• 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!

    Comments on Final Fun Five Games In The A.L.

    1. Raf
      September 29th, 2012 | 9:37 am

      It’s going to be fun, and as you mentioned, it has been a while since it has been this way in the AL. Looking forward to the next 5 games

    2. FakeGeneMichaels
      September 29th, 2012 | 9:39 am

      When I visit my doctor every year for a check up, he can always tell how many Yankee games I watch during the course of the season by the size of the Ulcer in my stomach. Instead of telling me, cut down on the booze, fried foods and coffee, he tells me watch less and less Yankee games!..Doctors, what do they know?…ha..
      This year might be something special for AL baseball, but it really can’t be too health for Yankee fans! Anyone else out there getting stressed out like me over this season?…

    3. FakeGeneMichaels
      September 29th, 2012 | 9:43 am

      Raf wrote:

      Looking forward to the next 5 games

      Lets hope its not a train wreck for the yankees, heaven only knows my ulcer cant take too much more of this stress…

    4. September 29th, 2012 | 10:02 am

      @ FakeGeneMichaels:
      I hear you. For me, some of the most stressful times I’ve had in my life were the Octobers of 1995 through 2007. After 2004-2007, I learned my lesson. I don’t take it as bad now. But, I do confess that this September has me amped up.

    5. FakeGeneMichaels
      September 29th, 2012 | 10:16 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      After 2004-2007, I learned my lesson. I don’t take it as bad now. But, I do confess that this September has me amped up.

      Those were some stressfull times Steve. And I can relate to it.. but my condition goes back a little bit longer and it all started on the night coming home on the Long Island railroad. Listening to John Wettland pitch in the postseason. Walk the bases loaded and then get the next three outs without having a run score. Seems the older I get, the more important Septembr baseball becomes for me.. and heaven forbid, if the Yankees dont make the post season!. Pass another bottle of Jack Daniels to me please with a side order of Buffalo hot wings extra spicy!!

    6. September 29th, 2012 | 10:46 am

      From 1995 through 2004, I lived and died on every pitch in October. Probably took years off my life.

      From 2005 through 2007, I just got mad after Yankees failure in October. The loss in 2004 pissed me off and it just got worse in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

      But, then, I got used to it. And, now, I sort of expect that they are going to lose in October.

      And, if I am wrong, and then win – like in 2009 – that’s it’s great for me, my kids, my fellow Yankees fans friends.

      But, again, in 2010 and 2011, I went in with no expectations and little stress. And, I will do the same again this year.

    7. FakeGeneMichaels
      September 29th, 2012 | 11:40 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      From 2005 through 2007, I just got mad after Yankees failure in October. The loss in 2004 pissed me off and it just got worse in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

      I think it was at this time my ulcer went from the size of nickel to the size of a half dollar coin! Thats when I took up golf.. Only problem, I suck at it :).. I really need to find an outlet.. Yankees and golf are not healthy!…Thank God for this blog site!!..

    8. JeremyM
      September 29th, 2012 | 3:55 pm

      Here in the bottom of the 8th, fun is not a word I would use to describe this game.

      Time for Joe to get a clue and stop using Andruw Jones as anything but a last resort pinch-hitter, for starters.

    9. FakeGeneMichaels
      September 29th, 2012 | 4:00 pm

      This game is exactly how the seasons been for this team.. TWICE.. bases loaded and cant get that one damaging hit.. I am going back to drinking!

    10. JeremyM
      September 29th, 2012 | 4:10 pm

      3-3 against the Twins and Jays when the games are so important, and 2 of the 3 losses should’ve been blowout wins. Pretty pathetic.

    11. ctkaiser
      September 29th, 2012 | 4:10 pm

      @ JeremyM: Joe is losing his mind. I like Nix as a utility guy but used him instead of Chavez on Thursday. Andrew today instead of anybody including Dickerson. Resting Jeter with five games to play? Nunez at SS? Hottest hitter on the team is Martin and he couldn’t DH? I guess ARod will rest or DH tomorrow.

    12. ctkaiser
      September 29th, 2012 | 4:16 pm

      I got so wound up I forgot to comment about Casey McGehee. Why exactly is he on the active roster if he’s never going to play? Is he being punished for allowing Davis to catch his HR ball? He could do better than Jones.

    13. JeremyM
      September 29th, 2012 | 4:19 pm

      Agree on everything ctkaiser. Can’t figure out why they’re resting guys at this point. It’s basically do or die because the play-in game is way too much of a crap shoot. Still, the worst call to me is starting Jones. And Dickerson has played pretty well- Romero has actually been netter against right-handers, but guess that isn’t in the binder.

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