Saturday, October 28, 2006

Whoops....Guess I Was Wrong....

Jeff ##%#% Weaver...goddamn.

First of all, congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals on their 10th World Series title. First class baseball town. First class fans. They deserve to enjoy this, in spite of the 800 books that are bound to come out genuflecting on the genius of Tony LaRussa. Or how the Midwest is where the soul of the game resides and where real Americans live. And of course...that Cardinal fans are the greatest fans in the universe.

I'm not bitter. Really, I'm not.

But love him or hate him (I don't know where I stand on TL), you can't take anything away from what he just accomplished. He took the second-worst team ever to appear in the World Series to the mountaintop. He beat a very good Mets team and a very young, but game Tigers team to get there. A Mets team that was the class of the Senior Circuit. And a Detroit team that beat the very best the AL had to offer during a year where the AL was by far the better league.

That's right. I refuse to concede that the leagues are equal. They're not and anyone who watches baseball will attest that they're not. There have been plenty of years when the NL has been the deeper league, but the AL has won the big prize. It's no accident that they've won 10 of the last 16 titles. What happened last night was no fluke. But it doesn't mean the balance of power has changed.

This all runs in cycles. In the nineties, the NL was a much deeper league because of its pitching. The only thing that kept them from running the table in the Fall Classic was Mariano Rivera. That's what separated the Yankees and everyone else. It certainly wasn't Joe Torre, Derek Jeter and Paul O'Neill. No matter what the mythmakers like Buster Olney want to spin.

In a few years, it will be the NL's day, provided all the young talent stays healthy and stays in the senior circuit. Right now, the AL is the standard.

That's what makes what the Lou accomplished so impressive. With a pitching staff anchored by Chris Carpenter, Jeff Suppan and Jeff Weaver; they beat the best baseball had to offer. LaRussa's best managing job ever. Dave Duncan has to be considered the best pitching coach in the game for what he's done with Suppan, Weaver and the kid Wainright. Amazing job.

On the flip side, Jim Leyland did a horrible job keeping his team motivated during the long layoff. Horrible. Not to take anything away from the Cardinals, but I think the Series comes off a little differently if the Tigers weren't waiting around for a week for the NLCS to end. This was a team of kids that needed an opponent to play. They were probably too A-D-D to maintain their focus and edge for the layoff. That was still no excuse for happened. Leyland should have had them ready.

Going to Verlander at Busch instead of Kenny Rogers, also turned out to be a bad move. I understand the pine-tar incident would have made things difficult for Rogers. But you can't go to a rookie who has struggled all postseason in enemy territory when your season is on the line. This is where Rogers needed to show his worth. You're not supposed to protect him in this instance. He's supposed to protect you if he's the ace. Verlander should have been saved for game 6.

But I don't think it would have mattered, since the Tigers turned into the Royals this Series. Actually, I stand corrected. That would be an insult to the Royals.

But the Metsmaster was right. The World Series is all that matters. All-Star games, Interleague. At the end of the day, the team with the pitching wins. Every time.

I'll say this. If Jeff Weaver's smart, he re-signs with the Cardinals immediately. He's never going to be in a better situation than he is now. Fans that will love him forever. A manager and pitching coach that will keep him honest. A team that's dedicated to putting a quality product on the field every year. A chance to be a part of one of the best rotations in the league if Mulder can get healthy and Suppan re-signs. No East Coast drama. Weaver pitching like this wasn't an accident. He has always had the stuff to be a front-line starter. He just has to put down the peace-pipe and the bong during the season and focus on baseball again.

So congrats to the Lou. For making sure that someone other than the Scions of Shea get a parade next week.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh c'mon, there has to be a rant in you on the MVP voting.

3:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darth, you still there man? Where are you? Hope all is OK.

4:20 AM  

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