The Pitchers & Poets Spooky Scary Postseason Quiz


Brendan Ryan and The Rogue

Editor’s Note: We will be accepting answers through Tuesday October 20th. That’s a one-week window from publication for those of you who wish to be included in the best-of post. (But really, the act of answering is a reward in itself.)

It’s that time of year again. Postseason baseball, and little kids dressed up like Spiderman. In honor of the season, we bring you our second ever Pitchers & Poets Quiz. This time with the duel themes of Halloween and The Playoffs. Our previous quiz was hugely popular (by our meager-as-fun-size Snickers bars standards), and we hope that you enjoy this one too. Answer the questions you care to answer in the form of your choice: essays, sonnets, rambles, and insults are all welcome. Just be sure to place them squarely in the comment section:

1. The 2009 Playoff Yankees: same old overpriced trick, or sparkling new, glorybound treat?

2. The postseason always seems to be prone to fluke performances and freak accidents. Closers blow saves. Left fielders drop routine line drives. Journeymen pitch like ancient heroes. Is this just statistical randomness at play, or do supernatural, paranormal forces bewitch the arms of hurlers and jinx the mitts of Gold Glovers?

3. Scariest Halloween nickname: Al “The Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky, Vlad “the Impaler” Guerrero, or Jack “the Ripper” Clark?

4. If you could put your own postseason curse on a team, which team would it be? What would the backstory be? Get creative.

5. Which overused historical postseason baseball highlight have you seen so often that you want to  dump a bucket of blood a la Carrie on its head? Which underused moment in history should be prom king?

6. More effective Cardinals postseason disguise: Brendan Ryan as The Rogue or Albert Pujols as a banjo hitter?

7. Hypothetical situation: a new rule requires admitted and convicted PED users to wear a scarlet letter of shame on their uniform during the playoffs. Do you support or oppose this rule? Why or why not?

7b. If not, what behavior would merit the scarlet letter treatment?

8. Name the horror movie villain who best corresponds to the postseason’s remaining closers: Mariano Rivera, Jonathon Broxton, Brad Lidge, and Brian Fuentes.

Answer away! Like last time, we’ll compile our favorite responses in a massive best-of post.

12 Responses to “The Pitchers & Poets Spooky Scary Postseason Quiz”

  • 1. Can it be both? Still a corporate behemoth that kills the dreams of small-market-team children everywhere, they DO have pitching this time around…

    2. Up to this point, it has all just been statistical randomness. But when Christopher Lloyd passes away, he will be damned to a purgatory where he will be Al the Angel from Angels in the Outfield and perform all kinds of zany antics. To put it another way, “you’re gonna see some serious shit”

    3. Vlad “the Impaler” Guerrero. Russian, Latino, Impaling.

    4. I would curse the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series every season. At first they’d be thrilled, but soon they would come to lose their sob-story identity entirely, and everyone in the league would hate them for their constant success. This insane shift of fate would be so dramatic that Cub fans would start complaining that it isn’t fair that they never lose, just to get back to complaining again.

    5. There are many, but all that comes to mind for me is Chris Drury playing in the little league world series being mass-overplayed in the NHL playoffs.

    6. No comment?

    7. Opposed; if these guys had any shame in the first place, they wouldn’t have taken the damn things. And it would be sad to see one hit a walkoff homerun at home to an incredible standing ovation basically telling kids at home WITH STERIODS, YOU COULD BE THE HERO!

    7b. Kind of like Ohio State’s stars on their helmets, players could get anti-stars for errors, golden sombreros, etc. Would be fun to laugh at the worst players covered in red stars.


    Mariano Rivera – Mike Myers
    Jonathon Broxton – Frankenstein
    Brad Lidge – Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde
    Brian Fuentes – Pennywise the Clown

  • 1) The way A-Rod has been playing you have to, however begrudgingly say glorybound treat.

    2) I think it is partly randomness and partly, there is the clutch factor. What I mean by that is not in any statistical way but some people can handle pressure better than others, so while there may be that big game pitcher in the regular season, shies away in that playoff game where the unheralded reserve steps it up. The playoffs do not magically create skills though.

    3) Vlad “The Impaler” because it seems like he really would do it.

    4) The Cubs, just for fun. I would do it by burying a Mets hat in the pitchers mound, it will guarantee them dysfunctional management, late season collapses and heaps of injuries.

    5) Sorry Eric, but Gibson’s homerun, great play, but lets give it a rest. And now for my homerism Endy Chavez’s catch in the NLCS.

    6) Pujols as a banjo hitter just because I enjoy me some bluegrass.

    7) I do not support this rule because then it would be impossible to tell who is who since there would be a giant see of scarlet, maybe if it was in team colors.

  • 2. There’s many a freakish, odd play
    That would be forgotten in May.
    But done in November
    You’ll surely remember
    It after the year goes away.

    (That is, statistical randomness rightly blown out of proportion by the importance of the games.)

    4. …not going to use this as a vendetta against that one team I don’t like, not going to use this as a vendetta against that one team I don’t like, not going to–you were saying?

    As entertaining as this could be, I’m really not sure I have it in me to do something like that. I’d like to think that I’d use my, um, “powers” for good…except for That One Team, obviously, but even then it wouldn’t really be fair to their fans.

    5. Though it’s but my bias, I am
    Partial to Ventura’s “grand slam”,
    A ghostly home run.
    Yes, the game was won,
    But single, salami, or sham?

    (1999 NLCS.)

    7. Throughout the decades, baseball’s seen
    Cheaters, racists, those just plain mean,
    And various jerks.
    I don’t think it works
    To make this decade’s drama a scene.

    You can’t choose one era’s bent laws
    And claim they’re the ones to give pause.
    Though the game’s been hurt,
    Red thread on a shirt
    Won’t do a lot to help the cause.

  • Wow. Leave it to Ember Nickel to actually comment in verse. Awesome.

  • 1. Sparkling new treat…only when Kate Hudson is at the game though.

    2. Anabolic Steroids are known to only last exactly 162 games based on current research. No wonder Matt Holliday messed up and Joe Nathan forgot how to pitch.

    3. The Mad Hungarian. Who would want to mess with a crazy Euro.

    4. I would curse the Yankee’s and Red Sox payroll so they could stop buying wins.

    5. Kirk Gibson. Easy Answer. I would use 1995 Edgar Martinez double down the line ending with dogpile on Junior and that pretty smile of his.

    6. I would take them as a dual threat.

    7. They should all be tattooed with a big asterisk on their forehead.

    8. Mariano Rivera – T-1000 from Terminator 2
    Jonathon Broxton – Biff from Back to the Future
    Brad Lidge – The alien guy from Men In Black. He may be scary, but never succeeds.
    Brian Fuentes – Freddy kreuger

  • You really shouldn’t give me ideas.

  • 1. Scary & new.

    2. Def the supernatural powers jinx and whatnot.

    3. Easy. The Impaler.

    4. I would curse the Dodgers to watch an endless loop or “I don’t believe what I just saw” and Kirk Gibson doing his limp-ass fist-pump. Over and over, for all time.

    5.See number 4.

    6. The Rogue.

    7. Sure. but it would be a Scarlet syringe.

    8. Rivera—The little killer bunny from Monty Python’s Holy Grail. He’s small, doesn’t look imposing—no “scary” goatee or tattoos. Then he kills you.
    Broxton—David Wells
    Lidge—Jekyll & Hyde.

  • 1. Swisher in RF instead of that dude from the Phils and Techsheara at first instead of Mr. I’d like to apologize for you know what wink? Um, these Yankees would sweep every series if they had someone who could play left field. Damon back there is scary.

    6. Bobby Valentine as Groucho Marx. Oh, is this limited to the post-season? Nevermind.

    7. Consider where most of the Scarlet Letters of Shame would be needed. Do you really think they’ll show up well on the Red Sox uniforms? Oh, SNAP!

  • 1. Sparkling new glorybound treat, thanks largely to the class and intelligence of their respectful-of-the-game skipper. Expect to see more titles in the next half-dozen years. (Note: this coming from a guy who has never liked the Yankees.)
    2. Clearly there is something, barely hidden from human view, that is at play here. Just look at the list of World Series MVPs. A flukier cast of characters is hard to imagine.
    3. Hrabosky – a height-challenged cross between Fidrych (for his antics) and Gossage (for his stache).
    4. The Marlins … once he passes over to the other side, the jealous ghost of Wayne Huizenga will forever haunt the impertinently nouveau-something Jeff Loria, preventing him from winning more crowns than the Garbage Man. These two banes of baseball purity spend eternity tied with one ring apiece.
    5. Joe Carter’s flailing gallop. The Canadian Jays as world champions – seriously?
    6. Ryan – just another prototypical Irish leadoff-hitting Major League shortstop … who time-travelled here from the turn of the Nineteenth Century.
    7a I thought Hawthorne’s novel was a HIT on hypocrisy, not an extolance of the hypocrite’s virtue. Although … Selig would be well-cast in the role of Chillingworth.
    7b. The scarlet letter W – for WIMP – should be worn by any commissioner who allows himself to be badgered into shortening an all-star contest in order to protect the delicate arms of men paid to throw baseballs.
    8. Mariano: The Chupacabra
    Broxton: Swamp Thing
    Lidge: Jack Torrance (Nicholson’s character in The Shining)
    Fuentes: Brian Fuentes of the ’07 Rockies (scared the dickens out of Denver, beginning about September 15th)

  • 5. Kirk Gibson’s home run. I mean, Game 1? Really? Give me more Joe Carter.

  • 2. I find it rather distasteful to call Grover Cleveland Alexander’s battle with epilepsy during the 1926 World Series a “supernatural, paranormal force”

    4. The worse curse possible: I would have die-hard fans of a iconic glory starved team, say the Indians or Cubs, lose a heartbreaking 7-game World Series or NLCS to an expansion team that doesn’t try 4 out of every 5 years, prominently features teal in its uniform and plays in a football stadium where good seats are generally VERY available oh and Kevin Brown should be on one of the teams – that would be really fucked up

    5. Underused: 1996 World Series – Yankees wrest team of the decade from the Braves signaling the decline of Red State America and Garth Brooks, Andy Pettitte makes amazing play on bunt in 1-0 game 6, game 5 features it all: blown calls, the last ever non-ironic mullet, Cecil Fielder playing the field, the freaky tarp in the Fulton-County outfield, a bases loaded walk in extra innings (to be fair: points are taken away from the event because everybody and their mother was on steroids and Jim Leyritz……yeah

    Bucket of Blood: If I have to hear about Bucky Walters and his ERA of 4.91 in the 1939 World Series anymore from the ESPN “fun gang” I’m going to projectile vomit

    6. Neither: Tom Lawless retired all Cardinal disguises when he morphed into Jesse Barfield in the 1987 World Series – sans Jheri Curl of course

  • 1. Step 1: Compile team of superstars. Step 2: ???. Step 3: Profit(make the playoffs). Well those assholes have made it to the playoffs in 14 of the past 15 years. That sounds like an extremely old overpriced trick to me.

    2. The Baseball Gods Alliance most definitely influences particular plays in the playoffs. They are asleep 99% of the time during April-September but awaken from their slumber full of piss and vinegar. How else can you explain Phil Cuzzi’s call or Matt Holliday’s adventures in left field? You could hit 100 lazy line drives at me in left and I wouldn’t be able to “catch” the ball once with my cup if I tried. And this guy is supposedly a major league baseball player.

    3. Well this is easy, “the Impaler.” Vlad is a very frightening individual to gaze at to begin with; this nickname is just icing.

    4. Well it would obviously involve the Yankees since my two favorite teams are the Mariners and Mets. George Steinbrenner insists that all Yankees will be well groomed and shaved to look “professional” or some bullshit. Well George how about for the playoffs if I put we put a curse on you that insists that you are the hairiest man on earth? Additionally, every time he tried to shave off some of some of his facial hair it immediately grows back.

    5. The Gibson HR gets a disproportionate amount of airtime. Yes, yes FOX we understand that he could barely walk when he hit that HR. But really him swinging a bat pales in comparison to Willis Reed running up and down a basketball court for 40+ minutes. I agree with Akshay. Edgar’s double to score Cora and Junior doesn’t get enough play outside of the Pacific Northwest. It wasn’t a world series game, true. But it was the first playoff series the Mariners had ever won, and it capped an amazing comeback. If nothing else it should be played to remind people that Junior made it from 1st to home on that play in less time than it takes for him to get from home to 1st in 2009.

    6. Is this a dig at the Cards? If so, I approve. It’s too late at night to figure out what the hell this question is asking. So I’m going to go with Ryan Franklin-ZZ Top roadie.

    7. This sounds good to me as long as the other 100+ names from the magical 2003 list were released during the 7th inning stretch of a playoff game by Bud Selig. Ryan Franklin’s scarlet letter would match his aforementioned goatee/chin broom. How cute.

    8. Mariano Rivera= Hannibal Lector(Carving the inside portion of the plate with that nasty cutter)

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