Goats and games and great one-on-one battles
Now that was a great, great game.
(No, not the pucks, that was just one of 82, right?).
We’re talking about Tigers-Yankees and that was pretty much one of those instant classics you get in playoff baseball and one guy will be remembered more than any other and raised this question:
Can Alex Rodriguez come back?
Of all the drama in all the games of that series, the two at-bats that are going to resonate for a very, very long time are his bases-loaded appearance in the seventh and the strikeout that ended the Yankees season.
It is totally unfair to put it all on him but that’s what we do, don’t we? We look for goats and readily place blame and when you’ve got a kabillion dollar contract like A Rod and you’re a lightning rod for criticism throughout the league anyway, you have to know that the knives are going to be out.
I don’t know Rodriguez at all and certainly can’t offer the insight of a guy like Griff or any other “real” baseball writer but it strikes me that he gets more than his fair share of the blame.
As well he should.
When you’re that guy, the guy with the brilliant career stats, the guy with the big contract, the guy who is supposed to come through in the clutch, it doesn’t matter that teammates didn’t do their jobs, or the manager made some questionable calls or the other team was just a little bit better when it counted most.
When you don’t, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel for everyone; it’s not entirely right but it’s the way sports is.
Now, I don’t know Alex Rodriguez at all, not sure I’ve ever spoken to him outside of maybe one post-game scrum one night long ago, but there does seem to be something dislikeable about him, isn’t there?
Maybe it’s because he’s not Derek Jeter, maybe it’s because of all the money he’s made, maybe there are still people irked by the way he left Seattle to chase the franchise-killing big bucks in Texas.
Whatever it is, people seem to like to see him fail.
Nice of him to oblige.
Okay, story time, thanks to this from the mail the other day.
Q: So, Mr. Music Man, sir, how many tunes do you have loaded on your iPod these days? (I was pretty proud of my 900 until I started hearing people bragging about their 10,000. 10,000?!) I'd bet you probably have some rare gems tucked away in your playlist. Would you like to recommend maybe a top five list of Doug's Fave-o-Rite Musical Artists That Irregulars Might Have Overlooked But Should Know About? Thanks for all the musical diversions, Doug. Good stuff!
David M, Ottawa
I don’t have a lot of rare gems, nor do I have a lot of relatively unheard-of bands to offer up, but I do have this, since you jogged my mind.
It was perhaps the very first story I ever wrote, back when I was wet behind the ears in high school. Used to deliver a weekly free TV listings magazine to stores – This Week In Niagara? Niagara This Week? – with my boy Cool Hand Luke.
Well, for some reason they asked me to do an interview and write a story (I’m sure it was to accompany some advertisement) and – yes – it was on a band that was playing in some St. Catharines saloon.
Now, I have no idea how I specifically remember that tale but when you asked about overlooked bands somehow I made the connection.
I can’t imagine anyone’s heard of them, especially anyone young, but thanks the power of youtube, you can.
Anyone recall these guys? I remember wearing out the vinyl on two or three records of theirs.
Still with that, and as another example of my mis-spent youth, we used to get paid the same day so Luke and I would gather meager pittance right after lunch and do what every teen should do with his salary:
We’d head to Fort Erie and bet the ponies.
Ah, the good old days.
Now. Here. Fast. There’s hardly any and the weekend’s approaching. And nothing – squat, nada, zilch – in the way of video but that’s okay.
I am of the belief that one of the things that should draw casual fans to baseball is either a specific pitcher or a pitching matchup.
When Super Son and I used to go every now and then it was to see Roy Halladay, now we’d probably schedule a weekend day when Ricky Romero was on the mound.
Well, you can be sure I’ll find my way in front of some TV set tonight to see Halladay and Chris Carpenter in Game 5 of the NLDS.
It’s not often that you get two of the best – and, yes, I still have Carpenter on that list – go head-to-head with so much on the line.
(Verlander-Sabathia would have been great in Game 1, not so much with a weary CC on short rest).
It’s what makes playoff baseball so great, a highly-anticipated pitching matchup that should have ‘em drooling.
I’ve got Halladay. Just seems to be the kind of game where he’ll throw a three-hit shutout, doesn’t it?
Not sure there’s a guy who better rises to the occasion with so much bulldog in him than that guy.
Oh yeah, right.
Nothing’s going on; there’s another of those dreary, over-hyped exhibitions this weekend down in Miami you should ignore.
But other than that?
Nothing going on at all although I would think Sunday someone would call someone else and maybe see if they can’t salvage the start of the season.
If they don’t at least talk, every season ticket holder in every city in the league ought to call their franchises on Monday, demand their full refunds and go spend the money somewhere else so they won’t have it when the teams come begging for forgiveness whenever they get around to settling.
I’m not entirely sure in the dawn of a new day but at some point while watching the Yankees-Tigers last night, one of those “separated at birth” things came to mind.
Does the guy on the left look a bit like the guy on the right?
Or is it just me?
Lots of fun with the pucks crowd last night, no?
Yes, I agree a day-long blog might have been, you know, waaaaaaaaaaay too much but what the heck.
The iGBT went okay, don’t think I embarrassed myself and maybe we do more since there might not be any basketball to worry about.