Once-a-season baseball post
As I write this, the Yankees are up on the Orioles 6-0 and the Red Sox are inexplicably losing to the Blue Jays 4-1, with both games in the sixth. I hate to say it, but these scores will have to hold up if the Yankees want to make the postseason, because they’re just not going to take two of three in Boston this weekend. (And no, they wouldn’t win a one-game playoff against Boston, either—Bucky Dent retired years ago.)
The reason I hate to say it is that I was hoping for a different postseason altogether. Back in June—yes, as late as June—Nick and I agreed that the Orioles, White Sox, Twins, and the Los Angeles California Angels of Anaheim, California would make for a fine October. We were just so tired of these Yankees and those Red Sox. The only question was whether the Pale Hose would win 115 and then bow out in the first round, collecting eight hits and one run in a three-game sweep, as so many Chicagoans feared (remembering 1983, 1993, and especially 2000). But thankfully, the White Sox seem to have taken the edge off those fears by collapsing in August and September instead, just before hanging on to render this weekend’s series with the Indians moot. Except for the wild card race, of course. But since the White Sox will be resting and the Indians will be trying their best to make sure that their almost-epic almost-comeback does not go for naught, my guess is that the Indians will be your wild card team. The team that comes out of Boston in second place is going home. Just so you know.
As for the Orioles, um, Nick and I were fooled. They looked so much like a major league baseball team back then! And that Palmiero fellow seemed so nice. But give the Yanks and Bosox some credit: teams that can score ten runs at will are hard to beat. And that A-Rod kid turns out to be quite a player, don’t you know. I hope he keeps his hands to himself when he runs the bases up in Fenway.
And the A’s? Well, they did look like they were going to pull off another dazzling post-All Star run of something like 66-9. But still. Next year, someone has got to tell those boys that the games in April and May count in the standings.
In the National League, I would like the 34-consecutive-division-title Braves, the Houston Enrons, and the .500 Padres to disappear as quickly as possible, so that the only team worthy of playing against the AL’s best can get down to work. Here’s to a fine World Series in which the Cardinals defeat the White Sox in six.
UPDATE: OK, so Ortiz dragged the Red Sox back from the brink. They obviously couldn’t go into the final series with the Yanks two games back. But this humble prognosticatin’ blog says that Boston just put themselves into position to win the division.
UPDATE SATURDAY OCT 1: Now you know why prognosticatin’ keeps this blog humble. The Yanks are division champs already, and the Red Sox need to win Sunday to take the wild card. Who saw this Cleveland Collapse coming? Not me! More specifically, who could imagine that the Indians would have the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the eighth, down by one with their season on the line, and fail to score? Not me again!
Still rooting for a Cards-White Sox series, though.
Er, you don’t remember the White Sox debacle in the 1959 W.S.?
That said, I’m with you on the Yankees/Red Sox. Tired of ‘em, already. The Braves have one W.S. ring to show for those 14 consecutive titles, so I could feel a little sympathetic towards them (or I could if their fans bothered to show up in the playoffs). I like the Astros’ pitching, but I think the Cards have more offense and pretty good pitching themselves.
Cards/White Sox sounds like fun. I don’t think they’ve ever met in a Series, despite being two of the original teams in their respective leagues.Posted by Linkmeister on 09/29 at 09:43 PM
If I was a white sox fan, I would talk about the curse of the Black Sox. They last won In 1917 and threw the 1919 mseries to the Reds. The debacle in 1959 against that new ballclub from LA. Wait a minute, O’Malley stole it from Brooklyn and kept the name because we all know that thye are trolleys to dodge in LA.
Anyway, the idea that Chicago has had only one World Series appearance in over 50 years and the White Sox has won more World Series than the Cubs does not mean that hte Cards will probably go from being swept to winning it.Posted by on 09/29 at 10:05 PM
Yeah, I just walked past a bunch of Red Sox fans leaving the park, and they definitely won. I’m only sorry that the Yankees managed to win too.Posted by on 09/30 at 12:19 AM
Michael, so sweet of you to mention my A’s. (America’s Farm Club for the big money teams!). I guess considering they were picked by many “experts” to be in the cellar wire to wire, it wasn’t so bad.
I’m from the, “A pox on both of your houses” school of thought as far as the Yankees and Red Sox go. So I’d be very happy with anyone but those two.
But just the mere thought of a White Sox - Cardinals World Series is enough to make the Executives at Fox Sports start jumping off ledges. But hell, that’d only be fun if it were Fox’s “news” people. Sigh. So close, yet so far.(In tribute to Don Adams..."Missed it by THAT much!")Posted by on 09/30 at 03:55 AM
It takes a strong man to admit that he thought the Orioles were going to be around come September. My team may be all that is evil the the world but at least we win. The O’s have the evil crazy owner but they just don’t win.Posted by Jeff on 09/30 at 08:10 AM
As an O’s fan, born in Baltimore and still live close, I couldn’t agree more w/ Jeff. Peter Angelos might be a great trial lawyer, but is an idiot as far as baseball. In 1996 and 1997 the O’s were a very good team, tho they didn’t get into the WS. Then the owner got rid of Davey Johnson, and the team went straight to hell! Plus he got rid of John Miller, whom I consider the best active baseball announcer, a sure Hall of Famer.
However, as far as the Yanks, they’re the devil’s own, and I will root for whatever team they play against. However, the Tribe would be my first choice. They haven’t won since 1948 (against the Boston Braves), and would represent something new.Posted by on 09/30 at 09:30 AM
I’d like to ask that everyone send good vibes to Philadelphia’s phiting Phillies. The City of Brotherly Love and Discontented Wide Recievers has suffered a championship drought for the past two decades, despite consistently putting up teams that should win it all. We need the Astros to lose tonight and tomorrow (they have Andy Petite and some old guy named Clemens taking the mound) and the Phils to win their series against the Nationals if they want a chance at the wild card.
Still, it’s not too early to start thinking about next season. I realize that Jimmy Rollins has hit in the 33 straight games, but if the starting shortstop position opens up in the offseason, I’d like a shot at it. If any of you faithful readers is in good with Phillies management, or if your name is Ed Wade, keep me in mind. Maybe Michael would write me a letter of recommendation…Posted by on 09/30 at 09:36 AM
Baseball: No end-to-end action. Hell, no action. No checking. Lots of standing around scratching and spitting. No line changes on the fly. What’s the point of watching unless you enjoy watching grass grow?
Next week we’ll cover basketball and why you should not watch a sport where goaltending is a foul.Posted by on 09/30 at 10:47 AM
For reasons neither geographic nor aesthetic (no, not the shorts!) and that still remain a mystery to me, I was a White Sox fan through the late 70’s and early 80’s. While I agree that the Cardinals are a fine club and a worthy NL champion and while I do have a signed photo of Stan (the Man) Musial at home, I am rooting for the White Sox to regain their footing, and more importantly, their pitching, in time to beat the Cardinals in 7 and finally redeem the injustice done to Shoeless Joe.Posted by corndog on 09/30 at 11:06 AM
You didn’t give the Nationals a thought back in June? They were the real threat in DC/Baltimore metro area. And a great argument against ownership to boot. Soomewhere, for a few months at least, Curt Flood was smiling.Posted by mcgowan on 09/30 at 11:20 AM
You know, as a die-hard Cards fan (also a Tiger fan by birth - but that’s a hard life), I must say that the only thing that made last year’s Series even remotely palatable for this baseball purist was that the Red Sox finally - sweet Jesus, FINALLY - got their championship.
This year, however, is different. Cards in six? Try Cards in four. Also, Wings in four against whatever collection of pond-hockey rejects happens to back their way into the Eastern Conference championship.Posted by paul on 09/30 at 11:24 AM
All the love I’m seeing for my Cardinals on this board is giving me a warm fuzzy. This is a hard team NOT to root for.
The only NL team I’m even remotely worried about is the Astros (Clemens-Pettite-Oswalt is tough, and Lidge is always lurking in the background), but without Beltran, they’re not nearly the team they were last year.
So, yeah, Cards / White Sox series sounds like fun. Cards in six! What a way to finish out Busch Stadium!
And for you Phillie fans, you’re counting on the freaking CUBS to beat the Astros this weekend. You have my sincere condolences.Posted by on 09/30 at 12:10 PM
Heresy.Posted by The Heretik on 09/30 at 12:54 PM
Not to divert this thread, but I think Lefty is suffering from East Coast bias. Jon Miller is “the best active baseball announcer?” He’s very good, but Lefty may have forgotten about a guy named Scully out in L.A. He’s still doing the Dodgers’ games on Fox Sports West.Posted by Linkmeister on 09/30 at 01:47 PM
"Here’s to a fine World Series in which the Angels defeat the Cardinals in six.”
You didn’t write this Michael, but that’s what I read !
Go Angels !Posted by on 09/30 at 02:11 PM
Steve, my beloved White Sox have won exactly as many World Series titles as the Cubs: two (1906 and 1917). The Cubs, however, have won more pennants.
And they’re not cursed: they just stink. They’ll bow out in the first round, which is just as well as I’ve got a thesis I’m supposed to be writing.Posted by on 09/30 at 02:14 PM
Braves fans have actually been *much* better this year, and attendance is increasing, primarily because of the number of local players (Jeff Francouer, Brian McCann) who are contributing in big ways to the team. I *think* that post-season attendance should be stronger this year than in the past simply because of the new team chemistry (then again, many of us see the Astros’ rotation and cringe....)
That being said, I’m from Atlanta originally, and I’ll be the first to admit that Braves fans are pretty much lame.
Still, go Braves!!Posted by Chuck on 09/30 at 02:39 PM
I see that Sean has forgotten the important rule of baseball and academia. No real work can be done as long as your team is still playing. As someone who was trying to get work done during game six of the 1986 series and was finally thrilled by the dexterity of Bill Buckner, it cannot be done.
If we are discussing curses of certain teams, I was born less than three weeks before my hometown team won its only series, but by the time I was aware of baseball the team had moved across the country. the Shame.Posted by on 09/30 at 04:18 PM
The braves’ championship deficit is the result of the curse of John Rocker. For paying that racist scumbag millions of dollars, they can win the division all they want and they’ll still only win like two world series. Watching the Mets beat them in the 2000 NLCS was one of the best television watching moments of my life.Posted by zach on 09/30 at 06:07 PM
The Yankees win. The Yankees win!!!!Posted by on 10/01 at 06:19 PM
If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere. . .it’s up to you . . . New York, New YorkPosted by The Heretik on 10/03 at 11:21 AM
You are correct, I did forget Scully, and he’s still the best. And btw, Miller does a great impersonation of him.Posted by on 10/03 at 04:49 PM
The Yankees PWN!1!!!!1111!! Boston is teh suxzorz!1!!!!Posted by on 10/03 at 07:27 PM
I think we can all agree that no matter where you are from, seeing the Cubs win one would be a fantastic sight!Posted by scott on 07/08 at 02:36 PM