Weekly Pepper - LCS Conclusion

by Gregory Pratt, BaseballEvolution.com
October 20, 2008

Other Weekly Peppers:

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Gregory Pratt is impatient -- he wants to catch Game 1 now, not Wednesday!

Unforgettable Series -- The Tampa Bay Rays' series with the Boston Red Sox was one of the best that I have ever seen. The good guy won, the bad guy made it extremely interesting, and we got seven great games, starting with a pitcher's duel, continuing with three slugfests, and then fighting through three tough games to determine who would continue to the Series. Josh Beckett gave a heroic effort in Game Six, Matt Garza was outstanding in Game Seven, and the series was simply a pleasure.

World Series -- I just hope that the Tampa Bay Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies can give as good a follow-up performance in the Fall Classic. Philadelphia has a great two-headed monster in Cole Hamels and Brett Myers while James Shields, Matt Garza, and Scott Kazmir make for a strong rotation, too. I'd love to see Jamie Moyer and Brad Lidge get rings, but I want to root for Tampa Bay. I'll be happy to see whoever wins win, but I think I'd be happiest if Tampa wins, just because it's such a great story.

TBS -- Am I the only one who was deeply offended by the fact that TBS had technical difficulties during Game Six of the ALCS, forcing viewers to head for the Internet boxscore to catch the game while they got their act together? If Major League Baseball wants to whore the playoffs out to cable channels in an effort to make more money through licensing, that's fine, but please make sure it works. If PBS were airing the World Series, I guarantee you it would run correctly because those people care more about their product than making a quick dollar.

Misbehavin' Rays -- Troy Percival is injured and has been ineffective over the last few weeks, so he was left off Tampa's ALDS and ALCS rosters. He decided to go home during the Championship Series, prompting Tyler Hissey to write that Percival was out-of-line for refusing to be a leader when it counts. I didn't realize until late-Sunday that Percival had left the Rays, but I am very disappointed in him. How can you let the media write that you're a leader and a hero and then let your image, and most importantly, your teammates, down? The other misbehavin' Ray is Evan Longoria, who heckled fans at a nightclub then jumped into a cop car and demanded a ride. We've all been there, right?

Demagogue Scoop, Available at Baskin Robbins -- Scoop Jackson's latest article is entitled "The True Meaning of B.J. Upton." Therein, he argues that B.J. Upton is going to revitalize the game of baseball for black youth. Why? Because Upton made a strong throw in a blowout win ("So hood," Scoop writes) and is very talented and down-to-Earth. What makes him "down to Earth," you ask? Well, the fact that he has been pulled from games for being lazy. "Jackie Robinson should be proud," Jackson writes, but I wouldn't say that. Robinson was a man of great discipline and hard work, and Upton is neither. I mean, he's a good young player who's put up a great performance, but let's not crown him the next great Civil Rights Hero and baseball savior. If Torii Hunter can't revive baseball in the inner cities, then neither can B.J. Upton. Scoop Jackson needs to get a job better suited for his demagoguery.

Joba Like It's Hot -- Joba Chamberlain had a drunk-driving incident this weekend. I'm glad he's alive and didn't hurt anyone. I just hope it doesn't happen again, and that he receives just punishment from the Yankees as well as just help.

History of the Week -- If you did not watch every game of the ALCS, in real-time, I'm sorry, because you missed out on great baseball and great live theater.

Gregory Pratt is a political science and history double-major at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His political commentary can be found at the Office of the Independent Blogger, and he can be reached at gregory@baseballevolution.com.