The playoffs are where heroes are made, where boys become men and where ordinary people do extraordinary things. Apparently, they’re also a time when some baseball players (or their fans) turn into babies. Just two days into the division series and already there are three big babies giving Glen Davis a run for his nickname.
Big Baby #1: Adam Wainwright
Wainwright pitched an incredible game against the Dodgers and had to feel ill that it ended with LA’s walk-off win. And I totally felt bad for the guy until he said this about Matt Holliday’s game-changing error: "He lost the ball in the 50,000 white towels shaking in front of his face. It doesn't seem really fair that an opposing team should be allowed to shake white towels when there's a white baseball flying through the air.”
Really dude? You’re going to blame the fans and their towels? Way to be a BIG BABY about it. You want to blame someone? Blame centerfielder Colby Rasmus for getting thrown out at third base earlier in the game, taking away your team’s chance to score another run. Or blame your closer Ryan Franklin for being unable to get the last two outs of the game. Blame your manager for taking you out or blame yourself for not demanding to be put back in for the last inning. Or, most sensibly, blame Holliday for missing the ball.
Instead of being reasonable, Wainwright took his frustration out on the least responsible people. I hope that people in LA find his home address and mail him little white towels by the ton. At least he’ll have something to wipe his tears with.
Big Baby #2: Jorge Posada
The numbers simply don’t lie. When Jorge Posada catches A.J. Burnett, Burnett is 5-5 with a 4.76 ERA. With Jose Molina behind the plate Burnett posted a 1.88 ERA in his last four starts and struck out 28 batters in 24 innings. No one thinks that Molina is even close to the hitter that Posada is, but when your manager tells you you’re being benched, even if it is for some fat guy who can’t hit, you don’t go around moping. You don’t say sarcastically, “I just hope we win that game. That's all I've got to say,” as Posada did..
You’re a gamer Jorgie, I get it, but you’re also on a team, a team that needs to win, which it has a hard time doing when you’re behind the plate for Burnett. This isn’t some meaningless game either. This is the playoffs, and if you win tonight you’ll be 2-0 heading into the Metrodome. And we all know how intense that place is and how well the Twins play there. If Posada was just focused on winning he’d be cool about this. He’d offer his support to Molina, and tell his teammates not to worry, that pitching wins ballgames and that Molina and Burnett have a good thing going.
But obviously Posada is one thing and one thing only, and that is a BIG BABY. Oh and Derek Jeter, you get an honorable mention for saying this: “I mean it will be kind of awkward not having Jorge in the lineup.” If it wasn’t before it definitely will be awkward now. Way to go captain. Or should I say, captain BABY!
Big Baby #3: Red Sox Nation
Can you hear that sound? That’s the sound of millions of Red Sox fans complaining about the first base umpiring in last night’s game against the Angels. Go to any Red Sox blog, or read any article about the game and you’ll see a flood of comments complaining about the umpires.
I saw the replays, and I know the calls were bad, but I also watched the rest of the game. What I saw more often than bad calls at first were Red Sox coming up to bat against John Lackey and failing to do much of anything. I also saw the Angels scoring runs (no thanks to any of those calls by the way) on some great clutch hits including an absolute bomb of a home run by Torii Hunter.
Umpires make mistakes in every game. If we’re talking about a bad call at home that decides if the winning run scored or not, fine, whine all you want. That’s not what happened last night and there’s no reason that Red Sox fans should think that anything other than excellent pitching by John Lackey is the reason their team lost that game.
Look ahead to tonight’s game and stop being such BIG BABIES. Your team got beat. And the umpiring crew had very little to do with it. But hey, if you wanna cry about it I hear Adam Wainwright has some towels you can borrow.