Thursday, October 8, 2015

Baseball playoffs and road warriors

Well, let's see. The Houston Astros have the second lowest payroll in the major leagues at around $69 million. The NY Yankees have the second highest payroll at around $214 million -- roughly three times as much. The Yankees had home field advantage in the AL wild card elimination game. Guess who won? The Bronx Bombers are out again, and somewhere the ghost of George Steinbrenner wants to fire somebody. I feel your pain, Boss.

The "Stros" hopped on a plane, flew to Kansas City, and knocked off the Royals in Game One of an ALDS series the next night. Another impressive road win.

As mentioned in my previous post, the Chicago Cubs went into Pittsburgh and eliminated the Pirates in the NL wild card game. Some are saying this was not fair. After all, Pittsburgh had the second best regular season record in all of baseball. They deserved better than only one playoff game before being sent home. To which I say -- shut up. The mother of the Pirates best player, one Andrew McCutchen, sang the national anthem, the Bucs were at home in front of their rabid fans, and they still lost? Hey, who's fault is that? As was noted by a TV talking head, the Pirates have long been perennial playoff chokers. Even when they had superstuds like Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonilla back in the 90s, they couldn't get it done. The last time the Pirates won a World Series was way back in 1979, with the "We are family" bunch. Nevertheless, it was a road win for the Cubs.

The Texas Rangers went into Toronto and had to face Cy Young award candidate David Price. The Blue Jays have a regular murderer's row batting line-up. They led the major leagues is just about every offensive category, including home runs, runs scored, and RBIs. These guys can put big numbers on the board. But they meekly bowed out in Game One as Texas racked up yet another road win in these playoffs.

Granted, it's early in the playoffs but, if I have this right, a home team is yet to win a single game. Seems weird.

Then again, the Detroit Tigers had the third highest team payroll in all of baseball, and they finished dead last in their division. So what did they do? Bring back their obviously clueless manager, one Brad Ausmus. Hey, why not give him a hefty raise to boot? Wouldn't that be business as usual for Detroit sports teams? Look at the clown the Lions hired -- Jim Caldwell. He's making millions, despite his track record of being an utter failure as a head coach elsewhere. Don't look now, but the Lions are 0-4, and will likely be 0-5 after the Arizona Cardinals come into Motown this Sunday. Might as well give Jimbo a contract extension through, say, the year 2025. Perfect. After he's eventually fired, and he will be (even the Ford family briefly emerges from its coma every few years), the Lions could continue to pay him countless millions for doing nothing. Only in Detroit.

Not sure who won this year's WNBA title. Think it pitted Indianapolis against Minnesota. It's a pity these poor girls can't stay in college where they were stars. Because once they become pros, they totally fall off the radar screen. It's kind of like the flyweight division in boxing. It's still there, I think, but does anybody have the faintest idea who the top contenders are?

But back to baseball. Go Cubbies. You can slay the mighty St. Louis dragon. Maybe. Regardless, if Cubs' skipper Joe Maddon isn't voted NL manager of the year after what he and his team have already improbably pulled off this year on the northside -- something is very wrong.  

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