What a week it has been! Even though it’s foggy and chilly outside, it’s the best time of the year to cuddle up next your TV and watch the Playoffs; and what a first round it has been. Tigers held it tight all season and then lost the tie breaker game to the Twins who are about to get swept by the Yankees (we’ll have to see tonight). The Red Sox and St. Louis swept in the first round is bitter sweet. As we move to the second round of the playoffs, with the help of our Baseball Beauties team I wanted to highlight the little things that happened before the season’s end.
One of our favorites, Ichiro Suzuki had another milestone this year; being ejected from his first game (including the 9 years that he played in Japan). It was also the Mariner’s first ejection of the season during the game in Toronto on Saturday. After arguing, by drawing a line in the dirt at home plate, Ichiro was immediately ejected from the game. WTH ump?! You can’t handle someone questioning your judgment? Makes me wonder if someone has not slipped a C-not in your pocket to call the game unfairly? It wouldn’t be the first time a game was fixed, even if maybe just a little. The Mariners came within 7 games of being the second team without an ejection the entire season since 1994, looks like that streak is over. "Welcome to the major leagues, Ichiro!"
If you watched Tuesday night’s game between the Twins and the Tigers, then you might have felt the same warmth that I felt when pinch runner, Alexi Casilla, ended the 12-inning tiebreaker with his run-scoring single to right, sending the Twins to the playoffs for their 4th time! The game had over 6 million viewers and even Brandon Inge of the Tigers admitted that it was one of the best games that he was ever a part of. However, that victorious feeling felt by the Twins quickly ended the following evening when the Yankees got the better of them in game 1 of the playoffs. It’s no doubt that the Twins are up against something tough here, especially with C.C. Sabathia playing for the Yankees now. And let’s not forget that the Yankees have participated in the playoffs more than any other team in history. That must be a little intimidating for a young team like the Twins.
Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals has had the longest drought in the history of his baseball career, stuck at 47 homers since September 9th. He blames it on recovering from the flu or that it might be due to a "statistical anomaly." Manager, Tony La Russa claims that the cooler fall weather is working against Pujols, that it is not the season to hit home-runs. If it isn't the season, then why did Prince Fielder hit 2 home runs in St. Louis on Sunday? Perhaps these excuses have some validity, I'm not a baseball player so I can't fairly judge, but have to admit that it sounds like a load of excuses to me. It is likely that he's just having a hard time. Everybody has a "bad day" where they're just not on top of their game. His consistency over the past 9 years as a powerful hitter, base runner, and field player, Pujols was considered one of the best players in the major leagues. He's going through a drought and, naturally, everybody's asking, "What’s going on with Pujols?" Chances are he's still one of the best players; he just needs to get over this bump in the road. People are making excuses and doubting him, but he suggests that "maybe this postseason [he] can go out there and hit 10 homers and everybody will be like 'Wow!''' He seems to have a lot of confidence despite his recent decline. Who knows? Maybe Pujols will go to the playoffs and "wow" everyone.
It seems like our predictions for the World Series were WRONG!!! It’s not going to be Yankees vs. Cardinals after all. Pujols did not come through for the Cardinals and they are out of the race. Personally I thought that St. Louis had the best team in the NL this season, but I was wrong because top teams don’t get swept in the first round in the playoffs. St. Louis was the first National League team to clinch a playoff spot and the first to be eliminated in the postseason (how disappointing) After 14 seasons, eight playoff appearances, two pennants and a world championship in St. Louis, Tony La Russa is not under contract for 2010. “The sad part is that there’s going to be guys from this team that are not back,” DeRosa said. “We’ll see what happens. That’s the last thing on my mind now.” Without La Russa and Pujols no longer hitting homers St Louis has a tough road ahead of them next year.
His locker is much how he left it, housing his caps and shoes and jersey, as a way to keep his legacy alive. Nick Adenhart and three of his friends were involved in a car accident after being collided by a drunk driver last April. Adenhart and two other passengers passed away immediately. It took weeks before things started to get back to “normal” for the Angels. Although things have not been the same, the Angles have been able to rise above the tragedy because that is what Adenhart would have wanted. He wanted to win and that’s what he Angles are set out to do. When the Angles won the AL division title, they celebrated in the typical way, with champagne and beer. They grabbed Adenhart’s jersey and poured champagne on it, an emblematic way to show that he is still there and he is alive in other ways. Thoughts of Adenhart remain in the back of the minds of the Angels. They are still determined to go out there and give it all that they’ve got because, really, that’s all that they can do and that’s what’s needed to be done.
We think that it’s highly possible that there will B 3 LDS sweeps this season; Red Sox, Cardinals and the Twins. Last time this happened was in 2007 when the Angels, Cubs, Phillis all got swept. The Angels had much better luck this year when they beat Boston Red Sox in the ninth inning of their Sunday match-up, winning 7-6 and sweeping the best-of-five American League Division Series 3-0. (Never would have thought that this will be the year!) Thanks to Vladimir, Papelbon and Nick Adenhart’s spirit the Angels now have a chance against the Yankees.