Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The day after baseball's 162nd games

Jarrod Saltalamacchia photo by Patrick Semansky/AP Press

I woke up and next to the pain in my legs, yet I thought about yesterday’s final regular season day of 2011 Major League Baseball. Has any day in the regular season been more dramatic? In case you didn't know what happened well I guess you are not a fan of baseball. That's okay. Nobody's perfect.

Some might say that Terry Francona is at fault. His players said the blame should go around. Do the Red Sox need a fresh voice inside the locker room? Francona has been at Fenway Park for eight seasons now.

I wonder if this is similar to the Joe Torre situation in New York where he was eventually unloaded after the 2007 season after 12 years in the Bronx. And that’s after four World Series championships in six trips to October.

Francona could be the fall guy here as Boston has not made the playoffs in the past two seasons. But they should also evaluate GM Theo Epstein’s moves this year.

I have been laughing and taking shots at Moneyball in the past few years simply because I think it’s a load of bull. Really have the practitioners of this won anything? Boston competed in the money market just as much as the New York Yankees who team prez Larry Luchino labeled as “the Evil Empire.” Dude, I love the tag. Just keep it coming. Sort of like when other teams cheer “Beat Ateneo!” I am flattered because we have no similar cheer for other teams.

Who would have thought that Boston fans would root for the Yankees in their final regular season game with Tampa. If they hate New York they should hate themselves more.

The ALCS collapse of 2004 stings up to today. But winning in 2009 eased the pain. But it’s still there. As for Boston… why are they so down? Monumental collapses are part of their history and appeal? Oh, yeah. They won two World Series titles in the past decade.

How about Carl Crawford. He was the stud on those Tampa Bay teams he played with (although Evan Longoria was crowding him for that in the past few years). He transfers to Boston and becomes a Heartbreak Kid for them.

That reminded me of former NBA player Steve Mix who played for the Philadelphia 76ers for some time but the team then lost to the LA Lakers in 1982. The following year, he joined the Lakers and the Lake Show played the Sixers that had Moses Malone that year. And the result – the Lakers went down in fo.

Now that sucks!

Tampa Bay
Do you think that the Yankees played to lose against them and that the D-Rays entry might bite them back in the playoffs?

I disagree. This is not like Talk ‘N Text “wanting” to play Petron for the Governors’ Cup Finals of the PBA. If New York didn’t play to win then what was that early 7-0 lead all about? Just because they did not play David Robertson, Rafael Soriano, and Mariano Rivera? In case you have not been paying attention, the post-season begins in a day or two. The Yankees just came off a marathon 14-inning game with Boston in which they lost as well. I’d be more worried about New York going 2-2 in their last four games. They are competitors. They will play anybody.

Besides, NY is playing Detroit in the first round.

But you have to give props to Tampa Bay. They have been a tough and talented team for the past four years. That win should give them a massive shot of confidence as they play the Texas Rangers.

New York-Detroit
When I saw this match up, I remembered how the two teams met in the playoffs in 2006 where the Tigers came back to win three straight after getting blown out in the opener.

By coincidence, 2006 – the year the two teams played in the first round – was the Year of the Tiger. Tiger Woods was the PGA Golfer of the Year (remember the Open Championship that he dedicated to his father who passed away sometime before the tournament. The UST Growling Tigers upset the Ateneo Blue Eagles in three. And the Detroit Tigers made the World Series where they were beat by the St. Louis Cardinals.

This is not 2006.

The lineups are mostly different. Witness.

Curtis Granderson was a part of the Tigers team of 2006. He is now on his second year with New York.

Joe Torre was manager of New York then and Jim Leyland is still with Detroit.

The Yankees’ Core Four is now down to three and after this season, the question is will Jorge Posada still be around? But Joe Girardi penciled him in as DH.

I could go on but right now, I’d say that the two teams are pretty much even. It’s going to be an interesting series.

Here are the starting match-ups:
C: Russell Martin vs. Alex Avila
1B: Mark Teixeira vs. Miguel Cabrera
2B: Robinson Cano vs. Ramon Santiago
3B: Alex Rodriguez vs. Wilson Betemit
SS: Derek Jeter vs. Jhonny Peralta
LF: Brett Gardner vs. Delmon Young
CF: Curtis Granderson vs. Austin Jackson
RF: Nick Swisher vs. Magglio Ordonez
DH: Jorge Posada vs. Victor Martinez

New York is going with a three-man rotation with CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, and Freddie Garcia. I am not sure about that. Not having enough days to rest? They pulled that off in 2009. Not sure if that is doable this time around.

Detroit will have Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, and Rick Porcello.

The Tigers have won four of the seven games they played this season, but how do I see this first round playoff series? New York in four. BOLD, huh?


  1. Hey Rick,

    Detroit has the Cy Young winner in Verlander as best pitcher who led in all 3 categories and also the batting leader in the AL as well in Miguel Cabrera. In 2006 Detroit was the clear underdog that surprised the favored NY Yankees. Not this time around. It should be an exciting series. What is your prediction Rick?

  2. Sorry I just read your last sentence. I think Detroit pitching is just too strong and deep. Depending only on 3 pitchers is risky for NY. If NY wins it, it will take 5 I think bec. of their home advantage in the 5th game. If Detroit wins, it will be shorter.