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Olney's most important player to each contender

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  • Olney's most important player to each contender

    Since it's an Insider article...

    The Ones That Count For Contenders

    Justin Craig, the wise old man who oversees the Mike & Mike morning radio show, e-mailed on Thursday night asking for a list of the guys most important to the contenders' playoff chances. This is what we came up with, with one adjustment made this morning (For the purposes of this exercise, you've got to be within four games of the wildcard leaders to be considered a contender):
    Boston Red Sox: Curt Schilling, regardless of whether he stays in the bullpen or moves back to the rotation (which they are going to try sometime in September). If Schilling stays in the bullpen, it means Keith Foulke hasn't been able to bounce back as closer, and if Schilling moves to the rotation -- and Boston is struggling there -- he would be the No. 1 starter again.

    New York Yankees: Randy Johnson. They got him to be the dominant Big Unit, and he's got to be that, especially when the Yankees play Boston on Sept. 9-11 and in the last weekend of the season.

    Chicago White Sox: Scott Podsednik. He changed the White Sox offense with his speed, and we've seen that once he hit the disabled with the strained groin, their attack has floundered. They need him back and fully healthy and running.

    Minnesota Twins: My initial list had Johan Santana, but that was kind of dumb. Santana is a known quantity, dominating of late. Of course the most important guy is Justin Morneau, because when he hits, their lineup looks completely different, and produces much better.

    Cleveland Indians: Travis Hafner. They've got the best bullpen ERA in the AL, and a decent rotation, but their offense has been inconsistent. Hafner has got to be The Man.

    Angels: Vladimir Guerrero. He carried them last year, he'll carry them this year, and with Garret Anderson hurting, opposing managers have got to start giving this guy the Barry Bonds treatment (3 intentional walks per game). The rest of the lineup is not strong.

    Oakland Athletics: Eric Chavez. This is a scratch-and-claw offense, and the only real impact guys are Bobby Crosby and Chavez -- and lately, Chavez hasn't hit. He's got to hit and propel this lineup, because the pitching is certainly good enough.

    Atlanta Braves: As long as closer Chris Reitsma is adequate, they're making the playoffs. Once October starts, he's got to be better than adequate if the Braves are going to end their 10-year stretch of post-season frustration.

    Washington Nationals: Nick Johnson, the first baseman. The whole swoon began last in late June when Johnson went down. They've got to have his consistent production in the middle of the order, because their offense is so sporadic. Pitching is good, but they've got to have the runs, and he's their best pure hitter.

    Philadelphia Phillies: We've seen it recently -- Vicente Padilla. He's gotten better and better and better, and when he's right, he can be dominant. Gives them a complement to Brett Myers and Jon Lieber, and we know they've got a good closer and a good offense.

    The New York Mets: Aaron Heilman. The bullpen is painfully thin and they need a hero out there to help hold leads.

    Florida Marlins: Rookie Jason Vargas. We know that Beckett, Willis and Burnett are all throwing great, but Vargas has looked good in his first outings. If he gives them another strong starter, they could blow past the other wild-card contenders.

    Houston Astros: The schedule maker. Think about this: Going into the weekend, the Phillies had 30 games left against teams with records over .500, the Mets 31, the Marlins 32, Washington 34. Houston has only 12 games left against teams with records over .500. The Astros have to take advantage of the patsy NL Central schedule.

    St. Louis Cardinals: They've lost Scott Rolen for the year in all likelihood, and they don't know what they're going to get out of Reggie Sanders or Larry Walker. But here's why the '05 Cardinals have a better chance of winning the World Series than the '04 Cardinals did -- Chris Carpenter. He was hurt last year at this time and it really affected them. Now they've got their ace, and he gives them the best chance to win the whole thing.

    San Diego Padres: Ryan Klesko. They just need somebody to drive in runs. They've got a good bullpen, their rotation is OK, their offense stinks. They need Klesko to go off.

  • #2
    This guy's ESPN stock has risen like oil prices in the last year.

    Personally, I can't stand him, but I can't argue w/ the Carpenter assertion.
    When you say to your neighbor, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night if that's alright with you," what you really mean is, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night."

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by WinstonSmith@Aug 20 2005, 11:06 AM
      This guy's ESPN stock has risen like oil prices in the last year.

      Personally, I can't stand him, but I can't argue w/ the Carpenter assertion.

      No kidding. Last year at this time, I'll bet few knew who he was. He was doing stuff on ESPN.com, but that was about it.

      Now, every time I turn around, he's on someone's show as the baseball "expert".

      He's okay in my book, but give me Ravech, Kurkjian, and Gammons any day.
      " Look, forget the myths the media's created about the White House--the truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand."

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by _STLfan_in_DFW@Aug 20 2005, 10:30 AM
        No kidding. Last year at this time, I'll bet few knew who he was. He was doing stuff on ESPN.com, but that was about it.

        Now, every time I turn around, he's on someone's show as the baseball "expert".

        He's okay in my book, but give me Ravech, Kurkjian, and Gammons any day.

        We can't have them all? How about getting rid of the commentators that suck? Like Stark, Kruk (sometimes funny but not very bright) and Bowa?
        Official sponsor of the St. Louis Cardinals

        "This is a heavyweight bout indeed."--John Rooney, Oct. 27, 2011

        Comment


        • #5
          Baseball tonight has way too many commentators these days.

          Now, I think Kurkjian is only on once a week or so. I think he's the best.
          When you say to your neighbor, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night if that's alright with you," what you really mean is, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by kah+Aug 20 2005, 12:50 PM-->
            QUOTE(kah @ Aug 20 2005, 12:50 PM)

          • #7
            I loathe Stark.

            He's useless in every situation ESPN has put him in.
            When you say to your neighbor, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night if that's alright with you," what you really mean is, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night."

            Comment


            • #8
              Or how about making "Baseball Tonight" more than twenty goddamn minutes long? How about giving it more time than NFL Tonight when the NFL hasn't even started yet, or finding someplace else to air Outside the Lines? (Like once weekly, when they could do good in-depth stories).
              Official sponsor of the St. Louis Cardinals

              "This is a heavyweight bout indeed."--John Rooney, Oct. 27, 2011

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by kah@Aug 20 2005, 01:08 PM
                Or how about making "Baseball Tonight" more than twenty goddamn minutes long? How about giving it more time than NFL Tonight when the NFL hasn't even started yet, or finding someplace else to air Outside the Lines? (Like once weekly, when they could do good in-depth stories).

                Yeah, this has really pissed me off.

                Unfortunately, they aren't asking me...but if they were, I wouldn't hesitate to tell them what they can do with their "Trifecta".

                Give me an hour of BBTN, and an hour of NFL Live. Give me a half hour of Sportscenter just to keep me apprised of the events of the day for the less important sports. Scrap Outside the Lines (okay, maybe weekly is ok. Which is how it used to be. Once a week on Sunday morning). I think Bob Ley and Jeremy Schaap are pretty good. I couldn't care less about watching OTL every night, though.
                " Look, forget the myths the media's created about the White House--the truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand."

                Comment


                • #10
                  Washington Nationals: Nick Johnson, the first baseman
                  Are their two Nick Johnson's on the Nationals? Is there a reason to point out that he's talking about the 1bman?
                  Of course you do.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    The Trifecta is lame.

                    I like OTL, but they must have a 90 or 60 minute SportsCenter which screws everything up.

                    I've never understood the NFL Live being longer than Baseball Tonight during baseball season.

                    I really dislike that.
                    When you say to your neighbor, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night if that's alright with you," what you really mean is, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night."

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by WinstonSmith@Aug 20 2005, 03:12 PM
                      The Trifecta is lame.

                      I like OTL, but they must have a 90 or 60 minute SportsCenter which screws everything up.

                      I've never understood the NFL Live being longer than Baseball Tonight during baseball season.

                      I really dislike that.
                      I've never understood NFL Live airing every weeknight a month before the NFL even starts. Or airing every weeknight to begin with, when NFL games are only once a week. Or knocking "Baseball Tonight" off the air during the baseball playoffs, as has been known to happen before.

                      I mean goddamn, sure the NFL is popular, but cut baseball a break. Make Ley's show once a week. Or cut some of the stupid shit like Stephen A. Smith's show or "Tilt". Please.
                      Official sponsor of the St. Louis Cardinals

                      "This is a heavyweight bout indeed."--John Rooney, Oct. 27, 2011

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Jayson Stark can't....complete a sentence without pausing......to explain his point to the viewers....

                        Olney, Gammons and Kurkjian all rock; the others can pretty much handle public access duty...

                        "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
                        Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
                        -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by kah+Aug 20 2005, 05:24 PM-->
                          QUOTE(kah @ Aug 20 2005, 05:24 PM)

                        • #15
                          Why not make Baseball Tonight 30 mins, NFL 15 and OTL 15?

                          Then, once football starts, you can squeeze out OTL for two months.
                          When you say to your neighbor, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night if that's alright with you," what you really mean is, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night."

                          Comment

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