Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Day at the Playoffs: Tommy Lasorda?

  • Firstly, I am amused to report that I am enjoying the Lasorda playoff ads. Perhaps it is his slight resemblance, in both voice and stature, to a certain minister of awesome. This runs counter to Lasorda's usual image as an overturned bumbling joke. Or is it because they make fun of Red Sox fans?
  • Macha very riskily left Barry Zito in to finish the eighth with a man on, the batting champion up, and very good setup man and copy-and-paste champion Justin Craig Duchscherer ready in the bullpen. In contrast, Joe Torre pulled Chien-Ming Wang after only 6.2 innings, despite Wang having retired the last nine batters. Erstwhile lefty specialist (the word has a token connotation, like the black guy in a horror movie) Mike Myers promptly gave up a home run to the AL stikeout leader Curtis Granderson, leading to a parade of wonderful shots of worried Yankee fans suffering through a frightening bullpen despite the lead.
  • The once-traded-for-Eric-Milton non-hitter Nick Punto pulled out a crazy leaping stands catch, but McCarver was not around to immortalize it. Scroll down and wait for the horribly annoying Comeback Player ad to finish. It was a hell of a game in Minnesota, and this should be the best of these four series, oddly because neither of the teams can score runs. Oakland has the better starting pitching and should pull it out, even if Frank Thomas is walked every time up from now on.
  • The Cardinals won, sure. Too bad Jeff Weaver's starting tommorrow.
  • Lastly, the Yankees brought Ronan Tynan out of storage to sing about the separation of church and state. Not content with their annual showcase of the man's absurd ears, the Fox broadcast team elected to shoot him entirely from the ground. This is a technique once used to great effect by the late Orson Welles, which under the right curcumstances imparts the power and presence of a dangerous or important man by highlighting his girth and literal mass. Orson shot himself in this way in Citizen Kane, first to show us a larger-than-life man unstoppably on his way up, and then to emphasise the abject failure of an angry undignified husk of a man who has lost everything.
    He uses it again in Touch of Evil, to emphasise the physical as well as moral corruption of his colossal police chief. In Orson's case, this angle adds a sense of power to the character, but it does not fare so well when applied by a Fox camera at the floor of Yankee Stadium. I couldn't find a proper screenshot, but seeing Ronan this way, between a section of grass and part of the upper deck, brings out not the underlying power of the figure but rather a sense of the pudgy ridiculous. The man's ears fly out in opposite cardinal directions, seemingly propelled by the bursting fat curvily lining the inside of his annual greatcoat. He is only a pork chop or two away from a full fledged Irish intestinal explosion. Do not expect him back next year, but do expect last rites over a coffin fit for Barbaro.
Orson, terrifying, corrupt, yet less corpulent than Ronan Tynan.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nick Punto is not that bad a hitter.

Wed Oct 04, 01:50:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Craig said...

How bad do you have to be to be considered a bad hitter? Nick Punto had 459 AB's this year and hit 1 home run. Sure he had a .352 OBP, but that was mostly dependent on his .290 batting average, a number that's completely unsustainable. So yeah, I think it's safe to say that Nick Punto sucks.

Wed Oct 04, 02:55:00 PM EDT  

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