MLB Playoffs Thread

(If anyone has questions about baseball, ask away.)

Ok. So the NLCS is set and the ALCS could be set today.

I was really pulling for the Cubs but they didn't seem to really have a chance. They finished the season with only 85 wins, 5 less than the wild card winning Rockies. Yesterday's game was just painful to watch, with the Cubs leaving so many people on base... ugh.

Arizona looks on fire. They are young and playing like they have nothing to lose. I kinda feel the same about the Rockies. They have won 17 of their last 18 games. Should be a good NLCS.

Cleveland leads the Yankees 2-0 in their series. Red Sox lead Anaheim 2-0 in their series.

Today's games

BOS-LAAA at 3 in LA
Jered Weaver pitches for LAAA, Curt Schilling for BOS. Schilling is a veteran big-game playoff pitcher. Weaver is a young talented pitcher.

The Red Sox look confident and energetic. Manny Ramirez looked really ugly in the field on Friday. I'd say he was responsible for letting one of those LAAA runs score. But with the game tied in the bottom of the ninth, CLE intentionally walked Ortiz with one out to set up the double play. But K-Rod made a mistake pitch and Manny deposited it on Landsdown street giving Boston the 6-3 win.

One more note: Angels were the best home team this year.

CLE-NYY at 6:30 in NY
NY sends Clemens to the mound to keep them in the series. If Clemens can pitch well, and the offense actually scores some runs, then NYY will have Wang go tomorrow in the stadium, where he pitches much better.

Jake Westbrook pitches for the Indians. He had a 6-9 record during the season with an ERA of 4.32.

Before this series I said that the key to the Yankees winning in the playoffs was Arod. He is IMO responsible for the Yankees being in the post season with his outstanding season. But he is 0-6 so far in this series and needs to step up to the plate today, or he will be booed out of the stadium.

Trivia: Jake Westbrook made is MLB debut in 2000 for... the Yankees.
Since the Yankees won the third game of the 2004 ALCS, they are 3-12 in playoff games. 3 wins in the last 12 playoff games.

I think the problem is that they just don't have some of the gritty roll players. They miss Paul, Tino, Chuck, Scott.

NYY hasn't won a World Series since their payroll got above $100 million.
If Arod doesn't get a hit and the Yankees lose, I'd bet Arod opts out of his contract and is not with NYY next year. I also think Torre will be out no matter what. Cashman will probably stay.

They have been doing the right thing with the team lately, getting younger and not selling the farm for the best FA available.
Halfway through the BOS-LAAA game Weaver looks good, but gave up back-to-back home runs to Ortiz and Ramirez. Schilling isn't looking as sharp, but has the lead 2-0.
Win or else

Boss of old: George Steinbrenner says Yankees must win or Joe Torre likely won't return
By RONALD BLUM, AP Baseball Writer
October 7, 2007

New York Yankees manager Joe Torre, left, looks at his wife, Ali, during a news conference at Jose Marti Middle School in Union City, N.J., Monday, Oct. 1, 2007, to announce a program to provide a safe environment for students effected by domestic violence. Torre's Safe At Home Foundation with a $325,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation, will open "Margaret's Place" at the school which will provide students with a safe room to talk about domestic violence with a professional social worker.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Win or else! That was George Steinbrenner's message to Joe Torre before the New York Yankees played the Cleveland Indians on Sunday night.

With the Yankees trailing 2-0 in the best-of-five, first-round playoff series, Steinbrenner reverted to the blustering boss of old and said Torre likely wouldn't return as manager unless New York reaches the AL championship series for the first time in three years.

"His job is on the line," the owner was quoted in Sunday's editions of The Record of New Jersey. "I think we're paying him a lot of money. He's the highest-paid manager in baseball, so I don't think we'd take him back if we don't win this series."

Torre was hired before the 1996 season and led the Yankees to four World Series titles in his first five seasons but none since. New York last reached the World Series in 2003, wasted a 3-0 lead to Boston in the 2004 ALCS, then was eliminated by the Angels and Detroit in the first round the last two years.

"You're not surprised by whatever comes down the pike," Torre said. "You don't always get used to it, but you understand if you want to work here -- and there's a great deal of upside to working here -- that there are certain things you have to deal with. We've had ultimatums during the season, early in the season. This obviously is down to a game we need to win, and you'd like to believe everybody's trying to pull in the same direction."

Torre has led the Yankees to 12 consecutive postseason appearances, winning 10 AL East titles and two wild-card berths. His 1,173 regular-season wins are second among Yankees managers behind Joe McCarthy's 1,460.

In the final season of his current contract, Torre is being paid $7 million. He hasn't decided whether he would want to return but has seemed open to it in recent weeks.

"It's too early for me to address that because, you know, the most important thing for me right now is winning Game 3," he said.

Sitting in his pinstriped uniform pants with a blue Yankees windbreaker and an NY cap, he matter-of-factly answered questions for 12 minutes about 2 1/2 hours before game time. He found out about Steinbrenner's comments when he arrived at Yankee Stadium.

"I choose not to read the papers and stuff when we don't do well," Torre said. "I jump in there when we're doing well."

Steinbrenner changed managers 20 times from 1973-95 and nearly fired Torre after last year's four-game elimination. Torre had a humorous response when asked whether his job would be safe in the Yankees did come back.

"Till the next series, right?" he said.

"You have seen managers who have been here before me. I don't think any of them have been on easy street as far as the day-in, day-out operations here," Torre went on. "So whether I think it's right, wrong, fair, foul or whatever is really not the point at this point in time. I'll save all that stuff for later on when there's really nothing left for me to do here."

Steinbrenner also criticized umpire Bruce Froemming for not stopping play when insects invaded the field during Game 2 in Cleveland on Friday. Rookie reliever Joba Chamberlain threw two wild pitches that allowed Cleveland to tie the game in the eighth, and the Indians went on to win 2-1 in 11 innings.

New York Yankees manager Joe Torre, left, and his wife, Ali, listen during a news conference at Jose Marti Middle School in Union City, N.J., Monday, Oct. 1, 2007, to announce a program to provide a safe environment for students effected by domestic violence.
AP - Oct 1, 2:01 pm EDT
More Photos
Froemming called it "just a little irritation." Steinbrenner profanely dismissed Froemming's explanation.

"He won't umpire our games anymore," Steinbrenner said.

The 68-year-old Froemming -- the longest-tenured umpire in major league history -- is retiring after this season. The Yankees complained to baseball commissioner Bud Selig.

"(Selig) just said, 'That's in the umpires' hands.' ... It was terrible. It messed up the whole team, (Derek) Jeter, all of them," Steinbrenner told the paper.

Steinbrenner also predicted Alex Rodriguez will remain with the Yankees. A-Rod has the right to opt out of the final three years of his record $252 million, 10-year contract after the World Series and become a free agent.

"I think we'll re-sign him," Steinbrenner told the paper. "I think he's going to have a good run the rest of the (postseason). I think he realizes New York is the place to be, the place to play. A lot of this (postseason) is laying on his shoulders, you know, but I think he's up to it."

The 77-year-old Steinbrenner, who has appeared to be more frail in recent years, said he will make the decisions on Torre and Rodriguez.

"I have full control," Steinbrenner said.
Sox pouring it on now. 9-0 in the top of the 8th. Looks like 3 sweeps so far. Can the Yankees prevent an all-sweeps LDS?
Red Sox win 9-1 with a 7-run 8th inning. The Red Sox have now won the last 9 post season games versus the Angels. Still, the Angels had beat the Red Sox in 10 straight post season games during the 80's.


Older and Wiser
Sox pouring it on now. 9-0 in the top of the 8th. Looks like 3 sweeps so far. Can the Yankees prevent an all-sweeps LDS?

8:37 PM - Damon just homered with 2 on. The score is 5-3 Yanks. Hopefully we keep it that way.
Yankees have taken the lead in support of Hughes who has pitched very well in relief of Clemens, who left the game with a tight hamstring. Arod has a hit. Jeter has grounded into 2 double plays.