Wait until next year

Putting off what could be done tomorrow, today

Tag: rockies

MLB play-offs braindump #1

It’s probably high time for a disclaimer. I don’t profess to be a baseball expert. Thinking about it, I don’t profess to be an expert in anything. I’m just another voice in the crowd, yelling the first thing that comes into my head. The power of blogging, eh?

Still reading? Wow.

I’d thought about putting up some sort of play-offs predictions/preview post earlier this week. However, I figured that there were already plenty of good, and plenty of bad, posts of that nature already floating around the ether. And who needed another one?

I also think the New York Yankees are probably going to win it all. And as a New York Mets fan, I couldn’t bring myself to dedicate a whole post to that.

So, I thought I’d just assemble some random ramblings on the baseball and see where it takes us. This could be ongoing over the course of the play-offs, or could sit lonely in the archive, a #1 without a #2, let alone a #3, for company.

Finally, here’s what you’ve been waiting for – some ill-thought-out thoughts from a self-professed non-expert. And fan of hyphens, if the last sentence is anything to go by.

Throwing logic out the window, let’s start with something from before the play-offs – that amazing Twins/Tigers game from the other night. What struck me in the aftermath was the fantastic sportsmanship of the Detroit Tigers. They had just lost an epic, classic battle. There had been suspect calls that would have changed the course of the game in their favour. They’d thrown away a three game lead with four games to play. Yet, somehow, they were able to take the loss in the proper sporting way. No sour grapes here.

I was struck by Brandon Inge’s comment, “No matter what we did, it seems like it wasn’t to be. This is the best game, by far, that I’ve ever played in no matter the outcome.” If only everyone in sport could be that dignified when losing…

OK, onwards and upwards to last night, the first night of the play-offs. I was pleased to see that bog-standard normal mlb.tv has returned for international viewers catching the game online. I’m not sure where I’m going to find the time to watch all the games, so the condensed game, while very much second best, is a handy substitute when time isn’t on my side.

No real surprises in the Phillies/Rockies game. The Phillies do look vulnerable in the later innings of games, but the Rockies need to still be in the game for that to be a factor. No chance of that last night.

The Yankees looked very strong. My first thought was who can actually beat them? My second thought was perhaps the Twins made them look good, as the Twins had been on the booze after their win against the Tigers, and then on an overnight flight to New York. I doubt that is the best way to prepare for any game.

The Dodgers looked promising, beating the Cardinals without too much strain, but I very much doubt this series is finished yet. Both teams finished the season badly, but have been amongst the best over the course of the year, so a bit of a weird situation. Who will get good again first? The Dodgers, by last night’s evidence, I guess.

The other play-off starts tonight with the Angels against the Red Sox. I think this is too close to call. Oh dear. The insight has dried up before it started. More tomorrow! Maybe!

In the meantime I’m not ignoring other sports, I just think it’s worth concentrating on the fun stuff. And I’m finding the baseball a lot of fun at the moment. But I’ll try and get some other non-baseball odds and sods up soon. Maybe even more man-crushes? Wait, don’t leave me…

How I picked a surrogate team when mine got eliminated (or confessions of a Mets fan)


My name is Steve. And I’m a Mets fan.

I feel this confessional tone is kind of appropriate. A while back I told an American friend that I followed the Mets, to which she shot me a look of pity and said, “Once you’re a Mets fan, you’re always a Mets fan.” She gave the impression that supporting the New York Mets is a little like herpes. It’s a little embarrassing, a little unpleasant, and never really goes away.

This week, after a horrible, injury-ravaged season, the Mets were finally put out of their misery. They cannot now qualify for the post-season play-offs and a shot at the World Series. It’s just no longer mathematically possible. In the wild card standings there is even a nice little E for eliminated next to their name, just to confirm this.

Now, I’m not for one second suggesting that I’m forsaking the Mets. I wouldn’t, even if I could. However, I would like to follow the play-offs in more than a purely neutral way. Sport is just more fun that way.

I could quite easily do this by identifying who I don’t want to win and supporting whoever they are playing against. That might work on a game-by-game basis, but isn’t that satisfying.

So, I’m going to narrow things down and work out who (in the absence of the Mets) I’d personally like to win the World Series.

Immediately, I can throw out the traditional rivals of the Mets. Goodbye Yankees, Cardinals, Phillies and Marlins. The Dodgers and Giants can be thrown out too, for abandoning New York in the fifties. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is such an unwieldy name that I don’t want to follow them (sorry, this isn’t going to be an article full of rational criteria). Boston are too much of a big side, it wouldn’t feel right at all rooting for them.

By my reckoning that leaves the Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers and Colorado Rockies.  Here I suppose I’d better get more positive with my selection process.

I’ve been to Texas. I have a Texas Rangers baseball cap. They are, perhaps, my American League team, when I think about it. If a Mets game isn’t on, I’ll watch Texas. OK. Easy.

Or is it? Texas are by no means a certainty for the play-offs. Maybe I’m hedging my bets, but I want some cover in case Texas don’t make it. They can be my American League surrogate team, sure. But Colorado are my National League surrogate team. I put a sneaky small stakes bet on them to win the World Series a couple of months ago at 100-1. It is certainly in my financial interests for Colorado to win. Sorry Detroit, you miss out.

There you have it. The Rangers and Rockies are who I’m rooting for. Until next year, then I’m returning to wishing and hoping on the Mets.

Have I been a horrible mercenary with this exercise? Should I just remain neutral in a Mets-free post-season? How do you act when your team falls out of the reckoning – in baseball, or any other sport for that matter?

Photo by Michael Mase. That’s not me in the picture, by the way. I just thought it was an apt image.