George has worked at WEPM for over 10 years. His sports knowledge goes from High School all the way to the Pro's. You can expect a wide range of blog posts from George, as he likes almost every sport, so stay tuned.....
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That is all that is needed to be said after what the San Francisco Giants did last night.
My Dad raised me a Giants fan. He loved some guy named Willie Mays and that made him a Giants fan. Fast forward a few years he took me to Pittsburgh one night when I was 5 I saw Will Clark swing the sweetest bat I ever saw in my life and from that night on I too was a Giants fan.
I had suffered some lean years with this team. Being overly loyal too Barry Bonds. Getting Deion Sanders. I mean the list can go on and on.
But finally in 2010 the Giants won the World Series. At the time I said "I got to live to see this if they never win another game so be it".
Last season was tough to watch when Buster Posey (whom in my eyes maybe the best player in the game). Got injured and the season was pretty much over. They did make a trade to get Carlos Beltran last season but the writing was clear on the wall.
This season you had the best bat in the lineup test positive for steroids. The ace of the staff could not do a thing. And the Dodgers made a HUGE move to bolster there lineup. Would have been very easy pack it up go home say "well this is not our year".
Won the Divison by 8 games with a 94-68 record. Pretty good I would say.
So onto the Postseason.
In the NLDS the Giants faced a team in which many believed would make a World Series run in the Cincinnati Reds. Who came in with a 97-65 record (second best in the NL). The Giants went down 0-2 in a best of 5 series. I thought to myself well thanks for a good season getting to the playoffs I will try to hold on to hope but we will see. So the Giants did win game 3 I up and said "ONE GAME AT A TIME LETS GO!" won the next two games and then faced the St. Louis Cardinals.
in the NLCS the Giants faced the St. Lpuis Cardinals. Now knowing that Cardinals team and the way they won a World Series last year and how they got to the NLCS this year I was shaky did not know how to approach this series. Needless to say the Giants went down 1-3 in that series. Manager Bruce Bochey said "we got them right were we want them". I loved the approach and went with it. Barry Zito whom I felt from day one had robbed the Giants blind SAVED the season with the game of his life. The giants went on to win game 5 of that Series in Busch Stadium and from there in that sereies never looked back. As they went back to AT&T Park and won game 6 and 7.
So onto the World Series. I tuned into CSN Bay Area after Cardinals games because I felt Fox liked the Cardinals too much so I flipped over to hear what the Giants had to say. One broadcaster said" I think the Giants sweep". Rest took Giants in 6/7 which was fair. I mean the Tigers had just swept the Yankees and the Giants went 7 with the Cardinals so 6/7 was a safe bet. Sweep though? No way. Tigers had a staff of pitchers and a great lineup to boot there bullpen is awful but the other two stages were great..
The World series itself without last nights game was very boring. The Giants mostly Pablo Sandoval in game 1 blistered whom many view as the best pitcher in the world in Justin Verlander. Verlander gave up 5 runs in that game. Two of the three homeruns that "Kung Fu Panada" hit were against Verlander. So that set the Tone BIG TIME Giants never once looked back. As they won games 2 and 3 2-0 unevenful but there wins you take as a Giants fan. Last night was a fun game as the Giants won 4-3 in 10 innings. But the fun part was the starting pitching for both sides was good enough not great but good enough. A homerun in the 3rd inning that looked like a lazy fly ball that kept carrying for the triple crown winner Miguel Cabrera gave the Tigers the first and only lead they would see in this World Series at 2-1. As Buster Posey came up the next inning he answered the bell right back and hit a 2 run bomb of his own and the Giants took a 3-2 lead. No looking back right? Not so fast as Delmon Young came up in the tigers half inning and hit a 1 run homerun of his own. to make it a 3-3 ballgame. The next 4 innings were uneventful. Great pitching by the pens. But in the end it was the Giants who beat you on bloops ended up doing that in the 10th and ended up winning the World Series for a second time in three years.
West Virginia goes to Austin beats the Longhorns. The Orioles won the Wild Card game Friday. Nationals won there first ever playoff game Sunday in St. Louis. The Ravens beat the Chiefs on Sunday. And the Steelers beat the Eagles on Sunday.
One bad thing did happen though.
Robert Griffin III got a concussion in the Redskins game on Sunday. Running like a wild man on the sidelines Falcons defender lowered his shoulder and the boomstick (not a dirty hit by any means but had to paint a picture) Griffin got whacked pretty good. Said the concussion was mild so take that at face value.
But to me the things that happened pre (and after in St. Louis). This was more than a bad weekend for sports it was a great weekend for sports. And I did in fact love it.
High School games
Hedgesville @ Mussleman (Mussleman)
Martinsburg @ Washington (Martinsburg)
BONUS HIGH SCHOOL GAMES
University @ Bridgeport (Bridgeport)
Keyser @ Berkeley Springs (Keyser)
East Hardy @ Tucker County (Tucker County)
I went with the heart here WVU @ Texas (WVU)
Tulsa @ Marshall (Tulsa)
WV Wesleyan @ Shepherd (Shepherd)
Georgia @ South Carolina (Geirgia)
Is all that matters for the Baltimore Orioles now. Win and you meet the Yankees in the ALDS. Loss and well you are golfing and eating crab cakes until Spring Training.
The new one game Wild Card is not ideal by any means. One you take out a top pitcher. And two baseball is about what happens in a series not one game. It is a good concept you get an "extra" team in the playoffs. But really dumb when broken down and put to practice. Added on what really does not make any sense to me is how the Wild card/ one seed is treated, The winner of the Wild Card game gets the first two games in a best of five series. Now a team that does not hold home field only has to win one road game. If that Wild Card team holds serve then they can win a series in three games before the team that won more games knew what happened to them, And lets per se the Cardinals win in Atlanta tom, night and the Orioles win in Texas tom. night. Both teams are on the road anyway why not make them go straight to D.C. or New York? That makes sense to me but we are talking Major League Baseball here so sense is out the window.
Back to that Orioles Rangers game. I think the Rangers are right for the picking after having a five game lead with nine days left and did not win the division. BUT this game is in Texas, The Rangers have Yu Darvish going who has a 16-9 record with a 3.90 era as opposed to his counterpart Joe Saunders who has a 9-13 record with a 4.07 era. The Rangers also have experience on there side and in the playoffs that is HUGE. But in a one game playoff who knows? I have to lean towards the Rangers here to get the win. The only way the Orioles stand so much as a chance is this. Saunders goes at leat five plus six is more than ideal but five plus is the goal. Get through that be in the game or ahead turn it over to the bullpen then I say the Orioles have a fighting chance, If not then we will see a Ronald Reagan/Walter Mondale like victory for the Texas Rangers, But we will see. that is why they play the game. And it all comes down too.
It will not be like last season where you had four games that would tell us who the Wild Card teams are. It will be a VERY long time before something like that happens again. No today we are going to find out who the American League East and West division champions are.
Here is how it plays out for the West.
The A's beat the Rangers they are division champions if the Rangers beat the A's then they win the West. Loser is in the Wild Card Friday night to face. Well that takes us to what shakes out in the American League East.
The Baltimore Orioles are one game out of the East if they win tonight and the Yankees loss then folks we have chaos. If that is to happen then what happens is Thursday bioth teams face one another for the American League East title. Winner gets that crown and the loser plays the loser of that Rangers A;s game.
SO to me today promises to be a great day of baseball even though it will not ever be like last year.
Is it Bill Murrays "Groundhogs Day"? Seeing as I had the same headline on a blog a week ago. No it is not. A different team is in the playoffs. I do not know how or why but that team is no other than.
The Baltimore Orioles.
There are two type of baseball teams I love.
One a team that developed talent brought them up through the minors. You hear about them on the teams telecasts and you may see them in a minor league uniform. I love saying "oh yea I saw so and so in Hagerstown". That is so awesome to say that.
But my second favorite type of team?
Is that team that has a roster of "misfits" and have been put out to pasture. Like Nate McClouth he was cut from the PITTSBURGH PIRATES could not hit the broad side of the barn. Signs a minor league deal with the Orioles does good to decent down there then was called up. And has THRIVED on this team. Jim Thome same type of story. Not quite McClouth but close. And look at this lineup up and down I say ok I will take Adam Jones the rest I would have to balk on. But they are getting the job done hon (yes I said that in my Baltimore accent as I typed that).
The pitching staff?! on paper is very laughable as well but they alot like that lineup just get the job done and keep on ticking like a well oiled machine. The bullpen has more than done there job. Winning the extra inning games that they do and the one run games they do. If i could give a Cy Young award out it is to that whole bullpen (although I know it only goes to one person and I do not get a vote so do not worry.).
But it is time to BUCKle Up! Beause guess what folks the Orioles are.