Category Archives: Mariners

Why I love baseball, and the Sox

Here we are, a little more than a week into spring training, and just as I expected, not a whole lot to talk about. The biggest stories have stemmed from injuries to Jose Reyes and the odd one day retirement contract of Nomar Garciaparra.

The combination of the Nomar story and Matthew Berry’s Love/Hate ’10 which had an interesting “Why I hate the Yankees” segment, made me want to write about why I love baseball, and why I love the sox. As a side note, Matt, I have had food thrown at me in Yankee stadium as well. Nachos to be exact.

Why do I love baseball? Man that is a question of a million answers. The biggest reason probably being that I played. I played and I loved it. I played, and I wasn’t good for a long time. I remember my dad promising me batting gloves as soon as I got my first hit, which took me maybe half a season to get. With time, I got better, I worked hard, and eventually got pretty decent at hitting as well. I was fast too, like really fast. Rickey Henderson fast.

I beat out more ground balls in little league than anyone. I led off a lot of games before I had the strength to get the ball over an infielder’s heads. There was value in my abilities when I was not the best athlete, and that made it fun. I have distinct memories of my first layout in center field, much like Jacoby Ellsbury. When I caught the ball, the man on second had already crossed the plate, making it an extremely easy double play.

Which by the way, I can still do…

Aside from playing the game, I loved to watch it. I loved to watch it since my dad took me to my first game at Fenway. I loved the stats, standings and analysis in every way possible. I checked the paper every morning for the new stats. (I became a math major down the road). I loved the dirt dogs, the guys who worked hard. Trot Nixon, Pedro Martinez, and Nomar.

I remember the epic debates in the late 90’s as to who the best shortstop ever was. Nomar, Jeter, or A-Rod. I argued hard for Nomar every time. Funny what 12 years can do to the perception of a players career.

I loved the vigor and love these guys showed on the field. I hated that their passion always seemed to be dominated by the Evil Empire. I loved these guys for the same reasons I love Dustin Pedroia, and John Lester.

These guys play the game the right way. The play hard, work hard, and give the effort that I gave as a kid. These players not only won my loyalty for the last 2 decades, but have won it for long after they are no longer with the team.

With less than a month left until the regular season starts, and not much happing story wise in baseball, I guess it’s time to go watch some march madness to hold me over!

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2007’s Best Playoff Races

I love September baseball. In recent years, it’s come down to the wire. Every game matters. I expect 2007 to be no different, giving fans a reason to watch right up until playoffs start. Here is a rundown of all 8 playoff races, in order of how good I think each race will be.

#1 NL Wild Card – Fantastic Race

Current Standings
San Diego —
Philadelphia 2.5 GB
Colorado 3.5 GB
Los Angeles (Dodgers) 3.5 GB

As it has been the last 2 years, the NL Wild Card will be the last playoff spot won. Yes I know wildcards are usually last, but once again, this may be a last-game-of-the-season type race. I personally will be rooting for the Phillies, but it is going to take a lot to take a lot to get San Diego off their roost. I’m declaring the Braves, Cubs, and Cardinals out of this race as they are not only 5 or more games behind, but have too many teams to leapfrog.

#2 NL Central – Good Race

Current Standings
Milwaukee —
Chicago 1.0 GB
St. Louis 4.0 GB

The best part about this race is that it’s a win or go home race. None of these teams have a high enough winning percentage to be considered in the wild card race. These guys will be scrapping for playoff glory. I’d like to see Milwaukee win this, just because they deserve the playoffs. They have been so bad in recent years I love to see a team like this get a shot. I also wouldn’t mind the Cubs there. If my Red Sox or Phillies aren’t winning a world series, I wouldn’t mind seeing a curse be broken.

#3 NL West – It is in fact, a race.

Current Standings
Arizona —
San Diego 2.5 GB

I think its great that the Diamondbacks have surfaced here. After their championship in ’01, they died off a little and weren’t really a threatening team. They are BACK, with or without Randy Johnson. They will win this race, but San Diego will be right there the whole way.

#4 AL Wild Card – Could be a race?

Current Standings
Yankees —
Tigers 4.0 GB

It pains me to say it, but I think the Yankees will be in the 2007 playoff picture. They have been far to hot to just go and miss it. The better the Red Sox do this weekend, the closer the Tigers can get to making this a race. Come on Detroit, you know you want it. Sorry Seattle, you buried yourselves and filled in your own grave on top of yourselves. At 6.5 out, I’m declaring you done.

#5 AL East – Talk to me on Monday.

Current Standings
Boston —
New York (Yankees) 5 GB

Just because I’ve ranked this at #5 doesn’t change my prediction that the Yankees will not win this. I still stand buy that. There is one and only one reason that the AL East even finished at #5, and that is this weekend’s head to head series.

Pettitte Vs. Matsuzaka
Wang Vs. Beckett
Clemens Vs. Schilling

Wow. Can you say playoff baseball? In a series where Roger Clemens makes his first return to Fenway Park since 2003, the Yankees COULD make this a playoff race. I say the Sox take 2 of 3 over this series, and then it will no longer be a race. If the Yankees sweep by some chance, this race could jump up to #2 or #3.

#6 AL Central – Possibility of a race, not likely.

Current Standings
Cleveland —
Detroit 6.5 GB

Only in a world where the Indians collapse and Detroit plays super hot is there any chance that the Indians blow this one. This is not really a race, but is more of a race than #7 and #8 because Detroit is only 6.5 out and is a good team.

#7 NL East – Race? What’s a Race?

New York (Mets) —
Phillies 6.0 GB

I think the Mets had this division won at the all star break. They are the best team there, and no matter how the Phillies do the Mets have this one won.

#8 AL West – Hahaha you are STILL falling.

Los Angeles (Angels) —
Seattle 9.5 GB

If you were to ask me what the biggest collapse of a team was this year, I’m going to point you right here. The Mariners had it going, and completely blew it. You guys were my hope for keeping the Yanks out of October. Thanks a lot. See you in the playoffs Angels, and good luck with home field Advantage.

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