Archive | October, 2012

A seventh game in the National League and the Red Sox hire a new manager

22 Oct

In baseball news we have a Game 7 in the National League Championship Series between the San Fransisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals. The Giants have climbed back into the series from a 3-1 deficit and after a 6-1 win at home in Game 6 the Giants have a chance to complete the comeback in Game 7 at home in San Fransisco Monday night. It was the Giants 5th straight elimination game victory in these playoffs.

But these Cardinals have their own fighting heart and have won deciding games at the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals in these playoffs. And they are the defending champions after coming back in the last two games at home vs the Texas Rangers in last years Fall Classic.

I checked the history and there has never been a Tigers vs Giants World Series even when the Giants played baseball in New York. The Cardinals and Tigers have played three times 1934 won by the Cardinals, 1968 won by the Tigers and most recently 2006 by the Cardinals.

The Cardinals had to win a deciding seventh game vs the New York Mets in New York to get to that 2006 World Series so there is some fairly recent history there though a lot of the players are already different.

As for tonight it will be a great game hopefully and it’s a shame one of these teams has to go home. These Giants without a real superstar have been spectacular and the Cardinals never seem to die away as well. But one of these teams will lose tonight. Its tough to see the Giants losing at home and they seem to have taken over the last couple games with their backs to the wall. And even though I’m not a Cardinals fan I hate picking against them because they have a real fighting heart as well as the Giants and Beth Sportsblogger is a huge Cardinals fan here on the blogs so I’m rooting for her as a friend here. So to be different I’ll pick against the traditional thinking of picking the home team and I’ll pick the Cardinals tonight for her. They’re a team that has broken a lot of fans hearts including mine with the Brewers and Rangers in last years playoffs, and continuing this year with elimination victories over the Braves and Nationals on the road in deciding games. So until they’re dead the Titanic has not sunk yet. Maybe tonight they hit their iceberg. Or they’ll crash through again and head back on to the World Series. The winner tonight will host the Detroit Tigers and Game 1 Starter Justin Verlander in the World Series where the National League has home field advantage. We’ll see what happens.

Finally the Boston Red Sox one of my favorite teams finally hired their new manager John Farrell who had managed the Toronto Blue Jays the last few years and was the Red Sox pitching coach from 2007-2010. The Red Sox who finished an uncharacteristic last place in the American League this season under the outspoken embattled Bobby Valentine say they trust and like their new manager. We’ll see if that translates to better play and more wins on the field now that the Red Sox have the manager they really wanted. Best wishes and talk soon. Bratman






Who should the next Boston Red Sox Manager be? I like Nomar Garciaparra among others

10 Oct

So who should be the Boston Red Sox manager to replace the fired Bobby Valentine?  If you don’t like the Red Sox or don’t care you might not think about it, but as a Red Sox and baseball fan it does give me some curiosity and I’m sure it does you too.

I have read that the Red Sox would like to pursue Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell who used to be a Red Sox pitching coach and still has a year on his contract. I have also heard about interest in Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia if he he is let out of his contract or let go by the Angels. Hard to figure he has managed there since 2000, and he led the Angels to the 2002 World Series title.

I as a fan who has no knowledge or other information, has my own ideas and they involve some former Red Sox and major league players, besides the gem in the rough of the coaching ranks that only baseball insiders know.

I like former Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra now an ESPN analyst. He is a young, bright and calm baseball mind. He is beloved in Boston as a player where he played from 1994 through the middle of the 2004 season when he was traded ironically before the Red Sox won their first World Series that season in 86 years. I think he would have a great demeanor for Boston Baseball where they need a great manager who can put up with egos, talent and the pressure of the Boston baseball market where they talk Red Sox baseball all year.

I thought of former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling also an ESPN Analyst, but he is quite outspoken and likes to talk on talk radio. He might be a wilder choice than Bobby Valentine was, but he does know baseball and pitching well and is also a hero from his bloody sock performance in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS when he was hurt and won a big game against the Yankees in the legendary ALCS where the Red Sox came from 3-0 down to win. But being a former player alone doesn’t lead to greatness as a coach or manager of course. There are lots of great players who have failed and are not great coaches or managers

Other former players I thought of are Ryne Sandberg who has managed in the Cubs minor league system, Tony Gwynn who has over 3000 hits and is an excellent baseball strategist and coach. Also former Red Sox and Yankees third baseman Wade Boggs who also has over 3000 hits. These are just a few ideas among many others. I like Nomar Garciaparra the best as a choice for Red Sox manager, but you can argue he doesn’t have coaching experience. But a good baseball mind is what is needed and the demeanor to fit with the players and city. I think Nomar has this, but so do many others and a decision probably wont be made until after the playoffs. But we’ll see what happens and it is interesting discussion especially because its Boston Red Sox Baseball.  Best wishes and talk soon. Bratman

Some excitement to be decided on the final day of the baseball regular season

3 Oct

October 3rd, 1951  is a very famous date in baseball history as it is the 61st anniversary of Bobby Thomson’s shot around the world. “The Giants win the pennant” you’ve heard the call many times as the then New York Giants defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers in a playoff to win the pennant.

And today is the final day of this baseball season, and it could be very exciting. The New York Yankees are one game ahead of the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East. One will win the division and the other will be one of the two wildcards. If there is a tie in the standings there will be a one game playoff for the AL East in Baltimore. Meanwhile on the West Coast the Texas Rangers will play at the Oakland A’s. They are tied for the AL West. Again both will make the playoffs one as a wild card and one as the AL West Champion. Just a note the A’s were 13 games out in June so they have made a remarkable comeback in the AL West.

Also the Orioles, Yankees, Athletics and Rangers are all fighting for the best record in the American League.

Meanwhile Miguel Cabrera,  a member of the other American League playoff team, the Detroit Tigers the AL Central champs has  a chance to win the Triple Crown in baseball.

Wiinning the Triple Crown is a rare feat as a player must lead the league in batting average, runs batted in and home runs. And going into the final day of the season Cabrera has the lead in all three categories. The last men to win the Triple Crown were Carl Yastzremski in 1967 and Frank Robinson in 1966. Cabrera has a .331 batting average 44 homers and 139 runs batted in, RBIs.  We’ll see what happens there.

Meanwhile in the National League the Cincinatti Reds and the Washington Nationals are tied for the best record in the National League and since the National League won the All Star game the team that has the best record in the NL will have home field throughout the World  Series. And as far as a playoff note the St Louis Cardinals the defending World Champions will be able to defend their crown as they beat out the Los Angeles Dodgers for the final NL Playoff spot. The Cardinals will play at the Atlanta Braves on Friday in the NL Wildcard game.

As for me I’ll be rooting for the Texas Rangers to try to win the AL West today and if not that the wild card game so they can try to eventually get back to the World Series for a third year in a row after losing the last two World Series to the San Fransisco Giants the NL West winner this year in 2010 and the St Louis Cardinals in 2011.

Other teams that I like the Milwaukee Brewers had a strong finish and will finish over .500 with an 83-78 record heading into their season finale tonight. The Boston Red Sox meanwhile had a horrible year for them at 69-92 and will finish in last place in the AL East. Embattled manager Bobby Valentine’s future there is in question. However the Red Sox still could spoil some things facing the Yankees in their season finale tonight. Finally woes to the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros. As recently as 2003 they finished a game apart at the top of the NL Central with the Cubs winning. In 2005 the Astros went to the World Series. Today they will play each other in the season finale and the Astros final game in the National League. And both teams have over 100 losses. The Cubs have 101 losses and the Astros have 106 losses. Perhaps as a good friend of mine has mentioned these teams should be demoted to the minor leagues in Peoria and Round Rock.

Oh well Opening Day is only 6 months away and we can always dream of next year. In the meantime enjoy the suspense of the final day of the season, Miguel Cabrera’s Triple Crown chase and the playoffs. Enjoy the games as October baseball is here! Best wishes. Bratman