Blog Entry

From the Metrodome to Broadway, a great month

Posted on: November 6, 2009 1:11 pm
Edited on: November 6, 2009 1:22 pm
NEW YORK -- A month ago today, baseball’s postseason unofficially began at the Metrodome, with that incredible play-in game between the Twins and the Tigers.

Today, the Yankees parade up Broadway, an event so big in this city that even the Mets-owned SNY network felt a need to cover it.

In between, there were 27 official playoff games, fitting for a postseason that ended with the Yankees’ 27th championship.

A quick look back:

Best game: The first one, the one that baseball counted as the 163rd regular-season game, rather than the first playoff game. “The greatest game ever,” Twins outfielder Denard Span said. Maybe not, but it was the greatest game we saw this year.

Best team: Pretty obvious, isn’t it? Apparently it wasn’t to me, since I picked the Angels in the ALCS and the Phillies in the World Series.

Best player: Alex Rodriguez. Two game-saving home runs (ninth inning against the Twins, 11th inning against the Angels). A .365 batting average, 1.308 OPS and 18 RBIs in 15 games. Again, pretty obvious.

Best moment: Jimmy Rollins’ two-run, ninth inning, game-winning double off Jonathan Broxton in Game 4 against the Dodgers. Citizens Bank Park shook. The Phillies toasted Rollins with Don Julio tequila. And Manny Ramirez took a shower.

Best taunt: As the Phillies took control of Game 5 against the Dodgers, 50,000 Phillies fans reminded Manny to “Take a shower!”
Biggest difference-maker: Mariano Rivera. He shocked us by allowing a run to the Angels. One run. In 16 innings, over 12 appearances. He came into 2009 with a 0.77 postseason ERA, and lowered it to 0.74. No other team has a closer like him. No one else is even close.

Worst prediction: Besides mine? How about Rollins saying, "Phillies in 5"? Which, after the Yankees went up two games to one, he changed to, "Phillies in 6."

Five who helped themselves: 1. Alex Rodriguez. So what was that about him not being able to perform in October?

2. Hideki Matsui. He’ll now be a Yankee forever. But did six RBIs in the clincher make him a Yankee next year?

3. Cliff Lee. A Cy Young winner last year, but it wasn’t until now that we considered him one of the best pitchers in the game.

4. Chase Utley. He’s never won an MVP award, but he’ll be some people’s preseason pick in 2010.

5. CC Sabathia. Already the most expensive pitcher in the game, now he has to be considered the best.

Five who hurt themselves: 1. Cole Hamels. No matter how he meant it, “I can’t wait for it to end” will stick with him for a long time.

2. Matt Holliday. He’ll still make a ton of money on the free-agent market, but how much more could it have been with a great October?

3. Chone Figgins. He’ll make a ton of money, too, but 3 for 35 was a missed opportunity -- for him and for the Angels.

4. Jonathan Papelbon. Every closer this side of Mariano Rivera struggled in this postseason, but Papelbon’s Game 3 meltdown in Fenway was one of the worst.

5. Mark Teixeira. His team won, which makes the .180 postseason batting average easier to take. But the guy often slighted as a robot didn’t seem to handle postseason pressure well.

Four who were the same as ever: Colleague Scott Miller wrote yesterday about Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada, but it’s hard to talk about this postseason without mentioning them. Since Rivera said during the celebration that he wants to pitch for another five years, we may have many more chances to mention them again.

One who deserves credit and doesn't always get it: Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has more money to spend than anyone, but his negotiating strategy last winter with Sabathia and Teixeira was perfect. And even that $12 million he seemed to have wasted on Damaso Marte seemed like money better spent when Marte became a key (and unsung) middle reliever in the World Series.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 5:37 pm

From the Metrodome to Broadway, a great month

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 15, 2012 5:43 am

From the Metrodome to Broadway, a great month

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 31, 2011 7:22 am

From the Metrodome to Broadway, a great month

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From the Metrodome to Broadway, a great month

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 12:39 am

From the Metrodome to Broadway, a great month

Since: Dec 2, 2011
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From the Metrodome to Broadway, a great month

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Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 22, 2011 3:49 pm
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Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 5:13 am

From the Metrodome to Broadway, a great month

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Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: December 7, 2009 7:41 pm

From the Metrodome to Broadway, a great month

Just a thought....Mariano Rivera is arguably the best closer to ever play the game.  There's no question about that?  However, can any closer be considered a "difference maker"  After all, all closers need their club to have the lead after 8 innings to even get into the game.  Why isn't Alex Rodriguez the "difference maker"  He had two (2) game saving homeruns and Mariano Rivera wouldn't even have his opportunities if Rodriguez hadn't given him the lead...Just wondering. 

Since: Feb 1, 2008
Posted on: November 9, 2009 9:33 pm

From the Metrodome to Broadway, a great month

Go on Name Them!!

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