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


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