Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Who's Up and Who's Down

Who's Up? :)

1. Game Seven Winners: The teams that brought their lunchboxes, gave 110%, just wanted it more, had their back agains the wall etc. in decisive games in the NHL playoffs' first round: The Montreal Canadians, Philadelphia Flyers and San Jose Sharks.

2. Danica Patrick: With her win this weekend in Japan, became the first woman to win an Indy Car Race, officially dissipating any comparisons anybody might have thought about making between Ms. Patrick and a certain Russian tennis player of old. And honorable mentions to all the women who came before her, in all racing leagues!

3. John Smoltz: Last night, became the latest to be added to a very short list of MLB pitchers to reach an impressive 3000 strikeouts in his career. The more sordid and ugly sports headlines are these days, the nicer it is to see a story about a hard-working guy just playing good baseball for a long, long time.

Who's Down? :(

1. Game Seven Losers: The teams that were out-played, out-matched, stunk up the joint, gave it away, beat themselves, lacked playoff experience, etc. in decisive games in the NHL playoffs' first round: The Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals and Calgary Flames.

2. Hank Steinbrenner is following closely in his father's footsteps by meddling in the day-to-day on-field operations of the New York Yankees, remarking this week that changes needed to be made in the starting rotation. He even made a veiled and distant reference to his new manager as an Idiot. Welcome to the Yanks, Joe Girardi! These kinds of incidents make those of who hate the Yankees laugh and laugh and laugh.

3. Frank Thomas gets my idiot of the week designation this week, although I'm reluctant about it. Look, I have a lot of respect for Frank and for the great things he has done in a long career in the majors. I hope he gets elected to the Hall of Fame. But last week, he got benched, and instead of remarking on his pallid .167 average, on the need to hit better with runners in scoring position, on any of the elements of his poor performance to that date, Frank immediately tore into the Blue Jays, accusing them of trying deliberately to keep him from getting the number of at-bats he needed this year to secure a $10M bonus next season. So the next day, the Jays released him. I just wish that he had kept his mouth shut, and recognized that he needed to play better, that maybe, just maybe, he needed to EARN the $10M, you know, by playing baseball well, and stuff.

4. Poor, poor, poor John Arne Riise.


Towanda said...

Love your Up #3 and Down #2.


Chunklets said...

The Jays recently have shown absolutely no willingness whatsoever to tolerate public airing of grievances by their players (right, Mr. Shea Hillenbrand?), and I think that played into their decision to drop Thomas. However, I also think that they had some reason to be worried about the statistics. Last year, Thomas had a sort of meh April (.250/.369/.424), and then a truly wretched May (.193/.343/.373), before finally getting going in June (.289/.427/.526). This April he hit .167/.306/.333. I can see the Jays' brass worrying that another month, or more, of that from their DH was going to put a real damper on their chances of making the playoffs this year.

That said, I was sad to see him go - I wish they could have kept him around as a part-time player/role model for younger guys.

And indeed, many many congratulations to Danica Patrick! It was great to watch the celebrations going on in her pit after the race!

Chorus said...

I was certainly sad to see him go as well; I just wish that his response to the benching had been a little more about personal accountability, and a little less about who else he could blame for it. It does sound as though the split was actually quite amicable, which is good.

And it sure makes the Barry Bonds question more interesting!!

Jan said...

Ups and downs. You know a lot more than I do.