I'm sure I'm not alone in this, but I really find the whole notion of corporations purchasing the naming rights for ballparks to be unspeakably vulgar and crass. If you want your name on the ballpark edifice, buy the damn team! Thus, I have never referred to the Oakland Coliseum as anything other than "The Coliseum", or the "Coli" if I'm pressed for time or feeling irreverent. Likewise, I never referred to Candlestick Park as "3Com Park". It was always "Candlestick", or (more often than not) "that Dump that the Giants play in".
So, I think it's incredibly classy of the Toronto Blue Jays to re-name their facility (not really a "ballpark", is it? Nope, that thing is a "facility") after a former Baseball luminary from the Great White North. What's more, this guy didn't even play for the Blue Jays! A five-time All-Star, Steve Rogers spent his entire 13-year career with the Montreal Expos, anchoring their starting rotation from 1973 to 1985. He was 158-152 with a 3.17 ERA. In 2005, The SkyDome was renamed the Rogers Centre in his honor. The New York Mets have also bucked the corporate trend with Chiti Field, named for the late Harry Chiti, who played 15 games for the Mets in their inaugural season of 1962. Make sure to thank Fred Wilpon the next time you run into him.
OK then, let's play The Feud!
THE QUESTIONS (70 points)
1. Series Outcome (3 points)
2. Sittin' Downtown In A Railway Station, One Run Over/Under The Line Through Sunday, the Jays have averaged 5.01 Runs per Game, 2nd most in the Majors. The A's have averaged 3.81 RPG, which puts them close to the bottom. The A's, of course, have won more games than Toronto. That's the number that really counts! For what it's worth, Le Centre is reasonably offense-neutral. Predict Over/Under 7.5 Total Runs Scored for each game (2 points each, 6 total)
3. Little "O" and The Un-Penningtons Get well soon, Cliff. In the meantime...Predict PA/H/XBH for Eric Sogard and Brandon Hicks (2 points each) Does Sogard start a game (at any position) in this Series? (1 point) Let's do the same thing for Omar Vizquel, while we still can. PA/H/XBH (2 points each) Does he start a game in this Series? (1 point, 20 total)
4. Pen Lefties, With A Twist: Jordan Norberto. Jerry Blevins. Sean Doolittle. Who among them pitches at least 1.1 Innings in this Series? Your answers can range from "Nobody" to "All three guys", or any combination in between. If you guess a Pitcher who fails to log 1.1 IP, you get 0 points for the question. A correct "Nobody" is worth 5 points. Each Pitcher correctly guessed is worth 2 points apiece. But, check this out: you lose 1 point for each omission. For example, if you pick Blevins, and the answer turns out to be Blevins and Doolittle, you get 2 points for Jerry, but lose a point for not naming Sean, so you get 1 point. (6 points total, in theory)
5. One Of Ours, One Of Theirs I imagine that the day is quickly approaching when Edwin Encarnacion no longer bothers to bring a glove with him on road trips. Hey, some guys are born to DH. Perhaps Jack Cust would like to weigh in on this. Predict PA/H/XBH for the Artist Formerly Known as E5 (2 points each) Does he hit a Home Run in this Series? (1 point) Now, do the same for Yoenis Cespedes (14 points total)
6. See Me, Feel Me, Bite Me, Eat Me: Tommy Milone's Home/Road split is still pretty astonishing, but he's had three consecutive away starts where he's pitched well, and one of those was in Texas! Still, of the 16 Home Runs he's surrendered this year, 15 were hit on the Road. Predict Tommy's IP/H/ER/BB/K (2 points each) Does he give up a Home Run? (1 point, 11 total) If Milone is scratched, the question applies to Thursday's SP for Oakland.
7. Over/Under/Tie: 19 IP for A's Starters/4 A's HR/4 Ks for A.J. Griffin/.300 OBP for Jemile Weeks/.297 BA for Chris Carter (2 points each, 10 total) The Weeks and Carter questions refer to Season totals.
Answers due by 4:07 PDT on Tuesday. Good Luck, and Let's Go A's!