Sports: January 2004 Archives


| | Comments (0)
One of the best baseball games I have ever seen was Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS, Red Sox vs. Indians.

It was one of the greatest pitching performances of all time. Pedro Martinez was injured in the fifth inning of Game 1. The teams were tied at 8 runs each after only 3.5 innings. Bret Saberhagen gave up a few runs, and then Derek Lowe replaced him in the second, and after getting beat up himself, an injured Pedro asked to be allowed to pitch in the bottom of the fourth.

One of the ways to describe how well Pedro did is to say he, injured, pitched 6 nearly perfect innings. And he was injured at the time. He didn't have his velocity, and this guy who has a devastating fastball in the high-90s could barely get out of the 80s, and was in pain with every throw. And he was nearly perfect: 6 innings, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts, no hits.

Another way to describe how well Pedro did is to note that in the ESPN Classic broadcast -- which are shortened forms of the games, condensing ~3-hour games into 2 hours -- they breeze through the first 16 runs of the game in 15 minutes. They show some of the bottom of the 1st, and then just show highlights of the rest. Normally, you show the actual runs being scored, that's what's exciting. The more runs being scored, the more exciting.

But this pitching performance was so outstanding, so momentous, so perfect, that they don't even bother to show more than a dozen of the runs being scored. They show the pitches. They show people NOT getting on base.

Unfortunately, some of the greatness of the game is overshadowed by the inane commentary of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver.

The Sox won the game 12-8, and hence the series.

More Football

| | Comments (0)
One thing is nearly certain: next week, in Foxborough, we will crown either the Patriots as one of the best defenses ever, or the Colts as one of the best offenses ever.

The Best

| | Comments (0)

"I think that that team is not a very good team," said Titans guard Zach Piller. "It sickens me that we lost to them. I will not leave this stadium thinking we got beat by a better team."

The Titans lost to the Patriots in an AFC divisional playoff game, 17-14. It was the second Titans loss to the Patriots, in New England, this year. Both games were decided within a single score.

Maybe the Patriots don't have as good an offense. Maybe they don't have as good a defense. It's even possible their special teams aren't as good. But the Patriots are the better team. The standard argument applies: they won, they are therefore better.

They didn't just beat the Titans twice this year to prove they are better: they have won 13 straight games on the year, beating every team with a winning record that they've faced, including playoff teams Tennessee, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, and Denver. They won every game against a team with a winning record. They lost only twice.

The best team wins. You might have a better passing game and a better running game. You might put up a lot more yards. You might hold the other team to a lot less yards. You might be better on both sides of the ball. But you didn't win. They did. They are better. You are worse.

Only five of the Patriots' 15 wins were decided by less than one score. Only two were by more than two scores. Teams score twice in two minutes all the time: the Patriots did not dominate in all but two of their wins.

But it's like good ol' Al Davis, owner of the Raiders, says: "Just win, baby."

Two years ago, the Patriots won the least six games of the season, and every team thought they were better than the Patriots. The Patriots swept through the playoffs, beating Oakland, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis to win the Super Bowl, and each team thought they lost to an inferior team.

They were wrong, because they lost. Stats don't mean jack. Just win, baby.

The Patriots are not yet proven to be the best team in the league this season. They are the top team so far, but there is only one best team each season, and it is decided at the Super Bowl. Two games to go.
<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Sports category from January 2004.

Sports: October 2003 is the previous archive.

Sports: February 2004 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.