As such, the esteemed purveyors of Walkoff Walk have selected yours truly to guide you through Game 3 of the American League Championship Series, featuring the Baltimore Blast and the Harrisburg Heat. Okay, it's actually the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays. Liveglogging after the jump.
4:30: Ha, I haven't even turned on the television yet. Might be a good idea to do that. Thankfully, I only have to deal with TBS today. I'm not sure if I could make it through if I had to listen to McCarver for nine innings.
4:32: Home run! Oh, wait, that's a replay from over the weekend. The talking head on the television notifies us that whoever wins this third game of a tied series will have an advantage going into game four. Thanks, professor.
4:40: Jon Lester throws only five pitches and gets three outs. That's just about 1.67 pitches per out! At this rate, Lester will throw a perfect game in roughly 15 minutes. Yes, I've officially jinxed him already.
4:41: The Frank TV promos are now making fun of the number of Frank TV promos. I'm already turning to Valium.
4:51: Oh, it's Kevin Youkilis, the Greek God of Walks from Moneyball. He grounds out and strands Dustin Pedroia (who doubled off the Monster) on second.
4:53: Of all the commercials this postseason, nothing is worse than the one where the Diamondbacks coaches give signals to each other and it says they're talking about a "Fruitista Freeze." Whatever that is! (Fortunately, Yahoo! Answers has the, um, answers.)
5:03: Jason Varitek is still Boston's catcher, huh? They haven't upgraded since 2004? You'd think they'd be able to sign somebody better than Varitek, like an automatic catching machine or something. (Do they have those?) His passed ball allows Evan Longoria to move up to third with one out, and a Dioner Navarro groundout gives the Rays a 1-0 lead. The announcers are highly excited that the Rays manufactured a run rather than scored it in a conventional three-run homer or something, since home runs = steroids = drugs = bad, bad, bad.
5:08: An NLCS Game 4 preview might as well be one of Fox's Keys to the Game, as it said: "Only one team can advance to the World Series." I was kind of hoping the Dodgers and Phillies would combine, a la the Steagles, and win the World Series against whoever wins the AL. The Phillers would totally win it all, though I think I would just have an empty hole at third base rather than play Casey Blake or Pedro Feliz.
5:14: Jason Bay singles to shortstop, Mark Kotsay doubles to right to make it second and third with 1 out. But Varitek K's looking and Alex Cora (he's on this team, too?) flies out to end the inning.
5:20: Meanwhile, Wally hasn't updated his blog in over two years. Did he die and go to purgatory?
5:22: Akinori Iwamura hits a long double off the Green Monster. As a fan of a team who always has its park called a joke, I wonder: Why can't we call Fenway Park a joke? Uhm, it has a short field in left so they just built a giant 500-foot wall? Yes, that makes sense. I know it's an old field, but why can't we also say it's an old, stupid field?
5:25: DING DONG DING DONG (or whatever)! B.J. Upton hits one of those ring dingers, a three-run shot over the stupid Green Monster of Stupidity. 4-0, Rays.
5:30: OH. EM. GEE. Evan Longoria hits a solo ring ding bing bong over the Green Monster, too, and that would have been out in Citizens Bank Park, Wrigley Field and maybe even a field where it's 500 feet to left center. 5-0, Rays. Slow down, guys! You're making me work too much.
5:33: Jon Lester finally puts down the side, but not before the aforementioned Upton and Longoria homers. Paul Byrd is warming up for the Red Sox. Now that Curt Schilling is injured I guess he had to get Byrd in order to continue to have at least one member of the 1999 Phillies. Byrd's only All-Star year!
5:38: According to Baseball-Reference, the Phillies traded Paul Byrd to the Indians in 2001 for a man named Jose Santiago, who then went 2-4 with a 3.61 ERA out of the bullpen for the Phils that year. I seriously have no memory of that player whatsoever.
5:46: Pedroia hits a line drive single off the So-Not-A-Joke Green Monster. I see W.B. Mason advertises at Fenway Park, just like at Citizens Bank. How do companies decide to advertise almost exclusively at baseball stadiums and during broadcasts? I've seriously never seen an ad for W.B. Mason anywhere else. Meanwhile, who but Evan Longoria nearly had a David Ortiz foul pop, but temporary camera bays prevented him from making the catch.
5:48: The Sox can't take advantage. "Papi pops out!" Ugh.
5:56: The announcers just told us that Jon Lester's cancer comeback trumps Rocco Baldelli's comeback from a rare mitochondrial disorder.
5:59: Oh snap! But do Jon Lester and Rocco Baldelli trump Josh Hamilton and his comeback from doing crack? My God, this game is like a Fire Joe Morgan wet dream. I'm saving this game on my DVR. These announcers are the funniest thing ever.
6:06: I feel bad for you, Red Sox fans, for the first time ever. You don't get to enjoy how unintentionally incredible these announcers are. You can return the favor by turning your lights up tomorrow night during the ALCS. By the way, it's still 5-0, Rays, and it's the bottom of the fourth.
6:09: Does any sports fan enjoy interviews with the managers in-game? I don't know anyone who does, casual or hardcore fan. Everyone seems to hate them.
6:10: Everyone agrees: McCarver sucks, but at least he sounds like an announcer. The coverage of today's game sounds like it's three guys just sitting around catching fish and listening to the game on the radio.
6:11: All the announcers are now melding into one singular awesome voice. "Wolf tickets!" it says. Kotsay fisted one into somewhere but nobody did anything else and it's 5-0 through four.
6:24: Ha, ha, the announcer said something funny!
6:25: Well, probably, but I wasn't paying attention. I went to the deli to get an ice cream sandwich. But apparently B.J. Upton ran the Rays out of the inning, falling while rounding second and getting tug out trying to get back to the bag. Anderson Cooper has just announced a special for Upton called "B.J. in Peril."
6:34: Here's also what I don't get about W.B. Mason. They say they've been around since 1898 or whatever. But who ever heard of them before like five years ago? I bet they're a front for the Mafia or something (hence the noir-style commercials). Oh, and David Ortiz popped out, and it's 5-0 Rays at the end of 5.
6:36: That John Hancock ad where a woman's instant messaging with her daughter about her husband's illness is part of a trend I like to call, "Ridiculously Dramatic and Inappropriate Ads." The John Hancock ad pales in comparison, though, to the Duracell ad that says if you don't use Duracell batteries, your child will be kidnapped by a pervert. I swear to God this is a real ad.
(Movable Type breaks. I play some Wii Fit for a bit. I got my time down to 23.01 seconds in beginner downhill slalom!)
7:08: Matt T comments, "Is marijuana a vegetable?" According to Gov. Schwarzenegger, it's a leaf. According to this children's book, it's just a plant. Oh, and it's still 5-0 in Boston, and it's the Seventh Inning God Bless America Stretch.
7:15: Speaking of that, Rob is gone and I can do whatever I want, so it's time for some Late Night Walkoff Walk. So I wrote a drug column earlier this year and will be doing it again sometime soon, and I am fascinated by American drug policy, what politicians say about drugs and how people form their opinions on drug use.
Anyway, here's what I've been thinking: I don't know how one can get through a baseball playoff game without doing a drug of some kind. I now understand why Jim Leyland smokes cigarettes. It calms your nerves. Beer is okay, I guess, but, yes, a few people I know smoke a ton of weed during the baseball playoffs. (A few people I know smoke a ton of weed in general, but this is a different group of people.) I'm new to this baseball playoffs thing, but is this the way most of you get through the baseball playoffs, too?
7:20: Oh, yeah, Varitek walks, Alex Cora singles, first and third and nobody out. Goodbye Matt Garza after 7+. Cue commercials and a promo for Sports Soup, which hopefully won't be as bad of a spinoff as The Dish. The promo shows a little promise, at least.
7:23: Sac fly makes it 5-1 now. Also, check out what I got the other day:
Yes, I put it on my bag.
7:24: Dustin Pedroia plays David Bell and GIDPs. Uh-oh, Boston. Better stay on the grass.
7:35: Screw you, mitochondria! Rocco Baldelli hits one over the Green Monster and "off the Sports Authority sign!" That officially makes his story more poignant than Josh Hamilton (who didn't even win the Home Run Derby); he still trails Jon Lester (a no-hitter is pretty exciting).
Oh, yeah, it's 8-1. Looks like it's not bad karma to drop the devil.
7:46: J.D. Drew hits a battery into right field. (Ha! You see what I did there?) You know, maybe the Red Sox can drop the "Red" and just be the "Sox." You know, like the Devil Rays? God, I can't believe they dropped the "Devil." It had so much history!
7:48: Jason Bay strikes out. End of 8. 8-1. Rays about to go up 2-1. I am feeling better and better.
7:53: A text message from Robby I: "Comments are broken! Can you tell the readers that I'm working to get them fixed? Thanks so much." Movable Type continues to astound the public with its inability to deal with databases.
8:00: And my Comcast Motorola DVR continues to astound with its inability to deal with live programming, as the recording ends with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth. Thanks, Comcast.
8:01: "And the Tampa Bay Rays have won game th... game number three." A fitting blah ending to the broadcast, the game and the liveblog. I like to end leaving you wanting more. Or wanting your money back. Thanks for reading, and boo to Movable Type for stalling and letting me slack off and play Wii. You are so not ready to be a parent, Movable Type!
Enjoy Sooze of Babes Love Baseball on the night game. I think that site is the only one on the Internet with "Babes" in it that doesn't have any cleavage shots (on the front page, at least).
8:13: While my ADD-riddled brain was typing random things into Wikipedia while watching the game, I found the entry for the Great Lakes Loons. Here's the team's name history, in order: Battle Creek Golden Kazoos, Michigan Battle Cats, Batlte Creek Yankees, Southwest Michigan Devil Rays, Great Lakes Loons.
And here's why they moved from Battle Creek to Midland: "The main reason the team is relocating is because of the lack of interest in the Battle Creek community. Even reduced tickets and a night when the fans actually were paid a dollar to come to that night's game failed to pique the interest of local residents." Lovely.
8:15: Okay, Phillies time. Thanks to Rob and Kris for letting me do this despite not turning in a Way Back Base Ball besides that first one I did. Next week, guys, I swear, I will have something in. Honest. Really. Remind me if I forget.
12:11 Tuesday: Oh my God, the Phillies game. I can't believe that all just happened. Anyway, I made a mistake on where Wally is. Turns out he's in Robot Hell:
Whoo. Hopefully I'll be back on this site again.