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Saturday, October 18, 2003

It's Saturday, first game of the World Series, the Sports page has a big spread of articles sizing up the matchups, and it's just too painful to work up any kind of excitement.

The wrong teams won, pure and simple, and it's a damn shame. A damn shame. And it hurts. As a baseball fan, you want to get pumped about the World Series. But this year, it's just a big downer.

On the plus side, long suffering Yankee and Marlin fans, who haven't seen a World Series since 2001 and 1997 respectively, are ecstatic.

Friday, October 17, 2003

I saw some writer say Torre had the sense to pull Clemens when he was done, so what was wrong with Little pulling Pedro? Get REAL! Who wouldn't mind pulling Clemens after 4 to give Mussina a couple innings. Yeah, that Torre's a freakin genius, isn't he? I thought I was watching the freakin All Star game: "Lets see, we'll let Clemens start, then Mussina will get an inning, or two in, then I'll use Wells for lefty setup short relief, and of course, Rivera closes. I sure hope I can get everyone in this game..."

If Pedro was going 2-0 on these batters, and then giving up hits because he HAD to come in with a fastball, then I would definitely had pulled him. But he was constantly ahead in the count. The percentages favored Pedro.

Timlin and Sauerbeck and Embree and Williamson - any of those guys could have come in, and struggled with their control, and HAD to come in with fat fastballs - that was a more likely scenario than Pedro getting hit while ahead in the count. Even if you don't buy that "I'm Bob Gibson, I'm staying in come hell or high water" macho bullshit, the statistics alone favored Pedro with every at bat - you get ahead of the count, the hitter's BA goes way down.

# of pitches didn't matter to me, personally. Counting pitches is more for pacing your pitcher for future appearances than for the current situation. A Pedro Martinez, who has thrown 115 pitches, gets the first out, and stays ahead of the hitters - I like my chances.

Now, if you have a Rivera in the pen, sure, pull him. But c'mon, we're talking Mike Freakin Timlin. You want to be the guy who explains to Red Sox fans and the press why you pulled an effective Pedro Martinez so that Mike Timlin and Scott Williamson could break the curse of the Bambino? Not me - I remember how Mariner fans recently gave Melvin all kinds of hell for two hours on a post game show because he pulled Ryan Franklin in a similar situation in a late season game against Texas. Ryan Franklin!!! Everyone thought Franklin should have been the one to pitch to Palmeiro.

But yes, in hindsight, we were wrong. Little should have gone to Timlin. Timlin was the man of destiny. Anyone should have seen it, right? Hell, if anyone ever thought Timlin was THAT good, we never would have had to trade Varitek and Lowe to get Slocumb for insurance in 1997 now, would we? We had Timlin in his prime, and we still couldn't trust him.

thought the BoSox played an excellent game and deserved to win. I liked the
way they struggled like hell to beat the curse - flagging down wierd hops at
2nd and 1st. To lose on a bloop between 2nd and CF, what are you going to

I have no problem with any of the pitching changes except one - and it didn't
directly cost the Red Sox the game, but it may have had something to do with
eventually losing it:

Why did Grady pull Embree after 3 pitches to Giambi? Embree is throwing serious
heat 97 mph, and gets out arguably the best hitter in the lineup. Then E.
Wilson or whatever the hell his name is comes up and Little freaks out and
yanks Embree, bringing in Timlin to face (naturally) a better pinch hitter in
Sierra, then Garcia, another lefty. Timlin does a great job in getting both
lefties and righties out, but it may have forced Little to go to Wakefield a
little sooner than he may have wished.

I had no problem leaving Pedro in the eighth. He got ahead of every batter he
faced. It wasn't like he was missing or falling behing. Give credit to Matsui
and Bernie and Jeter. They all were working behind in the count. You gotta
ride Pedro to win or lose. Make the Yankees beat Pedro - not Timlin. If
Timlin started the 8th, and lost the lead, sure enough everyone would be asking
why Little yanked Pedro who was throwing the ball so well.

It could be a good World Series, Florida vs. New York - the Yankees have spent
much of their rotation and Florida could give them fits. But it is hard to get
excited about it.

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