Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Morning wrapup/random thoughts

First of all, I want to apologize to my readers for the low frequency of posts...which will continue for another week or so. Lemme 'splain.

On Friday, I will get on a plane and head for Fort Lauderdale. From there, my girlfriend and I are taking a cruise. St. Thomas, Bahamas, and a couple of other places where they don't need space heaters. With my first vacation in ten years coming up fast, I've been pulling doubles at work a lot. So I've let a lot of other aspects of my personal life fall by the wayside slightly. My apologies to you, my friends and readers. I'll fire a couple of days worth of posts at you, but it'll end this weekend. I'm be back in Ohio in time to see Ohio State/Penn State.

Here's the wrapup;

Ohio State Buckeyes

Yes, I know we've had an easy schedule. Yes, I know that we're number 1 only because everyone else has failed at least once this year. But here's the straight-out truth....when a good team plays an unranked opponent, what are they SUPPOSED to do? If you answered "win by a margin of between 16 and 51 points", then you are correct!

That's what top-ranked teams DO. They dismantle lesser opponents....none of this "letting them hang around" stuff. THAT'S why they deserve to be #1. Period.

In my opinion, the last game of the easier part of our schedule comes up on Saturday. Michigan State has skills, and will be tougher to beat than Kent State was, but they're still playing on John L. Smith's talent. When Mark Dantonio gets his mark on the entire squad, they'll be back in contention. But not yet. Dantonio, in fact, is the scariest part about this game. He knows our system, knows Tressel like a brother, and everybody from the sophomores on up have had extensive quality time with the man. If any single coach can disrupt our team on the field, this is the guy.

I'm just grateful the game is at The Shoe.

Anyway, the big key to this game is stopping Jevon Ringer. He's averaging about 160 all-purpose yards per game. Shut him down and you shut down the Spartans offense.

Ohio State 34
Michigan State 13

P.S. For those of you reminding everyone about 1998's Michigan State upset over then-number 1 Ohio State......John Cooper doesn't coach here anymore, and he never will again.

Cleveland Indians

Holy freaking crap! The Indians are on fire, and are now one game away from the World Series. The best part about last night was that Fox FINALLY figured out that another team was playing against Boston, and actually beating them. The tune of "Cleveland Rocks" as they went to commercial break was nice to hear.

Paul Byrd and Jake Westbrook were both masterful in shutting down the Sox for as long as they could, and they both allowed our offense time to get going, and our bullpen got the rest they needed before stepping up to dominate down the stretch. Hats off to the guys for that!

Day off today, then we send our ace to the mound. CC has not had a great game yet in the postseason, the only Tribe starter not to pitch a gem. He's ready. I can feel it in my bones that this guy will step up and get the performance he needs to send his team to the World Series.

Looking into the Boston bullpen yesterday, I saw a defeated team. They look like they're ready to clean out their lockers. Tomorrow night, if we get to Josh Beckett for 2-3 runs in the first few innings, they'll collapse in a pile of tears. Beckett's a stud, so that won't be easy to do. But if we do....

Yesterday I made a quick post about Tim Wakefield. I still can't believe that Boston sent a 41-year-old to save their freaking season! But it was because Terry Francona coached himself into a hole. Faithful BBC reader Brett pointed out that Jon Lester should have been the starter for Game 4, and he indeed is a much better option than Wakefield was. But Francona screwed the pooch by putting Lester in the 11th inning of Game 2. And they put him in when the Indians were up by three runs already. Why the hell would they waste a starting pitcher on a lost cause like Game 2? We'll never know....but it forced Wakefield to start Game 4 with no other viable options. Amazing how a move like that can end up affecting the entire series.

One last thing....does anybody else feel that Manny Ramirez needs a pitch thrown behind him just once? I'm sorry, but you do NOT show up a pitcher like that, especially when you're losing by 4 runs. However, Eric Wedge is way too classy. It's all about business with the coach, and he's not going to take a chance like that. Plus, Boston is demoralized right now. Why give them a wake-up call when you've got them in a trance?

Plus, the ultimate revenge for that Ramirez idiocy is to knock his ass out of the playoffs. Even though he's too much of a moron to understand it, that would hurt a LOT more than a fastball to his empty head.

The first pitch of Game 5 can't come soon enough. Go Tribe!

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