Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Monday, October 30, 2006

Yawn

So, 38 years ago an outstanding defensive centerfielder playing for the St. Louis Cardinals turns the wrong way on a fly, slips, falls, and the Detroit Tigers go on to a victory in the 1968 World Series. This year, an outstanding defensive centerfielder playing for the Detroit Tigers turns the wrong way on a fly, slips, falls, and the St. Louis Cardinals go on to a victory in the World Series.

I don't mean any slight to either the Cardinals or the Tigers, but that had to have been one of the most boring World Series ever. Only one of the five games was ever really in doubt, and the Tigers played so badly in that game that they really didn't deserve to win it. The series was so dull and poorly played that even I was wishing it would end quickly.

There are just a few points I want to make:

Here is a great reason why we don't make predictions here at this site, and why we don't take predictions from pundits all that seriously.

I'm not sure how anyone could watch the entire series and chose David Eckstein as the MVP over Scott Rolen, but I guess picking the little guy made for better stories. I wonder if Dallas Green still thinks Rolen is a loser?

As recently as 2002, Jeff Weaver was considered to be one of the best pitchers in the game. In 2004 and 2005 he pitched decent, although certainly not outstanding, ball for the Dodgers. But he stunk as a Yankee, and that's all the media remembers. Based on his career, should we really be surprised that he pitched a month of above average baseball?

General Managers, please, please take notice. Relief pitchers in the series for the Cardinals allowed one run in nine innings of work, giving up just four hits and striking out nine. These six relievers worked 39 2/3 innings during the postseason and struck out 42 while allowing only seven earned runs. That's a 1.59 ERA, for the mathematically challenged. The six:

Adam Wainwright, 2006 salary, $327,000
Randy Flores, $350,000
Tyler Johnson, $327,000
Brad Thompson, $334,000
Jeff Kinney, $327,000
Braden Looper, $3,500,000 (wow, one of these things is not like the other)

Did not participate: Jason Isringhausen, $8,750,000

Moral: There is plenty of good relief help available without spending star money on 60 innings a year middle relievers.

Chris Duncan goes on the short list with Lonnie Smith, Howard Johnson, and Greg Luzinski as the worst outfielders I've ever seen in my life. I don't really blame him; he was a first baseman doing OJT during the World Series. As bad as he was, I credit Tony LaRussa for taking the risk to get Duncan's bat into the lineup.

A lot was made of Placido Polanco's hitless streak during the series, but did anyone notice that his opposite number at second base, Ronnie Belliard, went oh-for-twelve himself? Belliard, who apparently subscribes to the Jabba the Hutt diet, also displayed the range of a sloth with a hangover and was probably the worst player on the field for either side during the series.

Did anyone notice that Buck and McCarver stopped talking about the veteran leadership of Pudge Rodriguez when they noticed that he hit .158 for the series?

If there is anything that this postseason should make clear, it's that the baseball season is very, very long, and that even good teams can be very streaky. The Tigers were good for four months, not so good for two, great for two weeks, and terrible for the last week. The Cardinals were very similar, but they had one more week of strong play than the Tigers did.

2 Comments:

  • Plain and simple. Izzy needs to leave. Wainwright is our hero!

    We don't need any more heart attacks next year due to Izzy "closing" out games

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:57 PM  

  • $3 mil is star money? Maybe in the '80s...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:56 PM  

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