Archive for October, 2009

70 percent of Californians say Angels, duh

According to this ESPN poll (about 15 minutes ago), 70 percent of Californians believe the Angels will beat the Yankees in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series.  The same poll says 72 percent of New Yorkers believe the Yankees will win the game.

Other than the obvious bias by the denizens of these two respective states, the last two games between these teams have been just that close.  Over the course of 24 innings played in Games 2 and 3, the teams have the exact same number of total runs scored: 8.  The exact same number of hits: 21.  The Angels have been charged with 3 errors, while the Yankees have 2 — though Mariano’s errant throw to third base could have easily counted as error number 3.  His greatness probably helped the official scorer from hanging that on him.  Fair enough.  Mariano is the Michael Jordan of closers, minus being an arrogant turd.

haloshat

Brought the ragged, cotton hat to Anaheim. The wool 1973 lid is 0-2 this series.

On the way to the airport to catch Game 4 in Anaheim today, I hedged against it but couldn’t fight the urge to turn on the so called ‘national’ sports radio channels.  Caller after caller with the Tony Bagodonuts attitude called to lament how Girardi’s decision to pull Aceves cost the Yankees the game.  The Angels let up four solo homers and only four other hits to the $200+ million Hall of Fame lineup.   (Kendry Morales earned $1.15 million this year and hit .306 with 34 homers vs. Mark Texiera’s $20.6 million salary and .292 with 39 homers.)  On offense, the Angels rang up 13 loud hits to all parts of the field against every pitcher the Yankees put on the hill.  Rewind the hits from Mathis, Kendrick, Abreu and Guerrero and you’ll see frozen ropes. And, all the fans can hang on is Girardi’s situational decision to bring Aceves in. Were you watching the entire game?

There’s a saying that I think applies here about seeing the forest through the trees.  Keep obsessing about that move.  Non-Yankees fans enjoy listening to the pathology of denial that perhaps there’s something else at a more fundamental level that could be wrong.

If the Yankee organization is scratching its head today about Girardi’s decision I’d be stunned into fasting for a decade.  (Girardi isn’t Torre, but the dude won 103 games.  103 games, yo! ) It’s the 12 previous hits that led up to that moment that the Yankee brass (and fans) should be thinking about.  Those weren’t toss-the-bat-out and hope it lands where Damon isn’t types of hits.  Those were dead red line drives and bombs — where the Angels were doing anything but guessing.

The entire Yankee rotation and bullpen has been seen at this point — and that’s on Girardi.  So, there are no surprises in that pen unless Joba curves the brim of his cap and throws left handed.  That — is what I’d be worried about  if I was a Yankees fan — middle and long relief.  Buster Olney (the true Go Sox/Yanks partial analyst of ESPN) said the Yankees bullpen was “taxed a little” in Game 3.

AhemBuster.  If by “taxed” you were referring to scenes from Pulp Fiction involving Ving Rhames’ character in a basement, then I agree.  The Yankees bullpen was taxed, alright. Otherwise, the forest through the trees are that the Angels dropped some lumber on the dream team and caught enough breaks to win a game.  That’s baseball.  Talent mitigated by the luck of a bouncing leather ball.

– Jose Mallabo

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Socks off a plane

I put them in a plastic bag and walked off the plane with my swollen bare feet inside my shoes. I made the terrible mistake of getting on a 20+ hour flight home from India with dress shoes and kind of burly pair of socks on.

For those of you who have never sat upright for a day at 40,000 feet – your body, particularly your feet expand like accordions. Somewhere over Jakarta, I slipped my shoes off compounding the first mistake – which allowed my dogs to swell at their leisure outside of my shoes. Believe it or not, not only did I go to graduate school, I did pretty well.

Fast forward three beers later when I have to go number 1. Mind you, I am on a full flight of about 400 people who have not only ingested as many fluids as I have but have flat out ransacked the lavatories. Ten hours into it, they still look like a room used by civilized bipeds. Fifteen hours into the flight, it reminds me of a fraternity party and what happens when a bull pisses on a flat rock in the wind.

Pay attention. In the next paragraph is the lesson of ages that will prevent ever having to carry your socks off a plane.

I really have to go. But my feet are so swollen that I can’t get them in my shoes – with or without socks. I realize it’s now a choice of soiling my groin or my feet. I rip open my back pack and see I have plenty of Purell hand sanitizer left – enough to wipe out 99.9% of the germs that would get on my feet.

The lavatory door opens. A bittersweet moment. Because I know what is about to happen. It’s instantaneous. The moment I step into the water closet it’s a wet sock in what I can only hope is a diluted puddle of urine. I stand on one leg and as far away from the toilet as possible – which is about a 36 inches away – and pray for no turbulence. As soon as I get back to my seat, off with the socks. Out with the Purell.

I’m just happy I didn’t have the second package of walnuts.

– Jose Mallabo

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