Friday, October 12, 2007

ALCS Game 1 Random Thoughts - McCarver!

No small talk - straight to the bullet points, and any time I've made it bold, that's where McCarver put very strong emphasis:
  • It was nice to see Tim McCarver colored his hair to match Joe Buck's. It's always good when they're on the same page for the first playoff game of the year.
  • I think Joe Buck and Ryan Seacrest have a lot in common - both are everywhere you don't want them to be and both are smug douchebags.
  • McCarver starts us off with a good McCarverism, saying "good catchers encourage the pitcher to shake them off," then doesn't really explain why. I've got nothing.
  • McCarver after Pedroia's line drive right back at Sabathia: "Pedroia hit it back at CC Sabathia harder than CC pitched it to him!" I didn't understand what was so amazing about this.
  • McCarver, explaining Youkilis' batting stance: "... Youkilis fingers the barrel of the bat!" Tim is very excited about this.
  • One of the first promos shows.... FRANK CALIENDO! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is Fox! Has he taken over the world?
  • Ortiz has a base hit to right and Sizemore is picking up the ball as Youkilis is rounding second. Youk wisely decides to stay at second because even Johnny Damon would have thrown him out (okay, maybe not) and Manny is due up with just 1 out. McCarver: "Any other centerfielder in the AL and Youkilis goes to third base." Ummm... no. Sizemore has an average arm. Check the scouting report. Any smart baserunner stays at second there. Stop trying to analyze things that don't need analysis.
  • Of course, next batter Manny Ramirez has a base hit and they show Sizemore one-hopping his cutoff man from shallow center.
  • Manny makes a great catch in the second and Joe Buck makes the obligatory "Manny being Manny" reference. I have no idea why he chooses this time to make that reference. It makes no sense.
  • When will Dane Cook go away? Good Lord!
  • Cook very excitedly claims that no one outside of Arizona picked the DBacks to go this deep into the playoffs. Do some research, Dane. Rob Neyer picked them to lose to Cleveland in the World Series and 6 out of 10 Baseball Prospectus analysts picked them to go to the postseason. And why does Dane Cook have to be so over-the-top excited?
  • For some reason I have this sudden temptation to rent Transformers. I'm not sure why.
  • There's only ONE.... OCTOBER!!!
  • Manny goes down 0-2, then takes 4 straight balls for a bases loaded walk. I kept waiting for McCarver to throw out the obligatory "Nowhere to put him," but he refrained. Color me impressed.
  • Mike Lowell bloops a hit to right field. Always the overanalyzer, McCarver spews, "Mike Lowell used to be a pull hitter, but since coming to Fenway, he has taught himself how to hit to right field." Has he, Tim? If you populate that spray chart each year (and choose Pro Player Stadium for each year prior to 2006), you'll see that he used to spread the ball out a lot more than he did in 2007. He was more of a pull hitter in 2007 than he ever has been. Do your effing research.
  • McCarver sagely points out that CC has had "unusual bouts of wildness" in 2007's playoffs. Well, the stats don't bear that out. Firstly, the Sox and Yankees are the most patient bunch of hitters in MLB. So you'd expect a tougher time against them. And what about CC's history against these clubs? Strangely, Sabathia had not faced the Yankees in the past 4 seasons! When he faced them in 2003, he was wild: 1.38 WHIP and 5.54 ERA. From 2004-2006 his ERA against the Sox was over 5. A little wildness against these teams is to be expected. Do. Your. Research.
  • McCarver boldly states that Francona is the manager of the year. Sorry, wrong again (see the bottom of that post).
  • Ken Rosenthal jumps in here and says Eric Wedge should be manager of the year, with Francona second, because the Cleveland payroll is so low. How is that in his control? Shouldn't the argument be that Cleveland's GM is exec of the year? To me, the top manager is the manager who most helps his team outperform projections. Strangely, ESPN had the Sox with just 86 wins in the preseason, meaning I might be wrong about Francona. But everyone else had them with nearly 100. But in most projections, the Angels were projected to be the AL West champs. So out goes Mike Scioscia (how the hell do you spell that?).
  • Do managers ever say anything interesting during these stupid interviews?
  • Speaking of which, Joe Buck says to Eric Wedge, "I know it's cliche, but I'm going to guess that your team won't lay down and play dead now that you're down 4-1." Wedge would have instantly gained my MOY vote if he had said, "Well actually, yes. We're kind of hungry and want to go to Applebee's. I think we should just pack it in and save our energy for tomorrow night. Beckett's just too good. We'll see you guys tomorrow night." And then laughed. That would have been funny.
  • McCarver is fascinated by the fact that Eric Wedge owns a batting cage in Boston, even though Wedge played in Boston's system for a total of 6 seasons. McCarver: "That batting cage is called.... Strike 1!" He was very excited about this.
  • Joe Buck says Kenny Lofton has had an amazing career. No. Sorry. Kenny Lofton has had a very good career. Manny Ramirez has had an amazing career. Big difference.
  • They cut to The Face of Red Sox Nation, Stephen King, and he's READING A BOOK?! Sacrilege.
  • David Ortiz goes down 0-2 and then draws a walk. 2 "gutsy" at-bats now from Manny and Ortiz.
  • Fox cuts to a shot of Sox owner John Henry and half of someone else's face. That someone else appeared to be Bob Kraft, owner of the Patriots. But Fox apparently didn't find that important or interesting enough to show us. We get 1/2 of Kraft. They probably didn't know.
  • So much for the Bobby Kielty haters. Big 2 run base hit.
  • Kielty ends up on 2nd on the rundown play... and is promptly shown yawning standing on second. Get him some amphetamines!
  • I stopped watching in the 6th so I could watch last night's CSI. Sue me. This game just felt out of reach for Cleveland like game 1 of the ALDS felt at 4-0. Beckett is in command right now and he's pissed that everyone's picking CC for Cy Young. I'm sure there will be plenty of arguments after this series about when the voting should take place.
  • Back tomorrow with more!


Jason Mittell said...

Too bad you tuned out early, because you missed a full inning of Buck & McCarver debating the merits of bringing back both Beckett and Sabathia on 3-days rest for games 4 & 7. Actually, there were no merits debated, but rather a longing urge for the good-old days when pitchers were men & pitched on short rest. Somehow they never quite mentioned bringing back a pitcher on short rest is typically a desperation move (see Wang, C.) that usually backfires. But that may have required research... or at least a short-term memory.

Mike C said...

And the fact that it was a rare pitcher in the "olden days" who lasted more than a few years because of short rest between starts. There's only so much McCarver I can take and I can't take it during a blowout.