Scintillating October

As I sit here watching AJ Burnett yield four runs in the first inning of the Game 5 of the ALCS, I still have to marvel at the play of my beloved Yankees (aka Murderous Row Bx Bombers). Before I wax poet and appreciate what a difference a year makes (see NY Yankees 2008 campaign). I have to comment on the very poor performance of the umpires. For those who do not follow baseball, the umpire crew is basically hand picked for post season play. So, you're not watching a group of meatballs. It just begs the question of instant replay and its place in major league baseball.
While I do not appreciate poor officiating, I am not quite sure how the game stoppage would play out within baseball. Clearly the flow of a baseball game is quite different than that of football. The NFL seems to have mastered instant replay, but I am not so sure that MLB will know how best to implement it. Nonetheless, the umps have really been an embarrassment for MLB.

Regarding the Yanks, they have been dominant this post season. Everyone likes to talk about high payrolls and money ball, but at the end of the day you must have players that execute. It does appear that they are doing just that. The play of C.C Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez have been particularly remarkable. The pitching staff has a collective 1.91 ERA in the post season. Very impressive stuff. Sabathia signed a huge contract during the off-season, and in the words of Mike Lupica, he has accepted the responsibility of winning in NY without any hesitation. Actually, the Bombers have lacked a "lights out" ace in their rotation '96-'98 seasons. As good as Chien-Ming Wang has been, he was not an ace. He could not pitch on short rest, nor could he win big post season contests on the road. Sabathia has been "all that" and then some. Without question he has set the tone for the Yankee rotation. I do not believe that he has any fear whatsoever.

For the moment, Rodriguez has quieted the critics and has delivered All-Star caliber performance. I have noticed that his batting stance is a bit different. He has given up on the leg kick prior to swinging the bat through the zone. Obviously he is very relaxed at the plate. There is only one Mr. October, but A-Rod is certainly earning his pinstripes at the best possible time.
The Yankees are building the type of momentum that will make them difficult to beat. The quest for 27 World Championship titles will be an exciting one indeed. The Phils await a very hungry NY ballclub. It should be a fun World Series. Yanks in 6.

Joe Girardi is clearly a manager who loves to make decisions, I also understand that he has an engineering background (Industrial Engineering - Northwestern), so it stands to reason that he will use tons of data to make a decision. The trouble with this approach is that the game that is being played before your eyes usually holds all the evidence you need. Moreover, Girardi has a ton of tools at his disposal, which could also be his undoing. I generally have liked our skipper's decisions; however, I do believe he over-managed Game3. Another curious move was leaving journey utility man Eric Hinske off the ALCS roster. Girardi opted for speed Guzman over power Hinske's bat. I do hope that Girardi reverses his decision against the Phils.

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    This page contains a single entry by AG published on October 22, 2009 10:05 PM.

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