Not That We Care: a guide to the playoffs, part 5

Tonight baseball continues along its merry way without us. This time it’s Game 1 of the ALCS, apparently pitting the Kansas City Lorde Songs against the Baltimore Unintimidating And Thus Unintelligible Bird Mascots. (cf Thrashers, Atlantan or otherwise.*) A guy you’ve heard of because his first name rhymes with “Big Game” goes up against a guy that even the in-house propagandists at MLB can only describe as “calm, consistent.” Though, to their everlasting credit, they do follow that up with this bit of fire breathing promotion.

“Right-hander described as unflappable, very good at holding runners”

In addition to Chris Tillman, the Orioles will also feature stars like Kevin Gausman, Joe Saunders, and power hitting 1B/OF Steve Pearce. Apparently really boring white guy names is the new market inefficiency.

The Royals will counter this super-caucasoidal attack by continuing to clap louder and believe really hard.

All of which reminds me, perhaps explicably so, perhaps less than, of that one time David Tennant’s Doctor turned keys to the T.A.R.D.I.S. into perception filters. I mean, I know these teams are there, and it should be exciting and fun to watch franchises who haven’t been relevant since the 1980s take a turn on the big stage again. But every time I try to focus on them I end up back at Saturday Down South reading about Todd Gurley.

Anyway, any similarities you may notice between this guy:

And this guy?
MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays

Purely coincidental I’m sure.

*I once went to a Thrashers game, before they migrated back to their natural home in the frozen wastes of central Canadiastan. The most shocking element of said game was when the home team scored and the two giant metal Brown Thrashers in the ceiling, who were not in fact brown nor small sparrows flitting about your porch-side shrubbery, unleashed a torrent for FIRE! At which point my wife and I had this brief exchange:

She: “Fire breathing thrashers!!!”
Me: “I didn’t know they could do that.”
She: “Evolution is awesome.”

59 thoughts on “Not That We Care: a guide to the playoffs, part 5”

  1. JC’d from previous thread:

    I texted a friend of mine about the Gurley thing early this morning.

    His response: “THANKS FREDI.”

    Too perfect not to share here.

  2. Go Orioles. Much of my family are fans, plus it drives the Nats fans wild when the O’s do well.

  3. Rooting for the O’s. Always liked them from the Brooks/Frank Robinson days. But seeing KC in the WS wouldn’t break my heart either.

    The NL, for me, is just about which club I’m rooting against more—and that would be St. Louis.

    And let’s go, Nick Chubb…

  4. Are our winters that much different than your summers? from what I understand there are a few weeks every year when going outside is unbearable, the difference is we find a heater and you look for a/c.

    Either way, we are happy to have a hockey team back where it belongs.

    Oh, and KC for me…

  5. I am a bit surprised (well maybe not) at how little flack Gurley is taking from the fans. He just screwed the entire team and fanbase over for some peanuts when the big payoff was just 3 months away.

  6. @6

    Yeah, I understand the situation and do feel some sympathy for Gurley and other kids like him, but he’s certainly not blameless here. He did take the money (allegedly), after all, knowing the potential consequences full well. I am a bit surprised by the complete pass he’s getting.

  7. The problem with allowing athletes direct sale at the collegiate level is it becomes de facto pay for play – the teams with the most well heeled boosters can offer the highest “autograph prices” and you can see where that winds up.

  8. #6
    Why do young people do stupid things? Yeah, a little patience would’ve been prudent. And yes, his teammates are wounded by this stunt, but as a friend put it today, “In a few years, when he sees the empty mantle where the Heisman Trophy would’ve been, then it’ll hit him: He fucked up.”

    But I don’t think it’s just some kind of knee-jerk relativism that casts more heat on the NCAA/the memorabilia guy than it does Gurley in this situation. I believe it’s the brazen hypocrisy of the system and the often uneven way that “justice” is meted out.

    Rules are rules and he appears to have broken them, but at this point people think those rules are ridiculous & outdated. Considering how much money these programs make, a lot of people just don’t believe what Gurley or Manziel did is even wrong. I think that’s the answer, really.

    Just go back a few years ago when AJ Green was suspended 4 games for selling a jersey he wore in a bowl game. But if you walked across the street from Sanford Stadium to the UGA Bookstore, you’d also see racks & racks of #8 UGA jerseys for sale—just like I saw racks & racks of #3 jerseys a couple weeks ago.

  9. I am all for college athlete pay, in a licensed revenue sharing arrangement like the pros have now.

  10. These kids are professional athletes playing in a multibillion dollar sport. A few of them manage to get a college education during the years between high school and the NFL draft, but that isn’t why they’re in college. They’re there to play sports for teams that make millions of dollars off of them. As far as I’m concerned, they should get paid.

  11. No argument here. The tricky part is how do you equitably do it, and should athlete bleed from non revenue sports be considered.

    /among many other issues of course

  12. I’m stuck on the notion that a college kid owns the rights to his likeness.
    On that basis, I think they should get paid.

  13. I think most UGA fans watch this team play and don’t see a title contender, so the shame of it is mostly in Gurley denying himself a chance at some personal accolades (and our chance to watch him do so, of course). More generally, with crime and punishment in football being so front and center lately, I think people are mostly concerned with righting the ass-backwardness of punishing victimless “crimes” while ignoring real ones, and see this as a data point in that larger discussion.

  14. Georgia seems like a pretty flawed team with or without Gurley. They will struggle to win any of their remaining conference games.

  15. It seems that all football teams from GA this season suffer from the “all O, no D” problem.

  16. Alcids Escobar hit 3 homers all year. That’s as many as Ramiro Pena. It’s one less HR than Freddie Freeman’s total triples.

  17. Two notes from watching tonight’s game:

    1.) I know it’s just one start, but I don’t want James Shields anywhere near the Braves’ off-season rumors. He’s getting destroyed tonight, even though he’s only given up 2 runs. He’ll be the straw that breaks our back if we sign him.

    2.) The Orioles need to be eliminated so that none of us ever have to hear their White Stripes cheer ever again.

  18. Yost is about to lose his lead by not yanking James in the 5th…

    I mean, how does Yost watch him get hit this hard and not have someone warming up?

    Edit: 2-run single and we’re a hit away from confirming my prediction…

  19. From the replay, it looked like Schoop pushed his leg off the bag. Of course the way Dyson slides past the bag makes it easier to do that.

  20. Shields cost himself a fair bit of money last night. I’d probably pay him Derek Lowe dollars: 4/$60.

    I’m here in Columbia, MO, where the Bulldogs are squandering numerous opportunities but still winning by a lot. If any of you come visit, for this game or another, though, let me share some advice:

    * International Tap House has the best beer list in town, and no food, which may be either a feature or a bug depending on your perspective.
    * Shakespeare’s has very good pizza by the slice at lunch.
    * Booche’s has excellent old-fashioned burgers. (A bit like Louis’ Lunch in New Haven, CT.)
    * Flat Branch Pub & Brewing makes their own beer, which is very good, and has very decent brewpub food.
    * Broadway Brewing is another brewpub. Their beer and food aren’t as good as Flat Branch but it’s okay, and less crowded.
    * Cafe Poland has very good pierogis.
    * Shotgun Pete’s has decent barbecue.

    You’re welcome!

  21. Greetings from Las Vegas…

    No Gurley? No problem.

    Missouri couldn’t block UGA’s defensive front—pretty simple. They chased Mauk around like a rodeo clown & Missouri’s receivers treated each pass like Kryptonite. That was a nationally televised mugging.

    Sometimes Dan Mullen he reaches for his inner Tuberville, when he should be Woody Hayes. This game ain’t over.

  22. Conspiracy theory: all of the Royals’ post-hype players have been saving up all of their talent and production until this very postseason.

  23. Does Mizzou just completely stink or did the Dawg secondary suddenly become competent? They played a lot of man coverage and didn’t really mess up much at all. It was like watching a different team. Here they go getting my hopes up yet again.

  24. The secondary was fine, but it had more to do with the pressure that UGA put on Mizzou’s QB. Missouri had trouble blocking the defensive front & UGA hit ’em with a few blitzes here & there. For the most part, it was very basic “beat-your-man” football.

    Also, Missouri’s receivers were butterfingers all day. A couple of those INTs went right thru their hands. You’ll probably never see a home team look that bad again this year.

  25. I hate Matt Carpenter. For no good reason other than the wonder of how the Cardinals always get these ridiculous playoff performances.

  26. How did I not know of this until tonight?

    Saw it in a Hardball Talk recap of the NLCS game tonight and it perfectly describes… um, certain members of the putative post-rosterbation 2015 Braves starting lineup.

    As for actual baseball, when the Cardinals and Giants are only #2 and #3 in the pulling stuff out of your butt power rankings, you have an extremely annoying postseason. I’m not actively avoiding watching it, but I do seem to have a lot of things to do that aren’t watching it.

  27. I’ve watched most of the playoff games so far. My conclusion is that to win you need to hit clutch homers. It’s really just that simple. Get’er done Wren. Er…Bobby.

  28. 46 — I remember Mac writing about that several times when talking about Javy Lopez, Brian McCann, or some of our poor offensive backup catchers.

  29. #48
    And, in the modern MLB playoff system, if you’re in it, you can win it. It’s the Stanley Cup Playoffs with one less round.

    So far, the Royals have been sprinkled with the magic pixie dust. They may end up like the ’07 Rockies, but if you’re a Royals fan this is a helluva way to make up for the past 29 years.

  30. @50

    At this point, nothing is going to happen until the World Series is over. Nobody does anything front-office wise during the playoffs. It makes Comrade Bud unamused.

  31. @45

    Short of butt medicine, it’s clear the Braves’ next GM needs to do some things this off-season to get the team back on course.

    I hope someone here can explain the challenges the next man will face. I understand that their tv deal causes problems, but I don’t know how severe they are.
    Seeing John Hart involved reminds me the benefits of locking down young stars early, as during his days with the Indians. Are we going to do more of that?

    Much has been made about changes in the scouting group lately and that sounds like a good thing. It seems that last bunch did well with pitching, including Harang and Santana. But we sure seemed to run out of bats. Will the next group do better?

    Where do we go next?
    Yep, it’s that time again.

    Go Braves!

  32. Chipper, don’t tease us

    @RealCJ10: Any ideas on who the new hitting coach is gonna be??? And don’t say me!

  33. Rumored news on the Gurley thing.

    From a source who in turn has a MAJOR source at espn, there are SEVERAL players memorabilia with the same dealer that supposedly has Gurley’s. Two Bama players (stars).

    And, the dealer did squeal on himself.

    And, he is a known avid Florida Gator fan. Hmm?

  34. Just read an article about over population wherein us humans were compared to pond scum killing its pond. Did not realize how apt the comparison is.

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