Dan Shulman of ESPN Radio Talks MLB Playoffs

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Division Series - Detroit Tigers v Oakland Athletics - Game Three

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Drive Wednesday 10-10-12- Dan Shulman stopped by “The Drive” to talk some MLB Playoffs with Taylor Zarzour and Marc James.

He will be broadcasting Game 3 of the ALDS Wednesday night in New York and started off by mentioning the surprising Baltimore Orioles, who are  going up against the perennial powerhouse Yankees in that series.

“They’re not scared…  If they lose. They lose.  There’s no mystique. There’s no Ora.  There’s no ghost. They don’t care about that kinda stuff.  They’re having fun.  They have a lot of character, a lot of togetherness, a lot confidence… the phrase ‘playing with house money’  has been thrown around a lot about them.  They know that nobody believes (in) them being here and they’re kind of using that to motivate them.”

Given the unusual amount of success the Orioles have experienced at Yankees Stadium this season, along with a couple of other factors, and Shulman’s  thinking the visiting Orioles stand a real shot at winning this series.

“They’ve got an outstanding bullpen – a much deeper bullpen than the Yankees have right now, and even though the Yankee lineup has all these big names, some of these guys ain’t what they used to be…  And I don’t necessarily think the Yankees should be considered favorites right now.”

Moving over to the National League, the Washington Nationals have drawn a lot of criticism with how they’ve handled phenom pitcher Stephen Strasburg.  And if the National lose the World Series, that criticism will only intensify.

“It’s (going to be) a big problem all off season…  If they don’t win the World Series.. it’s still going to be dominant topic of conversation.  And in some ways it should be.  I still feel they could’ve done it differently… Because what they’ve done now, is they’ve created this cloud over the team, which is unfortunate, because they’ve had a great year.”

Despite the controversy surrounding the Nationals, with or without Strasburg, Shulman doesn’t think they would win the World Series anyway.  The Cincinnati Reds however, just might be that team.

“I think if I had to pick a team (to win the whole thing), it’s them…  They’re starting pitching is really good…  They’ve got a deep starting rotation, a deep bullpen, very good defense, power, athleticism, they’re not an old team… To me, if I’m looking at all the teams and looking at flaws, I have to look a little bit harder harder to find their flaws.”

The new one-game format for the MLB postseason has also been a hot topic and Shulman gave the guys his opinion regarding the “play-in” game and what changes might need to be made moving forward.

“I would prefer two out of three, and I think everyone would, with the possible exception of television…  There are some things that have been done poorly this year, because the Wild card came in after the schedule was set.  I would like to see a two out of three (game series)… But I haven’t yet heard a perfect way to put that in without somebody being grumpy about it.”

In closing, Shulman paid tribute to Chipper Jones, who played in his final game this past week.

“The guy just looked like a ballplayer. His name sounded like a ballplayer…  He just looked as  ‘baseball’ to me as anybody ever has.  He’s one of the five greatest switch-hitters of all time.  He’s one of the five greatest third basemen of all time.  And it was a pleasure to watch him for the years.  As pretty of a swing from both sides of the plate as anyone I’ve ever seen.”

Although Chipper is now done, the playoffs must go on.  You can catch Dan Shulman Wednesday night, doing the Radio broadcast for Game 3 of the ALDS, featuring the Yankees and Orioles on ESPN Radio.

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