When covering an event, I pull for good storylines and fast games. I don’t cheer for the teams I have covered. Never have; never will. Instead, I want good things to happen to good people. When you are around a group for nearly nine months, you get a feel for how hard these guys work and how much they care.
Even so, there are those who feel differently. When covering the Orioles, a nationally known columnist stood up in the pressbox and railed at third base coach Cal Ripken Sr., when a Baltimore runner was thrown out at the plate.
I can’t tell you how many times when covering the Yankees or Mets when I saw radio reporters and those from the smaller papers wearing team colors or caps.But, that’s just me. What about you guys with October again without the Mets? I know most relished the Yankees getting swept. Lot’s of people root for the underdogs, hence there was a following for the Orioles and Athletics.
What about this World Series?
I’d like to see the Giants because I respect how they play the game. They hustle, play good defense and pitch. Boy, do they ever pitch. The Giants are proof positive a team can succeed without power if they play the game the right way. Conversely, the Tigers also pitch, but they have mashers in the middle of their line-up, and we all know power is the great eraser. In that respect, the Tigers are much like the Yankees.
Only this time great pitching shut down their offense.
I’ve always been a great fan of pitching and defense. It makes for tighter, more intense games. To me, 2-0 is far more compelling than 9-6. It just is. Every once in awhile an 11-10 game can be interesting, but it isn’t a clean game.
That’s why this series, despite the Giants now up 3-0 and on the verge of their second title in three years, is so interesting. With limited scoring every opportunity is important. The Tigers keep waiting for the three-run homer that hasn’t come. Yesterday’s moment of decision came when Miguel Cabrera popped out with the bases load midway through the game. The Tigers still had three more at-bats but there was a sense the game might be over.
When Citi Field opened, pitching and speed were how they Mets wanted to build their team. Then they signed Jason Bay despite a myriad of holes in their rotation. Now, they have a semblance of a good rotation, but limited speed, spotty defense and erratic performance hitting in the clutch.
The Mets didn’t hit with tremendous power in the first half and were 46-40 at the break. Then they stopped hitting at all, and coupled with a porous bullpen, went into a tailspin in the second half. It wasn’t just about power, it was about working the count and advancing runners with productive outs. It was about timely hitting of singles and not swinging for the fences.
The Mets don’t need a lot of power as long as they get length from their starters, relief from the pen and play solid defense. The wins will come.
With that being said, it is interesting to see how the Giants have used Tim Lincecum in the postseason. After a miserable season, they’ve picked their spots with him in the postseason. I wonder if the Mets are watching and thinking about Mike Pelfrey.
By all accounts, Pelfrey has not lived up to expectations as a starter and how the Mets must make a decision on tendering him a contract. Indications are they won’t, but maybe there is spot for him in the pen. Pelfrey has good enough stuff and a sinker that could make him a success in relief. Too often, he gets into trouble the third time around the batting order.
With a gaping hole in their bullpen and closer Frank Francisco gone after this year, it might be worth the gamble to sign him as a reliever for 2013 with the idea of letting him close in 2014. He’s still young and could have a good career in another role.
Others have done it, why not him?