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Home » Baseball

Rays of Light: 2011 Division Series Open Thread

Submitted by on October 1, 2011 – 2:10 PM41 Comments

It's the moooooost wonderful tiiiiiiime of the…you know, I think I make that joke vis-a-vis baseball when pitchers and catchers report, too. And on Opening Day. Well, the hell with it. It's true.

Welcome to your Division Series celebration/wails of despair thread. Make predictions, complain about your bullpen, wonder why you didn't pick Shoppach for your postseason pool (I'll be doing a lot of that, I suspect), suggest braiding schemes for Maddon's hair or spitting schemes for Wilson's curveball — we're here for you.

I had Texas in 3, but now I guess I'll say 4; Brewers in 4; Tigers in 5; Phillies straight sweep. Good luck, everyone, and here we go…

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  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Okay, it's driving me nuts, Nation: WHO does Ryan Braun look like? I hope someone (…reader Gretchen?) can hook me up, because it's driving me nuts.

  • Rain says:

    Ryan Braun…a young Brendan Fraser? Yes? No?

    Also, my team is the Royals and I will be drinking over *here* until next spring, thank you.

  • jennie says:

    In mourning up here in Boston over Terry Francona, trying to resist the urge to drink the entire contents of my liquor cabinet. Go Tigers? *sob*

  • Schlinkaboo says:

    Ryan Braun….Brody Jenner's friend in the Hills…Frankie?

  • Sarah says:

    Ryan Braun does look like someone. I don't know who, but you are definitely on to something here. He's pretty cute, but when I've heard him talk, he sounds dumber than a doorknob.

  • Bo says:

    I was just freaked out when they put up tomorrow's starters for the Phils v Cards game and Carpenter and Lee look alike. They will not, however, pitch alike.

    They needed to put Stutes in, hopefully to get him playoff experience. Unfortunately, I think there will be a decided lack of confidence by him and in him for the duration after that. But it was nice to have the luxury to find out.

  • merin says:

    Am I the only one who has a major difficulty watching Phils/Cards games because they wear the EXACT SAME UNIFORM? Would it kill one of them to wear, say, an all-red top when the other one's in white/grey? Not that it takes a lot for me to not-watch Phils/Cards. The Phils are the Yankees of the NL (ALL the pitchers, guys? ALL of them? Oh, and grab Hunter Pence too, why the hell not?) and the Cards…well, the nomination is the award for them, I suspect. You can't start Kyle Lohse in Game 1 and still argue you have a shot at the whole thing. Somebody's gotta be the cannon fodder.

    Oh, and speaking of Hunter Pence, the greatest description of him I ever read (tm The Dugout, I believe?) is that he looks like his body is being controlled by insects. Great player, would launch most of my MN Twins into the sun in exchange for him, but man, you watch him run and think there HAS to be a tiny control room in there somewhere with a bunch of frantic beetles all "Left leg! Left leg! No, the OTHER left!"

  • attica says:

    As much as I admire Pujols, I cannot root for the Cards. I find LaRussa villainous.

    I think "Flyin' Hawaiian" is an excellent nickname.

    I agree with Leyland; Fister is a much better pitcher than last night's numbers reflect. That was a very good signing. He's got a few good years ahead of him, I think.

    What's that bear-posture thing that the Brewers do?

    I can't decide whether I think having the son of the dude that died diving for a Hamilton foulball throw out the first pitch is touching or ghoulish. I guess their hearts are in the right place, but…

    I'm still gleeful about the demise of the Boston side. (and I have totally passed on Sars's description of Papelbon as 'cat-butt face' to universal acclaim)

    Baseball: Yay!

  • Sarah says:

    @merin – Totally agree re: Hunter Pence. Nothing graceful about him at all.

    Can someone tell me what Ryan Braun is doing after he gets a hit? Is it some Brewers version of the claw and antlers?

  • Rachel S says:

    Re: the Brewers' animal claw celebration, it's apparently a sign of having entered "beast mode." More info here:

  • FloridaErin says:

    @Sarah- They call it "Beast Mode". And, yeah, that's basically they're version of claw and antlers.

    @attica- Re: Fister. Completely agree. Even Jeter (guh) gave Fister props, saying that they didn't really "get to" Fister, they were just very fortunate. If we go to game 5, I'm completely happy if the ball is in Fister's hands.

    Speaking of Tigers/Yankees game 5, A.J. is now getting the ball in game 4, so I'm feeling more hopeful about a possible sweep at home. A lot of that will depend on which Porcello shows up to pitch against him. I'm hoping Porcello can just manage to suck less.

    I would also like to thank Papa Grande for managing to take at least two years off my life this afternoon. I can't take another finish like that!

  • Julie says:

    Re: Brewers. It's "beast mode" – the whole team does it when they do something…I don't know, beastly? Robin Yount even did it tonight after throwing out the first pitch.

  • Ingrid says:

    The Brewers' celebratory gesture is "beast mode." Prince Fielder started doing it after repeated viewings of "Monsters Inc." with his kids. I'm on my way home from the game right now. GO BREWERS!!!

  • Ingrid says:

    Oh, and I totally agree that Ryan Braun looks like someone, and I'll be ever so grateful when someone figures out who because it's been driving me nuts all season!

  • Jenn says:

    "Prince Fielder started doing it after repeated viewings of 'Monsters Inc.' with his kids."

    That's adorable.

    Braun looks like the lost member of *NSync.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    I…think it's Illeana Douglas.

  • Sarah says:

    I sort of love that it's "Beast Mode." Adorable. I might have a little crush on the Brewers for that. It's superior to the Claw and Antlers. Especially when I see the fans doing it – then it seems like a big hug!

  • Maria says:

    Google tells me Ryan Braun resembles:

    Jai Rodriguez from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
    Aaron Rodgers (Packers QB)
    Brendan Fraser
    Tyler Hansbrough
    A Spanish soap opera star
    A lemur

    …and Illeana Douglas.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    I'm with all of those, actually, except Aaron Rodgers.

  • Ingrid says:

    I guess I can see the Brendan Fraser resemblance, and maybe Jai Rodriguez if you squeezed him hard enough to make his eyes bug out. Definitely not Aaron Rodgers, though.

  • Lazeeper says:

    As a Cards fan, I've had issues with LaRussa (including starting Carp last night), but he's taken the team to the post-season 8 times in the last 12 years, and he helped bring home a championship with a team that fielded David Eckstein nearly all year at SS, so fandom wins.

    Although I nearly had a heart-attack last night when he turned the ball over to the 'pen so early, I'm a happy fan today. The Cards played the Phillies well during the season, 6-3, including wins over Lee, Hamels, Halladay, and Oswalt. Yes, we've got weaknesses (Lohse as a Game 1 starter would be Exhibit A), but I remain hopeful.

    Having the very good Brewers in our division means I hate the "beast" thing. Eye-roll and audible scoff every time I see it.

  • Jenn says:

    From some angles, I can see Jason Priestley. Or maybe I'm watching too much Beverly Hills, 90210.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    I can't co-sign Priestley — but I can TOTALLY see Terruh Streetchild (tm Danny Drennan).

  • Jenn says:

    I can see some Brandon Walsh from this angle.

    This one, however, is more Random Drug Dealer from Grand Theft Auto.

  • mspaul says:

    I feel like he's maybe Erik Palladino, crossed with Brian Bloom's eyebrows? I can TOTALLY see Illeana Douglas, though.

  • Profreader says:

    Ryan Braun … a little Shia LaBeouououef? with a dash of Brendan Fraser and a (I swear!) sprinkling of Jason Priestly from certain angles.

  • FloridaErin says:

    Jai Rodriguez! That actually might be what I'm thinking every time I see Braun. Good call. I kept thinking it was one of the guys from "My Boys", but when I look at pictures now, I'm not so sure. Maybe Reid Scott, a little.

    Things are currently falling appart for the Rays a bit, which is bumming me out. My husband is sing-songing that they should have left in Price.

    I'm begging the Tigers to go easy on me tonight. I just started back on my anxiety medication and I don't know if I can take any more late inning drama.

  • Stephanie says:

    The consensus at my viewing party was Brendan Fraser.

  • One of the Karens says:

    St. Louis is REALLY just happy to still be around (and thinks Ryan Braun resembles Kyle Gallner).

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    My condolences, Rays fans. I hope this doesn't mean Maddon cuts his hair, because it's pretty awesome.

  • FloridaErin says:

    AJ wasn't even supposed to pitch today. Kill me now. Looks like Grandy's catch in the first inning is the difference so far.

    Speaking of Granderson . . . that catch in the sixth. You'd think he could cut his old club a little slack, here. (Not really, I know, but we're still a tad bitter about losing him.)

    Hate the TBS announcers. Hate that we're not hitting anything. Hate Jeter. Haaaaaate.

  • BSD says:

    So how insignificant is bunting when it comes to postseason baseball? If you google search "bunting postseason", the first two entries are the Blog standings. Heh.

  • attica says:

    The MLB Yankees website replays the Granderson catches, with each of the calls: the tv call and both radio calls. The Tiger call on the second, flying, slip'n'slide catch was two guys grunting in frustration, and one of 'em darkly muttering "you've gotta be kidding me." Not an original line, to be sure, but it's all in the delivery.

    Because I am cowardly, I've been dvr-ing the games so I can start an hour and a half late and watch them in fast-forward. That way, I don't have to agonize over, say, Burnett's precarious nature in real-time. And when happy things happen, I can play them at normal speed. I realize it's a form of fan cheating, but it's also self-care.

    I notice that LaRussa has gone the Just for Men route. (I don't know how recent this is, I'm only spotting it now.) Why won't more guys take a page from the Maddon Follicle Chronicles? Go blonde!

  • CindyP says:

    Speaking of rays of light, how unfair that the Phils/Cards had to play in terrible late afternoon sunlight, when if they had been scheduled at 1 and the Rays/Rangers at 5, the latter wouldn't have had any issue because they were playing in a domed stadium. And guess what? Today's Phils/Cards game is again at that lovely hour! Grr. (Go Phillies, who are NOT the Yankees!)

  • BSD says:

    If I may, I add to the Ryan Braun equation actor Richard Madden, i.e., Robb Stark from "Game of Thrones."

  • Ingrid says:

    Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf looks like Ron Howard (and apparently pitches about as well as him, too). On to game 5. Oy.

  • Drew says:

    Late in posting, but great finish for the Tigers last night to take the ALDS. Was reminded of your post, Sars, after '06, when you said everyone was old. Certain players looked it last night, too, and the lack of spark when it came to hitting killed them. As far as the ALCS, Detroit took 6/9 from Texas in the regular season, but it's still certainly anyone's ballgame. Tigers' middle of the batting order couldn't hit the broad side of a barn over the past week, and the pitching was still too up and down against the sluggers for my taste.

    Great finish just a few minutes ago in the Brewers-Diamondbacks series. Never saw that one going the full 5, especially after Milwaukee so thoroughly dismantled Arizona the first two games, but they made it a hell of a finish: extra innings and a pitchers' duel between two teams that sock the hell out of the ball. Didn't watch a single minute of it (didn't like TBS's coverage), but instead, I had a blast listening to my MLB Radio feed of WTMJ out of Milwaukee. Uecker was practically re-enacting scenes from the original Major League, outside of the ever-present bottle of Jack he had in the booth (I'm guessing anyways; if I were emotionally invested in that one, I'd have been reaching for the hooch, too).

    Looking forward to the outcome of St. Louis-Philadelphia. The Tigers have played the Cardinals three times in the Series and lost two of them, so I hate them pretty much on spec, even as I admire their tradition and the passion of their fanbase. Philly, I pulled for to get their first title since 1980 a couple years ago, but I've long since lost any sympathy for them; they're the NL's Evil Empire. I'm just satisfied that the Cards' bats have sort of demystified the All-Powerful Phillies Starting Rotation the last few days. I guess it's Brewers to pull for in the NL, then, right up until they're facing off against Detroit (fingers crossed).

  • Julie says:

    Two really great games tonight, and probably very entertaining if you didn't have a horse in the race. As a Brewers fan, it wasn't so great for my blood pressure. (But, yay! We finally won a series!)

    And Drew, I'm in Milwaukee and completely forgot to turn the damn radio on to listen to Uecker call the game instead of watching/listening on TBS. Duh.

  • FloridaErin says:

    @Drew- "Tigers' middle of the batting order couldn't hit the broad side of a barn over the past week, and the pitching was still too up and down against the sluggers for my taste."

    Seeeeeeriously. As much as I love seeing Kelly and Inge have their moments, the middle of the order is going to have to get it together tonight. Also, Verlander is going to have to calm down.

    I'm loving all of the games, honestly. Those games last night were fabulous, but as Julie said above, that might be because I didn't have a stake in them. Trust me, those close Tigers/Yankees games nearly killed me.

    Long live the rally squirrel!

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    I am still laughing at the news account in which the groundskeeper balefully reported that the squirrel had been spotted burying a peanut in the outfield. I mean, come on: hee!

  • Sonya says:

    Totally thrilled about the Cards making the next round! Carpenter pitched a good game (so did Halladay), pitchers duels are my absolute favorite even if they give me heartburn. And those goofy squirrels have been on the news on every channel here in STL…can't believe they rated live shots from Busch Stadium to cover them. FYI the grounds crew has caught one of them and it's been relocated as of today. Of course they think there are at least two more…and I know way too much about this.*sigh*

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