[NESN.com] [The LoHud Yankees blog] [NY Times] [NY Daily News]
[NESN.com] [The LoHud Yankees blog] [NY Times] [NY Daily News]
Tonight is important for the Yankees World Series title hopes. If they want their rotation to match up in the most ideal of ways against the Phillies they need to wrap things up tonight. There are headlines in the New York papers speculating that if Girardi and the Yanks blow this series, he should be out. Are you kidding me? They’re not going to blow the series. Worry about it when it happens. New York is the master of jumping the gun. Where does all this paranoia come from with these spoiled fuckers? Is that what happens when you get used to winning?
Worry not Yankees fans. Tonight’s Andy Pettite/Tony Saunders tilt heavily favors the Yankees. We said New York in 6 all along, and New York in 6 it will be. The Yankees will be popping bottles around midnight tonight. And not that we’re rooting against the upstart Angels. It’s been a hell of a run and a hell of a story. The way they stream-rolled the Boston Red Sox was inspiring. They’ve played tough baseball against the Yankees and the ball has fallen New York’s way. You can’t take anything away from Anaheim. The Yankees are just better, and deeper. This team has known for months that it has to get to the World Series. Anaheim is overmatched. For them to even steal two games in this series is a testament to their heart and their manager.
But tomorrow, they’ll be talkin about an I-95 World Series that begins Wednesday night.
So if you were watching the game last night in the bottom of the 6th inning, you had to have seen the Angels fan that took a dive into the waterfalls beyond the outfield walls. When we saw it, immediately we busted out in laughter. Our friend who we watched the game with couldn’t get enough. Here’s this guy, drunken and in jeans and Jimmy Connors tennis shoes, living the American Dream in front of an entire nation. And his team was winning.
It lasted maybe only 10 to 15 seconds. But it was great comic relief and liberating just to watch. You have to love how he ended his triumphant run raising his arms to the sky (pictured above) like he’d done some great feat.
Thank God for beer sold at baseball games. It never fails to bring out these characters.
So we mentioned that our best friend was getting married this past Saturday night. Just wanted to say that we thought it was fitting that the Yankees won game 2 of the ALCS, with A-Rod tying the game up in the 11th inning on a homer that was eerily similar to the Jeffrey Maier homerun so many years ago.
I’ll always remember that I watched this legendary game unfold out in Connecticut in Yankee country on the night that the biggest Yankee fan I know got married. It was pretty neat. Shit, I was even clapping when the Angels made that errant throw in the 13th.
It was just a thought; but what a feeling it must be to have your team playing in the LCS series and to marry the girl you’ve always wanted to marry on the same night! To think we live such a life in such a place. It was just one of those legendary fall nights that felt like back in the 90’s and early 2000’s growing up that the Yankees had a memorable win at home in the Bronx.
This is a very good team who wasn’t ready to simply cash in their chips and head home. You knew they’d steal at least a few games in this series; at least we did. When Jeff Mathis launched that rocket double off the left center field wall to score the winning run, we weren’t the least bit surprised.
After all the games, and all the slugging it out (literally); we’ve arrived at two teams left in the American League. These are very different ballclubs. The Boston Red Sox are a bit like the mid-90’s Yankees. You can beat on them, pound on them, but that the end of the day they’re always there. This is their 4th ALCS appearance in 6 years. They’re like a bad infection that not even expensive medical knowledge can get rid of.
Do you realize that only one team in Major League Baseball had longer odds than the Tampa Bay Rays to win the World Series: the Washington Nationals. To put things in perspective, if that doesn’t do it for you; the Rays had the same odds of winning the World Series as the Baltimore Orioles. If you were one of the crazy bastards out in Vegas in march and you bet the Rays to win the World Series, you’ve never been closer to cashing in a ticket worth 1:100 odds.
Really that is what this is all about. It’s David vs. Goliath. It’s good vs. evil. It’s the mightiest of fan bases in the sport vs. some innocent and somber fans in the midst of a retirement community. It’s guys who have been there over and over on the grandest stage; and delivered against a bunch of kids who have raw talent and play hard. Maybe this is what those 1994 Expos would have done if there had been no strike.
The Rays are definitely up against it. They’re going to need a ton of things to go right to win this series. In a best of 7 series, you’re truly going to have the better team come out on top. You can stand to have a bad game or even two, but over the course of 7 games; the cream will rise to the top.
These two teams also hate eachother, which should make for some interesting must-see TV. It was back on june 5th when Coco Crisp decided to charge the mound, resulting in a donnybrook at Fenway Park. That’s exactly what you wanna see at this level of the playoffs. Two teams that don’t like eachother slugging it out for a chance at immortality. People will want to come out and say that this Devil Rays team will be remembered forever; if they’re going to be remembered outside of Tampa Bay, they need to win this series. They reach immortal status if they can get to the series we believe.
That said, lets get on with it.
-Player that will have the biggest series impact: Scott Kazmir
There you go. This guy has been the franchise since there was one basically. He’ll get the ball at least two times and maybe 3 in this series. You remember how Josh Beckett threw the last few seasons in these ALCS games? Don’t be surprised if Kazmir mimics him. Only now Beckett is about 80%.
If the Rays are going to win this series, Scott Kazmir has to come up with big, gutty performances. We’re suggesting he’ll do that. It’s going to happen.
Prediction: Tampa Bay in 7 games.
It was over really before it got started, as it was in game 5. Excitement was quickly replaced with urgency. Finally the reality of the situation had just set in. The Cleveland Indians have one game to save their entire season of work, and it’s a game 7 against the Red Sox at Fenway with their 100 million dollar guy on the mound.
When we were watching the ballgame, we had just finished saying that JD Drew was a career disappointment. That with just one big homerun that would result in a grand slam, he could redeem an entire season of killing rallies and not coming through in the clutch.
Then it happened.
Just like that, the Cleveland Indians are one game away from letting this series and season slip away from them. Go help them this evening.
As you all know, tonight is game 6 of the American League Championship Series. Editor George and I have met up for a Diamond Hoggers meeting of the Chairmen of the Board. It’s going to be an important night of Cigars, Dewars, Dip, and end up at the Winking Lizard bar. The game of the century for the Indians is on tap, and the fate rests in the hands of Fausto Carmona.
If the Indians make the series tonight against Curt Schilling in Boston, I’ll go completely nuts and celebrate late into the morning hours….I really will.
Pictures to come from tonight. GO INDIANS!
One couldn’t figure that this series would really only go 5 games could they? Well I did. I thought last night that destiny was going to overpower anything that the Red Sox could throw at the Indians and their fired up crowd at Jacobs Field. In the end, Josh Beckett was too much. Beckett fanned a postseason career high 11 Indians last night and allowed only 1 run over 8 innings, and none after the first frame to improve to 5-0 all time in the postseason season with an ERA just over 1.00.
I can’t write it up and make it poetic. I can’t paint a picture on this that makes it majestic. The Indians lost an opportunity to have one of the greatest victories in the history of the franchise. Their ace was on the hill and they had a chance to beat the game’s finest postseason/big game pitcher and they failed. If they are meant in destiny by the baseball Gods to win the pennant, they’ll have to do it as they’ve done their previous 5, celebrating on the oppositions field on the road.
The good news is they can make it the finest saturday night of the entire season tomorrow night. It will be a joyous and celebratory event at my house. Fausto Carmona can become a legend at age 23. The Indians are going to write a new chapter in their history book, but the mystery is what will it say?
The Cleveland Indians tonight have a chance to rewrite all that is good in baseball. This is what teams play games, seasons, careers for. This is the reason they lace it up, the one’s that love the game anyways. This is what ties a million dollar world-class athlete to his boyhood dreams after all the lights have gone out each night in the big city that he plays. The dream of playing in the World Series. Some are playing for their jobs and as Jake Taylor says in Major League, “some of you won’t be back next year.”
This is some players’ only chance to make it to the World Series. It could be all of this team’s only chance. Fates and careers will be decided tonight. There is no grander stage. There is no better drama in movie theatres. This is when the dreams are while you are awake. The Cleveland Indians up I-71 are playing for a chance to go to the World Series tonight. By tomorrow morning we might very well be talking about the American League Champion Cleveland Indians. We might be hearing about the party that went late into the night and into the wee morning hours as the rest of us go to work.
This is our team, our Indians. This is the blue collar team who wins ugly and represents it’s city well. These guys are tight knit, and they play hard every night. They’ve gotten this far. One last step remains to make this season a memorable one and to win their 3rd pennant in 12 years.
Legends have been carved on this stage. You think back through the years to the images of other teams celebrating on this stage and wondering what it will be like to wake up one morning and have your team playing for it all. This is the Indians chance to carve that history and be that team. There is no turning back now.
Hold on baseball fans. 27 outs from now, the Cleveland Indians just might be in the World Series.
They were talking on ESPN radio this morning about how the Red Sox are a team full of stars and how outside of maybe Victor Martinez, the Cleveland Indians lack that superstar guy like the Red Sox have several of. I couldn’t disagree more. The Red Sox may have established superstars who get attention from the national media cock-gobblers, but the Indians are not without their stars. A win over the Red Sox will only take a step to further establish these guys like the teams of the 90’s were. To these guys like Colin Cowherd who make such statements about my Indians, I ask: is Fausto Carmona, C.C. Sabathia, and Travis Hafner chop liver? Most of all, he’s really forgetting about one guy.Grady Sizemore is a legitimate superstar. He’s been an All-Star two seasons in a row now, and he’s gotten some huge hits here in the postseason. Other than game 2 in the ALCS, Sizemore has been hitless in this series, including the last two games in Cleveland. To get past Josh Beckett and the Red Sox in game 5, and advance to their first World Series in 10 years, the Indians need a big game from their face player.
If Sizemore can hit another homerun to lead off the game as he did in game 4 in the Bronx in the ALDS, or get a big hit early in the game off Beckett, he can rattle the Red Sox and get some huge momentum going for the Indians. This is pretty much common sense, but I’m circling Sizemore as my player to watch in this game. He’s more than due and is seeming to set a trend that when the spotlight shines bright, he steps up. He has a flair for the dramatics and a big game maturity beyond his 25 years of age.
I’ve waited since Sizemore burst on the scene to see what he’d do in the postseason. Now that he’s got his shot to showcase these skills on baseball’s grandest of stages, I am becoming increasingly greedy. I want to see Grady get World Series experience. It is the final step for him becoming one of the league’s premiere players. If he can ‘have a day’ tomorrow night, the Indians are going to the World Series and John Mellencamp will be blaring on the Jacobs Field loud speakers after 27 outs.