• It Comes Down To The Last 3 Games In The A.L. East

    Posted by on September 30th, 2012 · Comments (11)

    Big comeback win by the Yankees today.  Let’s get excited about it.  But, don’t lose sight of the fact that they had to comeback because they allowed themselves to fall into a deep hole, against the last place Blue Jays, in the game as well.  Basically, they saved their own rears in this one.

    And, of course, Baltimore, the team that everyone expects to stop winning, keeps winning.  That said, at this point, you should start expecting the O’s to win everyday.

    Now, Boston comes into New York.  The Red Sox have lost 23 of their last 30 games.  Yes, Boston is 7-23 in their last thirty.  They suck.

    It will be Clay Buchholz against CC Sabathia, Jon Lester versus Ivan Nova (or someone else), and Daisuke Matsuzaka taking on Hiroki Kuroda. (Japan is going to love that one.)

    Will the Red Sox continue to tank their games, they way they have over their last thirty? Or, will they play these games like it was the World Series?

    The Orioles, meanwhile, head to Tampa Bay for three games. The first contest there is the biggest since the Rays are still “live” in the wildcard case for that one. But, if they lose, or, if the A’s win later that night, then Tampa Bay is done. And, after that, I fully expect the Rays to play dead for the Orioles over the last two games.

    The Yankees need to win at least two from the Red Sox – and maybe three games. If not, then it’s wildcard city for New York. And, it may even be “head to Oakland” time if the Rangers play dead for the A’s to close out the season.

    How do you go from a 10-game lead on July 18th to backing in as the second wildcard team? OK, I know how…

    I just don’t know how you’re supposed to feel good about it, if you’re the Yankees.

    Should The Yankees Warm Up Their Punter?

    Posted by on September 30th, 2012 · Comments (4)

    This morning, I’m starting to wonder:  If the Yankees are one game back (or more) come next Tuesday morning, does it make sense to “punt” their games on Tuesday and Wednesday and just get their team in order for a wildcard game?  Of course, if you do this, you also run the risk of allowing the other wildcard team to have a better record and then you’re hitting the road for the wildcard game on Friday.

    But, there’s something to be said about not burning yourself out just to end up in a tie-breaker game on Thursday or the wildcard on Friday, right?

    Then again, maybe the Yankees will be two games up come Tuesday morning and none of this matters?

    Yankees Magic Numbers: 4, 5 And 2

    Posted by on September 29th, 2012 · Comments (2)

    Check the scoreboard:  The Yankees lost today and the Orioles won this evening.  What  does it  mean?  Here’s the dealio:

    The Yankees have four games left to their 2012 season.  Their “magic” number is five – meaning that any combination of Yankees wins and Orioles losses that equal five, by  the end of the season, would lock up the A.L. East for New York.

    So, yeah, if Baltimore goes 2-2 in their final four games this year, then the Yankees need to win 3 of their final 4 games to take the crown in the East.  And, if the O’s go 3-1 to close out the year, then the Yanks need to win every game they have left this year to win it.  But, if the Birds go 1-3 then the Bombers would only have to go 2-2.  (Raise your hand if you also think there’s little chance that Baltimore is only winning one more game this year.)

    Face it Yankeeland, your team is going to need 3 or 4 wins in their last four games to win the A.L. East.  And, if you ask me, that’s asking a lot.

    Remember, this is a Yankees team who had a 10-game lead in the standings on July 18th and has gone 34-33 since that time.  (And, don’t forget, they went 21-21 in their first 42 games of this season too.)  So, more than likely, we very well could see the Yankees go 2-2 to close out this year.

    Yet, the Yankees will make the post-season this year.  Their “magic” number to lock up a wildcard spot is two – meaning one more Yankees win and one more Angels loss seals the deal on New York getting a wildcard berth.  However, there’s more…

    The Yankees have a one-game lead, at  this writing, over the A’s in the wildcard standings.  If that holds up, then the wildcard playoff game would be in New York.  But, if the Yankees really tank their last four games, there’s a great chance that they will have to fly out west to Oakland for the winner take all game – and then fly to Texas for the ALDS (should they advance).

    Personally, I think this all makes Sunday’s game in Toronto huge for the Yankees.  You don’t want to lose that one and then maybe be in a situation where you have to win your last three games (at Yankee Stadium against the Red Sox).  Granted, Boston’s pitchers for those games are all “TBA.”  Then again, you never know when someone is going to have a Rick Waits moment against you.  So, why push it?

    Yankees Pitching Probables If The Worst Thing Happened

    Posted by on September 29th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    What’s the worst thing that can happen to the Yankees, losing the A.L. East and backing into the post-season via the wildcard?

    Well, actually, even worse, they could tie for first place at the end of the season and then have to deal with a “play-in” game against the Orioles (to determine who wins the division and who would be the wildcard).  And, most likely, that game would be down in Camden Yards.

    That “play-in” game would be on October 4th and that’s Andy Pettitte’s turn in the rotation.  And, if the Yankees lost that game, then they would have to play the wildcard game the next day, on October 5th, winner take all, maybe in Oakland (if not in New York).  And, that would be Phil Hughes’ turn in the rotation.  Or, the Yankees could go with CC Sabathia on three days rest.

    And, should the Yankees win  that wildcard game, then they would have to play the Rangers on October 7th (to start the ALDS).  And, if you used Sabathia on October 5th, then your choices for Game 1 of the ALDS are Hughes with extra rest or Hiroki Kuroda on three-days rest.

    Think about that travel schedule:  New York, Baltimore, Oakland and Texas in a span of five days.  And, if you make it to the ALDS, you don’t exactly have your pitching rotation lined-up in great shape.

    It almost makes more sense to lose the A.L. East, rather than tie it, if you cannot win it.  At least that takes the Baltimore game out of the equation.

    Wow

    Posted by on September 29th, 2012 · Comments (11)

    First, I will say to you what I said to my 8-year old son, who threw a pillow in disgust, after A-Rod flew out to end the Yankees game today: “It’s OK. Even if the Orioles win tonight, the Yankees are still in first place.”

    And, now, I will tell you what I would have said to him, if he was an adult: “There’s no way you should lose this game today. You can complain about the home plate umpire or the one at second. But, if it was that bad, then, given the importance of this game, Girardi has to get himself tossed from this one to make a statement and send a message. Hey, in any event, bottom line, you cannot lose this game. You need to do whatever it takes to get the win. This is the Blue Jays. And, you’re running out of time. Don’t play like a bunch of choking sad sacks, for cryin’ out loud!”

    Wow.

    Just, wow.

    Final Fun Five Games In The A.L.

    Posted by on September 29th, 2012 · Comments (13)

    Jon Paul Morosi has the details -

    Five days from the end of the regular season, chaos reigns in the American League.

    Not a single division title has been clinched. As a matter of fact, not a drop of champagne has been spilled to celebrate the securing of a playoff berth. Friday night saw extraordinary pennant-race drama, with six of the seven games carrying playoff implications. (Pity the poor Indians and Royals, undoubtedly outdrawn by high-school football in Cleveland.)

    The league’s five bids will be awarded in due time, perhaps with the help of a one-game tiebreaker (or two) next Thursday. But there’s a larger question here: Who, exactly, is the favorite to win the AL pennant?

    For that matter, is there a favorite?

    The Texas Rangers lead the league with 92 wins … followed by the Yankees at 91 … the Baltimore Orioles at 90 … and the Oakland A’s at 89.

    In all, there are four teams with between 86 and 90 victories: Baltimore, Oakland, Los Angeles and Tampa Bay. It’s likely that two of them will miss the postseason, while the AL Central champion – Detroit (84) or Chicago (83) – slips into October with a lesser win total. Most tellingly, managers and players point out that two of the most dangerous playoff teams — the Rays and Angels, because of their rotations — aren’t even on pace to qualify.

    The temptation is there to credit (or blame) the additional wild card for the compressed playoff picture, but it’s not as if the change in playoff format forced teams to be about as good as their competitors. The circumstances are independent of one another. The competitive balance is significant, though, insofar as teams are trying desperately to win their divisions rather than settle for the one-game wild card playoff.

    Whatever the cause, it’s undeniable that only hairsplitting differences exist among contending clubs. Entering Saturday, the AL division leads were one game (East), one game (Central) and three games (West). Through 157 games last year, the margins were seven, 12 1/2 and six, respectively.

    I’m trying to remember the last time that three divisions in one league were this close, this late. Maybe it was 2007 in the National League? And, before that, it would have been 2001 in the National League. But, without question, what we’re seeing now in the A.L. is special. Thus, it should be enjoyed!

    Yankees “Socks for Soldiers” Initiative

    Posted by on September 29th, 2012 · Comments (8)

    Via the Yankees a couple of days ago -

    The New York Yankees today announced the launch of Socks for Soldiers, an initiative that supports the organization’s Veterans Day project. Fans with tickets to the Yankees’ final three regular season home games vs. the Boston Red Sox from Monday, October 1 through Wednesday, October 3, are asked to bring new cushion-soled socks that can be worn in combat boots. The socks will be collected and sent to U.S. servicemen and servicewomen stationed overseas.

    Maybe I am uneducated and stupid? Maybe I am unfeeling and cranky? Maybe I am missing the point here? Maybe it’s all of that?

    But, why do our servicemen and servicewomen stationed overseas need socks to wear with their combat boots? Doesn’t the government supply socks with their uniform and other gear? I mean, seriously, with all the tax dollars that are spent supporting the military, there’s nothing in there to provide socks? Really?

    Who’s Loose & Who’s Tight In The A.L. East

    Posted by on September 28th, 2012 · Comments (3)

    Is it just me, or, are the Orioles players and their fans having more fun right now than the Yankees players and their fans?


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    Source.

    The Yankees Last 15 Games

    Posted by on September 28th, 2012 · Comments (1)

    The New York Yankees have been smoking hot in their last 15 games – winning eleven and only losing four games.

    So, what’s been working during this 11-4 run for them?

    In their last 15 games, Yankees batters have a BA/OBA/SLG line of .249/.332/.429 with 117 strikeouts in 589 PA. That’s not really smacking the snot out of the ball – even if they had 23 homeruns in those 15 games.

    On the pitching side, in their last 15 games, Yankees hurlers have an ERA of 3.63 (in 139 IP). And, that’s probably a bigger reason why New York went 11-4 since September 12th this year (to date).

    Further, the Yankees won a lot of close games in those 11 wins. Four wins were by two runs each and another four were one-run wins for New York. That’s 8 out of 11 which were tight and may have gone another way with a bounce here or there.

    It will be interesting to see how the Yankees batter, pitchers and luck works out for them over their last six, all important, games this season.

    Chad Jenkins

    Posted by on September 28th, 2012 · Comments (13)

    He was taken 5 picks ahead of Mike Trout in 2009.

    I’m just saying…

    I Know! You Construct A Weapon. Look Around You – Can You Form Some Sort Of Rudimentary Lathe?

    Posted by on September 28th, 2012 · Comments (2)

    I still laugh out loud, every time I hear that line.

    Inside Buck Showalter

    Posted by on September 28th, 2012 · Comments (3)

    Great read – even if it’s from back in April of last year. I loved  this part:

    But when [Showalter] stepped in last August to run the dreadful O’s, he hadn’t the luxury of a spring or off-season to hand-pick and polish young finds. He was the team’s third manager in less than five months and inheritor of the dead-last staff in the American League. The club had little speed, only occasional power, and was built on the backs of promising kids (Matt Wieters, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones) who’d stumbled out of the blocks and lost their way. Late in a lost season, Showalter could’ve sat back and staged auditions, sizing up the roster for future plans. Instead, on day one, he met his players in front of a whiteboard bearing the names of their replacements at Triple A. “It was strategically placed to remind them all that it’s a privilege, not a right, to be in the majors,” he told me. “I wanted them to hold each other accountable; if a player doesn’t want to please his teammates first, then, sorry, he’s gotta go.”

    After instilling a healthy fear of God in them, he told them to stop playing scared. Don’t give the other team that much credit: Screw the Yankees, screw the Red Sox, he said. “The first time we went to Yankee Stadium, I screamed at Derek Jeter from the dugout. Our young guys are thinking, ‘Wow, he’s screaming at Derek Jeter’ – well, he’s always jumping back from balls just off the plate. I know how many calls that team gets – and yes, he pisses me off.”

    Soon, he sat with each player privately and told them, in blunt terms, what he expected. To Brad Bergesen, a second-year starter with a habit of eyeing the dugout when things unraveled: “Trust your stuff, be the big dick in the shower – and if you look in the dugout once, you’re coming out.” Bergesen hadn’t won a start since May, but went 5–3 from then on, with an ERA under three. Something like that happened with the rest of the staff as well. Pre-Showalter, they went 32–73, with a five-plus ERA. Post: 34–23, 3.54.

    His in-game cunning is a subtler advantage. Ordering, say, a decoy pickoff move, he’ll closely eye the plate while his pitcher throws to first. “If the hitter’s leg twitches, I know the hit-and-run’s on.” He’ll keep mental lists of opposing skippers who get their relievers up early and bait them with moves in the middle innings so he can “pound their tits” in the eighth. “No one in the game can steal signs like Buck or catch a guy tipping his pitches,” says Bob Klapisch, a columnist for The Record in Bergen County, New Jersey. “But the drawback is, he couldn’t back off, loading his players with information instead of letting them play on instinct.” Adds Gene Michael, the ex-GM of those Yankees teams: “I had to tell him sometimes to stop with all that. He’s great at strategy but takes it too far, and the guys tune him out after a while.”

    To this day, he’s at his desk long after a game’s over, jotting notes and watching the playback till 1 am. “I know I make people uncomfortable with that, but it’s all about evaluating. On tape, I’m watching away from the ball, ’cause that’s where the story’s being told. I’m seeing who on our bench jumped up to look when we hit a fair ball down the line. If guys don’t look, it tells me they don’t care” – and Showalter’s fixed on finding players who care, building a core of obsessive-compulsives who don’t take mental days off. Wherever he’s been, he’s traded for vets who think the game as fiercely as they play it – Paul O’Neill, Wade Boggs, Curt Schilling – and sprinkled in heady utility players to serve as coaches on the field. As that other unloved genius, Billy Martin, used to tell him, it’s the dumb players who always get you fired.Showalter concedes he can be a load, even on a so-called off-night. “My wife will come out, 1:30 in the morning, and say, ‘Really, Buck? Still?’” he says, frowning. But she doesn’t get it; no one does. There’s always much more to be done. Take the spring-training park in Sarasota, Florida, that’s being remodeled, on his orders, to the specs at Camden Yards; that way his fielders will know it backward and forward before they break north for Opening Day. Or the clubhouse he’s having reduced by a quarter so his players can’t hide after a loss. That’s another virtue Showalter brings: He’ll make a dozen subtle decisions to improve a team before he even deals for a star. With the Yankees, for instance, he changed the infield sod, which was dreadful and produced bad hops, then turned the indoor batting cage from a sty to a shrine so his players were proud to hit there. “I mean, who else studies umpires’ schedules and plans his rotation around them?” says Sherman of the New York Post. “The guy just has no off switch.”

    Showalter won the Manager of the Year Award in 1994 and 2004. And, he has a great shot to win it again this season.

    Dunn & Granderson Look To Make MLB History

    Posted by on September 28th, 2012 · Comments (2)

    In the history of big league baseball, there’s never been a player with 40+ homeruns in a season who had a batting average below .230.

    But, if Curtis Granderson and Adam Dunn keep up their pace this season, they will become the first two players to ever go 40+/and below two-thirty:

    Rk Player SO HR BA Year Age Tm G PA BB OBP SLG
    1 Adam Dunn 212 41 .208 2012 32 CHW 146 628 103 .338 .481
    2 Curtis Granderson 189 40 .227 2012 31 NYY 154 656 72 .316 .481
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 9/28/2012.

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    For The Next Three Days, Only One Series In The A.L. Doesn’t Matter

    Posted by on September 28th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    The Kansas City Royals are in Cleveland to play the Indians. And, outside of maybe Sandy Alomar Jr., no one really cares about that series.

    However, elsewhere, the Yankees are playing the Blue Jays, the Orioles are playing the Red Sox, the Tigers are playing the Twins and A’s are playing the Mariners. And, New York, Baltimore, Detroit, and Oakland all need wins right now.

    Also, the Rays and White Sox are playing each other and they both need to win to stay alive in the race for a post-season berth. Ditto the Angels and Rangers who are playing each other now – although Texas is not as hard up for wins as Los Angeles.

    Come Monday morning, we’ll have a better picture of who’s still alive and where in the A.L. hunt for October baseball – thanks to what happens in the next three days. In terms of very late September baseball, it doesn’t get much better than this. Enjoy it!

    Could The Yankees, Orioles & Rays All End Up Tied For First In The East?

    Posted by on September 28th, 2012 · Comments (1)

    It’s a reach.  But, play along with this for a moment.

    If the Yankees go 2-4 in their last 6 games, that would put them at 92-70 on  the season.

    If the Rays win all of their remaining 6 games, that would put them at 92-70 for the year.

    And, if the Orioles sweep the Red Sox and then get swept by the Rays, that would put them at, yes, you guessed it, 92-70 after 162 games.

    Now, it’s always possible that the Orioles could split their last 6 games.  And, maybe the Yankees only go 2-4 to close out the season.  But, can both of those things happen and the Rays win every game they have left?  Keep in mind that Tampa is currently on an 8-game winning streak.  So, this means they would have  to close out the season with 14 straight wins.

    Nah, it’s not going to happen…

    Will The Rays (Chasing The A’s) Help The Yankees?

    Posted by on September 28th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    The Tampa Bay Rays are now just two games back, in the loss column, in the chase for the second A.L. wildcard chase.

    If the Rays can hang in there, against the White Sox for the next three games, it will be interesting to see them close out the season against the Orioles.

    But, if Tampa falls out of it in the next three games, then they will have nothing to play for when they face Baltimore.

    Of course, the White Sox have a lot to play for now, as well – since they are fighting the Tigers for first in the A.L. Central.

    Oh, and, by the way, the A’s will be in this thing too – as they play the Mariners for three and then close out with three against the Rangers, who they are chasing in the standings.  And, Texas is now playing the Angels for three games – who are in the same wildcard position as the Rays!

    Man, whoever made up the schedule for the A.L. this year was a genius!

    What’s Up With Hiroki Kuroda?

    Posted by on September 28th, 2012 · Comments (5)

    Kuroda starts for the Yankees this evening in Toronto.  He’s been the Yankees best starting pitcher, overall, this season, to date.

    But, in his last six starts prior to today, since August 25th, he has an ERA of 4.91 (in 40.3 IP).

    Kuroda has pitched 207.3 innings this year.  It’s the first time he’s been over 202 IP in his MLB career.  Has he now hit the wall?

    Since today is a must win game for the Yankees, it will be interesting to see how Kuroda does in the contest, given his recent struggles.

    Well, Now The A.L. East Is Interesting!

    Posted by on September 27th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    With their loss to the Blue Jays this evening, the Yankees lead over the Orioles in the A.L. East is down to one game – with six games left to play on the season.

    So, if the Orioles go 4-2 over their next and last six games, then the Yankees will have to go 4-2 as well to win the A.L. East.

    But, if the Yankees go 3-3 in their next and last six games, and the Orioles go 4-2, then we’re looking at a tie in the A.L. East standings – and a one-game play-in game between the Yanks in O’s down in Baltimore.

    The biggest player in this mix may be the Boston Red Sox.

    The Orioles now play the Sox for three games at Camden Yards. And, then, after that, Boston heads to New York for the last three games of the season.

    Suppose that the Red Sox lose two in Camden and take two at Yankee Stadium.

    That means that the Yankees must win two of their next three games and the Orioles will have to win two of their last three games at Tampa Bay – to force that tie.

    But, this is just one of the possible things that can happen between now and the end of the year.

    Bottom line, the Yankees still control their own destiny. Now, they just need to beat the Blue Jays to keep that control.

    Can The Rays Or Angels Catch The A’s In The A.L. Wildcard Race?

    Posted by on September 27th, 2012 · Comments (2)

    Man, it’s getting close…

    Seattle could be a spoiler in all this as well.

    Travis Snider’s Catch This Afternoon

    Posted by on September 27th, 2012 · Comments (6)

    It was nice. But, not in the class of this one from a few years back:

    Roll Call

    Posted by on September 27th, 2012 · Comments (26)

    Who’s still with me?

    Pity PA

    Posted by on September 27th, 2012 · Comments (3)

    This is an interesting story.

    (more…)

    Mets Baseball: Earplugs Not Required

    Posted by on September 27th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    Great stuff on quiet Citi Field via Brian Costa -

    It seems like eons ago, but three months ago, Citi Field was buzzing. The Mets were winning, Johan Santana had just thrown a no-hitter and R.A. Dickey was on a stupendous run.

    But the Mets’ second-half collapse has turned their ballpark into a baseball morgue. The combination of horrid play and vast swaths of empty seats has created one of the most depressing sporting scenes imaginable.

    That got us wondering: Just how quiet is Citi Field these days?

    To find out, The Wall Street Journal purchased a decibel meter and traveled to a region where few Mets fans venture anymore: the upper deck.

    On Monday—a chilly night in Flushing—we reached the upper concourse just as the Mets were about to begin their game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The atmosphere was post-apocalyptic, with most concession stands long since shuttered for the year.

    After a short walk toward left field, we settled on Section 525, which overlooks an area about halfway between third base and the foul pole. All of the more than 400 seats in the section were unoccupied. We chose Row 10, Seat 24, and turned on the meter.

    A rock concert can reach 120 decibels, and a momentous sporting event can be almost as loud. During Game 6 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals in Boston, NHL.com reported decibel levels of up to 118.

    Fans who attended Monday’s game were at no such risk of ear damage. As the Mets took the field to the sound of “Meet the Mets,” the stadium noise reached 80 decibels. The Center for Hearing and Communication lists sounds equivalent to 80 decibels as “pop-up toaster,” “doorbell,” “ringing telephone” and “whistling kettle.”

    And that was among the louder moments of the evening. As Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia threw the game’s first pitch, the noise level was 66 decibels. For most of the night, it held steady around 65, putting it in the same range as “washing machine” and “electric toothbrush.”

    The lowest decibel reading recorded was 58—two below “sewing machine.” The high was 95 (“electric drill”), which came after the second of Ike Davis’s two home runs in the fifth inning. But after several seconds of applause, the decibel reading was back in the 60s.

    More remarkable than what you can’t hear at Citi Field, though, is what you can hear. The thwack of the ball popping into the catcher’s mitt, the echo of an umpire’s called strike three, a hot dog vendor several sections to the right, a toddler getting restless two sections to the left—all of it is clear, undiluted by cheering.

    People who appear to be a few hundred yards away sound like they’re sitting next to you. That is, when they’re making noise.

    This really is a shame. Citi Field is a nice ballpark. And, there’s nothing worse than a nice ballpark not being alive with fans.

    Yankees Numbers: 7, 6 and 4

    Posted by on September 27th, 2012 · Comments (1)

    The Yankees have 7 games left to play this regular season.

    Their magic number for winning the AL East is 6. And, their magic number for a playoff berth is 4. (Any combination of Yankees wins and Angels losses equaling four.)

    I have no doubt that the Yankees will reach the post-season this year. The Angels are not going to win every game they have left this year. And, the Yankees should be able to win at least three of their remaining seven games.

    The A.L. East? Now, that’s a different matter. So much of that depends on what happens today.

    If New York can beat Toronto and then go two up on Baltimore, then I like the Yankees chances with a magic number of 5 with 6 games to go.

    But, if the Yankees lose to the Blue Jays today, and allow the O’s to get within one game of first, then I think it’s going to be tough for New York – with a magic number of 6 with 6 games to go. Stress “tough” – but it’s not impossible.

    This makes today’s game pretty big for the Yankees. Let’s see how they handle it.

    Señor Camisa No Metida

    Posted by on September 26th, 2012 · Comments (1)

    The back story on Rafael Soriano.

    If The Yankees Lose Today

    Posted by on September 26th, 2012 · Comments (19)

    If the Yankees lose this afternoon against the Twins, then you can break their season down, to date, as follows:

    • They went 21-21 in their first 42 games.
    • They went 36-13 in their next 49 games.
    • And, they went 32-32 in their last 64 games.

    Kind of a stale bread sandwich, no?

    What If The Yankees & Orioles Are Tied At The End Of The Season?

    Posted by on September 26th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    Per the MLB site: A tiebreaker game will be played to determine a division winner, even if the tied clubs are assured of participating in the postseason. If a division championship tiebreaker is necessary, the head-to-head record between the clubs will determine home-field advantage. If the head-to-head record is tied, then division record will be the next tiebreaker.

    Well, we know that the Yankees and Orioles split their 18 games this season. So, the division record will determine who gets home field in the tie-breaker game.

    At this writing, the Yankees are 36-29 against the A.L. East and the Orioles are 38-27. So, it’s close – considering that both New York and Baltimore have games left other A.L. East teams.

    Therefore, if the Yankees and Orioles are tied for first place at the end of the season, we know they would have to play a game on October 4th – with the loser than having to play the Wildcard playoff on the next day. But, where that game on October 4th will be played is still TBD.

    Upcoming Yankees-Blue Jays Series In Toronto

    Posted by on September 26th, 2012 · Comments (4)

    This is a huge series for the first place Yankees. For the last place Jays, not so much.

    In fact, in their last 15 games, Toronto is 4-11. So, it seems like the Blue Jays have already packed their bags on this season.

    The Yankees will be throwing Nova, Kuroda, Pettitte and Hughes in this series. The Blue Jays will have Brandon Morrow, Chad Jenkins, Henderson Alvarez and a pitcher TBA.

    If New York can take three of these four games, it would go a long way towards winning the A.L. East. But, if the Yankees split, or do worse, it may give the Orioles a chance to gain ground in the standings. (While the Yankees are in Toronto, the Orioles will be hosting Botson for three games in Camden Yards. And, who knows if the Red Sox are going to show up and play hard in those games? They should – considering it would be payback for last year. But, you never know.)

    After today’s games, the gap between the O’s and Yanks will either be a half-game, a game and a half, or two and a half games.

    If the gap is less than two games, then these games in Toronto will be huge for the Yankees.

    Seeing all this, I can’t help but think of 1985 when the Yankees went into Toronto just 2.5 games back of first on September 12th for a four-game series.

    New York won that first game but then lost the next three. That killed them – and then they lost the next 5 games in a row.

    Can the Jays do that again to the Yankees, this year? We’ll soon find out.

    The Red Sox Last 6 Games Of 2012

    Posted by on September 26th, 2012 · Comments (4)

    Boston’s last 6 games of this season are three at Baltimore and three at New York.

    The Red Sox, therefore, could have a huge impact on who wins the A.L. East.

    It all depends if Boston wants to show up and play hard in those games – and be the spoiler – or, if they want to roll over and mail it in for the last week of the season.

    What do you think they will do?

    Slumping A-Rod Injures Foot

    Posted by on September 26th, 2012 · Comments (3)

    Via the Daily News -

    As if things weren’t going badly enough, Alex Rodriguez can add a bruised left foot to his list of recent troubles.

    A-Rod fouled a ball off his foot in his final at-bat Tuesday, and although he remained in the game, he was sporting a huge ice pack on his foot afterward. With the Yankees and Twins slated for a 12:10 local start Wednesday, A-Rod was hopeful he would be back in the lineup.

    “We’ll see how I wake up in the morning,” he said. “Should be OK.”

    Rodriguez finished the game 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, giving him a .233 average (10-for-43) with no extra-base hits over his past 10 games. He has struck out 15 times and walked only twice during that stretch.

    “He hit two balls pretty decent today. He hit the ball to right-center, he grounded out hard to short,” Joe Girardi said. “It’s just what you go through as a hitter. You’re not going to be perfect every day. If they were, they’d hit .400 or .500 during the course of the season.”

    Remember what Derek Jeter said about two weeks ago when he hurt his ankle? It was:

    “I don’t talk about injuries. Either you play or you don’t. I’m playing, so it’s not an issue. At this point in the season, I’m sure there are a lot of guys that have some things bothering them. I’m really never one to talk about them.”

    Let’s see what happens with A-Rod today.

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