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Astros, Phillies, all-time defensemen, group and team, Deion, forearms, postseason history

Saturday 10/14/23

I know people don't like them because of the trash can/cheating thing, but it's so impressive that the Astros have made it to the ALCS seven straight times. Was also impressed by the Phillies again the other night. I don't like this format because I think you're more likely to get these "false positive" champions, where it's less about how is the best and who got hot after getting in--which downplays the regular season--but the Phillies and Astros are legit to me.

Bryce Harper is the anti-Mookie Betts. He loves the big stage. He's cut out for it. You can tell it's his favorite thing. You know who he reminds of somewhat, in terms of the player he's matured into? Sidney Crosby. There's something balanced and consummate about each of them.

Watched some Connor Bedard highlights. What stood out to me was his quickness, but even more than that, his lateral quickness, how he moves side to side. He looks like such a kid, the way that Gretzky did. He's slight. Not Gretzky slight, because that was a different time, but very much so for this era.

Peeked in on a discussion in which people ranked their five all-time best defensemen. This is how I'd go: 1. Bobby Orr 2. Ray Bourque 3. Doug Harvey 4. Denis Potvin. Someone suggested Zdeno Chara. People just say whatever they please. They often either don't think, or can't think. Chara is not one of the five best Bruins defensemen.

Why is it so important now to say "group" instead of "team?" Does the latter trigger people? Is it not against the rules in society? People go out of their way not to say team. But here's the thing: a group is meaningless. Throw a dozen incompetent people who despite each other together and you have a group, but you don't have a team. A team is a good thing. A group can just be whatever. There's no standard in making a group except more than two people, or just more than one if it's also a band.

It borders on the impossible to take an adult who says "goat"--as in greatest of all-time--seriously. And if someone says it at all they are likely to say it often.

Marty Barrett had no power whatsoever, but he wasn't small, and his forearms were jacked. What is it with ballplayers from the 1970s and 1980s and the size of their forearms? I think weightlifting was seen as bad, but it was okay to work your forearms. Of course, the weightlifting stance changed in the second half of the 1980s, on account of players like Brian Downing and Lance Parrish, and also Carlton Fisk.

Colorado was up 29-0 at the half last night on a 1-4 Stanford team, and lost. So I guess Deion Sanders isn't doing the greatest coaching job in history with his now 4-3 team? Because that's what Jemele Hill told me. She couldn't have just been being a racist again for the latest time, right? Couldn't have been a comment she made based just on someone's color? I mean, it's the greatest coaching job of all-time, no? And she would have said that about a white person leading Colorado, right?

Nice, too, to see Sanders blame his players in the press conference, and take no accountability. No wonder Fisk popped this narcissistic asshole in the mouth. That was a poorly coached team getting it handed to them because they weren't focused on the game but rather how great they think they are. Anyone can beat you, man, if you're half-assing it.

Colorado will have a top ten finish before Sanders moves on, but I bet he moves on sooner rather than later, after his kids are gone. That's not a long-haul guy you got there. That's a guy who is all about him. He's a flash guy, not a team guy. A group guy, if you prefer.

BC men's hockey improved to 2-0 last night. They opened the season ranked sixth in the country (BU was number one) and then won on the road in OT against defending national champions Quinnipiac, which moved them up to number four, so it looks like this will be a pretty good hockey season, which BC could use. Should be some entertaining BC v. BU games as well.

Last night was the ten-year anniversary of David Ortiz's grand slam in the 2013 ALCS against the Tigers. Without that hit, the Sox don't win it all in 2013. The best clutch player I have ever seen in baseball by a big gap. You'd seen Ortiz come through so many times before that moment, but still...I remember thinking, "You have to be fucking kidding me" as he made contact. You knew it was gone right away. And the symmetry of the outfielder with his legs in the air as he went over the fence, and the cop with his arms going up. Ortiz did nothing else in that series, too. But he essentially won it with that one swing. Then he hit .688 or whatever in the World Series.

Yesterday was also the anniversary of Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, and possibly the best baseball game ever played. It certainly had the most dramatic ending, one that will never be surpassed. The Pirates were done until they rallied and put up a five-spot in the bottom of the eight, and still the Yankees tied it in the top of the ninth. It must have killed Pirates fans when they say Bob Friend coming out to pitch late in that ballgame. Guy had a nice career, but he almost singlehandedly lost that World Series for the Pirates. He got rocked in both of his starts, the second of which had come the day before in Game Six, and then there he was back out there again with everything on the line in the deciding game. And he gave it up again! But it all worked out.


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