October 28th, 2006

Calvinball

Tigers in Three...

Oh. Wait...

The Cardinals won the World Series last night, finishing off one hell of an improbable playoff run. Nobody, and I mean not even die-hard Cardinal fans, thought that the Cards had a chance to win it all when the season ended. After starting the season like a house afire, they limped home due to injuries and abysmal pitching, backing into the playoffs only because the Astros managed to lose their games in the final weekend. Few picked them to get by the frelling Padres for crying out loud. When they got by the Pads, and then the Mets, excuses were made for the teams that lost. The Tigers, a team that hardly distinguished itself down the stretch, blowing a huge lead over the Twins and falling into the wild card slot on the final day of the season, were installed as overwhelming favorites. A number of sportswriters went so far as to jokingly opine that the Series would only last three games, because the Tigers would crush the Cards in the first three games so badly that Bud Selig would be forced to cancel the fourth game for humanitarian reasons. Now folks are decrying the Cards as the worst team to win a World Series ever.

Piffle.

People who make statements like that have no idea what baseball is about. Even the worst MLB teams win 40% of their games. Last year, playing with mostly the same players, the Cards won 100 games. the year before that they won 105. This group of players has been very good for a long time, and their experience showed in the playoffs. They don't make many mistakes. More than that, baseball is a game of streaks. Unlikely players get hot, and entire teams get hot, and that heat carries them through. The Tigers got some of that with Kenny Rogers, but he could only pitch every fourth day. OTOH, the entire Cardinals pitching staff caught fire in the playoffs. Anthony Reyes, arguably the worst pitcher EVER to start the first game of a World Series, threw eight innings of four-hit ball in game 1 for the win. Last night it was old friend Jeff Weaver doing the same the close out the Series. I was glad to see Weaver get the win. He's had a terrible season, even getting released by the Angels to make room for his little brother. Still, he did yeoman's work for the Dodgers in 2004 and 2005, so I'm happy for him.

Meanwhile, the Tigers very much resembled the Cleveland Indians team of has beens and never will-bes assembled in the movie Major League. There was Pudge Rodriguez playing aging catcher and team leader, Jake Taylor, Magglio Ordonez as the enigmatic and streaky Pedro Cerrano, and crusty Jim Leyland as crusty manager Lou Brown. Justin Verlander became fireballing rookie Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn, while Kenny Rogers played the part of crafty old Eddie Harris, who never met a substance he didn't want to apply to a baseball. And like that team, the Tigers didn't win the World Series (which you don't find out until you watch Major League II).

To be honest, I didn't watch much of the playoffs, especially once the Dodgers departed. Fox's coverage is just so awful. At least last night I could watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown instead of watching Kevin Kennedy and Jeannie Zelasko. I mean really, there are good female baseball announcers out there, women who earned their baseball announcing gigs through hard work and experience. Suzyn Waldman comes to mind. Zelasko wouldn't know a baseball if it hit her in the face. Fox has the baseball contract now through 2013. Ratings this year were the lowest ever. Fox has managed to drive away both casual fans (by not starting the games til almost nine o'clock on the East Coast), and hard core fans (with their terrible kiddie show coverage). By 2013, there may be no body left watching.

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In other news, we're getting a major storm, with wind gusts up to 60 mph. A few minutes ago I heard a loud crack, and sure enough, most of what was left of my previously damaged Bradford pear tree is now lying in the street. Bother.
Pitching

Almost Forgot...

Only 109 days left until pitchers and catchers report.

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In other news, what a miserable day it is outside. I had to go check my post office box anyway, so I made a quick side trip to Wal*Mart, where I acquired several kinds Halloween candy, an over the door coat rack, and a deep container for foot soaking. When I got back home, a road crew was out front disassembling what was left of the tree, and hauling it onto my front yard. I presume the wood chipper will show up sometime during the week when it is not raining Tasmanian Devils. I parked the truck upwind of the other tree, which I'm now getting worried about. A couple of sustained gusts came through and squashed down the branches and limbs so that it went from looking like a tree to looking momentarily like a giant toadstool. It's nasty out there.

The coat rack is already installed on the basement door, which means I can finally stop hanging my jacket on the wall phone in the hall. I suspect that will be the extent of my home improvement activities this weekend.

My foot went from bad to worse Thursday. Full-on fasciitis, along with ankle pain (probably arthritis) and top of the foot pain, so I'm going to try to stay off of it as much as possible today. I've tried soaking it, but the only things I had available were either too small for my size twelve, or too shallow to include my ankle in the warmth. The container I found is exactly the right size. In fact, I'm soaking in it right now, AIFG.
Rain

Storm Spam...

Am at work, where there is power and internet access, and I have nothing better to do than spam my LJ.

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Lost power at the house around quarter to one. Just before that I'd discovered that not only was there water in the usual spot down in the basement, but the rain was also being driven though windows and dripping into the kitchen and the back room. The water in the back room was dripping onto my bed.

Anyway, I moved the bed, and laid down some towels in the back room to sop up the water. The kitchen wasn't much of a problem because the sink is right below the window. Down in the basement I peeled back the indoor-outdoor rug, set up the box fan, and cranked the dehumidifier to 11. Five minutes later the power went down. I sat for a bit to contemplate my frelling blessings, then read for a little while, but decided that by far the best thing I could possibly do when the universe has decided yet again to make a punching bag of me would be to take a nap. Except I couldn't fall asleep. As I lay on the couch not napping, there was this huge burst of wind, followed by a loud crack. I got up and looked out. Sure enough, half of my next door neighbor's Bradford pear was lying in the street.

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It took me about an hour and a half from when the power went out to go completely stir crazy. I decided to head into work. On the way I saw all sorts of interesting stuff. Collapse )

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[5:10 p.m.]: And now to get some take-out and head home to see if the power's back on yet.