Thursday, September 29, 2005
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.