ALCS Preview

ALCS Preview

If you are wondering exactly who the Cleveland Indians are I will explain.  They are a well-managed scrappy bunch of hitters that have a fantastic bullpen, and suspect starting pitching.  Sounds oddly familiar to the team that the Jays lost to last year.  What seems to be different about this Jays team is that they are able to answer when the opposition puts up some runs.  Even though I was secretly rooting to play the Indians instead of the Red Sox; this will be no cake-walk to the World Series.

Let’s start with where the Jays have the biggest advantage – starting pitching.  The Jays have 4 starters that they could throw out there for game 1 without any question.  Estrada, Happ, Sanchez, and Stroman.  If I were in Gibby’s shoes I would throw out the exact same rotation to the Indians that they threw at the Rangers.  The Indians have Cory Kluber.  He’s a former Cy Young winner that has had a very good season, but the Jays have some decent numbers against him.  They have two very good pitchers that are both injured currently in Salazar and Carrasco.  The Jays are definitely dodging a bullet with this.  Josh Tomlin and Trevor Bauer are the other two starters that the Jays will most certainly see.  This is a heavy edge for the Jays and they will need to jump out to leads early in games to capitalize on this.  Salazar has a chance to be back for this series, but this is still a big question mark for the Indians.

Bullpen – The difference in the bullpen will be Andrew Miller.  He’s an absolute nightmare for lefties and righties.  The lumbering lefty came to the Indians in a deadline deal with the Yanks, and has been lights out since his arrival.  Cody Allen is a solid closer and Bryan Shaw is a very good 7th inning arm.  The Jays will need to play ahead to stay away from the back end of the Indians bullpen.  Roberto Osuna is the key for the Jays.  He has been dynamite.  Gibby has relied quite heavily on his 21 year old closer, and will probably continue to do so at least until Benoit is back from injury.  The one area that the Jays are really hurting is situational lefty spots.  Cecil has been inconsistent, Liriano is a starter by nature and might still not be ready to go, and Loup – well is Loup.  This is the one area that the Indians can expose the Jays.

Lineup – This will be more evenly matched then people assume.  The Indians are excellent at getting on base.  They walk a pile, and don’t strike out nearly as much as the Jays do.  Where the Jays can excel is once again by hitting with power.  Other than Napoli the Indians don’t have a true power hitter.  They will walk, single, and double you to death.  This lineup is good from top to bottom.  Not an easy out in there. On the other side we have seen murderer’s row heat up (minus Bautista’s game 3).  If we continue to see Donaldson, Encarnacion, Bautista, and Tulo hitting the way that they currently are the Indians will have a tough time dealing with this Jays lineup.  This is the Jays that I was expecting from opening day.  A quick strike offence that could erase 2 and 3 run leads with one swing of a bat.  The Indians current set of starters other than Kluber are not strike out heavy pitchers.  They are finesse pitchers that will try to pick corners constantly, and make you get yourselves out.

In the end I don’t think the Indians have the depth at starting pitching to make it out of this series.  With a healthy Salazar and Corrasco I think they would have the edge against the Jays.  The Jays will continue to hit the ball well, and the Indians will have a tough time keeping up against the best staff in the AL.

Jays in 6

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Thoughts of a Childless, Middle-aged Man

I don’t have children.  I don’t want children.  I have no problem with children, and you may have as many as you like.

As a married 38 year old man I have had to answer this question constantly.  “Why don’t you have any children?”  I am sure this question has come up for Sara more often; when you have been married for a number of year’s people assume that there must be something wrong with either yourself or your spouse.  Some people are built to be mothers and fathers.  Enjoy every aspect of it.  And others *insert a picture of Sara and I giving the thumbs up* are not.

I am sure that this was a more difficult conversation decades ago.  Sara and I haven’t had that tough of a time with it.  Most people can see the type of personality that we have as a couple, and know that having a child would probably rip at every fabric that makes us tick.  The pressures seem to come mainly from a couple of different areas from me internally.  Needing somebody that I can live vicariously through, and needing somebody to carry on my name or legacy.

These are two things that can go in the nice to have category, but cannot be used to pull the trigger so to speak.  Sure, it would be great if I had a little boy that was instantly 12 years old and absolutely loved baseball, golf, and hockey.  Was a straight “A” student, extremely popular without being a douche, and went on to be successful in every single aspect of his entire life.  Just came straight out of the womb like that.  Sign me up for that exchange program.  Trading in Donald Trump for that scenario would be ideal.

There are other reasons why bearing children does not interest me.  I have no interest in raising anybody into this world that we have created.  It’s an utter mess.  Violence of course, but more importantly ignorance in both religion and global warming.  If you had a car with a tire that had a 3 inch hole in it and there were no other tires available.  Would you drive the car, and think to yourself “that hole won’t get any bigger.”  Or would you attempt to summon somebody from the sky that possibly doesn’t exist to give you a new tire.”  Or, the third option.  Give up a small amount of your empire to try to seal the hole in the tire?

As I grow older it’s strange.  You expect to have that moment when everything just clicks.  Knowing exactly what needs to be done to allow a 60 year old Daryl everything that he could possibly desire.  This moment hasn’t struck yet.  The set plan that I see on every Freedom 55 commercial is the following.  “Yeah, saving 25% of my $100,000/year job is easy.  Retirement is right around the corner.”  Unfortunately, many people are working multiple jobs to make ends meet for their $500,000 mortgage on that 2 bedroom bungalow that was half of that price 5 years ago.

There is another issue.  The rat-race is real when you get that first grown-man job.    Maybe it’s immaturity or maybe it’s boredom of the everyday.  I just don’t have a set schedule.  To come home every day and follow up on the latest seasons of the 9 different shows that I am currently watching sounds like an absolute nightmare to me.  And now that I have a 9-5 Monday-Friday grown up job I feel myself falling into this pattern.  It’s terrifying.  Is this the beginning of my middle-aged boredom?

What’s next?  Coming up on 40, don’t have kids to keep myself occupied.  Many of you that do have kids would just love a few hours of free-time.  Hearing a DINK (dual income no kids) describe his issues of having too much free time must really grind your gears.  Can you let me get back to my middle-aged whining now?  Geez, so selfish.   It’s the complete opposite side of the spectrum.  Sara and I are fairly active, but my tendency to not be able to relax can drive her crazy at times.  There are instances where I swear that she wishes that I had too much to drink the night before so my need for activities would slow down.

Even though I don’t have any answers whatsoever I still try new things out to fill the hole.   Is this the canyon that people constantly try to fill with children?  Maybe it is.  Some people fill it with alcohol or drugs.  Others fill it with sports and volunteering.  I don’t have a passion.  There are many things that I enjoy doing, and I feel that I am a well-rounded person – is there a pie chart of things that will keep me occupied and content?

Most of this is a ramble.  Confusion of a middle-aged, middle-classed, childless male that would like somebody to access his brain to create a calendar of events for the next 25 years of his life.  If I only had an extremely wonderful event planner that worked in that area of my brain.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.  This is one holiday that I absolutely adore.

John Gibbons: The Encino Man

I am not really sure when I got off of the South Park train, but I am sure glad that I am back on.  Weekly story lines that portray to the exact things that are going on in the world at that exact time. Using characters from the show to portray the stupidity of the human race.  It doesn’t get any more genius than that.

Are the Hydro one people still calling people to give them job interviews without knowing anything about the person – then not telling the person what they are applying for or if they applied at all?

“We would like to bring you in for an interview.”

“Who is this?”

“Doesn’t matter.  We would like to hire you.”

Businesses that use sign twirlers must have zero respect for the dignity of a human being.  We would like you to stand at this corner with a sign and twirl.”  You are one step above a hydro pole and one step below the flailing arms man.

There is an exception to the rule though.  I did see a dance off once between the Little Caesars man and a dude in a pita suit.  That made my day.  I sat across the road on a patio with wings sauce all over my face laughing hysterically for 37 minutes.  Polishing off pitcher after pitcher of Bud Lite and elbowing guys next to me to ask if they are seeing this.  It was a great day.

While at Playdium last week I pondered why I didn’t enjoy myself quite as much as in the past while shooting baskets into a net that was 3 feet away.  It wasn’t the fact that my arm could almost touch the rim, and it seemed to a bit too easy.  It was the fact that they don’t give out paper tickets anymore, and put the tickets on the card instead.  There was nothing better than seeing that machine spit out 50 tickets.  You would stomp up to that desk, and demand the pencil with Snoopy on it like a mutha-fu**in’ boss.  Then go back and waste another $20.00 trying to get the Charlie Brown pencil sharpener; because by golly you haven’t owned a pencil sharpener in 16 years.

To work at a record shop you need to have an attitude.  That’s one of the requirements.  If somebody comes in asking for a particular record that you don’t carry; they must feel shame for even liking that band.

I wouldn’t even hire John Gibbons to run my slo-pitch team.  I would rather have a blind dog that barks only because he can’t see what’s going on making the decisions.  I would hold up signs and ask the dog to bark at which lineup card that he would prefer to go with.  Sorry Johnny boy, unless you make it past the first round this year you will no longer be there to eat your hay and have naps in the dugout.

The Hunt for the Wilder People – 9.6/10

Oktoberfest – the only part that is good is that you are celebrating drinking.  Food’s terrible, polka’s terrible, and they are serving the extremely authentic German classics Budweiser and Coors Lite.

The lowest form of human interaction is the ‘share if you remember this pictures’ that are circulating Facebook.  Yes, I remember 8 track players.  Why do you want me to share this?  You want me to share this for no other reason than they existed at some point and I listened to music on them?   This goes to the same part of the brain that secretly enjoyed Encino Man.

For those that don’t remember Encino Man.  It was a film that starred Pauly Shore and Brendan Fraser.  They were put to the test of their acting ability in this absolute gem.  Finger waving jocks and car driving Neanderthals.  It doesn’t get any better.