Posts Tagged ‘les miles’

Free Pass

Just put him on...

Alas, the Yankees have lost the ALCS. There are many things you can blame for this sad reality, most notably the fact that the Rangers pitched and hit better than the Yankees throughout the series. But one thing that certainly didn’t help matters was the absurd number of intentional walks issued at the behest of Joe Girardi.

Two of the series’ key turning points were centered on intentional walks. First, in Game 4, with A.J. Burnett pitching as well as anyone could have expected and the Yankees leading 3-2, Vlad Guerrero led off the sixth with a single. Nelson Cruz replaced him at first on a fielder’s choice, and then, in a smart baserunning play, went to second on a deep fly ball to center. This move was so smart because it left Girardi with something that, apparently, managers do not know what to do with: a base open.

You hear things like this all the time in baseball: “Well, you have a base open here, so you can pitch around him,” or “You may as well walk him with a base open.” Here is a quick note for managers: YOU WANT YOUR BASES TO BE OPEN. That is a good thing. It means you have fewer runners on base and, thus, fewer runners at risk of scoring. And yet having a runner a second base and not first for some reason makes managers think about this differently, as if there were no substantive difference between having two runners on and having only one.

Because I’m sure that, had Cruz not taken second, Girardi would not have done what he did,* which is intentionally walk David Murphy.** Continue reading

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Monday Medley

What we read while surviving Hurricane Earl…

  • We’d have already bought a few of these literary posters if not for their strict “Canadian currency only” policy.

Aught Lang Syne: Top 10 Games — College Football

As much as I like to impugn the honor of college football, the game still has a soft spot in my heart, largely due to its ability to give us games like the following on any given autumn Saturday. The first full decade of the BCS served up its share of duds, but those were almost certainly outweighed by title games that will never be forgotten. It’s also worth noting that the sport that proclaims to have the most meaningful regular season did earn the most regular-season games in its top ten.

Final cuts to this list—which comprises many unforgettable finishes and frantic final quarters, not to mention some outright barnburners—include Stanford’s upset of USC at the Coliseum, Texas and Michigan’s classic 2005 Rose Bowl, Matt Ryan’s last-second heroics to keep BC unbeaten at Virginia Tech in 2007, and a personal favorite: Rutgers’ 18-point comeback and upset of Louisville in Piscataway in 2006.

And if you don’t know what No. 1 is…come on.

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