Nationals Baseball: Final World Series thoughts

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Final World Series thoughts

Congratulations to Pat Burrell and the rest of the San Francisco Giants on their World Series Championship. (I've always had a soft spot for Pat the Bat, don't know why). Some other thoughts:

I'm very glad Cliff Lee lost again in what was a good but not great game. I understood the awesomeness that Cliff Lee was showing fans, but I couldn't get the near universal "OMG!!! CLIFF IS TEH AWESOMES!!1!!" that I was reading. Oh I expected that from the usual media sources, but even the "enlightened" community was wearing Cliff Lee's letter jacket in school the other day and seriously considering letting him get to third base. It was a handful of games, and usually they'd be screaming "SMALL SAMPLE SIZE" but whatever hypnotic power Mr. Lee had extended over even the most ardent stat guy. Great pitchers often make the playoffs and the best will always pitch the most, it stands to reason then that over the course of 100 years a few will have these streaks of near dominance for several games. Enjoy it, but don't make it out to be something special inside the pitcher.

I watched far more of this series than I thought I would. I think the last time I watched this much of a non-Yankee World Series might have been 2002. Before that... maybe 1993. I have to assume it was the closeness of the games that did it.

I couldn't help but think if the Yankees had suddenly taken the Rangers place in the 9th inning that Girardi would have had Robertson pitching the top of the 9th and Mariano wasting away in the bullpen, just in case the Yankees came back to tie the game.

I know nothing can be done about it, but I much prefer when teams win at home.

I've been surprised by the utter contempt for Vlad that a lot of Rangers fans seem to have. I'm hoping it's all mostly a holdover from hating him as an Angel, because he is actually a really good DH still, free swinging mess or not.


Bryan said...

Seeing how the Giants were put together fills me with hope and dread for the Nats.

First, the hope - that team is a collection of guys who should be borderline players now. For man in the sky's sake, two of their "stars" were out of baseball this season. Almost the entire team overperformed. At least two or three guys will never touch the season they had this year, and a couple might not touch half that in the couple years they have remaining. The Nats could catch that same luck.

The dread - the Giants are built like they keep trying to build the Nats - a few youngins surrounded by lightening in a bottle vets. Maybe its not so true anymore, but it has been, and it could be again.

Harper said...

I think you are overselling the "overperformance" of the Giants. Renteria, Torres, and Huff all were surprises but mild ones. Only Burrell was a big unexpected plus and he was only around for half a year.

Really the key was less about a lot of people doing better than expected and more about almost no one doing worse. Rowand was a mild disappointment but he was mitigated by Torres. Only Sandoval was a huge disappointment that the Giants had to suffer through. Everyone else did as expected or slightly better and the team was constructed with a bunch of vets that varied from about average to slightly better than average. No questionable rookies (other than expected stud Posey, if you call him questionable) no flat out terrible vets.

Contrast that with the Nats. A big disappointment in Morgan, bad vets in Kennedy/Guzman and Pudge, a questionable rookie at short, no answer at all in right. The Giants were better offensive team top to bottom, certainly once Posey was ready.

Bryan said...

Harper - ah yes, but the Giants aren't even sniffing the WS if not for Cody Ross. Ross & Burrell, two last minute pick ups who do better than anyone has any right to expect.

Combine that with 3 guys who mildly overperform and you have 5 of 8 positions in overperform mode.

Let's just say that if 5 of 8 Nats every day players overperform next season, and not more than one mildly underperforms, I'll probably be satisfied.