The Bouncing Ball, by Paul West: MLBDS edition

Hi all, it’s time for another set of sports-related asides from your favorite sports fan/sci fi author. Your thoughts are welcome!

–I completely understand limiting Strasburg’s innings, for a number of reasons. But shutting him down completely, instead of maybe thinning his workload down the stretch and thus letting him play in the postseason, is questionable. The postseason can’t be taken for granted, even in the day of the double Wild Card; many teams have had strong years with youthful teams, only to have an anticipated ‘run’ interrupted by injury or mishap or another burgeoning team within their division (see the Mets of just a few years ago, an out from the World Series and then a perennial disappointment soon thereafter). You can’t mortgage your ace’s future or his arm, but you also can’t necessarily rely on the ‘we’ll get another shot’ approach, either. I think they should have limited his innings down the stretch, maybe skipped a couple of starts here and there, and then sent him into the postseason as maybe a deciding-game ace in the hole. Anything but playing their first postseason in ages, with their strongest team in ages, without the aid of one of the key parts that got them there.

–I think that Mark Sanchez has shown the holes in his game, and that there’s probably a ceiling on how good–or at least what type of good–he can be. But seriously, he’s throwing to a farm team out there, and that’s got to be considered.

–Jim Joyce is the Tony Romo of MLB umpires. Generally good, but often baffling in really key moments.

–Ichiro Suzuki continues to prove that he is the doggone truth. Have you seen this play?

–The Yankees & Orioles are showing they’re about as evenly matched as their regular seasons, and 9-9 regular season series, implies. This two-Wild Card thing is really working out nicely…one of the rare instances where MLB really nails it.

–That Coco Crisp catch was great, but this Endy Chavez grab is still one of the best postseason plays I’ve ever seen.

–I predict that the Saints won’t turn it around this season. They turned it up for the Chargers game, for a few reasons, but their defense is full of holes and their running game has really softened up. I’m thinking 6-10.

Check back every week for our staff picks on the NFL games; check back more often for The Bouncing Ball, as the installments will get closer together. Thanks for reading!

PW

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Paul West is a staff writer for Tarnation! Sports, and the author of First Cause: A Novel About Human Possibility.

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