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Wednesday, October 08, 2003
Marlins win Game 1 in 11 on Lowell's HR. Fish Fry, Week 27.
FLA 005 001 002 01 - 9
CHC 400 002 002 00 - 8

Al Yellon on last night's game.
The biggest problem I think the Cubs are going to face in this series is that they are basically down to a three-man bullpen: Farnsworth, Remlinger and Borowski. JoeBo can be excused for yesterday, because the Marlins' closer Ugueth Urbina had just about as bad an outing as he did, so that's a wash, and any closer can be forgiven one of these.

But frankly, I would not let Dave Veres or Mark Guthrie near a close game again in this series; Antonio Alfonseca actually threw pretty well. I'm almost willing to forgive Guthrie, because even though he did hang a breaking pitch to Mike Lowell, the almost-Cub, Lowell's game-winning HR was wind-blown and barely made the basket. The security guard who retrieved it threw it on the field.
(and another thing!, October 8)

King Kaufman: "[I]n the course of five minutes [Al] Leiter said more informative things than I've heard any other Fox announcer say in all of the years the network has been broadcasting baseball." ( (You'll need to click through an ad first, which is slightly irritating, but much less so than pop-ups or registration)

Playoff Preview - National League Championship Series. "The Cubs should send at least a half-postseason share to Dave Littlefield for donating Lofton, Ramirez, and Simon at the cost of very little (Bobby Hill). I seriously doubt that the Cubs would have made the postseason without them; they added just enough offense to supplement Sammy and Moises. It's still not a great offense." (Baseball Primer)

Sam Hutcheson breaks down the NLCS, position by position.
1B: Eric Karros vs. Derrek Lee: Derrek Lee is a semi-talented baseball player. Eric Karros is only entertaining when Robert Fick is attacking him. Lee is better offensively, defensively, and he doesn’t have the stupid haircut either. The Cubs might even the position out if they played Hee Seop Choi, but they won’t do that because Dusty Baker is an idiot. Prediction: Karros hits two game winning homeruns, because actual talent doesn’t really matter in these situations and God hates me.
If you guessed that Hutcheson is either a Braves fan or a Giants fan, you get a gold star. (Braves.) (Baseball Primer)

Baseball Prospectus Chat: Doug Pappas.
Brad Harris (Springfield, Missouri): What happened to the Marlins this year? Has Loria/Samson turned a new leaf or did the team get lucky? Can we expect the '04 Marlins to look more like the Expos teams Loria presided over, or did he just need the right set of circumstances in which to run a successful club?

Doug Pappas: I think the team got lucky AND it gave Loria the right circumstances in which to run a successful club. Any team that develops a nucleus of good, young, cheap players can afford to keep them around for a few years.

The Marlins' biggest obstacle is their stadium. Pro Player is huge, but it's basically a football stadium, it's not near anything, and the lease is controlled by former owner Wayne Huizenga. There's an article in today's South Florida Sun-Sentinel which quotes Marlins president David Samson as saying that Florida would make only about half as much as other clubs from reaching the 7th game of the World Series -- Huizenga would get the rest.
(Baseball Prospectus)

2003 Playoff Preview: Red Sox - Yankees. "Of course, this isn't your typical underdog situation. It's not exactly a case of a school bully picking on some scrawny, helpless kid. It's more like the school bully picking on a slightly smaller and slightly less hated school bully. Like if David took a vacation and Goliath fought Goliath's little brother. It's like a fight between the Crips and the Bloods, except one is wearing pinstripes and the other hasn't won a World Series since 1918." (Aaron's Baseball Blog)

King Kaufman on the Johnny Damon/Damian Jackson collision play, which ended with Nomar Garciaparra throwing Jermaine Dye out at second, with third baseman Bill Mueller covering.
And how could Garciaparra and Mueller have prepared for that play? They couldn't have. There's no telling yourself before the pitch, "OK, if the center fielder and the second baseman collide on a popup to shallow center, my job is ..." It was simply smart ballplayers reacting quickly.

Derek Jeter of the Yankees has been dining out for two years on his heads-up relay throw to nail Jeremy Giambi of the A's at home in a pivotal moment in Game 3 of the 2001 Division Series, when the Yankees also came from 2-0 down to sweep the A's into oblivion. And rightly so. It was a splendid play. But this one was just as good. Really. The replay of Jackson and Damon colliding, a brutal shot, will become familiar, but keep watching on those rare occasions someone lets the clip run on. The rest of that play bought the Red Sox a ticket to New York.

How the Red Sox have fared since 1967 when facing elimination from the postseason:

1967 World Series, Game 5: W
1967 World Series, Game 6: W
1967 World Series, Game 7: L
1975 World Series, Game 6: W
1975 World Series, Game 7: L
1986 ALCS, Game 5: W
1986 ALCS, Game 6: W
1986 ALCS, Game 7: W
1986 World Series, Game 7: L
1988 ALCS, Game 4: L
1990 ALCS, Game 4: L
1995 ALDS, Game 3: L
1998 ALDS, Game 4: L
1999 ALDS, Game 3: W
1999 ALDS, Game 4: W
1999 ALDS, Game 5: W
1999 ALCS, Game 5: L
2003 ALDS, Game 3: W
2003 ALDS, Game 4: W
2003 ALDS, Game 5: W

Total: 12 wins, 8 losses. Not bad.
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