Joe Girardi, umpires and other October disasters (cont.)
8. C.B. Bucknor, umpire. It's almost unfair to pick on Bucknor. He means well but some do suspect the "C.B." stands for Consistently Bad. He did, however, appear to be guessing in Game 1 of the Angels-Red Sox series. His inclusion in the playoffs calls into question MLB's so-called "merit system.''
9. Carlos Gomez and Nick Punto, Twins baserunners. To beat Goliath, the Twins had to do the little things right. And glaring baserunning gaffes by Gomez and Punto did them in. Before employing Gomez in Game 2, manager Ron Gardenhire noted that he's prone to "irritating'' mistakes. Then Gomez showed what Gardenhire was talking about. Punto said he "wanted to dig a hole and crawl inside of it'' after a big blunder in Game 3. Both Twins were exposed by Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who is better than ever at this time of year.
10. Hiroki Kuroda, Dodgers pitcher. It's almost unfair to include him on this list, as he was pulled out of the Arizona instructional league and put on an NLCS mound. Predictably, he got tattooed, allowing six runs in 1 1/3 innings and pitching to a 40.50 ERA. Joe Torre said they liked Kuroda throwing strikes in Arizona. Well, he did in Philly, too -- the difference is the Phillies, who need no instructions, smoked those strikes.
Dishonorable mention: Nick Swisher, Scott Kazmir, Ryan Franklin, Dale Scott, Billy Wagner, George Sherrill, Chris Carpenter, Cole Hamels, Chone Figgins, Clint Barmes, Jason Kubel.
Some Yankees people were disappointed to have Saturday's game called because they were hoping to avoid seeing Angels ace John Lackey again. Lackey is now in play to start a potential Game 7 Monday if he doesn't get into Sunday night's Game 6 in relief of Joe Saunders. Jered Weaver, who was previously in line to start Game 7, said he expected Lackey to get the call. "He's our horse,'' Weaver said.
Some Dodgers people are disappointed Kim Ng didn't get the Padres job, not that they wanted her guiding one of L.A.'s main rivals but because they feel she deserves it. Ng has been a part of successful organizations in the Bronx and Los Angeles. They also felt that she should have an edge as an executive for the best team in the NL West. No one will know if her interview had anything to do with a minority quota. But it did appear that Red Sox exec Jed Hoyer was the logical choice from Day 1. He is expected to be announced as the new GM early next week.
MLB Truth & Rumors