Cliff Lee & Brad Lidge know Comebacks

Baseball has named it’s AL & NL Comeback Players of the Year, and each of them are pitchers. Cliff Lee of the Cleveland Indians and Brad Lidge of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Lee went 22-3 with an American League-leading 2.54 ERA. The previous season, he was 5-8 with a 6.29 ERA and was demoted to the minor leagues.

Lidge was a perfect 41-for-41 in save opportunities as the Phillies’ closer. In 2007, he converted just 19 of 27 for the Houston Astros.

The question should be asked, which one of these two had the more surprising season? Lidge leaves Houston after saving only 19 out of 27 games last season (they said his arm was dead) to have one of the better seasons a closer has had in the history of this game.

Cliff Lee comes out as the 3 starter on the Cleveland Indians and wins up winning 22 games on a team that was bad for a lot of the season. Lee had shown flashes before, winning 18 games in 2005; but had never had an ERA under 3.79 in a season he had made more than 30 starts.

I have to say that both of these guys are probably having their last big time seasons. We wouldn’t wager on either of them ever repeating these numbers, but for the fans in Philly and Cleveland; they were definite pleasant surprises.

Game 163 Will Push You to the Limits

Tonight’s game at US Cellular Field in Chicago is the most meaningful of this baseball season. It’s the only situation in baseball where the finality is similar to that of the NFL Playoffs or NCAA Tournament. You either win, or you go home.

John Danks opposes Nick Blackburn, and Ozzie Guillen is calling out both pitchers; reminding us that he is indeed, Ozzie Guillen.

We’re excited. Postseason baseball is full of drama. We also wouldn’t mind seeing the Chicago White Sox being sent home early. In our opinion the two biggest dicks in baseball (save Jayson Werth) reside near the grounds they used to call Comiskey.

On the other hand you have the Minnesota Twins, a likable group led by angry troll Ron Gardenhire. We don’t think the Twins are a very good team, but its another case of a smaller market team that will get some nice exposure if they manage to slip into baseball’s final field of 8 teams.

One thing is for sure about 1-game playoffs in MLB, there is always excitement. We have no clue who’s going to come out of tonight’s game as a winner, but we can tell you that it should make for some great drama and two teams playing like they know their life is on the line.

We still think Guillen is a huge dick.

OT: Pimping Some Good Shit

Ok listen. So the offseason isn’t here yet, and we’ll get to the baseball posts in a minute. I’ve got to take a few minutes to pay homage to a couple of life’s finer things, albeit simple.

If you read blogs, there is a good chance you work. There’s a good chance you’re sitting at your desk right now, fucking off on this website and others while you tell your boss you’re waiting to be sent the expense reports from October, November, December of 2007. If you work and you wake up as early as I do, there’s a good chance that you drink coffee. If you do, you’ve found the right post.

Listen to me very carefully. Get in your car. Go to McDonalds. Get the regular iced coffee. I want you to do it. It’s the best shit I’ve ever had and I swore years ago I’d never go to McDonalds again. Not even to pinch off a loaf or steal napkins. Nothing.

Well I’ve re-considered. Now I’ll never go back to Starbucks (fuck you and your $4.30, free trade, hyped up, overpowering shit. I could give a shit about the free trade though) again thanks to this discovery McDonalds has made. And to be honest they’re not stupid. They see where the world is going. How many shitheads like me are going to get the coffee and say “Alright fuck it please give me a quarter-pounder with cheese also, but only one; you unhealthy shitbags aren’t hooking me in again! One won’t make me fat”. It won’t make you fat till you start drinking their coffee. Habitually. And if you drink it once you will be addicted. Count on it. It’s the best.

The next thing I’d like to draw your attention to is We’ve all been subjected to the takeover of Perez Hilton’s celebrity blog. Well I want you to think of The Higher Plane as the Perez Hilton of Rap and Hip Hop. And now I will fend off an asskicking by the owners of that site for comparing them to Perez Hilton, but I hope they’ll let me explain.

Their site will not only keep you up to date on the world of Hip-Hop, but it will expand your mind and allow you to realize what Hip Hop is all about, what the songs are talking about, what the next big thing is going to be in the Rap community, and overall just speaking the truth about life; hell even sports.

They say this about themselves:

The Higher Plane is a thought collective finding inspiration in music and life, while promoting thought in a genuine and positive fashion.

I’ve never been a huge rap guy; unless of course you wanna talk about Tupac and how I believe he still lives. This site however, is just a great read everyday and speaks the truth about life and it’s many infinite subjects. Higher Plane, for a non-baseball site; you rock.

Another Season of Reds Baseball is in the Books

Turn the lights out till the birds fly back from the south. The sun has set on another season of Cincinnati Reds Baseball. In the end, the 2008 Reds won’t be remembered with the giants of baseball’s most legendary teams. There were some special moments however. We enter next season as excited for baseball as we’ve ever been this time of the calendar year.

I mean we had our pinnacle early on; getting to see the face of the franchise in his big league debut. We also had a tearful goodbye representing our lowpoint. This was a season of expectations and it resulted in a season of change. We do not know what the future holds. But we’ll be back next year documenting every step that this franchise takes. We know we will. No matter how many times we swear we’re finished with them.

Baseball is our favorite thing in the world. The Cincinnati Reds are a huge reason for that. In the big book of baseball that exists in our mind, the 2008 Reds will definitely not just be remembered as a 5th place team that went 74-88. A lot happened this summer in the Queen city.
Still, like an old girlfriend who you only remember the good about, we cannot wait until April 6th to be in the stands in Cincy, with dreams of another postseason appearance. That is what makes this sport great. And to the 2008 Reds: you were not always good but you made up for it in being interesting. So long.

If There's a God, Pedroia Doesn't Win AL MVP

Please don’t let it happen, baseball writers of America. Find it in yourself to select anyone other than this little fucker to win the MVP.

Look, Massholes. He’s got numbers plenty impressive. Pedroia as of today is hitting .325 with 17 HR and 83 RBI. He’s collected 211 nails against the chalkboard hits. He’s stolen 20 bases and been caught stealing just once.

But don’t let him be the MVP. Don’t do this to us. If only Carlos Quentin hadn’t hurt his damn hand.

We won’t beat around the bush. We haven’t liked Pedroia since the ALCS last season when against the Indians he got mouthy after a high and tight pitch. He rubbed us the wrong way. He seemed, like the kind of guy who would not let you in his frat house for a big unless you were on the list; the truth being he is just a huge cockblock who wanted all the girls for himself.

Pedroia does NOTHING for us. He’s small. He’s arrogant. He doesn’t hit the long ball really. He’s a doubles hitter (54 of them) which equates to us that he’s just strong enough to hit the ball in the gap and fast enough to leg it outplaying the game the way it should be played. We’re not saying he’s a bad player. We’re just saying if this guy goes down in history as the Senior Circuit’s finest player for the year 2008 we’ll hang ourself.

Oh who the fuck are we trying to kid? The little son of a bitch is a fine player, he just further extends our hate for the Red Sox. Of course he’s a Red Sox player. Players like Pedroia end up being punch and judy’s for life in any other major league city. Insignificant, just like we like guys who look like Pedroia to end up being.

But not here. He’s blossomed into a mega-star. The chowder heads think he’s a God. Which makes our blood boil. Of course he’s only 24. Meaning we get to put up with another 15 years of this fuck-weasel. What happened to the days of the 50 home run MVP? The big fucking ox who slams balls out of Yosemite and is an intimidating force? A guy who gets used to grinding his battle stick in the batters box and making pitchers piss down their leg with the mere site of them.

But Pedroia? This guy couldn’t be trusted to keep your fucking adolescent sister locked in her room if she was grounded. He’s a pussy. And he thinks he isn’t.

Obviously his craft has developed. Obviously we’re just being haters. We don’t like the guy. We don’t have one, singular reason. But we don’t like him. At. All.

He’s a piece of garbage. And he plays for a team who we’ve grown to hate. Massholes hear me out. Pedroia is a little asshat and he’s going to crumble in the playoffs (hit only .154 in the ALDS last season vs. Anaheim no matter that he hit .345 in the ALCS). We want him to get shit on soooo bad. It just hasn’t happened yet.

We’re screwed aren’t we? Why do bad things happen to good people? This guy is gonna be the fuckin MVP. I’ve seen it all.

Just don’t drop that trophy that towers over you on the way home Dustin. You might need a tow dolly to get it home, you little shit.

2008's Final Regular Season Weekend

We have to say, although we love the fall and the NFL is a great distractor, it doesn’t wet our appetite like baseball season. We’re feeling a bit melancholy that baseball season has wound down to this, the final saturday of the regular season.

Last night the Cleveland Indians got a little bit of revenge for 2004 winning 11-8. Remember that last weekend, in Cleveland; Indians lose the series to the White Sox and miss the playoffs? Ozzie Guillen taunts the Cleveland fans with the choking sign? Does it ring a bell? Hey Ozzie, what goes around comes around. You can shove your little pins you put on your hat in your dickhole all offseason, cause in 2 days you’ll be starting it.

Then we’ve got the exciting races in the national league. The NL East and NL Wildcard are coming right down to it. We’ve got one horse left in this race, the Brewers. They’ve gotten huge home runs from Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder in the past week to keep them alive. Manny Ramirez and Joe Torre willed the Dodgers to the playoffs, making Adam Dunn and the former best team in baseball irrelevant.

In case you don’t know the scenarios entering today:

National League East
The Phillies (90-70) currently own a two game lead with two games to play in the East over the Mets (88-72). If the Mets lose or the Phillies win on either Saturday or Sunday, the Phillies are National League East champions for the second year in a row. Beyond that there are scenarios if ties occur in the standings: (1) If the Mets and Phillies end the season tied but ahead of the Brewers, the Mets would be awarded the National League East title. (2) If the Brewers and Mets win both of their remaining games and the Phillies lose their remaining two games, the Mets and Phillies play at Citizens Bank Park on Monday. (3) If all three teams finish tied in the standings, the Phillies and Mets would meet on Monday for the National League East title and the loser would host the Brewers on Tuesday to decide the National League Wild Card.

National League Wild Card
The Brewers (89-71) currently have a one game lead for the Wild Card in the National League. Their magic number is currently two over the Mets. If the Brewers finish tied for the Wild Card with the Mets, they will play on Monday at Shea Stadium. If all three teams – the Phillies, Mets and Brewers — finish with identical records, the Phillies and Mets would play for the National League East title on Monday and the loser would host the Brewers on Tuesday for the Wild Card.

Congratulations to the American League East Champions: The Tampa Bay Rays. I didn’t think they could do it. They are what every mid-market club should aspire to be. They give us hope for our Reds. Congratulations Rays. We are truly happy for you and hope that you play the Cubs Brewers in the World Series, a World Series that would be good for the sport.

Well, We Failed to Make Waves in Houston

Roy Oswalt got us again. His mastery of the Reds continues as the Astros win tonight 8-6, thus ending any meaningless play the Reds will take part in for the year 2008.

Jerry Hairston and Corey Patterson homered. Jay Bruce ripped a couple more hits, stole a base and threw out Miggy Tejada from deep right field.

So the Astros live to fight another day, worrying about the muddled possibility of tie-breakers and playoff berths. It won’t happen. And damn you Houston, we’ll get you next season.

We're Gonna Git You Sucka

Soon the season will be over. Like when the players disappear into the corn (always hated that part) in Field of Dreams. We’re under a week now and we won’t get to see the Reds until the spring. That doesn’t seem right. Obviously we ran out of meaningless games a while ago, but you know what? We’ve got one more meaningful game to play.

Tonight the Cincinnati Reds take on the Houston Astros in Houston, where it’s a must-win situation for the Astros. Somehow, they’re still alive in this playoff race (better chance of us growing ears out of our ass). And wouldn’t you know what little thorn-in-the-side sunnamabitch is on the bump tonight for the Stros? You betcha he is.

Knock the Astros out of the playoffs? Beat Roy Oswalt? In front of their fans? Oh this is too rich.

The Cincinnati Reds don’t get to play playoff baseball this year, but tonight is our playoffs. These young rapscalions are going to go out and end the season of our most hated team, the Houston Astros.

Final Day at Yankee Stadium

What does Yankee Stadium mean to you? Today is the final game to ever be played at the old Grandfather Clock of baseball history. More history has went down there at the House that Ruth Built than any other stadium in the game. It has been a quiet reminder that baseball tied us to another era of history and civlization. Before big business and corporate dollars took over, there was Yankee Stadium. To everyone that has ever been there, they have their own memory of the game’s version of the cathedral. It could have went on forever. Though ran down and rusty, Yankee Stadium is a historical landmark that far out-lived its lifespan.

For me, my first day at Yankee Stadium was when I was 20 years old. I visited my friend George in Connecticut and we went to see Roger Clemens pitch against the Kansas City Royals. Derek Jeter got the big hit, Clemens was Clemens, the Yankees won handily and we wandered around the Bronx neighborhood behind the stadium afterwards. I’ve been there twice since, but no time could compare to my first time hanging out in the Concrete Jungle that Ruth built.

To me, its the most historical stadium in American sports history. More than the Boston Garden, more than MSG, more than Fenway Park. The ghosts in the outfield came into play so many times in the postseason, counting as an extra teammate for the pinstriped crew. The ghosts that played there are immortal, they continue on forever. As Yogi Berra once said, “Its gets late awfully early out here,” and indeed it will at New Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. The legend and mystique of the Yankees will never die, like it or not; because of this Stadium and the history that has went down surrounding that very home plate.

Goodbye Yankee Stadium. Whether you’re a Yankees fan or not, if you’re a baseball fan you shed an inner tear today.

-Remembering Yankee Stadium [Baseball Musings]