Oct 05 2012

2012 NL Wildcard Sudden Death

First of all let me just say I thoroughly approve of any sporting competition that includes the words ‘Sudden Death’ and I am a long standing advocate of allowing players to keep their bats on the base paths and eliminating the ‘Hit By Pitch’ rule.  I am convinced these innovations will return the Metropolitans to their rightful place as the premier team in New York, the only Baseball city you’ll ever need.

Perhaps next time I will share my game changing borough re-alignment plan.

This year marks the introduction of a new level of playoff competition- the Wild Card round, a single game elimination between the two teams in each league with the best record that did not win their Divisions.

Today at 8:30 pm the Junior League attention hogs will play a sport loosely associated with baseball in a pathetic attempt to induce support for an inferior product, this afternoon we have a chance to see the real thing (without my masterful improvements alas).

Remember this?

Yes, it’s the Rally Squirrel.

You know, the Cardinals are only the defending champions and their 88 – 74 record conceals a lot of hard luck games they probably should have won.  By contrast the Braves look tired and old and unless they pull one out for the retiring Chipper Jones I can’t help but feel that they are the most vincible team in the expanded playoffs with the exception of the Orioles.

The Cardinals are also starting Lohse, their ace, while the Braves will counter with Kris Medlen who started the season in middle relief and spent 3 rotations in the minors.  He wasn’t promoted to starter until after the All-Star break but piled up an impressive number of scoreless innings.  Another positive for Braves fans is that they’re better rested and less injured than usual.

The winner advances to face the Nationals.


We’ll be attempting to cover every game of the Major League Baseball Playoffs.  Normally my rooting interests are fairly transparent, but should you happen to favor another team it’s really ok to participate.  My team is the Mets who are expectedly absent once again, anything else is a temporary attachment.

All the Wild Card and Division Series games (except for maybe Sunday’s As/Tigers Game 2) will be on TBS, your Braves broadcaster.  Tonight’s second game will be Orioles at Rangers.


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  1. ek hornbeck
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    thank goodness we’ll have Conan all week after Baseball.

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  13. ek hornbeck

    Good catch.

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  24. ek hornbeck

    5 for Lohse.

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    if the Cards could show some life this inning.

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    Throw hits runner to first.

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    Why not before it gets too out of reach I suppose.

    Plenty of time to golf later.

  49. ek hornbeck

    Can W and Steroid Boy be far behind?

  50. ek hornbeck

    You always go for the force at first.


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  54. TMC

    A reason to get up in the morning. 😉

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  57. TMC

    J.B. Ricks ‏@JB_Ricks

    No!! This is all Bud Selig’s fault for making this a 1-gm series!! “@clifferrell: Is this #chokejob worse than last years collpase? #Braves”  

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  63. ek hornbeck

    I mean Chipper Jones.

  64. ek hornbeck

    6 outs each for Football fans who are used to the clock counting down.

  65. ek hornbeck

    Relentless is a good word.

  66. ek hornbeck

    Acrobatic catch and a tag.

    3 outs for the Cards.

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    2nd & 3rd 2 out.

    Fans throwing things at the umps.

  74. ek hornbeck

    I’m not an expert on the Infield Fly rule, I’ll have to look it up.

  75. ek hornbeck

    The infield fly rule is a rule in baseball intended to prevent infielders from intentionally dropping pop-ups in order to turn double plays (or triple plays). Without this rule, a defense could easily turn a pop fly into a double play when there are runners at first and second base. If the runners stay near their bases to tag up, the defense could let the ball drop, throw to third base and then to second, for a force-out at each base. If any of the runners stray too far from their bases, the defense could catch the pop-up, and double-off any runner that failed to tag up.

    When the rule is invoked, the batter is out (and all force plays removed) regardless of whether the ball is caught, thus negating the possibility for multiple outs.

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    unlikely in my estimation now that we are 3 outs away, they will start the AL broadcast on TNT.

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    Nothing will happen, nor should it.

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    The Outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:

    The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.

    And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,

    A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

    A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest

    Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;

    They thought, if only Casey could get but a whack at that –

    We’d put up even money, now, with Casey at the bat.

    But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,

    And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;

    So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,

    For there seemed but little chance of Casey’s getting to the bat.

    But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,

    And Blake, the much despis-ed, tore the cover off the ball;

    And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,

    There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

    Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;

    It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;

    It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,

    For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

    There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place;

    There was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile on Casey’s face.

    And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,

    No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Casey at the bat.

    Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;

    Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.

    Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,

    Defiance gleamed in Casey’s eye, a sneer curled Casey’s lip.

    And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,

    And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.

    Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped-

    “That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one,” the umpire said.

    From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,

    Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.

    “Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone on the stand;

    And its likely they’d a-killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

    With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone;

    He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;

    He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;

    But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Strike two.”

    “Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;

    But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.

    They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,

    And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

    The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;

    He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.

    And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,

    And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

    Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;

    The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,

    And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;

    But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.

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    maybe it will be tighter than I thought.

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