It’s the worst nightmare for every sports station: ESPN, FOX, all of them. There aren’t any teams from the east coast in either championship series. So that means TV ratings are going to be down! It’s the apocalypse because the bandwagoners won’t be watching! HELP!
I honestly could care less. I say screw the east and their gigantic payrolls. None of the top nine payrolls in baseball made it out of the NLDS, which just proves that having a big payroll doesn’t mean anything. Actually, I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t mean anything- it means that you have the power to overpay worthless players to underperform for your team. Yes, I’m talking to you guys, John Lackey, Carl Crawford, and so on.
But if you’re not on the bandwagon of the Yankees or Red Sox, then here’s what I have to say to you: welcome to the midwest. You’re going to be here awhile.
The final four teams standing are all located in the midwest. The Brewers, Cardinals, Tigers, and Rangers (who are actually in the AL West, and I’m still trying to figure out why) are those teams. Here are their respective payrolls, and where the rank among MLB teams:
Tigers, 10th: $105,705,232
Cardinals, 11th: $105,433,572
Rangers: 13th: $92,299,265
Brewers, 17th: $85,497,333
That’s right. The only one even in the top 1o is the Tigers, and that’s saying something, considering Detroit isn’t a very big market.
But this just hasn’t been a good year for any east coast team, which, in my opinion, is exactly what baseball needed. The Yankees’ offense became too inconsistent in the ALDS against the Tigers, and that wound up costing them. The Red Sox had a historical collapse, as the entered September with a nine-game Wild Card lead, and blew it. The Braves also blew a big lead of their own, as they had an eight-game lead in the Wild Card, and blew that. The Rays, who had so much momentum coming into the postseason, were made fools of by the Rangers. But the biggest one was the Phillies- they won a franchise record 102 games, and yet couldn’t make it out of the NLDS against a Wild Card team (the Cardinals).
And the Phillies’ season ended on a rather fitting note. As Chris Carpenter induced a Ryan Howard groundout to finish his shutout and advance his team to the NLCS, Howard could only limp out of the batter’s box, and collapsed about a fourth of the way to first base. While the Cardinals celebrated in the middle of the infield, medical trainers rushed out to see what happened to Howard. A few minutes later, the helped him off the field. But, earlier today, it was revealed the Howard ruptured his left Achilles, which is a tendon on the back of your foot. It was also said that Howard won’t be back until May or June of next year.
But at least the Phillies know that their team is going to fail next year beforehand. The Phillies were expected to win it all this year, like they are every year. And they never live up to those expectations. If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you know that I absolutely hate the Phillies. So thank you, Cardinals.
But now, let’s get on to what matters. The teams with arguably the most bad blood between them this year are facing off in the NLCS. The Brewers and Cardinals have hated each other all year, and it may already have stirred up even more before the series even started because of an interview earlier today.
Zack Greinke was interviewed earlier today because it was a workout day for the Brewers. He was asked a lot of questions, but the highlight of it was when he was asked about the how much the Brewers and Cardinals hated each other. Here’s what he had to say:
“Maybe now. No one really likes (Chris) Carpenter. But, besides that, I think they respect mostly everyone on their team.”
He was later asked about the Carpenter thing, and here’s what he had to say about that:
“I don’t know. They think his presence, his attitude out there sometimes is like a phony attitude. But — and then he yells at people. He just stares people down and stuff. And most pitchers just don’t do that. And when guys do, I guess some hitters get mad. Some hitters do it to pitchers. But when you do that some people will get mad. There’s other pitchers in the league that do it, but, I don’t know, a lot of guys on our team don’t like Carpenter.”
You can see the entire interview here, but this was by far the best part, and I found it hilarious and true. Carpenter is a good pitcher and all, but his attitude is pretty bad. And I don’t see why a veteran like him should be acting like that. But this will make the series interesting right off the bat, which is what I want to see.
Anyway, the matchup tomorrow will be Greinke (16-6, 3.83 ERA) vs. Jaime Garcia (13-7, 3.56 ERA). Greinke is 2-1 with a 3.15 ERA against the Cards this year, and 5-3 with a 3.75 ERA overall, but really hasn’t had a bad start against them this year. Garcia, meanwhile, threw a two-hit shutout against the Brewers in his first start against them this year, but was tagged for seven runs his second time out, so I guess we don’t know how he’ll be tomorrow. But we should be glad Shaun Marcum isn’t starting- Garcia has a three-run homer against him this year. (Not to mention Marcum has been awful at Miller Park this year. I hope he doesn’t start Game 2.)
By the way, Yovani Gallardo will be starting Game 3, Ron Roenicke announced earlier today. He’s also going to start in the event of the possible Game 7, but I’m not comfortable with him starting either- Yo is 1-7 with an ERA of nearly 6.00 in his career against the Cards.