Monday, October 17, 2005

Focus on 4

Thoughts on yesterday's game: Jon Secada sang the heck out of the National Anthem.

I can see both sides of the Tony La Russa ejection. (Make no mistake, I'm not a La Russa fan, obviously he knows the game and he's got the numbers to prove that he's a good manager. But the glasses bug the shit out of me. Among other things.) As he himself says in this article, though, somebody's got to step up and say something. It's his job to do that. (And yes, the strike zone was all over the place. It wandered more than the 12 tribes of Israel.) But I think he set himself up a little bit for Phil Cuzzi's overreaction. I mean seriously, La Russa criticizing Wally Bell's strike zone before game 3 had even started? What was that about?

So anyway, I basically had no problem with La Russa protesting Cuzzi's calls, nor did I have any problem with his getting ejected. He certainly got his money's worth out of it. He did look a bit silly, yelling up to big Tim McClelland (crew chief), when McClelland stepped in between he and Cuzzi.

Edmonds? Now, that's another story. If you believe Edmonds' side of the story, and there's no reason not to, then that was just arrogance on Cuzzi's part. A batter should be able to question a call, it's part of the game. As much as I hate to see Edmonds up to bat (he's not known as the Astro-killer for nothing), I hated more to see him go under those circumstances. Stupid.

So, I guess the NLCS has had its share of umping controversy, along with the ALCS. What was not controversial, which I have watched a dozen times this morning on the video archives, is the amazing, impossible-but-true double play which ended the game by cutting short St. Louis' last scoring threat. Eric Bruntlett, the largely unheralded bench player who has made sooo many key plays this year, fed a perfect throw of John Mabry's grounder to Adam Everett at second, who in turn whipped a textbook throw over a sliding Reggie Sanders to get Mabry at first. Incredible.

Brad Ausmus says that "Bruntlett" means "great player" in Norwegian.

If that's true, then maybe "Astros 2005" can translate into "National League Champions."

Go 'Stros!


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