Thursday, October 23, 2008

World Series Live Blog

It's the most successful transvestite in baseball, Jeanne Zelasko!

Okay, not to delve into rampant sexism here, but Jeanne is a woman who comments on baseball. Nobody expects her to do anything other than look hot or know things about baseball. She doesn't even have to do both; such is the nature of sports programming. Unfortunately, she does neither. Being built like a man, having a flaring and meaty nose and a voice like a fourteen year-old kid trying make his sound deeper to pass himself off as 18 would be perfectly excusable if she didn't also have shit for brains. But she does. Jeanne is really dumb.

I feel terrible making fun of a woman for having substandard looks — and you really can't quite get an idea of just how unsettlingly lacquered she is without the High-Definition experience — because it really feels so shallow and cruel. Then again, I also don't know anyone, serious or casual fan, who finds her anything other than totally insufferable while also finding nothing of substance about her whatsoever. The day Jeanne Zelasko says anything about baseball that manages to escape a black hole of total vacuity, then maybe someone could make fun of her for that, instead of superficialities. Right now, though, trying to pillory her for her ideas about baseball is like trying trying to cure cold weather by shooting bullets at air.

Jason Werth looks like he has a chromosomal disorder. I guess if one of your starters is Lurch, maybe you could see about getting Thing to catch.

Singing YOUR national anthem, the Backstreet Boys. BACKSTREET'S BACK—ALL RIGHT!!!!

Me: Joe Buck's forehead somehow grew two inches during the season.
Glenn: Is he dead???
Me: It's at times like these that the occasional curse of Hi-Def rears its head like Putin into Alaskan airspace.

Really love this "Hmmm-HIMMMM-hmmm-HIMMMM" solemn french-horn laden theme music FOX is sticking with. It gets better every year trying to get pumped up for the fall classic to music that you'd expect someone to use to commission a battleship.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I'm Joe Buck here with Tim McCarver, and... yes... yes it appears that the Admiral's widow has emerged from the motorcade. And she's bearing the champagne."


Starting for the Phillies, a pitcher whose name sounds like a shoe brand. "Oooooh, I love those pumps. Are those Cole Hamels?"

Holy shit, they're going to play a baseball game now?!?!? I don't think 38 minutes of pregame was enough. Is there any way we could throw this back to Jeanne and Kevin Kennedy for stuff like, "I just think the Phillies are going to feel it out there," and, "This is going to be a great day for baseball," and McCarver's KEYS TO THE GAME LIKE, "Keep runs off the board, score runs"???

Welp, there goes the perfect game.

Welp, there goes the no-hitter and the shutout.

Cole Hamels would be ten times cooler if he smoked unfiltered cigarettes because then people could call him "Whole Camels."

Upton fires a fucking arm cannon to the plate from the middle of centerfield for an out. And here I should say that I totally screwed up, on Upton. In my playoff blog, I dismissed him as overrated, and then of course he came out and cranked something like seven postseason home runs. I made a big mistake and feel like an idiot. In my defense, at the time I'd completely forgotten that Upton had suffered some shoulder problems during the season. Both missed games and a weaker swing depressed his numbers. (Especially, VORP, which I relied on to show how he was being overrated.) This was supposed to be Upton's breakout year, and he really didn't put up power numbers commensurate with the expectations. Also, to maybe alleviate my embarrassment here, Upton dogged a lot of plays this year, not bothering to run out ground balls and mentally checking out on the basepaths to the tune of a handful of shameful pickoffs. In light of his absentmindedness, his disappointing numbers and my absentmindedly forgetting his injury, I sold him short. He proved me wrong in the next 10 games, and I'm glad he did. I especially have no excuse for damning him for mental miscues because I made a significant one myself.

Barely Minutes Later
Upton dogs running out a ground ball. Patience... patience....

A DirecTV ad featuring Christie Brinkley's 54-year-old CGI'd and surgically altered face superimposed on her body from Vacation 25 years ago. You know what makes me want to order DirecTV? Women in pools in circumstances totally unrelated to TV, uncomfortably reminding me of my mortality while staring into an uncanny valley of recognition and non-recognition embodied in a familiar/unfamiliar distorted face. WHERE'S MY CHECKBOOK?

Late Dinner
Grilled hot italian sausage with mushrooms, green peppers and onions with butter, oregano and garlic cooked in an aluminum foil pouch on the grill, served on toasted hoagie rolls with deli mustard and horseradish sauce. With Pilsner Urquell.

Once again Kazmir proves that if he could somehow not pitch his first 2 1/3 innings and then pitch the subsequent four, he would be amazing. Unfortunately, he only starts stranding runners with ruthless power and precision sometime after giving up 2-4 runs.


Akinori Iwamura slaps another clutch RBI double. Reminder that this is someone Joe Maddon encouraged to bunt all the fucking time. All he's done in this postseason is rip a ridiculous number of doubles and triples.

Buck: "One-and-oh, this postseason, is Scott Kazmir."
Me: Hearing this, is me. In the refrigerator on a shelf is a beer. To the kitchen to get it, I will walk.

Somewhere along the line every announcer in sports decided to speak almost exclusively in the passive voice and like a German or Yoda or both. To quote Anthony Lane: break me a fucking give.

That's a balk. Every replay shows it's a balk. Except it wasn't ruled as one, killing the Rays' rally. Every single person I've spoken to, be they fans of the Rays or other teams, has deplored the officiating this postseason, describing it as the worst in recent memory.

Hey, it's J.P. Howell. First of all, just seeing you is giving me a heart attack right now. Second of all, take off those goofy-ass woven necklaces. You're not a fucking Indian. I don't care how many of your brahs thinks they look bangin: you look like a goddamned idiot.

Next, J.P. Howell goes up 1-3 on Chase Utley, then expresses total dismay and consternation that Utley didn't swing at either of the pitches he BOUNCED TO THE PLATE. Then he seemed even more upset when his next ball didn't get called for a strike. Maybe you should have thrown something VAGUELY NEAR THE STRIKE ZONE. Of course, he probably shouldn't have been in there at all, since Maddon's pitched him nearly to death. But Maddon would have none of that. After all, why put in Chad Bradford instead? Bradford's only never given up a postseason earned run, and his submarine delivery basically guarantees ground balls, preventing hitters from homering off him. I can't imagine why that would be relevant for a game against the National League team with the most home runs this season.

At least Maddon hasn't put in Dan Wheeler. Thank God for small mercies.

Akinori Iwamura's at-bat music like canned public-domain electric tune that flirts briefly with turning into the synth riff from "Dancin in the Dark" before turning into indecipherable nonsense. Every time he gets up to the plate, I feel like I'm in a video game with a bunch of lights flashing at me: PRESS START TO ENTER.




Maddon sends out Dan Wheeler.

If you've ever wondered what it would be like to see major leaguers hit off a pitching machine stuck forever on the "Intermediate" setting, you're in luck!

Wheeler attempting to blow it by the best power team in the NL with blazing 90-mph heat.

Tim McCarver: Third is easier to steal than second.
Me: Fire cures skin infections better than antibiotics. Spikes are easier to eat than oatmeal. It's easier for me to have sex with this pile of rebar and scree than with a woman.

Wheeler gets a freak pop-up in contravention of all probability, virtually guaranteeing Maddon will send him out in every game for the World Series.

Tim McCarver: They call sliders like that 'cement mixers'!
America: Why?
Tim McCarver: Stayed outside.
America: And???
Tim McCarver: A mouse lives inside my skull and has adventures there.

One of those lines is made up but also probably true.

After Midnight
Rays lose. Crud.

Only on thing's cheering me up after this. More Terry Tate!