It's Hard To Root Against . . .

Clint Hurdle.

I saw this article at espn.com and thought it was worth sharing.

Of course, more folks will see it at espn.com than will see it here (sigh), but I know that most of my reader doesn't usually look at the other site.

I remember the year Hurdle came up with the Royals, in fact, I had a copy of the Sports Illustrated that's pictured in the article. Hurdle was supposed to be baseball's next star, a phenom, but it never worked out for him and the article will tell you why.

In any case, whether you are rooting for the Rockies or not (and I have to admit some part of me is pulling for them), the story is nice and it's good to hear that the man has left his demons behind.

Some World Series hardware would be nice, too.

But whether in baseball or real life, I hope he does well.


The Winner Will Win 4 Games

From the Baseball Crank:

The stage is set...it would be a fool's errand to try to predict this series; Boston is clearly the stronger team, but the Rockies' hot streak is just impossible to project one way or another, plus we have no idea what late-October baseball in Colorado will look like.

I like comments like this because I agree with them. Predicting the outcome of a baseball series is like predicting what the Dow Jones average will be tomorrow. No one has the foggiest idea what it will be and neither is there any way of knowing how the series will come out. Remember last year? I do – all Cardinals fans do. St. Louis wasn’t supposed to beat San Diego, but they did. They sure weren’t supposed to beat the Mets, but they did. And the World Series? This is from the USA Today from Oct. 20 of last year : Prediction The Detroit Tigers' biggest obstacle to a championship will be keeping a straight face. The Tigers in three. (OK, make it four.)

And we all remember how that turned out. Last year was another example, another example in a long list, of the inability of “baseball analysts” to “guess” with much accuracy what the outcome of 4-7 ballgames will yield.

I don’t know how many hundred times I’ve said it, and I’ve now quoted Baseball Crank saying it, so there’s one other sane person in the room, and IT simply is this: nobody has the foggiest idea what will happen between the Red Sox and the Rockies. That’s all.

And you know what? It’s fun that way. But that’s another subject. Having said all that, though, there are some things that you can know generally and look for.

1. You will be surprised by something. Roger Craig said that he saw something he’d never seen before in every ball game. Craig played major league ball for 11 years and managed for 10, not to mention many years on coaching staffs. Saw something new every game. Amazing.

2. Somebody you think will do well, won’t.

3. Someone you are overlooking will come up big.

4. The games tighten in October, generally. So little things (the walk, the error, the extra base, the stolen base, the HBP) are often things you should pay attention to.

That said, how about a list of expectations just to see how many I get wrong. I'll list 10 and we'll see if any of this is correct. I’ll probably miss most of it, which would make my point.

First, (1) I expect that the Rockies winning streak will end. This one’s a little easy, but it also is a case in point. Namely, nobody would have predicted what they’ve done up until now. I think we'll see lots of contributions from (2) Josh Beckett, (3) David Ortiz, (4) Manny Ramirez, (5) Matt Halliday, and (6) and Todd Helton. I think the (7) Red Sox will win in less than 7 games, the (8) Rockies pitching won’t be able to contain the Red Sox lineup, (9) Paplebon will be lights out, and (10) Dice K will continue his unimpressive playoffs.

There, that should do it. Let’s see.


#11 Missouri

Well, it's just the biggest game Missouri has played in a long time.
The radio is on while I write and Oklahoma has just scored again. The Tigers had just taken the lead, but the Sooners have responded. The two-point conversion has failed and the Sooner lead is 29-24 with plenty of time left in the fourth.
Missouri has promised us so many times - so many years. Maybe this would be the year we finally turn the corner, maybe this is the year Mizzou football matters again.
And then, we would get squashed by Kansas or Iowa St. or Bowling Green, for crying out loud.
(Incidentally, Oklahoma just recovered a fumble and ran it in to lead 35-24 with a bit over 11 minutes to go. What's next? Well, either one of the greatest victories in Mizzou history or ANOTHER MISSED OPPORTUNITY. )
Anyway, we are so used to seeing a promising Tigers' season wind up on the ash heap. They haven't been ranked as high as 11 in many, many years. Going to fifth ranked Oklahoma promised to be a great challenge. But if you win this game, it's huge.
Here's hoping they pull it out - I've got my doubts. The good news is that even with this loss, if they lose, the Northern Division of the Big 12 is still winnable.