Eddie LeBec and the Boston Bruins are my lifelong sports love, for better or worse), I was very happy for the Cubs and their fanbase that they won. I'm also very happy for lifelong Cubs fan Bob Newhart. He spent 81 of those 108 years waiting for that championship, and spent a good portion of those 81 years being one of the funniest men on the planet. Congratulations, Cubs. And congratulations, Bob Newhart!

And Donald Trump is a narcissistic, megalomaniacal 5-year-old trapped in a grown man's body. Sorry to offend anyone, but as I told a mouthy, ignorant co-worker who's voting for him, "The only people dumber than Trump himself are the ones voting for him." But hey, that's just my opinion. Now, more than ever, I wish George Carlin was still among us. I can only imagine what he'd have to say about Trump with his always spot-on, scathing social commentary.

Unknown said...

The Cubs should give Murray an at-bat in spring training like the Yankees did for Billy Crystal.

mike said...

Yep, entertaining Series to watch.
Yep, absurd over-managing, especially the lefty-righty matchups. Each pitch still has to cross the plate, wherever it's coming from!
Yep, greatest game ever. Just get rid of the damned dh and don't replace umpires with machines. Keep the human element, train them for more time in the minors and send any who don't make the grade back there.

Diane D said...

It's probably too late for this comment, but being chased by 250lb linebacker is certainly much SCARIER than trying to hit a baseball, but how can anyone think it is HARDER? That stuff drives me crazy. It's as if people don't speak the same language (unless I'm wrong and people really do think it's harder to run than to hit a ball flying through the air at 90 mph!)