Thursday, September 30, 2010

Can Yankee fans read this headline without vomiting?

Carl Pavano?

The man dubbed as "American Idle" by the New York press.

The man who signed arguably the worst contract in the history of the New York Yankees.

I guess for a Yankee fan, a more likely headline would be ...






Just goes to show you, some people are built for New York and others aren't.

Thanks to Subway Squawker Lisa Swan for pointing this out.

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With one swing of the bat, so many things go wrong for the Red Sox

When I heard Paul Konerko hit his grand slam while driving this evening, my heart sank. I thought all emotion was over once my team got eliminated... but I guess not.

I really wanted Jon Lester to get 20 wins... Not going to happen.
I wanted Jon Lester to get Cy Young consideration... Not going to happen.
And I wanted the Red Sox to get to 90 wins.

Well after this sweep, there's a chance they won't even have the highest win total of a team with the word "Sox" in their name.

In comes the Yankees... the string being played out.
Man, the "what might have beens" just keep piling up.

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The well traveled veteran who made a memorable cameo with the Giants in 2002...

A man who played in 11 post seasons in his 16+ big league seasons but somehow never won a ring...

The lead off man who homered in the Giants Game 1 victory in the 2002 NLCS over St. Louis...

But he saved his most heroic moment for last when he singled home David Bell in the bottom of the 9th to end Game 5 and clinch the pennant, sending San Francisco into delirium...

In his honor we announce


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The man who was one of the best lead off hitters during the 1980s and 1990s...

The man who had to fill Chili Davis' shoes after the 1987 season and did so admirably...

The man who led the National League in runs in his first year with the Giants and led the NL in hits in 1990...

The man who led off Game 1 of the 1989 NLCS with a single and scored in the first off of Greg Maddux to send the Giants on their way...

A solid all around player who amased 2,375 hits in his career...

And a solid man who beat a form of cancer while with the Dodgers to return the same season he received treatments...

And did NOT star in Grace Under Fire...

In his honor we announce


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I still think 20 wins is cool

Jon Lester goes for win #20 tonight and I really hope he gets it.
Of course I want ANY Red Sox pitcher to win and with the Sox still having a shot at 90 wins, I want them win as often as they can now.

But 20 for Jon Lester will be sweet.

I know we're not supposed to care about win totals anymore.
I had someone say they are a meaningless stat.

And while I wouldn't go as far as meaningless (Hello! You play to win the Game!) wins and losses on the record can be misleading.

As I wrote in my Bert Blyleven post, the fact that he didn't get the win in 13 additional games is keeping him out of the Hall of Fame is nothing short of insanity.

And in one of my MANY posts plugging Felix Hernandez for the Cy Young
, I pointed out that if the only stat that CC has over King Felix is wins, then that is not enough to give him the Cy Young.

So I understand that wins are not the end all and be all of a pitcher's worth.

But I still think 20 wins is cool.
It's a nice shorthand for an ace caliber pitcher.

"He's a 20 game winner" still carries a little weight. If you win enough to take your team 1/5 of the way to 100 wins yourself, it must feel good for a pitcher.

I can't imagine a pitcher being THAT lucky that they would get twenty wins and have it all be good fortune.

OK, maybe Rick Helling's 20 win season in 1998 for the Rangers despite an ERA of 4.41 was a bit lucky.

But hey, I once heard that when Napoleon was considering new generals, one of the questions he would ask is "Is he lucky?"

So perhaps a healthy amount of luck is cool.

Besides, I'd rather be a Mr. Magoo winning games by pure luck than a hard luck pitcher losing games despite pitching well.

It also is aesthetically pleasing.

Seeing 20 wins on the back of a baseball card just looks cool. I don't care how big a Sabrmatrician you are... it is like the spoiler on the back of the car. It may not mean much but it looks bad ass.

It's a nice title to have.
It's kind of like "Academy Award Winning Director" sounds cool in front of a director's name.

Did the Oscar make Martin Scorsese or the Coen Brothers better directors?

Of course not... they were geniuses long before they got the Golden Guys.

But knowing they won Oscars and can be called "Academy Award Winning Directors" is neat, if overdue.

And with Lester... well it could make his Cy Young case more compelling (or take away from Sabathia's case and maybe split the "You need the big win total" crowd and give Felix a real chance.)

It would be the latest peak that he scaled since cancer (that along with winning the World Series clincher in 2007 and throwing a no hitter in 2008.)

It would give the Red Sox a nice moment to build upon after a disappointing season.

And oh yeah, help create the winning foundation of the 2011 team.

It's good to start with an ace... and what builds more confidence in an ace than knowing they won a pile of games?

Maybe being a 20 game winner.

It may not mean as much as it used to... but it is still cool.

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The greatest first baseman the Giants ever had before moving to San Francisco...

The man who in 1930 batted .401, had an OPS of 1.071, hit 23 homers with 129 RBI while striking out only 33 times. A good guy to have on your fantasy team...

The man who had the unenviable job of replacing John McGraw as Giants manager...

In his first full season as manager he led the Giants to the 1933 World Series, which they won against Washington 4 games to 1. Not a bad start...

He would later manage the Giants to the 1936 and 1937 National League pennants...

He ran a car dealership and a minor league franchise when he hung up his spikes...

The Hall of Famer and the last National Leaguer to hit over .400 has his number retired at AT&T Park...

In his honor I announce


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September is over after today... teams that are still alive tomorrow can officially say they were in it into October. But how far?

Time is running out on San Diego and despite a slew of injuries the Braves just might limp across the finish line. The Giants have all but clinched a better record than the Reds (2 games up with 4 to play is hard enough to make up for Cincinnati... but San Francisco has the tie breaker as well.) Now all the Giants have to do is CLINCH!

The AL East crown might largely depend on how much the Red Sox care about winning. I for one hope the Red Sox make it to 90 wins... and they have to win tomorrow in Chicago and then win the series against the Yankees... and that would all but torpedo the Yankee's Divisional Hopes.

Anyway... Let's look at the current match ups.


TAMPA BAY RAYS (AL East Champion)
has home field advantage over
TEXAS RANGERS (AL West Champion)

(AL Central Champion)
has home field advantage over


has home field advantage over
CINCINNATI REDS (NL Central Champion)

(NL West Champion)
has home field advantage over

No change but at least the Twins won and are getting some of their starters back. Lest we forget, the Twins are only one game back of Tampa for the best record in the American League (man what bad timing for that 4 game losing streak.)

Giants and Padres play day games tomorrow... it could be down to the wire.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rays fans got their money's worth

Free tickets!
It turns out Rays fans aren't bad fans... they are just bargain hunters.

Try that out in Boston or New York or Chicago or St. Louis... free tickets for a potential World Series team.

20,000 of them.

Actually Oakland and Pittsburgh should try that out.
Hell, San Diego should have over Labor Day. They gave ONE free ticket to me. What's another 19,999 between friends?

The Rays offense didn't show up. Ah well... what do you expect for nothing?

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Girardi and Vazquez talk on the mound

At one point during a typical Javier Vazquez start (less then 5 innings, more than 5 runs) he got hit by a line from Blue Jays' John Buck.

Joe Girardi and the training staff came running out to talk to him.

GIRARDI: Javy! Are you alright?

VAZQUEZ: I'm fine skip. Let's play ball.

GIRARDI: Man this looks bad. You could have been killed.

VAZQUEZ: What are you talking about? I picked it up, I threw the guy out at second.

GIRARDI: No. I think there's some real damage here. Can you even move your arm?

VAZQUEZ: What the hell? I'm fine. I'm ready to keep pitching.

(Girardi grinds his teeth as he talks to Vazquez real close face to face.)

GIRARDI: It would be a SHAME if this line drive took you not only out of the game but maybe even ends your season.

VAZQUEZ: Ends my season? I'm making my bid for a post season start.

(Girardi fumes.)

GIRARDI: Gee Javy... how AWFUL would it be for me to not include you on the playoff roster because of an INJURY. But I guess you would be looked at as a warrior who gave his body for the team as opposed to a bust of a starting pitcher whose ERA starts with a f*cking 5!!!

VAZQUEZ: (Standing his ground.) I'm fine.

GIRARDI: You know you being injured... it would be a shame but it would be a no brainer for me to have a healthy pitcher on the team and no loss of honor for you. Don't you agree Javy?

(The Umpire breaks it up.)

UMP: Hey, is he ready to pitch?

VAZQUEZ: You bet I am... and you'll see. Not only am I healthy but you are going to know EXACTLY where I fit on this playoff roster.

(Girardi glares at him and walks back to the dugout. Vazquez pitches to the next batter...)

(An inning later Vazquez lets up a 3 run homer to put the Yankees in a 7-0 hole. He finishes the game and probably his Yankee career with 4 2/3 innings, 7 runs, 10 hits, 2 walks and 0 strikeouts. His record is 10-10 and his ERA is 5.32.)

(Girardi takes him out.)

GIRARDI: You just COULDN'T play hurt, could you?

VAZQUEZ: (Shoulders slumped.) Does this affect my post season chances?

GIRARDI: Don't worry. I am sure we can get you tickets to the games.

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A SULLY BASEBALL VIDEO - "A Question for Rangers fans" September 28, 2010

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The first National Leaguer to hit 500 homers...

A devastating power hitter despite his small 5'9" frame...

Would be the envy of Sabrmetric fans because along with his homers, he also constantly was among the league leaders in walks...

Posted a 1.222 OPS, hit .389 with 2 homers in 1933 World Series win for the Giants...

One of those homers came in the top of the 10th of Game 5 that put the Giants ahead in the clinching game...

And has his number retired in San Francisco despite never having played in the city...

In his honor...

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All games count equally in the baseball schedule. A game won in April is the same as a game won in September... mathematically. But with less than a week to go, we have entered "You can't afford to lose a single game" territory for some teams.

The Red Sox and Rockies are officially done.

And look out Padres... 1 game back in the loss column is nothing in April, but quite a big margin with 5 games left.

Let's look at the current match ups.


TAMPA BAY RAYS (AL East Champion)
has home field advantage over
TEXAS RANGERS (AL West Champion)

(AL Central Champion)
has home field advantage over


has home field advantage over
CINCINNATI REDS (NL Central Champion)

(NL West Champion)
has home field advantage over

The Twins had better hope this little losing streak is just a hiccup... this is the best Twins team to play in a while and it would be a shame if they were another Division Series and out team because they coasted after clinching.

And if the Giants can clinch, they won't be done yet... they need to stay ahead of Cincinnati to avoid the dreaded "Phillies in the Division Series scenario."

Let's play ball already.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

2010 Boston Red Sox... Rest in Peace

Play taps.
Pay your last respects.

The Red Sox are not making the 2010 postseason... it doesn't matter if they throw no hitters the rest of the way and the Yankees only start Javy Vazquez, Joba Chamberlain and A. J. Burnett.

They are done.

I have a Red Sox fan friend who wrote to me saying "We can't blame the injuries for this season." Which is like saying "We can't blame the ice berg for sinking the Titanic."

The injuries were overwhelming and the Sox were still technically in it in the last week of the season.

Let's do the final tally and see something interesting.


April 4 - 9-7 win against Yankees (On Opening Night, the Red Sox overcome a 5-1 Yankee lead with a game tying HR by Pedroia and a go ahead passed ball.)
April 10 - 8-3 win against Kansas City (Beckett out pitches Zack Greinke and nearly gets decapitated by a line drive.)
April 14 - 6-3 win in Minnesota. (Okajima gets Morneau to pop up with the bases loaded in the 7th and Papelbon wiggled out of a 9th inning jam.)
April 20 - 7-6 win against Texas. (Darnell McDonald introduces himself to Boston with an 8th inning game tying homer and a walk off hit in the 9th.)
April 21 - 8-7 win against Texas. (The Red Sox were down 4-0 early only to win it on Youk's 2 out 11th inning double.)
April 23 - 4-3 win against Baltimore. (The Sox blow a 3-0 lead but win it on Adrian Beltre's bases loaded walk.)
April 24 - 7-6 win against Baltimore. (The Red Sox score 6 in the 7th and hold off a late Baltimore comeback attempt.)
April 26 - 13-12 win at Toronto. (The Sox blow an early 5-0 lead but hang on for dear life in a slugfest.)
April 27 - 2-1 win at Toronto. (Buchholz holds the Jays down for 8 but it takes a bases loaded walk in the 8th to go ahead.)
April 28 - 2-0 win at Toronto. (Daniel Bard wiggles out of trouble in the 8th to help Lester shut down the Blue Jays and finish the sweep.)
May 4 - 5-1 win against the Angels. (Juan Rivera misplays Jeremy Hermedia's 2 out flyball into a 3 run game winning double)
May 5 - 3-1 win against the Angels. (Papi and Beltre homer and the Sox hang on despite squandering many potential rallies.)
May 6 - 11-6 win against the Angels. (Dice-K puts the Red Sox in a 4-0 hole before they even bat. The Sox bats respond.)
May 10 - 7-6 win against the Blue Jays. (Sox blow an early 2-0 lead, take advantage of some errors and hang on.)
May 18 - 7-5 win in New York. (Sox climb back from a 5-1 hole. A day after hitting a walk off homer, Marcus Thames drops a fly ball to start the winning rally for the Sox.)
May 25 - 2-0 win in Tampa. (Big Papi supplies all the offense as Papelbon wiggles out of a 9th inning jam.)
May 29 - 1-0 win against Kansas City. (Zack Greinke holds the Sox to one run, but they make it stick)
June 1 - 9-4 win against Oakland. (Lackey puts the Sox in a 4-0 hole but Victor Martinez goes 5-5 and the Sox score 9 runs late.)
June 2 - 6-4 win against Oakland. (Dice-K puts the Sox in a 3-0 hole before they come to bat, but come back thanks to Papi's homer.)
June 8 - 3-2 win at Cleveland. (With Papelbon unavailable, Okajima, Ramirez and Bard hang on to make a winner out of Wakefield.)
June 19 - 5-4 win against the Dodgers. (Sox make 4 errors, blow a late lead and let Manny homer, but they win it in the bottom of the 9th on a Pedroia single.)
June 20 - 2-0 win against the Dodgers. (Dodgers blow an early bases loaded scoring opportunity and allow Buchholz to settle down for the win.)
June 24 - 13-11 win in Colorado. (The bullpen lets up 9 runs in 5 innings, but Pedroia homers 3 times including with 2 outs in the 10th to win a wild and stupid game.)
June 26 - 4-2 win in San Francisco. (An injury running the bases takes Buchholz out in the second, but the bullpen and Mike Cameron's bat and glove win the game.)
July 2 - 3-2 win against the Orioles. (Wakefield gets the win and J.D. Drew homers twice, but it is Nava's 2 out 8th inning bloop that landed between three fielders that breaks the tie.)
July 11 - 3-2 win in Toronto. (Jesse Litch took a no hitter into the 6th but back to back homers by McDonald and Big Papi win the game.)
July 17 - 3-2 win against Texas. (Youk ties the game in the 9th off of Cliff Lee and wins it in the 11th with a sacrifuce fly)
July 19 - 2-1 win at Oakland. (Beltre homers and Dice-K holds on to the win.)
July 22 - 8-6 win at Seattle. (Lackey lost a no hit bid in the 8th and the Mariners scored 5 in the 9th to tie before the Sox won in 13)
July 23 - 2-1 win at Seattle. (Bill Hall's barely fair homer gives the Sox the win on Beckett's return.)
July 26 - 6-3 win in Anaheim. (Papi homers twice and Buccholz and Papelbon each wiggle out of jams to get the win.)
July 27 - 4-2 win in Anaheim. (Jed Lowrie's 2 run 7th inning double gives the Sox the lead and makes a winner out of John Lackey. )
July 28 - 7-3 win in Anaheim. (Youk ties the game in the 7th with a homer and Scutaro wins it with an 8th inning grand slam to sweep the Angels.)
July 31 - 5-4 win against Detrout. (Big Papi hits a 3 run walk off double to crush the Tigers in the 9th.)
August 1 - 4-3 win against Detroit. (Sox blow a 3 run 9th inning lead but the Tigers throw away a 9th inning sacrifice bunt to give the Sox the win.
August 3 - 3-1 win against Cleveland. (Lowell homers on his first pitch back and plays sparkling defense to preserve the win.)
August 6 - 6-3 win in Yankee Stadium. (Cervelli drops an easy pop up, setting up the winning rally for the Sox.)
August 9 - 2-1 win in Yankees Stadium. (Marcus Thames' bid for a game tying homer hits the top of the wall as Lester, Bard and Papelbon hold on for the win.)
August 10 - 7-5 win in Toronto. (The Sox blow a late lead but Mike Lowell puts them on top for good with an 8th inning homer.)
August 14 - 3-1 win in Texas. (Lester wiggles out of jams and a botched hit and run play kills a potential 9th inning Texas rally.)
August 18 - 7-5 win against the Angels. (The Sox fell behind 5-2, but came back with Beltre's homer, a wild pitch, a hit by pitch and some great Nava defense)
August 21 - 5-4 win against Toronto. (Jed Lowrie hits a walk off 11th inning homer, masking a come back rally by the Jays against Dice-K.)
August 23 - 6-3 win against Seattle. (Scuatro drives in the go ahead runs and Lackey throws a gritty 8 innings)
August 25 - 5-3 win against Seattle. (Beckett throws a shutout into the 7th and the Sox rally for 4 in the 6th in the rain and fog, including a strange RBI single off the pitcher by Beltre.)
August 27 - 3-1 win at Tampa Bay. (Victor Martinez homers twice and Papelbon wiggles out of a 9th inning jam as Lester out duels David Price.)
September 1 - 9-6 win in Baltimore. (A 6 run seventh inning uprising turns an early Orioles lead into a Sox win.)
September 2 - 6-4 win in Baltimore. (The Sox score 5 in the second and hang on for dear life.)
September 12 - 5-3 win in Oakland. (J. D. sparks a comeback win and Beckett gets the win.)
September 14 - 9-6 win in Seattle. (The Sox come back in the 8th thanks to Ortiz's 30th homer.)
September 24 - 10-8 win in New York. (The Yankees rally from down 10-1, but Cano strikes out as the tying run in the 9th)


April 6 - 6-4 loss against the Yankees. (Scutaro's error leads to the winning run.)
April 7 - 3-1 loss against the Yankees. (Sox leave the winning run on in the 9th only to lose on Granderson's 10th inning homer)
April 9 - 4-3 loss in Kansas City. (Bard coughs up the lead, denying Wakefield a win.)
April 17 - 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay. (The Sox can't score with the bases loaded and nobody out in the 11th... lost it in the 12th.)
April 17 - 6-5 loss to Tampa Bay. (The Red Sox comeback falls a run short, leaving two on in the 8th)
April 25 - 7-6 loss to Baltimore. (The Sox blow a 4-1 lead, leave the winning run on second in the 9th, let up 3 in the 10th and could only score 2 in the bottom of the 10th)
April 30 - 5-4 loss in Baltimore. (Tejada ties the game with a 2 out 8th inning homer and wins it with a bloop in the 10th)
May 1 - 12-9 loss in Baltimore. (Dice-K and Wakes get pounded, wasting 2 homers from Ortiz and an early 4-1 lead.)
May 2 - 3-2 loss in Baltimore. (Varitek is thrown at home trying to score with 2 outs in the 8th. Sox get swept in the 10th.
May 12 - 3-2 loss against the Blue Jays. (The Sox rally in the 9th comes up a run short and Kevin Gregg gets an ugly save.)
May 15 - 7-6 loss in Detroit. (The Sox blow a 6-1 lead and lose it on a 2 out bases loaded walk in the 12th.)
May 17 - 11-9 loss in New York. (The Sox come all the way back from a 5-0 first inning hole to take a 9-7 lead in the 9th... but Papelbon lets up a 2 run game tying shot to A-Rod and a 2 run walk off shot to Marcus Thames.)
May 21 - 5-1 loss in Philadelphia. (Big Papi's bid for a game tying 9th inning grand slam is caught at the warning track.)
May 27 - 4-3 loss to Kansas City. (Dice-K walks the go ahead run in and lets another score on a wild pitch as the Royals no name bullpen shut down the Hot Sox.)
May 28 - 12-5 loss to Kansas City. (Sox blow a 3-0 first inning lead to be blown out in Fenway.)
June 3 - 9-8 loss to Oakland. (Sox lose a slugfest where two Boston runners are thrown out at home.)
June 6 - 4-3 loss in Baltimore. (Sox rally to tie the game in the 9th only to lose it on a small ball rally in the 11th.)
June 10 - 8-7 loss in Cleveland. (Sox blow an early 5-0 lead and then after rallying in the 9th to take the lead coughed it up with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th)
June 13 - 5-3 loss to Philadelphia. (Sox 9th inning rally comes up short)
June 22 - 2-1 loss in Colorado. (The Sox waste a solid Lester start and twice leave the bases loaded.)
June 23 - 8-6 loss in Colorado. (The Sox batter Ubaldo Jimenez around but Papelbon lets up 2 homers in the 9th to lose it.)
June 25 - 5-4 loss in San Francisco. (The Sox strand 11 runners in the last 4 innings wasting a solid Wakefield performance.)
July 5 - 6-5 loss in Tampa Bay. (Sox spoil a 5-1 lead and 2 homers by Eric Patterson when Dice-K and the bullpen couldn't hold down the Rays.)
July 6 - 3-2 loss in Tampa Bay. (Sox bats go dead and Kevin Youkilis goes down to injury.)
July 7 - 6-4 loss in Tampa Bay. (Matt Garza comes out of the pen, shuts down a late rally as the Rays sweep the Sox.)

July 10 - 9-5 loss in Toronto. (The Sox give Lackey an early 5-3 lead that he couldn't hold.)
July 18 - 4-2 loss to the Rangers. (Lester loses a rare game at home that included a Rangers steal of home.)
July 20 - 5-4 loss in Oakland. (The Sox go up 4-0 after 2 but don't score again and lose it in the 10th)
July 21 - 6-4 loss in Oakland. (Buchholz can't hold on to an early lead as the Sox lose the series.)
July 24 - 5-1 loss in Seattle. (Lester's perfect game is foiled and the Red Sox bats die.)
July 25 - 4-2 loss in Seattle. (Okajima misplays a sacrifice bunt and the Mariners rally in the 8th to win.)
July 30 - 6-5 loss to Detroit. (Papi's grand slam makes it a 1 run game in the 9th but Cameron strikes out looking with the winning runs on base.)
August 2 - 6-5 loss to Cleveland. (Beltre drives in 5 runs by himself but the Red Sox leave the tying run on base with Big Papi on deck.)
August 12 - 6-5 loss in Toronto. (The Jays score 4 in the 9th inning to avoid the sweep.)
August 13 - 10-9 loss in Texas. (Beckett can't hold an early 8-1 lead as the Sox lose in 11.)
August 15 - 7-3 loss in Texas. (Young's homer breaks open a tight game.)
August 25 - 4-2 loss to Seattle. (The Sox knock out King Felix but can't score on the bullpen.)
August 28 - 3-2 loss in Tampa. (Buchholz was wonderful but Upton's homer in the 8th tied it and Dan Johnson's homer in the 10th was the winner)
August 29 - 5-3 loss in Tampa. (Dan Johnson once again sinks the Sox with a late game RBI single)
August 31 - 5-2 loss in Baltimore. (Beckett pitches well but 2 8th inning homers sink the Sox.)
September 4 - 3-1 loss to Chicago. (Manny acts contrite, Konerko gets 3 hits and Danks shuts down a lifeless Sox team.)
September 4 - 3-1 loss to Chicago. (Nope, it isn't a typo. They lost twice in the same day by the same score.)
September 5 - 7-5 loss to Chicago. (Papelbon implodes as the Red Sox blow a 5-3 lead in the 9th thanks to 5 ninth inning walks.)
September 11 - 4-3 loss in Oakland. (Lackey pitches well but the A's rally in the 7th, highlighted by a Rajai Davis triple just out of Ryan Kalish's reach.)
September 17 - 11-9 loss to Toronto. (Lackey gets pounded and the Red Sox rally falls short.)
September 18 - 4-3 loss to Toronto. (Ryan Kalish is picked off first in the 9th inning with the big bats coming up.)
September 20 - 4-2 loss to Baltimore. (The Red Sox tie the game in the 6th only to let the Orioles rally the next inning.
September 26 - 4-3 loss in New York. (Both Rivera and Papelbon blow saves but Okajima walks Juan Miranda with the bases loaded to end it.)
September 28 - 5-4 loss in Chicago. (The Sox blow the lead in the 8th and Dayan Viciedo's pinch hit single ends the game.)

I had miscounted before...
The final total was +2.

A year where they didn't make the playoffs, in the end, they won more games that they looked they were going to lose than they blew games that they looked like they were going to win.

And oddly last year was the opposite. They finished at -2... they blew more games than they pulled out. And yet last year they made the playoffs.

So before you kick the team and grind your teeth at the losses they blew, remember all the wins they stole as well.

There is more to write about this team... but they just were snake bit this year... kind of like the 2006 team who were ravaged by injuries.

But take heart Sox fans... they had a decent, 2007, didn't they?

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Wasn't that better than watching the Reds clinch on an off day?

Seriously. The Reds could have clinched yesterday on their off day if the Pirates defeated the Cardinals. I am sure it would have been fine for Reds fans who have been waiting since 1995 for a trip to the post season (after falling ever so short in 1999.)

I guess when you've missed the playoffs for a decade and a half, you shouldn't get picky.

But I am guessing there isn't a Reds fan around who minds waiting an extra day to have their celebration NOT sparked by their team watching a TV but celebrating a walk off homer by Jay Bruce.

Folks... THAT is how you clinch a division!

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Remembering September 28th, 1987

23 years ago today, a great moment happened in San Francisco Giants history... and I would be remiss if I didn't pay tribute to it.

In 1987, my family moved from the Boston area to the San Francisco Bay Area. I was still smarting from the 1986 World Series when I saw my new local team make an unlikely trip to the post season.

The Giants (or the "Hum Babies" based on manager Roger Craig's inexplicable expression) were far behind the Reds for most of the season. But like most of the Reds teams managed by Pete Rose, they faded down the stretch.

And the Giants made a slew of trades with the Pirates and Padres to remake their team in midseason. In came Dave Dravecky, Rick Reuschel, Don Robinson, Kevin Mitchell and Craig Lefferts to join the squad.

When my family arrived in the Bay Area in the first week of August, the Giants were in third place with a sub .500 record. They went 37-17 the rest of the way. Coincidence? OK, yes.

Then on September 28th, after many near misses over the years, the Giants played the Padres and had a chance to do what they hadn't done since 1971... make the post season.

I remember watching the game from our new home in Palo Alto. I remember it being an incredibly exciting moment for the Bay Area. And looking back at the box score, it had an amazing cast of characters and some strategy that shows how baseball has changed since 1987.

Take a look at the Box Score here and let's reminiscence.


They started Mike Aldrete, Candy Maldonado and Eddie Milner and was able to bring both Jeffrey Leonard and Chili Davis off the bench.

I remember that Giants team had about 4,000 veterans on their last legs who played as part time players. The Joel Youngbloods, Chris Speiers, Harry Spilmans and Eddie Milners of the world all contributed.

By the way, neither Leonard nor Davis started but each homered.


Maybe it was appropriate that the Giants clinched in San Diego with Dave Dravecky pitching.

It was the deal that brought over Dravecky, Mitchell and Lefferts that turned the season around.

How good a deal was it? The Giants gave up Mark Davis who would go on to win a Cy Young with San Diego... and the Giants STILL got the better part of the deal!


Anyone who stockpiled rookie cards during the 1980s must look at this lineup and cringe.

Future superstar Shawn Abner! Future closer Lance McCullers! Rising slugger Rob Nelson! Future lead off man Stan Jefferson! Sweet left handed slugging Marvel Wynne!

None of them lived up to the hype... and those baseball cards should have been put directly into bicycle spokes.


In the 4th inning, Bruce Bochy came up as a pinch hitter for the Padres.

He struck out to Dravecky.

Now he is guiding the Giants to finish what they started in 1987.


Manager Roger Craig brought in Don Robinson, arguably his best reliever, into the 4th inning.

Can you IMAGINE that now? I think it takes Special Dispensation from the Pope to bring in a closer before the 9th inning and an executive order from the White House to have them pitch more than 1 inning.

Just imagine Bochy bringing in Wilson in the 4th inning of a 1 run game today.


OK, if bringing Robinson into the game in the 4th wasn't crazy enough for 21st Century baseball fans, try THIS on for size!

In the 8th inning of a potential clinching game, and his top reliever already pitched 3 innings, and the game tied with the pitcher's spot coming up... what do you think Roger Craig did?


I guess no Joba rules for Robinson. Can you IMAGINE that happening today? A manager would be fired ON THE SPOT! In MID GAME for doing that!

Do what did Robinson do?
He hit a home run... and it turned out to be the game winner.

Let's just say the strategy worked.


Svelte Padres outfielder John Kruk hit a flyball to the warning track that was ALMOST a walk off come from behind homer... instead Hac Man Leonard caught it at the wall and Giants fans could do something they couldn't do since Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal and Gaylord Perry were on the team... celebrate a title.


Most people on camera in a locker room celebration say things like "It was a team effort" and "this feels great but we're looking for to the playoffs."

Not Will Clark. He was screaming, dropping F bombs and doing what everyone must FEEL about their first post season berth.


I remember he had to apologize for his language. Come on... he was just doing and saying what every Giants fan was feeling.

The Giants almost made it to the World Series, falling a game short against a banged up Cardinals team.

But lest we forget, this was the day that San Francisco remembered how to field a playoff team.

Enjoy the entire clinching... Will Clark's celebration starts at 6:45.

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1/3 of all MLB have a shot at 90 wins

90 wins is a big number for a team.
In a 162 season, teams that win 90 have a legit shot at the post season.

90 wins is a mark of excellence.

And by that rationale, 10 of the 30 big league teams could be excellent by the time the year is up.

Right now the Rays, Yankees, Twins and Phillies have all reached 90.

If the Giants and Braves win 2 more they will get to 90.

If the Red Sox, Rangers, Reds and Padres each win three more, they'll be there as well.

The odds are that all 10 will get to the 90 mark.

Has that ever happened before? TEN 90 win teams in one year?

As I type this, I don't know the answer. Let's turn to, the greatest website in the world, for answers.

It turns out that a recent year topped 10.

In 2002 there were eleven. The Braves, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Giants, Yankees, Red Sox, Twins, A's, Angels and Mariners all topped 90.

Ten 90 win teams also happened in 2004... The Red Sox, Yankees, Twins, Angels, A's, Braves, Cardinals, Astros and Giants all won 90.

I didn't realize it had happened twice in the last 10 years.
And I am guessing you didn't either.

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The Phillies clinched home field advantage throughout the postseason (and Roy Halladay probably clinched his second Cy Young.) And soon the Phils might be aiming for the title of greatest team in Philadelphia sports history (they MUST be in the conversation!)

The Reds couldn't count on the Pirates to beat the Cardinals so they'll have to clinch it themselves. It is better that way.

Let's hope Cincy draws better than Tampa Bay in THEIR potential clincher.

Meanwhile one game in the loss column is still all that separates San Diego, Cincinnati, San Francisco and Atlanta... and it probably won't be figured out until the weekend.

It's going to be good.

Let's look at the current match ups.


TAMPA BAY RAYS (AL East Champion)
has home field advantage over
TEXAS RANGERS (AL West Champion)

(AL Central Champion)
has home field advantage over


has home field advantage over
CINCINNATI REDS (NL Central Champion)

(NL West Champion)
has home field advantage over

The Twins picked a bad time for a 4 game losing streak... they could be looking at AL Home Field advantage.

Either way, let's hope Cincinnati gets the win at home tomorrow. The Reds fans have been waiting 15 years for a Division Winner. They shouldn't have the ole "Watch a game on TV from the clubhouse"clinching moment. They should do it on the field.

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