Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Delayed Reaction

More than 24 hours later, Eric Gagne's split-finger/changeup still hasn't come anywhere near the strike zone.

And yet, Hideki Matsui was still out.

Yankees/Dodgers was the best of Interleague play: packed houses at Chavez Ravine, rookie heroics from Brad Halsey, Japanese-on-Japanese action with Hideo Nomo and Hideki Matsui facing each other for the first time, Jeff Weaver getting some revenge against the pinstripers, and (in the finale) nailbiting action with Eric Gagne facing the heart of the Yankee order with the game on the line.

Still, there was a downside to all this baseball-y goodness. The Yankees played sloppy, helping the Dodgers to two wins on Javy Vazquez' error on Friday, and Matsui's insanifying two base error on speedy Dave Roberts on Sunday.

As I write this, ESPN is showing us another replay of the ball rolling through Matsui's legs.

Also, home plate ump Jeff Kellogg's strike zone swelled like a pregnant Roseanne Barr in the late innings of Sunday's game, leading to some calls that Yankee fans are still grouchy about. It wasn't anything that egregious -- as Alex Belth pointed out, those kinda calls just as frequently go the Yankees' way -- except that because of ESPN's K-Zone camera, a call that just plain sucked the first time you saw it became a super-slow-mo clear-as-day ball at least a foot outside.

But the worst thing about this series is this: these are two teams that could conceivably meet in the World Series. If that happened, wouldn't it be cooler if we hadn't had this series this weekend? Could you imagine the anticipation of seeing the Gagne/A-Rod matchup for the first time, of Nomo and Matsui's first big meeting happening on the game's biggest stage?

That's impossible now. Maybe this is over-romanticized, but I don't think anything can replace that feeling of the two World Series representatives being strangers to each other.

So what do you think, folks? Am I just nostalgic, or has Bud Selig robbed the postseason of its luster?


Post a Comment

<< Home

Site Meter