Kris Liakos: October 2010 Archives

2010 World Series Liveglog Club: Game 1

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When I say, "World Series!" you say, "Liveglog Club Blazers!"

Now, World Series!

(crickets)

You're all so self conscious. Ozzie Guillen just said he's gonna separate his heart from his brains. I was unaware they'd ever been connected on him, but I get what he's saying. Pick a side! Root with your whole throat! It's the Fall Classic, it's a starting pitching matchup for the ages, and I bought some Cranberry Lemonade Four Loko! Come get crunk after the jump. SEEEEEEERRRIIIIEEEESSSSS!

Wednessday Afternoon Liveglog Club: ALCS Game Five

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The champagne is on ice for all y'all. Except the oft mentioned Yankee fan jamooks. And Josh Hamilton. And the rest of the Rangers I guess since they're all empathetic and stuff. Anyway you get the point. The Rangers can clinch. And I have internet finally after moving to New York City! Let's glog, friends.

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Once you fill out this stack of forms I'll take you to meet Kenny in payroll and he'll go over direct deposit. By the by, his office is next to the FREE coffee machine. Just please try and go easy on the flavored creamer, we're in a recession.

I'm looking at YOU, Eric Wedge. The Mariners have, by all accounts, hired the former Indians skipper as their new skipper. I guess when you're still longing for the halcyon days of being managed by Mike Hargrove you retain the services of a younger Mike Hargrove. Genius! And how about those Indians, a team currently under the tutelage of Patton-like leader of men, Manny Acta? Any sage advice for Mariners fans as they embrace being Wedgied? Let's turn to the always wonderful Indians Comment of The Day:

"Seattle fans should prepare to see their backup catcher in right field, their first baseman in left field, three career utility guys in the infield and a different lineup and batting order every day." -blackohiosky

So uh, good luck with all that M's fans. Geoff Baker's LiveJournal is gonna explode!

Seattle isn't the only place planting the seeds of their 2011 campaign in old manager compost. The Cardinals announced that Tony LaRussa is coming back for a 16th season. That's a lot. And excitement has reached a fever pitch.

Financial terms were not disclosed on the new contract, finalized 15 days after the end of a disappointing season that left the 66-year-old La Russa wondering if he'd worn out his welcome. The Cardinals won the World Series in 2006 but have missed the postseason three of the past four seasons.

"For the last 10 days or so, Tony and I have had daily dialogue," general manager John Mozeliak said. "And I'm happy to report that we're welcoming him back."

Jesus. Were the negotiations held in couple's therapy? Have a manager and team ever "stayed together for the kids" before? The Cardinals had a lousy year and played flat, uninspired baseball to the point where one of their announcers said they had "poopy in their pants".

Yes. Bring that manager back. Everyone, bring every manager back ever. We are not taking any new candidates. The managerial pool is full and new slots will only be brought on by death. Thank you.

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Sunday is going to be a busy day in downtown Cincinnati. Not only are the Bengals hosting the Tampa Bay Bucca...zzzzzz, not only are there TWO performances of Disney On Ice, but the Reds are hosting their first home game since Ron Gant was their home run leader. These three events are expected to draw over 100,000 excited people to the area. Sounds like a lot of fun actually, and I'm happy for the city.

But the KY Post (an online newspaper, not a Johnson & Johnson info site) apparently thinks that Reds fans are so out of practice at this whole playoff thing that they're gonna hold everyone's hands and walk them through this strange new postseason world.

On a collection of different reseller web sites from Major League Baseball's site to goticket.com and stubhub.com, available tickets for the 7 p.m. Reds-Phillies game are going from $200 to almost $400 for mid-level seats.

Depending on how the Reds play in game two of their series in Philadelphia on Friday, it could help push prices for remaining tickets even higher.

Well, that's not so egregious. We all know that scalpers have been part of the scene since tickets were invented, but if you just woke up from 1995 not only would you have bad breath and be horrified when you saw a current picture of Courtney Cox, but the omnipresence of legalized scalping in the form of brokers would be new to you. Now let's say you don't wanna pay these newjack crooks the bounty they're demanding. Well the KY Post has you covered there too.

A cheaper alternative for those who can live without seeing the game in person is to find a favorite bar or restaurant showing the game.

For the price of tickets currently available, you could easily pay for dinner for yourself, your family and some friends to watch the game on a wide screen high definition TV at your favorite watering hole.

If you select the restaurant option, consider calling ahead today or Saturday and seeing if you need to make reservations to get the best seats at that restaurant.

Good suggestions, but let me add a couple of my own. When you get to restaurant or "watering hole" don't just yell out names of things you feel like you want to eat. Ask for a menu. That will have all of the things that they serve on it. If you spill chili all over your Aaron Harang jersey, ask for a napkin. They will give it to you for free, and there may even be one at your table already. When your meal and/or the game is over, leave the restaurant and return home. You're not allowed to live there.

Along those same lines, I have one final tip for the Reds themselves. If you want to win the game you should try and get a hit this time.

Es Tine: The 2010 Playoffs Begin Now

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Hopefully we've prepared you well. For the postseason, that is. Not this horrible rap video. If your voice trails off at the end of all your lines does that mean your flow is "tapered"? All I know is that at 00:55 dude says "Guess what, Angels? Lettuce still wants your mother. OHHHHH!"

Indeed.

FIRST PITCH IS NOW. ES TINE. GIMME THEM PEANUTS OLD MAN. HAPPY PLAYOFFS.

(note from Rob: We will be liveglogging playoff games every night. Feel free to comment on day games but don't expect a formal glog.)

The Walkoff Walk 2010 Playoff Previews: Texas Rangers

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Evan Grant is the Rangers beat reporter and blogger for the Dallas Morning News and everyone's go to source for news about the team. Thanks to the humble In-N-Out cheeseburger, he's also one of Walkoff Walk's oldest friends. He's done all of us the solidest of solids and prepared us for the Rangers playoff run. Please to enjoy.

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Dear Chicago baseball fans: Shut it. Cleveland: Close your pie hole. San Francisco: Cry us a river.

You want to live a tortured life?

Come to Texas.

Sure, it's been like 200 years since the Cubs won the World Series. Yes, goats, and Bartman and blah, blah, blah. And you know your baseball history is sordid if Wesley Snipes shows up in the team's uniform to make a couple of films as he did for the Indians (Major League) and the Giants (The Fan).

That's nothing compared to life in Texas, where Ranger fans have had to live with the fact the team hasn't won anything - World Series or Playoff Series - in the history of, well, ever. And if life wasn't bad enough living in the figurative shadows of the Cowboys for all those years, now Jerry World sits right across the street from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and casts its own real imposing shadow.

It's been rough.

That may be about to change. These Rangers - which has taken the motto "These are your Rangers," - are definitely not your father's Rangers. Not only are the Rangers back in the playoffs for the first time since 1999, they don't have to face the heart of the New York Yankees dynasty. And when you break down their Division Series matchup with Tampa Bay, it becomes possible to see this team not only breaking it's 14-year-old, nine-game post-season losing streak but also advancing deep into the playoffs.

Here are five reasons why:

1. Pitching: There. I said it. No longer are the Rangers to pitching what schlocky haunted houses are to Halloween (a gory, gross and laughable joke). The Rangers ranked seventh in the AL in rotation ERA this year at 4.23. But the four pitchers who will start in the Division Series (Cliff Lee, C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis and Tommy Hunter) combined for a 3.65 ERA. It's not much of a stretch to say the Rangers have the deepest rotation in the AL playoffs. And Wilson's like a Ninja, or something.

2. Josh Hamilton: Since June 1 when he junked the "toe-tap" trigger mechanism in his swing (apparently Bruno Tonioli thought it was as bad as Michael Bolton's jive), Hamilton is hitting .410. The only thing that's been able to stop him was a stone wall in Minnesota that left him with a couple of fractured ribs. But after missing 25 days, he's back. And if his life story of damnation and salvation isn't enough to make into a movie, now he's coming back to face the team that made him the first overall pick in the 1999 draft. "Ironic, isn't it," Hamilton said, channeling Alanis Morrissette.

3. Karma: Good things have been happening to the Rangers ever since Pittsburgh sports attorney Chuck Greenberg teamed up with Texas baseball legend Nolan Ryan to put together a group to by the club. For example: Just as the bankruptcy auction to determine the club's ultimate ownership was really heating up on August 4, Michael Young hit a grand slam homer to put the Rangers ahead of Seattle. Moments later, Greenberg and Ryan put up a bid that would ultimately defeat Mark Cuban and Houston businessman Jim Crane. Eerie isn't it?

4. Balance: Remember the late 1990s when the Rangers faced the Yankees in the playoffs? (I know our Walkoff Walk hosts do.) They had a bunch of sluggers who swung for the fences and beat up bad pitchers, but when David Cone and El Duque started throwing sliders off the plate, Juan Gonzalez and Co. became helpless hackers. This team? Not so much. While the Rangers are still aggressive swingers, they've cut their strikeout total by more than 200 from 2009 while upping their walk total. They ranked fourth in the AL in OBP (.338), first in sac bunts (53), second in sac flies (57), fifth in steals (123) and first in times going from first to third on a single (122). This team can create runs. It's a real part of why the Rangers won 30 one-run games in 2010, tied for the most in the AL and the best by a Texas club since Nolan Ryan was pitching.

5. Hey, did we mention Nolan Ryan? He's awesome. Even on General Hospital (ed: or Ryan's Hope!). The only time the guy has been wrong this year: He picked the Rangers to win 92 games this season. They won 90. Sue him.

Baby Jesus Tips His Hand On Bobby Cox Hall Of Fame Vote

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When you picture Bobby Cox you picture him shuffling out to the mound in that Braves windbreaker, cap pulled low over his brow, scowl on his face. How then, were we to know that the whole time THERE WAS A HALO UNDER HIS CAP!? Beyonce was singing about Ol Beatific Bobby all along. He's ten times the Angel that Mike Scioscia could ever hope to be.

Come back tomorrow for more playoff preview wonderfulness. Xoxo same WoW channel.

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Inherently more cosmopolitan and far less whiny than their custardy, championship starved brethren in Cleveland and Chicago, the San Francisco Giants are this year's history burdened postseason darlings. And if you don't have a horse in this year's race, why wouldn't you be rooting for them? Heck I'm a fairly big Dodgers fan, but this season left such a sour taste in my mouth that I feel no qualms about rooting for the rival. When I was trying to pick a team for these playoffs, Rob said he was certain I'd pick the bandwagon with the most beer on it. I'm not sure if that's San Fran or not, but I've got a handful of other reasons that I'm jumping on.

1. The pitching, duh. The Giants lead the MLB in ERA and Ks. 3 of their starters (Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez) have a WAR of at least 3.5. Any team is going to have to beat 2 of these guys to have a chance.

2. Scott McCaughey, prolific music dude and mondo Giants fan wrote one of my favorite songs of the year "Panda And The Freak" about the team. It's gonna be on the next Baseball Project record and it slays. But I can't find a good live video anywhere. So trust me.

3. Florida State Seminole Buster Posey has had the best rookie season in a league where a lot of guys had great rookie seasons. He slugged .505 and had an OPS+ of 128. While this team isn't known for its bat, Posey is a genuine hitter and leads a team that showed flashes of streaky scoring ability during the season. The catcher could spark one of those streaks at the right time (lousy career numbers against ATL in a small sample size notwithstanding).

4. So many likable weirdo dudes. "Panda And The Freak" is an awesome rock song because Sandoval and Lincecum have awesome nicknames. They have awesome nicknames because they're awesome. Sandoval has been up and down all season and is struggling again having hit only 1 ding dong in September. But he's fat and his nickname is Panda, so high five. Lincecum's off field persona has become as large as his on field skill; getting famous for smoking trees, having a cool dog and swearing on TV. And let's not forget Aubrey Huff. Dude returned to his 2008 form this year (26 HR 137 OPS+) and is taking his self-pleasuring hotel antics to his first postseason. That aint champagne foam!

5. Speaking of champagne, if the Giants win the pennant, maybe Will Clark will come back to celebrate.

Huzzah, Giants! To long overdue victory! Stick it, Cubs and Indians fans! Lemme get rid of this gum!

Weekend Questions

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Hey kids, it's an angry world.

  • ARE the earlier start times for this year's WS games a direct result of the syrupy pablum that Bob Costas and Ken Burns dribbled all over us earlier in the week? The "for the kids" argument always annoys me. If you don't let your son or daughter stay up an hour or two later than usual for the World Series once a year then you probably aren't much of a baseball fan to begin with.

  • IS Omar Minaya going to get canned along with the definitely going to get canned Jerry Manuel? Jon Heyman says so, but that dude's a speculating speculum.

  • CAN the Giants clinch tonight against San Diego, or will the Pads come storming back to sweep the weekend and save their season? Not likely from a team that blew a 7 game lead in about 3 weeks.

  • DID you catch Will Carroll's farewell column at BP this week? There'd be no Creampuff without him (not that there's really a Creampuff anymore, but whatever) and even though I ripped him off he was still kind enough to write a column for us once and appear on Furious Five. So happy trails Will, in whatever your next endeavor may be.

  • SINCE when do I know enough about the minor leagues to be a voter in the Bus Leagues Baseball Postseason Awards? Since they asked me!

  • DID you read Drew's new column at The Score about those woebegone Padres? I KNEW YOU WHEN YOU WERE LLOYD!

  • WERE you shut out of Matador 21 this weekend (like me)? Stream it here all weekend.

  • WHERE to begin with this week's Cruise Planners News? The change in setting? Paul looks like he's on location at a factory that makes the plexiglass for hockey rinks. Is he drunk or just heavily medicated? A BODYBUILDING CRUISE??? All in favor of Rob planning his honeymoon through Paul say "Stock Soptions."

That's it for a relatively slow week around these parts. Monday we start running our 2010 Playoff Previews done by the WoW staff and a few very special guests. The postseason is coming, people. We'll have you covered in our special weirdo style. We love you like that. Same WoW channel.

The Magical 7-Up Dispensing Home Plate - 1980

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This commercial is pretty boring, and Bruce Sutter is a bad actor even for an athlete. BUT everything is redeemed by the breathtaking device at 00:23. And I'm not talking about Schmidt's mustache. America is turning to Walkoff Walk Classic TV Friday.