baseball gods productions

Thoughts about baseball, from the perspective of sports psychology and the role of sports in society. It includes team and player analysis, predictions, and what I think needs to be changed in Major League Baseball. Brought to you from the heart of baseball, Brooklyn, by baseball gods productions.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Why I love baseball, once again

Okay, so my predictions for the first round haven't been stellar so far. The idea of good pitching beating good hitting seems to have been true, at least in the Yankees-Tigers series. Kenny Rogers's performance was one of the most astonishing things I've ever seen in baseball, and I've seen a lot of games in my time. He was pitching like he was possessed, maybe by the spirit of Gaylord Perry. All that cap-touching he was doing reminded me of the old spit-balling Hall-of-Famer. Whatever he was doing, it certainly worked. I think he psyched the Yankees right out of the series.

And I never got to use my line about the Rogers-Randy Johnson matchup, where the only guys intimidated by those two pitchers are the cameramen. In the end, the performances by Mussina, Johnson, and Jaret Wright were fairly predictable, while the Tigers' last three starters exceeded expectations enough to shut down the "greatest lineup of all time" according to Joe Morgan and others. And the Tigers' bullpen showed they were better than the Yankees' group, not a huge surprise, really. Does anyone throw harder than Joel Zumaya? I will miss seeing Alex Rodriguez's pouty face after some of those strikeouts by Zumaya and Verlander, especially. Where will A-Rod be next year? I hear the Yomiuri Giants could still use a slugger.

And, well, I was right about the Mets overcoming some adversity. At this point, they seem to have all the confidence and talent in the world, and the Padres and Cardinals don't impress me very much. Looks like it could be Oakland-Mets, a la 1973.

Even if I weren't a Mets' fan, I would say that baseball needs Jose Reyes in the World Series. Watching him run, play defense, and dance in the dugout are joys to behold, and he would single-handedly convert non-fans to fans with his amazin' smile and talent.

The Twins didn't win, but I think it's more a testament to how ready Oakland seems to be to take that next step up to the later playoff rounds. Both teams have great bullpens, some good young starters, and a few dynamic offensive players. This may have been a case where the Twins used up everything they had in passing the Tigers at the end to reclaim the division title they held a couple of years ago.

Oakland-Detroit looks like a great series, with two somewhat similar teams playing their best baseball of the year. It's good for the game to get some exposure for these guys.

And now I get to use another line: If Huston Street ever pitched for the Mets or Yankees, he'd have to pronounce his name Houston Street.

© Judy Kamilhor 2006

A new baseball god

One of baseball's most-beloved ambassadors died a couple of days ago, and since Buck O'Neil (1911-1996) is now a baseball god, it is fitting for baseball gods to honor him in this space. Buck was an outstanding player in the Negro Leagues, the first black coach in Major League Baseball, and an untiring champion of the Negro Leagues. Here are some links for more information about Buck and the Negro leagues.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Well, a little adversity never hurt anybody . . . .

News flash: all the Mets starters have come up lame, and Jose Reyes is set to start the opening game of the 2006 playoffs. No problemo. The Mets managed to go through an entire season without facing the kind of adversity that threatened their making the playoffs. Adversity is one of the five tests each team and player must learn to handle to become a winner. The other four are pressure, opportunity, success, and maintenance.

The Mets will face their first real challenge of the season, beating a pretty good Dodger team without two of their top starting pitchers. They were going to have to overcome adversity to win the World Series, so maybe it will end up being a blessing in disguise that they are faced with this situation so early in the proceedings.

I still think the Twins will go all the way, and that the most important series is Minnesota-Oakland. If Oakland beats Minnesota, I think they will go all the way. Their 4th starter, Rich Harden, is better than most teams' number one starter.

The Mets can still beat LA, but it will require a true team effort of stepping up to replace the legendary pitchers they have lost.

Let's Go Mets!

© Judy Kamilhor 2006

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Playoff Predictions for 2006

What I want and what I expect are somewhat different, in life, as well as baseball. My prediction for the World Series is:

Minnesota over San Diego in 6 games. ( . . . but I want the Mets to win!)

Minnesota over Oakland in 5 games
NY Yankees over Detroit in 4 games

NY Mets over Los Angeles in 5 games
San Diego over St. Louis in 4 games

Minnesota over NY Yankees in 7 games
San Diego over NY Mets in 7 games

Obviously, I am predicting that good pitching will prevail, and San Diego and Minnesota have excellent bullpens along with dominant aces. Jake Peavy will finally show the world how good he is, and Johan Santana will keep doing what he has done for the past few years, be the best pitcher in baseball. Even without their amazing rookie, Francisco Liriano, the Twins were still the best team in baseball for most of the second half of the season.

Play ball!