Thursday, October 12, 2006

ALCS game 2 thoughts: Jim Leyland owns Ken Macha

Jim Leyland is 'da man. He can do no wrong. NOTHING. Every move the Matlboro Man makes does more than work, it pays huge dividends. I mean, Alexis Gomez? Come on!

The Cigarette Smoking Man smokes a blunt Marlboro Red, and suddenly decides to DH (literally) the 25th man on the Tigers roster, Gomez. Then, in a stoke that reeks of madness, or maybe hubris, he totally loses his nicotine addled faculties, and not just plays the black hole of suck, but installs him in the 2 hole? Even the most staunch, blue and orange glasses wearing Tiger fan was left asking, "What in the HELL is he thinking?"

One 400 foot bomb, 4 RBI, and a 2-0 series lead later, Leyland is smoking his way all the way back to a state that would elect him not just Governor, but Grand Potentate. Ken Macha has to think that life is just not fair...

Even when when Leyland makes a mistake, it really doesn't hurt all that much. The biggest being allowing TBHoS in the clubhouse, let alone the field. At least TBHoS didn't violate the prime directive, and did no harm. Which is about all we can ask.

Another example was in the top of the 6th inning. For some inexplicable reason, Leyland sent Justin Verlander back out for the 6th, when it was obvious to most everyone that he had given his all through 5 innings, and had little left. I think most Tiger fans were more than happy with Verlander's performance thru 5, and were expecting either Jason Greeley (According to Thom Brenneman, anyway), Jason Grilli, or Wil Ledezma to begin the 6th. Instead, Verlander gives up a quick solo shot, and a hard hit liner for an out. Leyland finally sees the error of his ways, and gets Verlander the Hell out of the game, and Ledezma finishes the inning without further incident. No problem...

It's a tale of 2 managers. Look on the flip side. Macha stuck with an obviously struggling Esteban Loaiza too long, I'm guessing in hope to save his bullpen. That decision let Gomez go all Babe Ruth on Loaiza and basically put the game out of reach. Even when Macha makes the right decision, it blows up in his face. Macha starts the 9th inning with his closer, Huston Street, to keep the game close, and Curtis Granderson takes him yard.

The A's can't win for losing. Crazy ass board game guy hits 2 huge HR's, and the A's still lose. They load the bases in the bottom of the 9th with the Really God Damn Big Hurt coming to plate, the Rollercoaster on the mound, and the A's still lose. They start their ace in game 1, and the A's still lose. The A's are looking like they will become the lastest victim of a Tiger team that appears to be one of destiny.

Calling the Tigers a "Team of Destiny" is going to become an overused platitude, but do you know of any better way of putting it?

Other thoughts on game 2...

The best line I heard all night was Lou Pinella's. After earlier discussing how The Babe Gomez was called a "5 o'clock hitter" due to his batting practice heroics, when Gomez went deep Pinella quipped, "It's always 5 o'clock somewhere!"

I didn't get all that upset with Todd Jones' adventurous (To put it mildly) 9th. Yes, I was as nervous as the next guy when the rebar swinging the Really God Damn Big Hurt was at the plate with the bases juiced. But it wasn't as if the Coaster was giving up hard hit balls. There isn't much you can do when crazy ass board game guy's infield high hopper landed in no-man's land, ie: TBHOS's glove.

It bears repeating. Placido Polanco is really really GOOD. You ever think you'd see the day when when the Placidome was intentionally walked, and not just because a base was open? Me neither.

Someone needs to have a looong talk to Loaiza about what's left of his hair. When one's balding noggin is getting that nastily patchy, you should just give up, and shave your head. That advice comes straight from the GF, by the way.

Over the past few days the Tigers have played the following. "Jason" Verlander, Jason "Greeley," "Jo-El" Zumaya, "Plaseedo" Polanco, and Craig "MON-roe." Over the weekend, expect "Ozzie" Guillen, "Bradley" Inge, Curtis "Mayfield," Fernando "Lamas," "Wilma" Ledezma, and "Chi-Chi" Rodriguez to all play for Detroit. I guess the Tigers got an exemption that allowed them to carry more than 25 players on their roster.

Can anyone explain crazy ass board game guy's bright white sunglasses? Yo Elton John, we found them!

Tomorrow's game time has been moved to a 4:35 pm start. The change was made supposedly for weather reasons... I'm SURE it's not due to wanting a certain New York team to play in prime time... Despite what the loons at MLB and FOX might think, the Tigers have become, by far, the most compelling story of the playoffs. Much like the '04 Red Sox and '05 White Sox. I honestly doubt the entire nation would rather watch the NLCS losers bracket in prime time.

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