"Muzzling" the "mouthy" Jimmy Rollins? Why bother?

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The New York Post is doing its best to try and turn Jimmy Rollins’ prediction of the Phillies in five into some big controversy, calling Rollins “mouthy,” saying the Yankees are prepared to “muzzle” him and doing whatever they can to get any actual members of the Yankees to go on record with something controversial. Not surprisingly, no one comes close to taking the bait. In fact, Johnny Damon basically says the only reasonable thing one can say in such a situation: “What do you expect him to say and what do you expect Phillies fans to expect? I wish he had predicted it the other way, but then there would have been a lot of angry Phillies fans.”

In other words a tempest in a teapot.  Faux outrage from a paper who lives to stir this kind of stuff up.  Fun to some degree, but ultimately meaningless.

Why the Post is bothering baiting people over Rollins I have no idea given that it is great at stirring up its own controversy from whole cloth.  Did you read yesterday’s cover story Bob was talking about?  Yeah, the “Frillies” stuff was cute, but the sheer Philly hate was something to behold. Some man-on-the street quotes from the article:

“Philly fans are a bunch of whiners and should learn how to dress. They should try reading GQ.”

“I don’t have hate for Philly exactly — they are like our redheaded stepchild. It’s like a nothing city. It’s just insignificant in comparison to New York.”

“Their fans are whiners, the food is lousy and there is nothing to do. New York is all about being on top, with no excuses — just like the Yankees.”

“The big meal there is a steak with cheese and onions on a hero, but they don’t even call it a hero. It’s a hoagie. What the hell is a hoagie?”

I’ve been to Philly before. Between my experiences there and the comments I get whenever I dare say a negative thing about the Phillies, I’m 100% certain that Philly fans can give it back to New York in equal or greater measure.  That the Post didn’t send a reporter to Philadelphia to get competing quotes was probably a function of them not wanting to pay thousands of dollars in emergency room bills.

So forget Jimmy Rollins and his predictions. Let’s focus on the real competition here: the competition to see whether New York or Philly fans can do the most to shock the nation.

Justin Verlander named ALCS MVP

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Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, Justin Verlander was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.

“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”

Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.

The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.