I really like the opening of Buck Showalter’s press conference last night.
Q. How big is the knot in your stomach?
BUCK SHOWALTER: I don’t have no knot in my stomach.
Q. Why not?
BUCK SHOWALTER: Why not? Is that what I’m supposed to do? Is that what conventional thinking is? Well, they may. We don’t live in that world. We’re so impressed with all our guys tonight, played a great game in a tough situation, and they’ll come out and compete tomorrow.
BUCK’S RIGHT: CONVENTIONAL THINKING HAS NO PLACE IN THESE PLAYOFFS. Nobody pinch-hits for the highest-paid player in the game, but Joe Girardi did in the ninth, and Raul Ibanez rewarded him with a game-tying homer and the walk-off shot in the 12th, handing the Orioles their first loss in their past 17 extra-innings games. Game 4 is 7:30 p.m. tonight on TBS. Hokie Joe will take the ball against Phil Hughes.
MEANWHILE, HOW ABOUT THOSE A’S? Down 3-1 in the ninth, Oakland rallies for three runs to beat the Tigers and force a Game 5 at 9:30 p.m. today on TNT.
WE TALKED A BIT ABOUT STEPHEN STRASBURG YESTERDAY AS THE CARDINALS WERE LIGHTING UP EDWIN JACKSON. Interesting piece in USA Today about how the Nationals’ decision has made them the most despised team in baseball in the eyes of other general managers. Quoting Bob Nightengale’s piece:
“If we don’t win the World Series, I don’t care who does,” one general manager told USA TODAY Sports, “as long as it’s not those guys.
“They don’t deserve to win it. Not after what they did.”
Said a National League GM: “I hope they go down in flames. I hope it takes another 79 years before they get back to the playoffs. That’s how strongly I feel about it.”
The Nationals, baseball executives say, brought this on themselves. They were the defiant ones. They were the ones telling the world they were smarter than everyone else, shutting down ace Stephen Strasburg after 159 1/3 innings, believing they were protecting their prized asset for a lot of playoff games in their future.
Ross Detwiler takes the hill with Washington’s season on the line at 4 p.m. today on TBS.
THE GIANTS’ WIN OVER THE REDS YESTERDAY was the least interesting of the four games, but the result did force a Game 5 today. Matt Cain vs. Mat Latos at 1 p.m. on TBS.
LOCAL LINKS: Here’s today’s column on Bruce Taylor carrying the burden of leadership for Virginia Tech’s defense…Andy has a story on the defense returning to the fundamentals…Injuries have the UVa basketball team scrambling to find a point guard….Doughty has more on the firing of Al Groh at GT…Berman previews this week’s ACC and local games…A local high school ref is recovering from a Friday night health scare…Berman, the leader in the Fearless Forecasters, is the only panelist to pick Duke to beat the Hokies.
NAME THAT TUNE
I’m the opposite of moderate
Immaculately polished with
The spirit of a hustler
And the swagger of a college kid
Allergic to the counterfeit
Impartial to the politics
Articulate but still
Would grab a [gentleman]
By the collar quick