Tuesday, October 5, 2010
We Are Just Happy To Be Here
While I like reading in depth analysis, I'm don't like writing it. There is so much being written and broadcast about pitching match-up’s, injuries, history and psychology it is almost too much information. I have a few observations, based on, well, based on my “gut feelings” and 30 years of watching Rangers baseball. By the way most of Ron Washington’s “gut feelings” have worked this season – reason enough for me to give it a try:
--- Most, in fact, almost all of the national media outlets are picking the Rays (although it seems our local writers disagree). That’s fine, I think being the underdog is a good thing – less pressure.
--- Speaking of less pressure, while the Rays may actually have a better team than the Yankees (in my never humble opinion) the one they don’t have is that infuriating “mystique” – frankly I think that was a big part of the problem with the 90’s Rangers, it got in their heads and affected their performance (yes, I know they faced three absolutely superb New York teams, but they could have at least given them a little fight) . Although I also wonder what team playing the Yankees in the post season doesn’t run up against that same problem – I can’t think of one.
--- What doesn’t worry about the Rangers: the pitching staff, all of them – I never thought I’d write that about Ranger team – ever. The OF defense and offense: Nelson, Jeff, David, Julio and Josh (as long as his ribs are okay) the ghosts of playoff teams past – these guys weren’t around – and it’s not the Yankees!
I wrote this elsewhere, but I have no problem repeating myself: thanks a lot MLB and TBS for scheduling the first two games at a ridiculous time duruing the day. I’m sure baseball purists love it, however many of us who have to work for a living don’t. Some of us don’t have the luxury of taking the afternoon off, or calling in sick. TBS and MLB think this match-up only appeals to a limited audience – I buy that. However, you can say that about nearly every other team in the playoffs except for the Yankees, and maybe the Braves. If there is only “regional” interest (hence all the day games) I don’t understand why TBS doesn’t do the same thing Fox does with their Saturday Game of the Week and allow MLB to scheduled 2 games at the same time later in the afternoon and just show them to the viewing audiences that are interested in seeing them. (And for all the whiners who don’t want to see the game shown in their area – there are plenty options: sports bars and online to see the games you want.)
The other problem with this scheduling is short term thinking: MLB is more worried about advertising revenue this year than growing their audience for the future. If MLB wants to draw in a younger crowd, then don’t schedule playoff games at noon while your audience is in school. This isn’t 1960 – the teachers aren’t going allow you to listen “on the transistor” radio or skip school/call in sick – as Rays manager Joe Maddon suggested the other day. A 3:00 game will allow MLB/TBS to gain that younger demographic they crave as well as ensure plenty of time to show their beloved Yankees at night.
“One of the beautiful things about baseball is that every once in a while you come into a situation where you want to, and where you have to, reach down and prove something.” – Nolan Ryan
Rangers win in 5 – Marla Hooch