A-Rod plunked; Eli slumped
Quickie TV observations from Sunday night:
Fox's Tim McCarver was adamant that Joe Blanton did not plunk Alex Rodriguez on purpose early in Game 4, which conceivably could be true. But most of the baseball writers in the building strongly disagreed, as did most of the people watching on TV. As did A-Rod.
Later, McCarver made a key point when he said after Johnny Damon's steal of third base in the ninth that it could limit Brad Lidge's willingness to throw sliders. Sure enough, Lidge went with an inside fastball, and the rest is A-Rod history.
(On ESPN, Bobby Valentine was horrified by Lidge's pitch selection, and suggested if he doesn't want to risk a slider in the dirt in that spot, he either needs another catcher or needs another pitch.)
Damon himself later said that he knew taking third would help neutralize the slider as a weapon.
I was part of the media scrum around Lidge in the Phillies locker room after the game, and Lidge insisted the runner on third had no effect on his pitch selection. Hmm.
Huge props to Lidge, though, for actually showing up to talk to reporters. Now that I've seen it for myself, the Phillies' lack of media accessibility is even worse than what Lennon described the other day.
For 40 minutes after the game, the only Phils to show up in the locker room were Lidge and Blanton. Way to support your teammate by taking some of the media heat, Phils. And way to serve your fans by offering your thoughts to the journalists who are your conduits to them.
Here is a story I wrote about the long day and night in the south Philly sports complex, starring a guy from Port Jeff who was brave and/or stupid enough to go to both New York vs. Philly games while wearing first an Eli Manning jersey and later a Derek Jeter jersey, and while at times holding hands and kissing in public with an attractive young woman wearing first a Brian Westbrook jersey and later a Phillies jacket and cap.
Here is a story I wrote in the wake of that rightfield camera controversy in Game 3, in which Fox's producer says he does not want to have expanded replay reviews in baseball.
In my spare time I wrote a sidebar about Eli Manning after the Giants game.
There no doubt is plenty of great stuff from our other scribes as part of our comprehensive Yankees coverage, but I'll have to catch up on it while watching the parade Wednesday.
No time now. Back to Philly . . .