Friday, October 13, 2006

MLB: Top Fives - NLCS Edition

In the spirit of the National League Championship Series, here are a few Top Five lists to hopefully put the seven-game matchup between the Mets and Cardinals into perspective. We'll start with the semi-serious first and work from there:

Top Five Impact Players

1. Carlos Beltran – has all five tools and puts them to use in the playoffs

2. Albert Pujols – has a better overall bat than Beltran, but isn't the same base runner or defender.

3. Jose Reyes – speed changes the game, power is just unfair.

4. Carlos Delgado – respect his teammates have for him is as impressive as his powerful left-handed bat.

5. Chris Carpenter – has to make the Top Five, but there's a possibility he appears in just one game in the series.

Top Five Impact NLCS Grooming Techniques

1. Jose Valentin – the upper lip is his canvas, and the Bic razor is his paint brush.

2. Scott Spiezio – on most nights, the red-dyed mangled patch on his lower lip would rank No. 1.

3. Ronnie Belliard – something about a chubby guy with braids, I don't know.

4. Tony LaRussa – bald up top and has hair that touches the name on the back of his jersey – is this considered a mullet?

5. Jeff Weaver – when I look at him, I think more about a guy falling asleep on the beach listening to The Eagles than a Game 1 playoff starter.

Top Five Sights and Sounds at Shea Stadium

1. With the proper view, you can see all the outfield action AND the 25 industrial sized metal pipes just beyond the left field wall!

2. The asbestos falling from the bottom of the famous Shea Stadium apple after a Mets home run.

3. The guy who doesn't appear to have consumed any alcohol, but is so drunk off life that he's doing the Chubby Checker twist and singing passionately along with Build Me Up Buttercup.

4. The Boeing 747 spewing jet exhaust over the stadium like a farmer dusting his crops.

5. The genuine feeling that Mets fans are happy enough to have outlasted the Yankees that a World Series would just be a 'nice bonus' to the season.

Miscellaneous Playoff Thoughts

Preventing Albert Pujols from representing the tying run with two outs in the top of the eighth inning changed the complexion of the last two innings of the Mets Game 1 win … is it coincidence that every playoff pitcher is consistently throwing 3 miles per hour harder on TV radar guns than he did at any point during the regular season? … you see Tom Glavine and Kenny Rogers both turn in dominating performances in the playoffs … with every pitch and every play magnified, finesse pitchers thrive in the playoffs as more pressure makes hitters more anxious … in addition to many other things, Glavine's ability to give the illusion of a strike on every pitch is what has made him great … Carlos Beltran can make every play that it takes to win baseball games, and those skills show even more in the playoffs.

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