The Week That Was in Baseball: October 4-10, 2010
Doctober in Philly • The 2010 Season: It's Not 1968 All Over Again
Another Early Frost in Minnesota • Will the Umps Ever Get it Right?
Become a fan of This Great Game on Facebook. We’re embracing this opportunity to invite TGG followers and those of baseball in general to share their insights, queries and good knowledge with TGG’s powers-that-be, Eric Gouldsberry and Ed Attanasio.
Our goal with this page is to bring value to all who wish to become our fans, even correspondents to our continued mission of providing an enriched and unique perspective to our comprehensive catalog of baseball history, past, present and future.
Want to sound off on current events? Have good trivia you want to share? Roaming about the country on a ballpark tour? Need advice on that baseball book you’re trying to sell? Got something of interest we could share within the main site, such as our Weekly Comebacker? Have any praise or criticisms of TGG? We want to hear from you. It’s your soapbox, too.
|Baseball's Ten Most Memroable Home Runs
Our list of ten long balls that are the most deserving for their fame, importance and pure spectacle. Check it out now!
After Further Review: Making the Right Call on Replay
A Postseason Baptism to Remember
In San Francisco, Tim Lincecum completely flustered the Atlanta Braves in Game One of the NLDS, firing a two-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts; what was amazing was the number of times Atlanta hitters swung and missed at Lincecum’s pitches. It was utter dominance for a pitcher who just a month ago was coming out of the worst funk of his short career.But the bigger headlines were deservedly afforded to the masterpiece delivered by Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay, who made his playoff debut a historic one with baseball’s first postseason no-hitter since Don Larsen’s perfect game in 1956. It was the season’s second no-no for Halladay, who pitched a perfect game against Florida on May 29; his only blemish on the day was a fifth-inning walk to Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce. The final out didn’t come easy for Halladay; catcher Carlos Ruiz had to rush out in front of home plate and ignore the discarded bat of Brandon Phillips to pick up the ball and fire to first, barely retiring the speedy Cincinnati second baseman.
None and Done
But back to the Twins, whose bitter loss was especially tough to take, given their self-promotion to the big time with a new ballpark and $100 million payroll. They have now lost 12 straight postseason games, an all-time record; what stings more, they’ve led at some point in eight of those losses. And in this particular playoff series, a severe lack of clutch hitting killed the Twins; they were 0-for-14 with runners in scoring position until late in Game Three, when Denard Span finally brought home a run after the Yankees had built up a 6-0 lead.
Close, But Still No Sellout Cigar
A Splendid Splinter of an Idea
At season’s end, reports ran rampant that manager Jerry Manuel and general manager Omar Minaya would be served with their walking papersbut beyond that, the Mets have bigger problems, with some clubhouse dissension, definite tension between players and management, fighting between players and relatives (Francisco Rodriguez), an owner likely still reeling from the loss of mega-millions from Bernie Madoff and, as referenced earlier, a new ballpark in a major metropolis that’s far from filled on a daily basis.
Remember that crying kid splashed across the daily New York tabloids after watching the Mets give away a postseason spot on the season’s final day in 2007? He’s probably a Yankee fan now.
Think About It, Kids
Does Z Have AAA?
Now Playing at TGG
The Comebacker’s Greatest Hits
An Overstated Pitch
Most of the facts referenced above refer to the true Year of the Pitcher, which took place in 1968.What 2010 should accurately be remembered as is the “Year of the Return of the Pitcher.” The .257 batting average recorded in the majors this year was the lowest since 1992; and just in comparison to last year, scoring dropped 5%, home runs dipped by 8% and the number of shutouts jumped a whopping 22% to 350. The intensive policing of steroids and amphetamines have surely helped, and after nearly two decades in which a manipulative brand of offensive baseball prevailed, it’s good to see true balance returning between the plate and the mound. So while it’s been a very good year for the pitcher, it's nowhere close to 1968.
If It's October, It Must Be Blown Calls
Sorry, Bud, but it’s déjà vu all over again.
From a “trapped” catch by Yankee outfielder Greg Golson, to a questionable safe call on Buster Posey’s pivotal stolen base, to a critical non-strike call in Minnesota, to hit batsmen not being called (Carlos Pena) and hit batsmen being calledhow exactly does Chase Utley emerge painless after being hit by an Aroldis Chapman 100+ MPH pitch?the arbiters in blue again found themselves front and center in the media over a big batch of bad and questionable calls as the playoffs rolled into gear this past week.
The missed calls weren’t as obvious as what we saw during last year’s embarrassing display by the umps, and it does underscores the fact that every such bad call is heightened and magnified by the media as every pitch, every play counts in October. Still, this is all bound to bring renewed pressure upon the commissioner’s office to expand instant replay. Here again is our solution to the problem.In perhaps a related story, the players’ union has asked for and will meet with umpires after the season to discuss what is said to be “deteriorating” conditions between the two parties on the field. The meeting, set to take place on December 3, will be overseen by MLB.
TBS. Very Unfunny.
Scrupulous to a Fault
The Patriots Are Coming! The Patriots Are Coming!
Buy a Piece of Infamy