It wasn't exactly 1986 revisited. Heck, it wasn't even 1997 or 2001. The 2007 was more like 2004 redux, complete with an early blowout and a sweep by the Boston Red Sox. Colorado looked overmatched on offense and simply didn't have the guns to compete with Beckett, Schilling, Dice-K, and yes, even Lester. The Commish wraps up the season in the latest Hot Corner, giving kudos to the Red Sox for keeping their eyes on the prize the whole way through, regardless of the situation or the opponent. Check it out now!
With an aging hurler in Curt Schilling facing dynamic Ubaldo Jimenez in Game 2, I was a little surprised to see the Rockies posted as such large underdogs in tonight's game (+185). If my prediction holds true, Colorado will tie up the series tonight. Currently, the Rockies are leading 1-0 in the 4th inning.
A new Hot Corner sees The Commish responding to a reader's e-mail about everything from Big Papi's role in the upcoming games in Colorado to how many titles the Chicago Bulls could win with a trade for Kobe Bryant. The Commish expands his sports horizons and answers all questions thrown at him. Check it out!
If a 7-game ALCS could possibly be boring, then what we just witnessed was it. The pitching duels never materialized thanks to mediocre starting pitching efforts (sans Beckett), and when Cleveland would put up a fight in the early innings, their usually dependable relief corps would ruin what looked to be a close game. While I correctly predicted the Red Sox in 7, I thought the games would all be close and that Joe Borowski would cost the Indians a victory along the way. Instead, it was the complete opposite: five of the games were decided by six runs or more (ZZZzzz), leaving little possibility for damage of any kind by the time it was JoBo's turn to toe the rubber.
Speaking of correct predictions, in case you haven't noticed, yours truly was 4 for 4 in the Division Series. Then, stepping it up a notch, I correctly predicted not only the winners in the LCS but the GAMES as well: that's right, The Commish called for a Colorado sweep and a Game 7 Boston victory, making it a perfect 6 for 6 this postseason. Stay tuned for TCO's World Series Preview coming soon. Read it so you will know what's going to happen before it even happens!
Tonight, Cleveland will be attempting to join Colorado in the World Series, scheduled to begin October 23. Fox will suffer the same fate TBS had to endure if the Indians make quick work of Boston tonight, leaving two lovable underdogs with little national following to battle it out for the championship. As a baseball fan, it would be a great series, with superior pitching from Cleveland, plenty of offense on both sides, and a myriad of "how did they get here" stories from Colorado. As a network executive, however, it will be a national nightmare.
For those of you keeping score at home, yours truly predicted the Colorado sweep in the NLCS. Judging by TBS' ratings, I was just about the only one in America watching the Rockies defeat the D-Backs in four straight this past week. In case you haven't noticed, that's a perfect 5 for 5 in series predictions so far this postseason, officially making me, The Commish, the smartest baseball mind in the world! No offense to Joe Torre, but I will be submitting my name for consideration of the Yankees managerial position later this afternoon.
While Colorado will have plenty of time to get over their collective hangover, Cleveland and Boston will continue to battle it out in the ALCS, which is shaping up to be the only series so far with any suspense. My gut call was Cleveland, but in my prediction I stuck with Boston because I felt that closer Joe Borowski would cost them a game and ultimately the series. With Game 4 tonight, don't be surprised if a rocky outing by JoBo helps even the series.
Colorado is one victory away from making The Commish look like a very smart man, boldly predicting a Rockies sweep despite the balance between the two teams. Tonight, TCO predicts a narrow victory for Cleveland early in the evening and a runaway offensive explosion for Colorado to nail down the sweep late into the night.
After yet another Colorado victory last night, the ALCS gets underway this evening. It figures to be a heck of a series. Sabathia, Carmona, Beckett, Schilling, Sizemore, Hafner, Martinez, Ortiz, and Ramirez give this series plenty of marquee names. Will the series live up to its billing? The Commish thinks so, and he thinks the one weakness by Cleveland might be the difference. Check out the latest Hot Corner for TCO's ALCS Preview and The Commish's fearless prediction!
Last night, the Colorado and Arizona players demonstrated what it meant to be professional. The fans, however, did not. Justin Upton, after being hit for a second time, was less than pleased, but he still took his base like a man, visibly upset but knowing that the HBP was obviously unintentional. Pitcher Jeff Francis also moved on from the incident, showing disinterest.
Shortly after, Upton took out his frustration on second baseman Kaz Matsui while Matsui tried to turn a double play. Upton lunged into Matsui, obviously with the intent to get in the way. Matsui was floored, but rather than retaliate, he simply looked at the ump who promptly called Upton for interference. Upton didn't like the call (even though it was the correct call) but headed for the bench like a professional. In other words, there were several tense moments over that 5-minute period, and both teams and the umps all handled it with professionalism. The fans, however (albeit a select few), threw bottles and other items onto the field in disgust to the point where the Rockies left the field until order was restored.
The next time you want to single out a player for acting out or being unruly, make sure you are not the fool in the stands instigating the issue. It's embarrassing for the game.
It appears that two straight years of missing the playoffs was enough for Atlanta GM John Schuerholz. Schuerholz is expected to be stepping down as GM at a press conference later today, although it seems as if the "stepping down" is actually a promotion to team President, so he will still have a say in all matters regarding the Braves.
TCO's NLCS Preview is now available. Arizona and Colorado figure to give viewers a tightly contested series, but is The Commish calling for a sweep? Check out the latest Hot Corner to see if The Commish is off his rocker. Then again, TCO posted a perfect 4-0 record in the Division Series predictions, so maybe The Commish knows what he is talking about. Judge for yourself!
With the Indians dusting off the Yankees last night, it can truly be said that no team has "fluked" its way into either LCS this year. Boston and Cleveland are clearly the top two teams in the AL, and Colorado's streak of 17 wins in its past 18 games is unmatched by any team left. Arizona has arguably been the most consistently dominant NL team all year despite not having an offense that scares anyone.
With a 12-1 combined playoff record, the four remaining teams deserve their standing and figure to make the LCS exciting. Stay tuned for the NLCS Preview tomorrow!
I never thought I'd be thankful for a Yankees victory, but after three straight Division Series sweeps, these playoffs needed a little drama. Now, with Game 4 tonight, the Cleveland - New York series is far from over. Paul Byrd, starting for the Indians, just seems like one of those guys destined to have trouble getting three outs from a lineup as tough as the Yankees. Wang is sure to be better than his outing in Game 1, but don't expect any shutouts, either. Look for a total score in double digits with New York leading the way into the late innings. Cleveland will rally, but it won't quite be enough as we await a Game 5 in Cleveland on Wednesday.
Oh, and George Steinbrenner is an egomaniacal blowhard. But you already knew that.
So far so good with my Division Series predictions, as I expected Arizona and Colorado to advance, along with Cleveland and Boston. Nothing is over yet, however, and look for the Angels to even up the series tonight as the overhyped Daisuke Matsuzaka makes his postseason debut against the impressive Kelvim Escobar. Despite Escobar's 18-7 record coupled with an ERA exactly one entire run better than "Dice-K," Boston is a heavy favorite in this game. The Commish disagrees.
In Cleveland, the line setters must have Yankee on the brain, because a Cy Young candidate (Carmona) is pitching in his home park for a team that tied for the BEST record in baseball, but the Indians are also an underdog. Ignore the "aura" of the pinstripes and look for the Indians to take a 2-0 lead today.
I've got good news and great news. The good news is that TBS unveiled its HD channel in Chicago just in time for the playoffs (channel 219 for Comcast subscribers). The great news is that the official TCO 2007 Division Series Preview is available. Head on over to the latest Hot Corner for The Commish's fearless predictions! On a side note, TCO has decided not to sue TBS and MLB.com over the use of "Hot Corner" for their small baseball vignettes involving Alyssa Milano and others despite stealing the name from your favorite column on your favorite website. In exchange, we would like to be compensated with an interview with Samatha Miceli herself. I'm still waiting on a response. Still waiting...
For those of you wasting your time with Monday Night Football last night, you missed out on a classic between Colorado and San Diego. In the end, the Rockies, for the 14th time in 15 games, snatched victory from defeat and will head to Philadelphia for Game 1 of the NLDS Wednesday afternoon. Some notes about last night's 13-inning marathon:
-In baseball's ironic fashion, it was San Diego's two constants this year, Jake Peavy and Trevor Hoffman, that ultimately let them down last night, surrendering all nine runs, bookending an otherwise stellar performance by the Padres' lesser known relievers.
-Despite Holliday's obvious failure to touch home plate to end the game, the best part of this sport was knowing there would be NO replay. The umpire's decision (hesitant as it was) was final, so emotions didn't have to be delayed. There is nothing worse in sport than waiting to celebrate or wallow based on a five minute review by guys in striped shirts. See the play, make the call, and move on. That's why baseball is great, flaws and all.
-TBS's coverage left a LOT to be desired. From the total distraction of Craig Sager's pinstriped jacket to the bland announcing team in the booth, the game looked like a classic but certainly didn't sound like one. In addition, there were several camera shots where I was dying for a closer look or better angle (Atkins' double hitting the wall/railing, Giles' leaping attempt at Holliday's triple in the 13th, Holliday's slide to end the game), but TBS just didn't have the better look available. Disappointing. Also, the production crew rarely seemed ready with a replay. Whenever there was a break in the action and Joe Simpson or Don Orsillo referenced a play from earlier in the game, such as Holliday's misplayed flyball, I fully expected to see the replay over their description. No such luck. It's way too early to make a judgment on TBS, and it will be nice NOT hearing Joe Morgan, but the lack of HD and what appears to be a more budget conscious broadcast might make these early round playoff games a little tougher to swallow on TBS.
-Colorado and Philadelphia are going to have a heck of a battle in determining who will be this year's "team of destiny." Whoever emerges will be tough to handle in the NLCS.
-Stay tuned - playoff previews and predictions coming soon!
Despite losing two straight and failing to keep Colorado out of the playoffs, the San Diego Padres are still very much alive and will play a one-game playoff against the ridiculously hot Colorado Rockies in Colorado tonight. The good news for San Diego fans is that they have Cy Yound candidate Jake Peavy starting tonight. The bad news is that Jake Peavy is starting tonight, meaning that he won't be available until later in the NLDS IF they even win tonight.
Basically, the Padres shot themselves in the foot, and I don't think they have enough firepower to recover. I'm predicting a surprising 5-2 victory for Colorado tonight in front of the home fans, and then I'll have some more surprising predictions for you in the next couple days.
Let me save you football fans some time tonight - the Patriots will win. There, now everyone can enjoy the thrill of a one-game baseball playoff!