Dan Haren might be the unluckiest guy in baseball this year. First, he starts the year 0-3 while giving up only four total runs in three starts combined. But this week was the real cake topper. First, he leaves Tuesday’s start after 7 innings with a 5-1 lead only to have the bullpen blow the lead by giving up 5 runs in the 8th. Then, on Sunday, he leaves after 7 with a 6-1 lead, only to have the bullpen blow the lead by giving up 5 runs (again!) in the 9th this time. Then, amazingly, that same bullpen, which couldn’t hold 9 runs worth of leads in only three innings of Haren’s starts, goes on to pitch a nine-inning combined no-hitter from the 10th to 18th innings. Mind-boggling. I am glad I did not subject myself to watching this 18 inning affair. San Diego and Arizona really suck at offense. I mean seriously. Dodgers might be the most overrated team in baseball because their schedule against the NL West is as soft as a nutsack.
The most bizarre play I have ever seen in my life occurred in the Dodgers-Diamondbacks game yesterday. In case you missed it, check this out:
One out. Andre Ethier on third, Juan Pierre on second for the Dodgers. Batter hits a line drive up the middle, and both runners take off at the crack of the bat. Pitcher Dan Haren spears the line drive out of the air, then throws the ball to Felipe Lopez at second for the double play. All Lopez has to do is tag second base for the third out, but for some strange reason, he walks right past the bag and tags Pierre for the third out instead. Meanwhile, Ethier just kept running (without going back to tag third) and scores BEFORE Lopez tags Pierre. The DBags run off the field, but meanwhile, the umpires proceed to put the run that Ethier scored on the board. Apparently, the rationale is that if Lopez had simply stepped on 2nd or stepped on 3rd, it would be a force out, and the run would not have counted, regardless of whether Ethier crossed the plate first. But since he chose to TAG Pierre, Ethier scoring first was not negated by the third out. But this makes no sense since Ethier had no business running without going back to tag third first. Arizona could have then appealed the play by throwing to third, except they ran off the field, and were then unable to appeal. The only way I can wrap my head around this is to think of it like a sacrifice fly play, where the runner on third leaves early. But still…what a strange play. Lopez is an idiot.
Blah blah blah let’s just get into it…
– I still despise expansion teams. This year, that means Colorado and Arizona. In a sport where tradition and history and continuity means more than in any other sport, you have these upstart teams doing everything they can to ruin it. Colorado has been apparently trying to prove that they are the baddest team in town by excessively wearing their black tops. They look freaking terrible. They look like batting practice jerseys, like a minor league team. They are wearing black vests with white piping on the armholes with black shirts underneath. Who thinks this looks good? It looks awful. They are ruining the game. Your home jerseys are supposed to be WHITE, freaking wear them. Your road jerseys are supposed to be GRAY, freaking wear those. You can’t wear black at home and black on the road. And if you think you look cool in black like Johnny Cash, realize that you are wearing a black hat with a PURPLE bill to top off that horrific ensemble. I can’t say enough about this.
– The National League sucks. They freaking suck. People say blah blah blah, the Cardinals won the World Series in 2006. Sure they did. But they weren’t a better team than the Tigers, and for that matter, they weren’t even a GOOD team. I have said this before and I will say this until the day I die, the 2006 Cardinals were the worst world series “champions” in history. The fact that they won is an absolute travesty. It was luck, pure and simple. Furthermore, this year, every single AL playoff team had a better record than the best team in the NL, the Diamondbacks. And that gap is even more pronounced because AL teams were playing other AL teams all year long. Far superior competition. The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, were OUTSCORED this year, that’s right, they had more runs scored on them than they scored all year. And that somehow translates to home field advantage? Are you kidding me? That team absolutely blows.
– More on the Diamondbacks: their home jerseys, for example, don’t say “Diamondbacks” on the front. They say “D-backs”. D-BACKS! D-BAGS!! I mean, what kind of a team parades around in jerseys that look like total crap (these new jerseys, by the way, are a complete rip-off of the Astros’ redesign of a few years ago) and call themselves the DOUCHEBAGS???? Only a bunch of collective douchebags. This team is so bad offensively that Tony Clark plays a significant role for this team. Tony Clark, who was released by a 119 loss Tigers team. The NL is freaking horrendous.
– I may seem to be fixating on the jerseys, but you know what, a team that looks good deserves to win. A team that looks like crap looks like a bunch of minor league hacks, and it’s just not good for the game. Good jerseys: Yankees, BoSox, Cleveland, Cubs, Phillies. Mediocre jerseys: Angels, Colorado (normal). Douchebag jerseys: Arizona. Garbage bag jerseys: Colorado in black.
– That said, here are my picks: Boston over Anaheim, Cleveland over New York, Cubs over D-Bags, Philly over Rox. Of course, since the last 12 months have pretty much been the most painful 12 months of my life in terms of sports, the opposite will most likely happen, and we’ll see the freaking Yankees facing the Douchebags or the Rockies in the World Series. Which would really really blow in and of itself, but in that particular situation, I would probably have little choice but to root for the Yankees to win, since I value justice over spite. But making that choice would sort of be like choosing which deadly epidemic I would root for to eradicate all sentient beings from the face of the earth. Fun.
– The only expansion team that knows what it is doing are the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Look, they are named like a minor league team, look like a minor league team, play in a minor league stadium and play ball like a minor league team. They know their place. The Rockies, Marlins and D-backs need to learn their place. They need to follow the Tampa Bay model and suck for at least 20 straight years before making the playoffs. I despise these teams.
– I also despise the Twins and the Cardinals for different reasons. It’s not about being bitter, I would totally respect these teams if they were good teams and deserved their respective ’87 and ’06 championships. But they don’t because they were crap teams. And for all time everything associated with these two teams is deserving of my unabashed hatred.
– I hate the Yankees. I don’t need to explain this.
– Now you may be thinking, “That’s a lot of hate.” But I believe in equal and opposite actions and reactions. I respect the yin and the yang. And all of this hate, all of this vituperation, all of this negative emotion is totally and utterly washed out by my love for the Detroit Tigers. That love is glorious and unconditional, and will shine on like a lighthouse beacon piercing the foggy night for all eternity, until the mountains turn into gouda and the oceans turn into minestrone. TIGERS RULE.