Holy crap. September 28, 2011. Has there ever been a better day of baseball?
South Bend, IN
One of the greatest aspects of our hallowed national pastime is that every day has the potential to bring greatness. You might see a no hitter. You might see a triple play. You might see four homeruns in one game by the same player.
In fact, just this season I witnessed Derek Jeter collect five hits in a game. TWICE. I saw Justin Upton hit a broken bat homerun. I saw Mariano Rivera become the undisputed king of the save.
I also saw back-t0-back bunt basehits to start off a game. I saw Shelley Duncan have the defensive game of his life by making three nearly identical amazing grabs in left to rob the Rangers. And I saw Adam Dunn get a base hit off a lefty.
Magic. Baseball has it. And some days it has it more than others.
I would put September 28, 2011 in that category for sure, because on that day FOUR games provided unparallelled magical endings, nearly simultaneously.
But I also can’t think of September 28th without thinking about 2007 Game 163 or the 2008 Game 163 or the 2009 Game 163!!! In fact, I still consider that 2009 Tigers v. Twins contest to be the most jaw-dropping game I have ever witnessed with my own two eyes. Clearly, when we reach the end of September and regular season games carry the weight of sending teams on to capture even more glory, the potential for being among the best is like a batting practice fastball.
Right down central.
In the end though, what qualifies as the “best day in baseball” is obviously relative. For me, I can’t seem to get past October 27, 2006.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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What better way to celebrate the return of contemporary television’s greatest comedic achievement than to steal one of its taglines for an hyperbolic thrashing of the MLB seasonal awards?
That’s what I thought.
American League Cy Young
Um… no brainer, y’all. Justin FRACKING Verlander. Anything else is just… stupid. And dumb. And Cubbish.
American League Most Valuable Player
Though my repugnant and oft pedantic colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, would like you to believe Mr. Verlander is the “most valuable” to his team, let’s not lose sight of what’s really going on here. You can argue semantics all you want, Mr. Krause, but we all know that the MVP is reserved for a position player. How do we know this? Because the pitchers ALREADY HAVE THEIR OWN AWARD. And that, my friends, is a deal breaker! So the MVP goes to Curtis Granderson. Close your eyes and imagine the Yankees without him this year. Scurry, ain’t it!?!
National League Cy Young Award
Halladay or Kershaw or Halladay or Kershaw or Halladay or… wait, Kershaw? It’s a fine line. And my gut says Kershaw; however, upon further review (and I know using stats from 2010 isn’t fair, but who says I’m fair?), in a galaxy far, far away, Adam Dunn took Kershaw deep. Twice. In one game. And THAT’S A DEAL BREAKER. Congratulations, Roy Halladay. Again.
National League Most Valuable Player
My instincts say Ryan Braun deserves this award BUT Ryan Braun is a Brewer and yep, that’s a deal breaker! So Matt Kemp, come on down! In fact, if Lance Berkman hadn’t done such a nice job, I might also hand Kemp the Comeback Player of the Year Award because, let’s face it, compared to ’09 and ’11, he was nothing short of regurgitated fecal matter last year. Think about it.
Yes, they have other awards too, like, Manager of the Year, Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, etc… but honestly, who cares? Quick, name the 1989 National League Manager of the Year. See, you can’t. ‘Cuz nobody cares (it was the Cubs’ Don Zimmer).
And if nobody cares, well, then THAT’S A DEAL BREAKER!
Hate me, it’s all good. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
In Memoriam. Hallelujah.
My favorite part of any award ceremony — be it the Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys or Tonys — is the part where they celebrate those who passed on into the good night. As we wind down this great baseball season, Setting the Mahmud has prepared its own In Memoriam of sorts, to remember those who are no longer with us whilst honoring some of TV’s greats!
Adam Dunn/Steve Landesberg
“Arrest the first naked guy you see with a dirty mouth.”
His fate is yet to be determined. One of the most consistent players EVER was anything but this year. I wish all the best for my large bat wielding friend. Hope he can Lazarus himself mightily next season. (Also, Barney Miller is one of the most underrated shows of all time). How is Abe Vigoda still kickin it and Steve Landesberg just kicked it??
Jorge Posada/Peter Falk
“Well, it’s better than a gallstone. Did ya ever have a gallstone ma’am?”
Surpassed defensively by Francisco Cervelli and out-hit by Russell Martin, this could very well be the end for Hip Hip Jorge!! And if it is, I think the YANKS will pull through. A $200 million payroll will do that for ya.
Miguel Tejada/Aaron Rowand/Bill Erwin
“What are those bums doing back there?! It’s like watching a couple hyenas going through the garbage!!”
Designated for assignment for these cats. Rowand probably bashed his head into a wall too many times and Tejada is well… probably 50.
Johan Santana/Tom Bosley
Marion Cunningham: Richie just hasn’t got the appetite that Chuck has.
Howard Cunningham: Marion, Argentina hasn’t got the appetite that Chuck has.
A personal favorite of mine. His fantastic slider was a thing of GLORIOUSNESS.
And now, please enjoy the fine work of the Canadian Tenors! (Jeff Buckley won’t mind. Trust me.) Oh, and tip one out for Uncle Frank.
Follow Johanna on Twitter!
It’s Math. Don’t Fight It.
Clint Hurdle isn’t here to save you and lead the White Sox to 20 wins in a row to finish out the season a la the Rockies in 2000 whatever year that was. Jim Thome isn’t walking through that door to be the anti-Adam Dunn. I’m sorry. Just accept it.
As of Tuesday, via Baseball Prospectus, the White Sox have an 11.8% chance of making the playoffs. The Detroit Tigers have an 86.8% chance. If you’re a Sox fan and want to hold onto that 11%, that’s your business. I just don’t want to hear about it. I know they’ve been just good enough in this awful division to keep us interested, but it’s over.
TOO STRESSFUL. THIS TEAM GIVES ME CHIGGERS!!!
If I have to listen to one more smelly Sox fan chewin his Kodiak, botherin me while I’m TRYIN TO PEE, sayin stuff like “Hey der guy… we’re goin sweep these next few series and we will be der in the end… darrrrr…”
Well, you know what? BITE ME. CUZ IT’S OVAAA…
This team started out so bad that the whole inching their way back up possibility almost felt real. I even got on board, thinking that at some point they’d stop winning three games and losing four. I assumed Adam Dunn would have to, at some point, regress to the mean and start hitting again. I even thought Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham might stop resembling human bowel movements.
As for Ozzie Guillen and Kenny Williams? Those two guys are pathetic. A once great union of minds is now in complete ruin. They go back and forth at each other like a homeless man’s Martin and Steinbrenner. Word is the Sox have already started looking for managerial candidates and compensation from the Marlins for Ozzie. I know sometimes the Oz man sounds like an ignorant mofo, but he’s a hell of a manager if the Sox can keep him. But if there’s any chance of Guillen staying with the team he and Kenny have to stop being Lindsey Lohan and Samantha Ronson.
Follow Johanna on Twitter!
One reason why I’ll never tire of my inanimate life partner (her name is baseball) is because every time I watch a game, I have the chance to see something I’ve never seen before. Or, as was the case Wednesday night at Sox Park, I might see 18 somethings I’ve never seen before.
The Yankees were in town. My buddy Mike had sweet tickets on the 100 level. And I was craving the sort of breeze only Adam Dunn’s wiff-n-miss bat can provide.
It didn’t take long for the game to get out of hand. In fact, the game STARTED with something I have NEVER seen before: back-to-back bunt basehits, thanks to Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter.
In fact, Jeter went 5 for 6 in the game, only the fourth time he has ever collected five hits in one game (the third being his epic 3K performance just last month) and yes, that’s something I’ve never seen before.
I have also never seen a White Sox pitcher (Brian Bruney) enter a game, record ZERO outs, give up 2 hits and 2 earned runs and still not be the worst performer of the night. Like my buddy Mike said: “When you put Will Ohman in in the third, it’s already a disaster.”
And, of course, nothing spells disaster like the 2011 version of Adam Dunn.
But hark! Baseball games always offer something new; and I hadn’t been to a Sox game all season where Adam Dunn didn’t strike out at least once, BUT, lo and behold, Dunn went 1 for 4 with NO strikeouts! Hallelujah! Champagne for errrrrrrybody!
Dude still can’t hit an 11-run homer though. At this moribund point, I’m thinking that might be the only thing that could save his career.
But that stopped around May.
They are just an infuriating lot to watch play baseball.
“All in” my @$$.
Since I enjoy the weekends almost as much as I enjoy watching the sCrUBBIES plummet to 21 games under .500, I better get rid of all this heat-induced angst now, so I can enjoy the next two days in peace. That means y’all better get ready for some STOP ITs!
In the old days, being a Big Leaguer meant being the best you could be. It meant putting forth maximum effort, doing things the right way and positioning one’s self to win. After all, that’s the goal in baseball. To win. Of course, you could also be lame, like a very comfortable Aramis Ramirez, who is more inclined to settle for being a creaky cog in a wheel of crap at Wrigley Field than go somewhere his talents could actually be of some use. He cites his “family” as the reason, but that’s stupid. It’s two months. And you’re a friggin’ millionaire, dude. So STOP IT! Just STOP IT! Go win something. Nothing infuriates me more than talented people wasting their talents.
The White Sox
Speaking of stupid, how long will Kenny Williams & Co. allow the $14 million strikeout machine to clog up any and all paths to winning?!? Letting a marquis player work through a slump makes sense when the slump is… y’know, a slump. But when it’s AN ENTIRE SEASON it’s time to make a change. STOP IT, White Sox! You bombard me with your 2011 slogan of “All In” and the only thing you’re “all in” to is a giant, heaping pile of suck.
I love how we Chicagoans complain all winter long about how cold it is, then when summer comes along people are suddenly surprised they’re frying eggs on the sidewalk. Chicago in the summer is HOT. It has always been hot. So stop acting like you didn’t know this. Same thing goes for baseball players. It’s been hot during the summer for the entirety of baseball history. In fact, the old timers (REAL baseball men) used to wear WOOL UNIFORMS so STOP CRYING ABOUT IT, baseball players. You make millions of dollars playing a game I’d do Precious for to play, so quit bitching about the heat and just concentrate on doing your job.
And, as if all of the above isn’t enough, apparently we here in US America can’t even get our own pastimes right. No, I’m not talking about baseball. I’m talking about pizza.
Yeah, our pizza experience has been outsourced to India too. And, surprise, surprise… they do it better: