Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Sacre Bleu! My '74 Expos Don't Stand A Chance With Me At The Helm

Whoever said managing a baseball team is easy? I mean, besides fans and anyone else who’s never tried it before?

I’ve tried it, and it ain’t easy. My record speaks for itself, sadly.

Okay, so it’s not REAL baseball. Some of you faithful Greg Eno readers may recall that I usually replay a baseball team’s season through the magic of tabletop games like APBA, Strat-O-Matic, Replay, Pursue the Pennant, etc. You might also recall that last year’s foray with the 1991 Cubs in PTP was, shall we say, less than successful. And you might also remember me writing that I even fired myself a few years back while piloting the 1959 Pirates in SOM. Thaaaat’s right…..fired myself. I continued to manage, of course, but while pretending to be an interim guy.

Did I also tell you that I’m a little nuts?

Anyhow, I am now leading the 1974 Montreal Expos, that lovely 79-82 club of Ron Fairly, Pepe Frias and Ken Singleton. Okay, so they’re not populated with Hallof Famers, but…this is getting ridiculous. After flirting with .500, like the Tigers, getting close at 21-22, my Les Expos have stumbled big time, losing 13 of 17 to fall to 25-35. I’m in danger of getting fired again.

So here’s the deal: I play most nights, after my lovely wife and child have gone into slumber, the sounds of rolling dice lulling them to sleep. And, lately, the sounds of “#$!@#”. Like the other night, which was another way I am separated from the ghosts of Walter Alston, Casey Stengel and Joe McCarthy: down by three, bottom of the 9th, and my leadoff man, Mike Jorgensen, gets a base hit, then moves to second on a wild pitch. The next batter, Barry Foote (told you they weren’t Hall of Famers), singles. So what do I do? I commit a cardinal sin, that’s what. Instead of holding Jorgy, whose run is meaningless, I send him, challenging the arm of the Cubs’ Jose Cardenal. Big mistake. Jorgy gets nabbed, and instead of 1st and 3rd with no outs, I’m looking at man on 1st, one out.

Oh, how Montreal talk radio would be up in arms!

We recovered to win last night, and can even our four-game set with the 66-96 Cubs tonight.

Maybe the guys will play hard the rest of the way to save my job.

Thanks to faithful “Out of Bounds” reader Brian DeCaussin, who cleared up the College World Series format for me. A lovely “OOB” t-shirt will be his. Here’s Brian’s email:

Hi, Greg.I'm not sure I understand every little aspect of theCollege World Series, but here's what I think Iunderstand.It's begins as a 64 team field, just like thebasketball tournament. Conference tournament winnersget automatic berths and the selection committee picksthe at-large schools just like in basketball. The committee also seeds the teams using, amongstother things, the ever-popular RPI. (Yes, NCAAbaseball has an RPI. Go to Boyd's for aprimer.) The field has a traditional bracket formatthat determines match-ups throughout.The 64 teams are divided into "Regionals" of fourteams. The four teams in each regional play a doubleelimination tournament. The winner advances onto a"Super Regional". The Super Regionals feature only two teams in eachbracket in a best of three format. Basically, it'sstill a double elimination scenario. Lose two, youare out.The winner of each of the Super Regionals advances toOmaha. Basically, these would be your Elite 8 teams,if this were hoops.The eight participants in Omaha square off in anotherdouble elimination tournament. The two winners ofeach side of the brackets then face off in a best ofthree championship series. The baseball tourney is like most NCAA championshipformats except that has a double elimination processat each step. I hope this helps. Feel free to ask questions. Whoknows? I may even have an answer or two.Brian

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