• HaroldHecuba: Mike Mussina is EASTERN EUROPEAN, not Italian....

1. The national media (and, let’s be fair, UmpBump) obsessed over the will-they-or-won’t-they American League East title, as the Yankees posted a late surge and the Red Sox briefly flagged. But really, as both teams seemed extremely likely to make the postseason one way or another, this debate was only interesting to the rabid fans of each team. The real excitement was taking place in the National League. The AL is stronger than the NL, but has big divisions between rich and poor. The NL is more egalitarian, money-wise, and consequently the teams are more evenly matched. So it was that the season closed with a number of hard-fought, down-to-the-wire contests between NL teams, none more surprising than the Mets’ collapse and none more exciting than the one-game playoff between the Rockies and the Padres. Nevertheless, despite the close competition and unexpected upsets, count me shocked that it’s the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks playing in the NLCS. That will be appointment TV in the Green household. But if you’d told me in April that either one of those teams would be in the World Series come October, I would have laughed in your face. I love baseball.

2. The full beard is making a comeback, if the AL playoffs are any measure. On the Sox, both Dustin Pedroia and Jason Varitek are growing full beards, and David Ortiz’s chin strap has been widening to approach actual-beard status. On the Indians, Casey Blake, Jake Westbrook, and Travis Hafner all sport healthy beards. Alas, poor Mike Napoli of the Angels has too much neck for his beard; a key rule of beardedness being never to set the bottom edge of the beard above your jawbone. Amateur. Nevertheless, with Casey looking cute and the Captain finally (yes! thank you Jesus!) moving on from that mid-90s Tower Records-clerk goatee, it may be time for a slight modification to our long-neglected UFH category. Except, of course, for Napoli. And I’m not sure that Pedroia’s full-beard-but-no-moustache look is quite kosher.

Mmmmmmmmmmbeard!

3. TBS is awful. I mean, Fox was awful too but at least they had appropriate baseball postseason theme music. These Dane Cook ads are killing me. (The phrase “There’s only one October!” is quickly inculcating within me a Pavlov’s dog response of uncontrollable rage-induced spasms.) The boring announcers who can’t keep track of which team is batting are killing me. The fact that TBS couldn’t get an HD deal done with Comcast in time for the playoffs is killing me. In fact, I am slowly dying a TBS-induced death punctuated by rage-spasms.

4. Kenny Lofton looks younger than Joba Chamberlain. Yet I’ve been watching him steal bases since I was ten years old. I’d like to know what moisturizer he uses.

5. Grady Sizemore not only has a great last name (Size! More! ME LIKE SIZE! ME LIKE MORE!) he really is very dreamy. Though either he has the best razor known to mankind, or he hasn’t gone through puberty yet. I don’t think we’ll be seeing a beard on that tender chin anytime soon.

6. I’ve never seen so many bugs as there were in the Yanks-Indians game on Friday night. That was gross.

MmmmmmmmmmmManny!

7. The euphoria (and noise) levels in Fenway Park on Friday (oh yes, I was there) after Manny Ramirez’s walkoff homer easily matched any I’ve ever seen. The scene from the Fens to the Pru at 1 am was all honking and hugging and high-fiving (there are no strangers in Red Sox Nation). And as Manny’s power returns at just the right time, Manny’s pimp jobs have regained their ridiculously offensive nature. I’m so glad he’s playing for my team, because I would have to hate him if he played somewhere else. Plus next year, I think his dreadlocks will be long enough to obscure the name on his travel jersey.

8. With the Sox up 9-0 in the bottom of the 8th right now, I think it’s safe to say that three of four division series have now ended in 3-0 sweeps. And with that, it’s time to tune in to the only ongoing series, over in the Bronx. Spotlight’s on Joe Torre, but if 22-million (prorated) man Roger Clemens can’t come up big tonight, you have to think Brian Cashman is going to be looking at the classifieds, too.

5 Responses to “Eight random thoughts on the playoffs thus far.”

  1. Completely agree on #3. Dane Cook, and his little buddy FrankTV, need to get the hell out of my postseason.

    It’s a terrible sign when you’re wishing Fox still had rights to sports games.

  2. Coley Ward says:

    First of all, while FrankTV is annoying, I want to give TBS credit for:

    1. Not employing Tim McCarver and

    2. Coming up w/ that whole actober.com thing. I think that’s a hilarious idea.

    Second, I want to point out that Pedroia’s beard is one of the worst I’ve ever seen. He shaved his neck, but he went too high and now he’s got plumber’s jaw or jaw-butt or whatever you want to call it. It’s terrible. If anybody can find me a pic of Pedroia with his beard, I am anxious to do an Unfortunate Facial Hair post.

  3. Sarah Green says:

    Also, Pedroia has no moustache with his beard. That sort of goes against the point having a full beard, which is that you really only have to groom it once a week or so by running your beard-trimmer over it for thirty seconds. But now Pedroia will still have to shave his upper lip every morning. What a waste!

    Also, I am sort of loving the FrankTV ads. That Bush impression (“One……two?”) followed by the Pacino “three four five strikes!”) gets me every time.

  4. Apparently Fox still has the ALCS. Fortunately, with the Indians having defeated the Yankees, we will not be subjected to any Yankees-Red Sox Star Wars montages. What else lies in store for us?

  5. Sarah Green says:

    Hours upon hours of inane commentary, I suppose. But at least Buck and McCarver can keep track of which team is at bat!

    Alas, TBS is still doing the NLCS, which means that I may have to watch it with the TV on mute.

Leave a Reply

Marketplace

    Subscribe via email

    Enter your email address:

    Archives

What's Popular

Featured posts

220px-Bbwaa_logo_web

December 5, 2011

Will anybody get elected to the Hall of Fame this year?

Last week, we asked you to vote for who you would like to see enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame. The verdict? If it were up to UmpBump readers, nobody would make it in. The leading vote getter (so far) is Jeff Bagwell, who has 60% support. Of course, in the real voting, players need […]

January 5, 2011

Annual UmpBump Hall of Fame Balloting: 2011 Edition

In what has become an annual tradition, we here at UmpBump cast our ballots for the Hall of Fame on the eve of the announcements of the voting for the real Hall of Fame. Voters can vote for anyone ever who has been retired from baseball for at least five years and is not already […]

According to the internet, "The Little Napoleon" John McGraw was the greatest manager of all time.

October 19, 2010

Crowdsourcing the Greats: The Top 10 Managers of All Time

Now that we’ve looked at every position on the diamond, as well as relief pitchers, we are nearing the end of our “Crowdsourcing the Greats” series. But before we finish, let’s turn one more time to the internet hoi polloi for answers on who the greatest baseball manager of all time was. As usual, we […]