Tagged: world series

MLB NETWORK DEBUT AND IT WAS GOOD

MLB Network’s first day looked good. That was a very interesting Don Larson perfect game show. Does Bob Costas ever sleep? Is he on every sports broadcast? He was at the Wrigley field outdoor game, too, although of course the Larson Show was taped.

The Kinetescope made distances look shorter, sort of similar to the vehicle mirror effect. Still, Mantle’s catch on left center field was amazing as were a few other plays. The crowd was overwhelmingly male, with many in suits and ties. Wierd. did not realize Larson was 3-21 with the Orioles first year in Baltimore, 1954, but two of his wins were against the Yanks, so that explained the trade in part.
Then, there were the endless $1 Gilette razor blade commercials. Amazing. And they threw in that baseball mini-encyclopedia, a — get this — $5.95 value. Wonder how many blades they sold. And “super speed razor”??? Me thinks not.
Another fascinating feature was Jackie Robinson, c. 1956. While his main redux image is of a thin, fast guy, the ’56 Robinson playing 3B actually appeared overweight and slow. A couple of other players also looked out-of-shape by today’s standards, Campanella comes to mind. Duke Snider didn’t, and he made a hell of a catch robbing Mantle before Mantle hit that home run to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.
And CAN YOU BELIEVE, VIN SCULLY called half the game along with Mel Barber. Scully was a bit more restrained than today, but so was Barber. That seemed to be the early TV broadcast mode, letting the pictures do the work. Now they pile three, maybe four — YES? Network, Mets games — guys.
Sal Maglie at 39, tossing junk; what hapened to the headhunting? Maglie itched awesome as well. Billy Martin at 2B. Yogi Berra of course. Costas said some 15 Hall of Famers either played in the game, sat on the bench or were in the broadcast team that day. Wow! And it was my birthday, but I digress.
Anyway, the Hot Stove Show was very cool, too, even though Harold Reynolds has that cloud hanging over him. Leiter and Larkin did a great, intelligent job.
So,  a nice way to start the new year, maybe even a perfect game way.
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What…A disappointment? Rays didn’t rule, far from it.

The World Series was a bust. Well, everywhere but Philadelphia, but nevertheless. Let us count the ways.

Firstly, as the lowest television ratings per capita ever showed, the series was of limited interest outside of a few places. Add to that the cold, rain and delayed games. A true mess.
So, they played gazillion games this year — 95 percent I watched via sat-dish and cable — and then saved the best for wind, cold, rain and while exciting at times, a World Series not seen nor heard.
In other words, anti and climax.
These series mean a lot to communities in terms of pride and finances. However, if the games are to be played with integrity to reflect a true outcome of a six month season, they also are crying out for a neutral site where they can be played without interruption under proper circumstances.
On another note, my disappointment was personal having worn the Rays cap since 1998. They couldn’t quite pull of the 1969 Amazin’ Mets repeat. The reason was the same as why the Mets won. Pitching. the Rays just didn’t have the relief pitchers behind their front-line guys.
Relief pitching can be bought and cheap, so I’m sure the Rays will address this in the off-season. However, as the Rockies showed last year, and has been shown a multitude of times, getting back to the World Series can be difficult, perhaps non-possible. The Rays are in the AL East. The Yankees and Red Sox will be strong next year. The Blue Jays are good, although perhaps downsizing a bit. the Orioles are not as bad as they looked at most times last year and with a pitching upgrade can be competitive.
We shall see if the Rays are one-hit wonders or have some traction. I hope so, but I’m not betting the farm system on it.

Barry Bonds and why not the…Rays? (Also, an Olympic  moment).

Let’s put the devil back into the rays.

At this point, the Bonds baggage actually can be a good thing. Really.
The Rays need a power left-handed bat. Bonds can DH.
The steroid stuff is so tired and old. We all know he’s going to prison for perjury next year. So, he has six weeks to help a cinderella team win the pennant.
It’s all good PR. And Bonds can help the Rays.
Since the steroids are a given and we know he has to be clean, the controversy on this point is moot. Barry is at St. Pete to play ball and win the pennant so who can doubt that each day the focus wll be on the team and the win, not so much on Bonds. And since everyone knows the baggage situation, nobody is going to care all that much. And if Bonds does deflect some attention, that’s good too, since it takes media glare off other players who can relax and play loose.
It’s surprising this hasn’t taken place as of Aug. 15.
I predict it will happen…
(And speaking of which in a strange paradoxical thought pattern that popped just in my brain now: What about Dale Berra?)
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Olympics Aside


The U.S. baseball team really choked against South Korea the other day — or was it night.
They rebounded against the Dutch, ha-ha.
Davey Johnson looked sick to his stomach in the Korea loss and with good reason. Surely, these guys can respond better to pressure. Unfortunately not, as they did a redux against Cuba the other night/day.
Can you say sayonara? The Japanese team is loaded with top pros and the Cubans are the Cubans, despite half their real team now playing in the U.S. 
But who cares, I got a badminton match to watch. What’s the birdie over/under on Malaysia-Sri Lanka?