Monday, October 8, 2007

Laying Low

I admit it. I've been watching the playoffs all weekend.

It's been somewhat tough for me to get into the games, especially the Arizona/Chicago series, where the games hold little or no interest to me whatsoever. It's also tough, as a Mets fan and with the Mets having done what they did over the last 2 weeks of the regular season, to root too heavily against teams like Philadelphia and the Yankees. By that I mean that Mets fans probably should lay low for the most part and not say anything bad, lest we draw the ire of some iron-headed Philly fans, or worse, happy-talking Yankee fans.

But there was indeed some nice, hearty schadenfreude going on late Saturday night, as the Phillies fell in 3 games to the Rockies, their lone bit of offense coming from a HR from shrimpy Shane Victorino. I had a feeling, looking at that matchup, and looking at the respective stadiums, that no game would see fewer than 10 runs scored, and I was dead wrong. But give a hell of a lot of credit to the Rockies, first of all just for getting there when nobody gave them any bit of a chance, but also for staying red hot. That was a quality Philly team they beat, and, if the Mets had somehow made it and had to play this team, I'm afraid to think what the results would have been. Something tells me the Mets would have gotten their clocks cleaned good and proper.

Kudos also to Kaz, who was run out of town last season and given to the Rockies for a song, for coming up with a grand slam in Game 2 and another big triple in Game 3. I know there are probably some Mets fans suffering from residual Kaz bitterness because of how badly he played here, but most of the Mets fans I spoke to were pulling pretty hard for him.

We at The Ballclub will always have a warm spot in our hearts for Kaz, simply for that one night in July, 2004, when he owned all of New York.

But there's one other thing that the Rockies victory did that really should have all of us scratching our heads.

Has anyone taken a look at this NLCS? Did anyone in their right mind think that either of these teams would even sniff a Playoff spot, let alone be playing each other for a chance to go to the World Series?

The Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks. They've done it with youth, youth and more youth, most of it home-grown and with the sage advice of a few veteran leaders (Helton for the Rockies, Livan, Brandon Webb and Eric Byrnes for the DBacks), they've somehow managed to navigate through the NL West and a round of the playoffs. And against all odds, here they are, and one of them is going to the World Series. Parity is alive and well and living in the National League West...

...That is, if anyone can remember who's playing when the NLCS finally begins on Thursday night.

Something bugging you?
On the other side, there are the Yankees, who, after losing on Friday night, seemed to be just as well off as Philadelphia. But they battled back and won on Sunday night, extending their series (and thus being the only Division series not decided in a sweep). But the Yankees have had their own controversy, as BugGate (or GnatGate or MosquitoGate, or whatever the hell they're calling it) theories are running abound. The ringleaders behind blaming the bugs in Cleveland for the Yanks Game 2 loss are, of course, John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman, who seemed to be doing everything short of calling for a do-over last night, and how dare anyone blame Joba Chamberlain for...Gasp!...actually pitching poorly for once. Guess what? He's human. It happens. He bounced back and pitched great on Sunday and the bugs didn't seem to bother Fausto Carmona at all.

But I digress. They play on tomorrow.

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