Yes, that's right, remember when I predicted the Detroit Tigers to win the ALCS? And the only downside of my prediction was I expected a long series. That's still better than the "informed" opinion of professional scribes.
I also predicted the NLCS to be a long series. Problem is, I predicted New York to take it, and Game 5 makes the series a 3-2 tilt in favour of the Cardinals. Naturally, I was unable to watch the game, which makes me more than a little cheesed. You see, I was working at the time, and with no computer access would have to watch it on TV (as much as humanly possible, seeing as how work is under the impression I'm not supposed to be watching baseball on their payroll). Of course, I couldn't do that. Rogers Sportsnet is "the home to Major League Baseball playoff action"...well, up until the point where the baseball game is rained out, and play the next day goes head to head with the Oilers-Canucks game. As a result, no MLB playoffs on Sportsnet, and I'm stuck watching highlights after the game is over.
So now the question has got to be, what can the Mets do to win the series and keep my baseball predictive abilities alive? Without seeing the game, the box score for the contest gives a few clues. The Mets got plenty of hits (8) but only two runs to show for it. This seems to indicate that the Mets are not making enough smart running plays, that the batters are not getting the timely hits (oddly enough, St. Louis has the same problem: both teams had a lot of runners left in scoring position with two outs). Eight batters left on base isn't a good idea [again, though, the Cardinals left ten -ed] and the running game just wasn't there for the Mets: no bases stolen and none caught stealing. Tom Glavine didn't bring his best stuff to the table, that's obvious -- 4.0 IP, 7H, 3ER, 3BB, 2K for a 6.75 ERA and 2.50 WHIP -- but the Yahoo recap of the game indicates that the real problem was the Mets inability to crack the Cardinal bullpen that except for Game 4 has been incredible all post-season. Somebody in the St. Louis coaching foyer got together and actually did that "keys to the game" thing that sports broadcasts always bring up during the break after the first inning, because if the Mets can be shut down they can't win: their injured pitching staff has to go toe-to-toe with Pujols.
In other baseball news:
- The Yankees made an en masse public appearance under unpleasant circumstances as Cory Lidle's memorial service was held in California. Pat Burrel, Barry Zito, and Chase Utley were also in attendence.
- It's official! Lou Piniella, after failing to win the hardest managerial job in baseball, settled for the third hardest (Red Sox job is #2) when he signed on as the new manager of my Chicago Cubs. The downside?
Told that the team he now manages has gone nearly a century between World Series championships, dating back to 1908, Piniella said Tuesday he wasn't aware of that dubious record.Er, that's a confidence builder. First requirement to anybody who wants to lead the Chicago Cubs is the basic human piece of knowledge that the Cubs suck, and have done so since pretty much anybody on the planet was born.
"I didn't know that. Has it been that long here?" he asked.
- Oakland has fired Ken Macha because of "a disconnect on several levels" (ie. players didn't like him). With it Oakland loses the man who has given them a better record as a manager than anybody except (the article doesn't say, but I assume Dick Williams). Billy Beane should just admit that he only will accept the A's to be helmed by a massive sabremetrics computer and get it over with.
- Turner Sports has paid $45 million per year to air one of the league championship series (alternating year to year) annually until 2013. The deal also means that rainouts or other unforseen circumstances mean that even if the scheduled "no two games at once" plan fails, both games can be seen by basic U.S. cable subscribers.
- Randy Johnson will undergo back surgury in the next week or so and may be ready for opening day. But don't hold your breath. Repair jobs on pitchers never are as speedy as the pre-surgury hype has you believe. Big Unit might be out of commission until June.
- Did he think he was in the NFL? White Sox shortstop Juan Uribe is wanted in connection with a shooting near a jeep allegedly owned by Uribe in the city of Juan Baron in the Dominican Republic. (Is every person/town in Dominica named "Juan"?)
The Associated Press reported that Uribe spent more than two hours at the San Cristobal courthouse before being released about 12:15 p.m. Tuesday. His brother, Elpidio, and a bodyguard, both of whom were arrested Sunday, also were released.
All three were questioned after a Dominican farmer and a captain in the Italian Navy were wounded with a pistol and a shotgun when the pair allegedly walked too close to Uribe's jeep late Friday.
- New technology lets Mets fans know with precise accuracy just how where and why Tom Glavine screwed them over with a routine slider to Albert Pujols in the bottom of the 4th in Game 5. Isn't that exciting?
- Alex Rodriguez a Chicago Cub? The latest rumour mills are going wild with the idea that A-Rod can go to the north side of Chicago, and be guaranteed a warmer welcome and a break from sucking in the post-season. Or, for that matter, appearing in the post-season.
Update, 2:21pm: The article linked to about the A-Rod rumours says that Chicago is "expected to increase payroll by up to 15 percent from $96 million in 2006". The Cubbies are sucking that bad on $96 million? They want to go to $110 million? Gack.