Worst. Outing. Ever.
Ah, the playoffs- it’s a time of magic, when heroes are made and wins are won and real men show their grit, toughness and (especially) heart battling it out for the ultimate prize as they leave it all on the field in the most important games of their lives, for it all comes down to this, there’s no tomorrow, it’s the final showdown between the best of the best on the biggest stage and only one team can triumph, reach the pinnacle of performance, banish the ghosts of past failures, create new epic tales of greatness, and start a legend for the ages as they achieve the supreme ultimate position of baseball gods among men and etch their names forever in history….BARRRRRRF.
Sorry. Fox overdose. I just can’t stand it any more. The playoffs are exciting, but do they really need to be tarted up in all this dramatic hyperbole? Do more people watch the games when you precede them with half an hour of purple prose? Instead of pointing out some of the finer points of what you’re watching it’s all about puffing up the drama with crappy cliches. I’m pretty sure if you think baseball is boring, long speeches with epic musical scores about how exciting it is are not going to change your mind, especially when they push the broadcast over four hours and into the next day.
Anyway, let’s not forget that for every Joe Carter moment of indescribable joy bounding around the bases, there is at least one Mitch Williams, or Bill Buckner, or even Donnie Moore, suffering long-term psychological damage for being unable to prevent said joy. In fact, the Baseball Almanac keeps a rather morbid list if you’re into that sort of thing.
I bring this up because after Jeff Francis’ slightly disappointing start (for a look at the gory details, check out my post on the Jays’ Nest), Franklin Morales and Ryan Speier produced two of the outings that keep sports psychologists in business. Morales lasted 2/3 of an inning and allowed 7 runners to reach base. Not to be outdone with fewer outs to work with, Speier entered with the bases loaded and threw 12 balls in 16 pitches to walk in three runs without retiring a batter for a much more efficient display of specraplitude.
Sadly, the mocking and shadenfreude must stop then, because he wasn’t really that bad. I was hoping for something that lived up to what has to be one of the worst outings of all time, but he was generally around the plate. Looks like he was just trying to be too fine in his first World Series appearance (which tends to happen) and once he had shown no ability to find the plate wasn’t getting the benefit of the doubt from the home plate umpire (which also tends to happen). Anyway, here was Mr. Speiers location last night- let’s not with his movement because they were all fastballs except one (2nd from the right):