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I would appreciate your opinion about playoff rosters and whether or not you think there is value in "proven" veterens over younger players with better stats. For example, should the Giants give Barry Zito a start over the youngster with better stats, Madison Bumgarner?
Since you've been to so many stadiums, how about which ones have the best food? Choices, shortest waits, the food itself, etc...I've only been there once, but I thought the food at US Cellular in Chicago was outstanding. PS - A blog post about chocolate beer won't be complete without a mention of Young's Double Chocolate Stout. It's easily the best I've ever had. Moo Thunder from Butternuts isn't as good, but it's a lot of fun and it's in a can.
RFK was significantly easier to get to than the new place, and the seats were cheaper.Also, RFK didn't rip off the taxpayers.
Mmmm.... Young's Double Chocolate Stout... *drools on the internet*
Now that we've seen teams like the Rays and Reds go from not very good in recent years to winning divisions, often out of nowhere, who are the current struglling teams poised to make a similar jump in the next two to three years?
Camden is a plus-10, and your reasoning for dropping it to a plus-9 is suspect.Look, when Brad Pitt started dating Angelina Jolie, did we say "Well, he had to leave Jen Annison to get with her, so this really isn't too much of a big deal."Heck no. We said, "Holy crap, what a babe, way to go Brad, she's the hottest gal in Hollywood, nice work buddy."Jolie is a plus-10 no matter who you're coming from. So is Camden.
Joe, I don't know what Mets fans you are friends with, but me and all of my friends are very nostalgic for Shea. For a crappy park, it had its fair share of great moments - the Miracle Mets, Buckner, the Grand Slam Single, the first post-9/11 sporting event in NY (and Piazza's game-winner to go along with it), Endy's catch, young Seaver, young Doc & Darryl, young Jose and David, and lots and lots of terrible baseball in between that never made us stop believin. I know Shea was a dump, and Citi Field was gorgeous, but I'll always miss Shea and some of the amazin' memories I developed there. At this moment in Mets history, it's hard to imagine there ever being anything at Citi to rival some of the moments I've had at Shea. Hopefully our new GM can change that quickly.
Hey Joe, have you made it to Canada for a game yet? I wish we had a better stadium for you, but the city is nice enough.Any thoughts on a story/ theory by/of Dan Shawnessey that the Yankees tanked this weekend to avoid Texas? It seems beyond insane for a team to throw away home field advantage and be forced to play two series on the road to avoid Cliff Lee.My feeling is that the Sox were hungry to beat them this past weekend and that the Yankees are going to struggle to win games unless their pitching improves.
My impression of the Metrodome is that it was the only stadium that looked exactly the same in real life as it did on TV.
Joe, I know the Braves and Giants don't start until tomorrow night, but here is the question we all want to know: Posey or Heyward?
Maddon might have been better served in pitching Shields in game 1. That way, at least he could avoid "wasting" Price in an outing against Cliff Lee. I don't think I would have done it, but it makes more sense than putting Shields as starter for game 2.
Of teams that split the first two games, did the winner of game 1 or game 2 win more often?
I'm sure that somewhere, Bob Howsam is blaming the Reds' poor start on Volquez's hair.
Joe, You keep calling him Big Game Shields. The nickname is Big Game James, isn't it?
Safeco Field over the Kingdome easily deserves a +10 improvement when you put it in context. The Metrodome may have been more dark and dreadful, but it was in Minneapolis, so it's not like you were missing much by being indoors. The Kingdome, on the other hand, was a sin against nature -- Seattle's the most beautiful major city in the country, and yet for 20 years, they had to play baseball inside a concrete crypt. It was inexcusable.
I have to take issue with the exclusion of Randy Johnson from your list. He was the most dominant pitcher in baseball from 2000-2004, winning 3 Cy Youngs and easily could have gotten another. It seems like your list is only of pitchers that STARTED pitching in the 2000 decade, or just before it. Johnson undoubtedly had his best years in that decade, even though he debuted all the way back in 1988. I'm not saying that Halladay can't be at the top; the comparison between him and Big Unit for the decade is a lot closer than I actually thought (although we should remember that if we are going by "decades", Halladay's 2010 season does not factor into this discussion). But I am saying that Randy Johnson had a much better decade than Tim Hudson or CC Sabathia.
Joe, you and I are about the same age (38 here) and my question is: was that Doc Halladay no-no we just witnessed the best pitching performance of our lifetime?I think it has to be a candidate. Other obvious nominees: Wood's 20k game, Morris in 1991 Game 7, Pedro vs. NYY in 1999. This might have been better than any of them. Your thoughts?
Don't leave out Nolan Ryan's 7th no hitter against the Bluejays, 16 Ks in that one to boot.Jonathan, we can only hope that if Joe was ever in Toronto he didn't have to sit in Exorcism Stadium. Probably rivaled Candlestick!
I'm nostalgic for the Vet myself, mostly because it sat 60,000 and used to draw around 20,000 for weeknight ball games. When I lived in Philly, I used to hop on the subway, buy a GA ticket and stretch out in the upper deck, with a section all to myself. Now I can barely get a !@# seat anymore.Joe, it's not germane to anything that's happened tonight, but I'd really like to see you write a piece on Walt Hriniak. What ever happened to him? He was, at one time, the most influential hitting coach in the game, but his entire philosophy seems to have disappeared. For some reason, I find this fascinating.
Phillies radio guys were talking about the number of broken bats in the Halladay game too. at least 2 (both LH batters).
On Gardenhire: yes, his teams have won 6 of 9 division titles. They've also been embarrassed out of the first round of the playoffs four of those times (and well on their way to a fifth).
Joe,Re: Gardy. I hated the first inning bunt too, but not only on an in-game level. I hated what it said: we, the meek lowly Twins, cannot possibly score many runs against the almighty Yankees, so let's play for 1 and hope they don't score. It speaks to this little-engine-that-could mentality that Gardy thrives on. Only, the Twins aren't a little enging that could anymore. Their payroll is up, their lineup is powerful, they have homefield - they SHOULD be able to beat the Yankees. But Gardy's teams play like it's always David vs. Goliath.Think of it this way. The Twins have lost 10 straight postseason games. They've led in most of them. They always, always, always fail to deliver in the clutch, while the other team doesn't. Look back at some of those games - last night was textbook Gardy Twins. Thing is, the players have changed, the venues have changed, the situations have changed. The results have not. Who has been the one constant? Gardy.There's nothing tangibly wrong with Gardy as a manager, other than some questionable in-game decisions which every manager has. But 10 straight postseason losses - how is that even possible? There something about the mindset he instills, or fails to instill, in this team. It's like they don't honestly believe they can win in the postseason. Some of that has to fall on Gardy.I think he's a great regular season manager who cannot win in the playoffs.
In Joe's Gardy-defense section, how could he omit the most puzzling Twins decision from yesterday -- running a gassed Francisco Liriano out there in the 6th when he was already over 100 pitches?
I always am late to the Gardy discussion on this blog, but as a Delaware Valley native, it think the perfect analogy is that Ron Gardenhire is Andy Reid. Fans who watch them game in, game out, think they're buffoons and could fill a journal with all the strategic grievances. And yet, as Joe says, look at the level of success year after year. You're telling me that these guys are dragging down their teams? You're telling me that, but for Gardy, the Twins are an annual 100 win playoff dynamo, or that, without Reid, the Eagles would have 3 rings in 5 Super Bowl appearances?
Regarding Gardy, at what point does continual 1st round playoff exits become the straw that broke the camel's back? The Twins are on the verge of having a first-round exit complex. If they get such a complex, it soon turns into a curse. And curses are sometimes awful hard to break.