Angels are getting closer and now the Rays are back in the hunt? The next few days should tell us if this is a real thing or just a blip.
Me? I thought the Rays and Halos had no chance. Looks like they could prove me wrong.
Angels are getting closer and now the Rays are back in the hunt? The next few days should tell us if this is a real thing or just a blip.
Me? I thought the Rays and Halos had no chance. Looks like they could prove me wrong.
What a story it would be if these two teams met in the World Series this year.
Now that I have said that, just watch, it will be a Cubs fan nightmare Fall Classic: White Sox against the Cardinals. (Kind of like the 1986 World Series for Yankees fans – where you want both teams to lose.)
He’s got more class than me. I probably would have said something like this – which, BTW, is NSFW:
Zach Wilt qualifies the Orioles’ “luck” this season. It’s a good read.
The Yankees have 9 games left to play this regular season.
Their magic number for winning the AL East is 8. And, their magic number for a playoff berth is 5. (Any combination of Yankees wins and Angels losses equaling five.)
The East is still pretty open. But, all the Yankees need to do is go 5-3 from here and it doesn’t matter what the Angels do – and then New York will have a playoff berth.
Seems simple, doesn’t it?
There’s no way they can screw that up, right?
Even if the Yankees only go 3-5 over the next five games, then the Angels would have to go 8-1 to beat New York. And, is that really going to happen? I doubt it.
The Yankees should have a playoff spot locked up before the end of this road trip.
The bigger trick will be winning the East.
The Minnesota Twins have been bad this season. But, they’ve been somewhat better as of late – splitting their last 24 games after being on a run where they were a miserable 8-19.
Since 2002, during the regular season, the Yankees have beaten the Twins 53 times in 73 games.
And, we know what the Yankees did to the Twins in the 2003, 2004, 2009 and 2010 ALDS.
The Twins players may not care if they beat the Yankees in this current series at Target Field. But, I bet the Twins fans would love to see their team really screw with the Yankees quest to finish in first place this season.
Via the Mercury News -
The A’s defended their actions Sunday after Yankees infielder Eric Chavez ripped them in the New York Post for what he saw as excessive dugout celebrating during Saturday’s 14-inning game.
Chavez said the A’s went over the top with their celebration after each of three home runs they hit in the top of the 13th, in a game in which New York eventually prevailed 10-9.
Chavez, as quoted in Sunday’s Post, described it as “an orchestrated clapping, chanting” celebration that he labeled “high school-ish,” “distasteful” and “a little slap in the face.”
The collective response from the A’s clubhouse:
What’s the big deal?
“I think the most important thing is it happened in our dugout,” veteran outfielder Jonny Gomes said before Sunday’s 5-4 A’s victory. “It didn’t happen between the lines.”
The routine the A’s did is based on the Randy Moss-related “One Clap” song and video clip that was all the rage on YouTube. Gomes often played that song during spring training, and he said the A’s have done the routine all season in the clubhouse and on the team bus.
Somebody yells “One Clap!” and teammates respond with a clap.
Gomes said such antics benefit the A’s younger players who are in their first pennant race.
“We have (14) rookies on this team. You take the fun away and we’re screwed.”
A’s manager Bob Melvin said he had no problem with his players letting loose in the dugout.
“We play the game hard and we respect it out on the field,” Melvin said. “What happens in your dugout … I think if you look around the league, you could pick some things out of any dugout. We play the game the right way. If you try to keep things loose in the dugout, there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Added A’s catcher Derek Norris: “We’ve done the same thing all year. We’re a ballclub and we have great camaraderie. Whatever we do is our business.”
Chavez was playing first base in the 13th Saturday and had a good view into the A’s dugout.
“There’s always a right way and a wrong way to go about it whether you win or lose,” Chavez said in an interview before Sunday’s game. “The game’s not over until it’s over.”
Gomes said the controversy wouldn’t have lingering effects in the A’s clubhouse, but added of Chavez’s criticism:
“I think they have one of the most animated guys in the game on their side in Nick Swisher. He does some stuff that I wouldn’t do. But it doesn’t bother me.”
As I was reading this, all I could think of was “Nick Swisher” and then Gomes went and said it in the end. So true.
How about Soriano with the shirt untuck? How about Granderson leading the Yankees outfielders in their little leap and bump dance routine after a win? How about Joba on the mound after a strikeout?
I totally get Chavez’ point. And, he’s right. But, those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
Via Bob Nightengale -
A year after one of the zaniest regular-season finishes in history, baseball is up to its tricks again, reminding to never count anyone out.
The Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Angels were pronounced all but dead five days ago but enter the final week of the regular season full of life.
The surging Angels swept the Chicago White Sox in Anaheim — with owner Arte Moreno announcing that manager Mike Scioscia would return in 2013 — while climbing within 2½ games of the Oakland Athletics for the American League’s second wild-card spot. The Tigers took advantage of the White Sox’s lost California weekend and entered Sunday night a half-game behind Chicago in the AL Central.
“It’s a different feeling when you’re out of it at this point of the season,” said Tigers MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera, the first player to be leading or tied in the Triple Crown categories this late since Carl Yastrzemski won it in 1967. “You go nowhere, you go to your house. But right now, it’s like, ‘We got a shot, man.’”
The Rays, on a five-game winning streak, are threatening to make history. One year after passing the Boston Red Sox on the season’s final day, they’re attempting to become the third team to reach the playoffs by overcoming a deficit of at least six games with 14 or fewer games left. The 1964 St. Louis Cardinals and ’51 Brooklyn Dodgers are the only ones to pull that off.
The Rays are 3½ games behind the Athletics, who Sunday beat the New York Yankees. Seven of Oakland’s final 10 games are against the AL West division-leading Texas Rangers.
“Anxiety lives in the future,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “You’ve got to stay in the present. If we keep the blinders on it’s going to be real interesting around here.”
Per the math, the Rays and Angels still have a shot. But, they both need help to make it happen. And, that’s the hard part.
It is amazing that New York has never been able to get more than one game ahead of Baltimore since September 2nd:
|1||134||Monday, Sep 3||76-58||1||up 1.0|
|2||135||Tuesday, Sep 4||76-59||1||Tied|
|3||136||Wednesday, Sep 5||77-59||1||up 1.0|
|4||137||Thursday, Sep 6||77-60||1||Tied|
|5||138||Friday, Sep 7||78-60||1||up 1.0|
|6||139||Saturday, Sep 8||78-61||1||Tied|
|7||140||Sunday, Sep 9||79-61||1||up 1.0|
|8||141||Tuesday, Sep 11||79-62||1||Tied|
|9||142||Wednesday, Sep 12||80-62||1||Tied|
|10||143||Thursday, Sep 13||81-62||1||Tied|
|11||144||Friday, Sep 14||81-63||1||Tied|
|12||145||Saturday, Sep 15||82-63||1||up 1.0|
|13||146||Sunday, Sep 16||83-63||1||up 1.0|
|14||147||Wednesday, Sep 19||84-63||1||up 0.5|
|15||148||Wednesday, Sep 19||85-63||1||up 0.5|
|16||149||Thursday, Sep 20||86-63||1||up 1.0|
|17||150||Friday, Sep 21||87-63||1||up 1.0|
|18||151||Saturday, Sep 22||88-63||1||up 1.0|
|19||152||Sunday, Sep 23||88-64||1||up 1.0|
Maybe today is the day that we finally see more than one game between the Yankees and Orioles? Since Baltimore has to play two games today, the odds of this happening are pretty good, no?
For the record, the Yankees and the Orioles haven’t been separated by more than one game in the standings since September 3rd, as you can see, above. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the longest such streak in September or later since 1889.
Yes, eighteen eighty nine.
Is it safe to say that the Yankees have pretty much locked up a post-season berth with 10 games to go this season?
If they finish first in the division, they’re in.
And, yes, I know they only have a one-game lead as of today. But, even if they don’t finish first, they would still get one of the wildcard slots, more than likely.
Basically, at this point, the Yankees would have to finish second and have something else happen for them not to make the post-season this year.
For example, if New York finished second and both the Angels and A’s (or Rangers, should Oakland pass Texas in the standings) had a better record than the Yankees, then they would miss the post-season. But, the Angels are 4 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the wildcard. And, to make that up in ten games would mean that New York would have to totally tank while the Angels win just about every game.
Seriously, what are the odds of that?
The Yankees should consider themselves as having a ticket for October now. And, the only thing left to do is to win the East and avoid having to play that one-game wildcard playoff (which no one wants anything to do with – given the random nature of one baseball game).
See this in Bloomberg today -
The New York Yankees had their seven-game winning streak halted with a 5-4 home loss to the Oakland Athletics, yet clung to their one-game division lead as the Baltimore Orioles lost to the Boston Red Sox 2-1.
The Yankees fell to 88-64, while the Orioles have an 87-75 record with 10 games left in Major League Baseball’s regular season. The Orioles and Athletics (86-66) are in position for the American League’s two wild card playoff spots, which go to the top non division-winners.
“Our guys have been focused on what we’re doing and not worrying so much on what everyone else is doing,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said at a news conference. “We want to win every game, that’s the bottom line. We have the chance to win our division, a chance to win home field advantage. It’s a disappointing loss, but you move on.”
After going 7-2 on their nine-game homestand, New York now plays seven road games before returning to finish the regular season at Yankee Stadium with a three-game series against the Red Sox. The Yankees open a three-game series in Minnesota today and then travel to Toronto for four games.
“We came home and had a real good homestand and now we have to carry it over to the road,” Girardi said.
The Yankees held a 4-3 lead yesterday before the Athletics tied it in the fifth inning on a run-scoring single by Yoenis Cespedes. Oakland scored the go-ahead run in the next inning on Cliff Pennington’s single off losing pitcher Hiroki Kuroda.
Four Athletics’ relievers combined to shut out the Yankees over the final 4 2/3 innings.
The Orioles, who had a six-game winning streak snapped yesterday, begin a seven-game homestand today with a double- header against Toronto and face the Blue Jays twice more. After playing the Red Sox three times, they finish the season on the road with three games against the Tampa Bay Rays.
The team that doesn’t win the division would probably have to meet the AL’s other wild card team in a one-game playoff.
The Athletics, who are four games behind the AL-leading Texas Rangers in the AL West, lead the Los Angeles Angels (84-69) by 2 1/2 games for the league’s second wild card berth.
The Chicago White Sox (81-71) lost their fifth straight game yesterday, yet still hold a one-game lead over Detroit atop the AL Central as the Tigers (80-72) were swept in a double- header against the Minnesota Twins.
One game between the Yankees and Orioles. One game between the White Sox and Tigers. One game between the Orioles and A’s in the wild card two top spots.
Man, the next 10 games are going to be fun!
Basically, none of these five teams can afford to lose more than four games between now and the end of the season. If they do lose five or more, then they mostly likely will have to depend on other people to make the post-season in a good position. And, the clock on that starts today.
Also, the A’s are four games behind the Rangers in the A.L. West and those two teams now play each other for the next four games. How cool is that?
Thanks to the A.L. baseball should be the top sports topic now. (But, knowing the talking heads, I suspect the lead story today will be the “officiating” in the Patriots-Ravens game.)
My 10-year old daughter has a bit of a cold this weekend. Friday evening, it started.
Today, she just wanted to chill inside and watch movies on the big T.V. in the family room. But, the issue there is that my 8-year old son would bug the hell out of her trying to do that – if he was in the house as well.
So, today, I did something I almost never do: I hit StubHub and got two tickets for me and him to head up to the Bronx this morning. It was a pretty good deal. I got two tickets for Section 422, Row 12, up in the Grandstand for less money, combined, than it cost me to park the car in the River Avenue Garage.
Yes, we were way up there – three rows away from the last row in the Stadium. Yet, we had a great view of the field.
I really thought A-Rod was going to tie it up in the ninth. Man, that was close.
Luckily, my son and I caught the end of the Yankees game on TV yesterday after some cage work and a practice for one of his fall ball teams. And, the excitement of that one still had enough carry over to offset the loss today. And, it was a close and exciting game, albeit long in time, this afternoon.
One thing: We were at the park at 11:30 AM and in our seats before the first pitch. But, we never heard roll call today. Did we miss it? Or, did they not do it? We both thought that was strange.
Another thing: Our entire section was all in agreement that Nunez has no business playing shortstop in a game that matters. Why he’s out there, is beyond me. He’s the Bobby Meacham of his generation.
I heard this during the Yankees game today:
The Yankees and Orioles have been within one game of each other for last 19 days in the A.L. East Standings. Per Elias, it’s the longest such September stretch for 1st and 2nd place teams since 1951.
How much longer will it go?
Hey, wait a minute, didn’t Kevin Long “fix” Curtis Granderson back in August of 2010?
By the way, those 182 K’s are a Yankees team record – shattering the mark that Granderson set last year (of 169).
No other Yankee in team history has ever struck out more than 160 times a season.
Here’s what Baseball America recently shared on Rangers’ prospect Joey Gallo:
After signing his professional contract, Joey Gallo made the rounds at The Ballpark in Arlington, meeting Rangers executives and players.
Floating on cloud nine, Gallo walked on the field during batting practice and gawked at slugger Josh Hamilton effortlessly swatting upper-deck moonshots, just as he one day hopes to do.
He was in heaven. Until he saw Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux.
“Hey Joey,” Maddux said. “I hear you can throw 100 mph and you don’t want to pitch?”
Nearly always self-assured, Gallo’s brimming confidence wilted. He carefully cleared his throat before responding to the watchful guardian of a pitching staff that had advanced to the World Series two straight years.
“I signed as a position player, sir,” Gallo said.
The 18-year-old Gallo felt the pressure mount as he waited what seemed like an eternity for Maddux’s affirmation. Then his father nudged him.
“I said, ‘He’s just kidding, Joey,’ ” Anthony Gallo said. “I’ve never seen him turn red like that.”
Joey could again breathe easy, and concentrate on doing what he’s always loved—swinging the bat—despite being the son of a pitching coach.
“Ever since he picked up a Wiffle ball bat at age 3, Joey always wanted to hit,” Anthony said. “He pitched because he could throw hard, but hitting was his first love.”
Gallo started at third base as a freshman for Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas, a program coming off three straight state championships, and hit 21 home runs in his first two seasons before taking his game to a new level.
“My junior year, I started to hit the weight room and began to dedicate myself,” Gallo said.
He became a gym rat, working out under the supervision of teammate Johnny Field’s uncle at 4 a.m. Running in sand pits, TRX suspension training and explosive plyometrics began to fill Gallo’s lean 6-foot-5, 205-pound frame. Flexibility coaches trimmed his 60-yard dash time to 6.9 seconds. Translating these physical gains to hitting improvements, Gallo worked with four-time National League batting champ Bill Madlock.
The lefty-hitting Gallo, who took Greg Maddux’s daughter to the prom, led the country with 25 homers as a junior.
A fixture on the showcase circuit, Gallo became a decorated amateur, starting for USA Baseball’s 18-and-under national team and hitting the 10th-longest homer in Petco Park history during the Perfect Game All-American Game.
“I’ve been scouting since 1996 and Joey probably has the most power I’ve ever seen,” Rangers scout Todd Guggiana said.
Going out on top, Gallo helped the Gaels (40-3) seize a seventh straight state title his senior year, earning All-America honors with a .509/.628/1.167 line, 21 homers and 13 steals. With 67 career homers, he became Nevada’s home run king, placing him sixth on the all-time high school list.
Gallo also posted a 1.54 ERA on the mound, threw a no-hitter and notched 23 strikeouts in 14 innings. Scouts remained enthralled by his high-90s velocity, and many evaluators preferred him as a pitcher. Though some scouts questioned his hit tool, Gallo remained steadfast to his commitment as a hitter entering the draft.
With teams unsure how the new draft rules would affect signing-bonus demands of high schoolers, Gallo, a first-round talent, lasted until the 39th pick.
“We didn’t think he was going to be there when we picked, but were very excited when he was there,” Guggiana said. “We thought he was a top-15 talent.”
For the record, the Yankees could have drafted Gallo. But, they used that pick to take a High School pitcher with an abnormality in his right throwing shoulder instead.
Do they have the best pitching in the National League this year, especially now that the Nationals have put Stephen Strasburg on mothballs?
In his last 14 games, Russell Martin has a BA/OBA/SLG line of .277/.393/.574 (in 56 PA).
He’s picked the right time to get hot.
I wonder if this will fool the Yankees into signing him for next year?
Lots of emotion on those Moss and Martin homers Friday night, eh?
That’s good, fun, September pennant race baseball.
It’s looking more and more like the Yankees, A’s and Orioles are all going to make the post-season this year. And, it’s just a matter of who plays who come October. Will the Yankees win the East and play the White Sox in the ALDS? Or, will the Orioles win the East and then the Yankees and A’s will square off in the one-game Wildcard playoff (with the winner then playing the Rangers in the ALDS)?
We’ll get our answer in the next 12 games or less.
Via ESPN -
After what Terry Collins agreed was an “embarrassing” 16-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, the manager lectured his players postgame and did not refute inquiries about whether the Mets had quit.
Asked directly if the team had quit, Collins succinctly said: “You have to ask them.”
Pressed about his own thoughts, the manager repeated: “You’ll have to ask them. I have my own opinion. I’m not going to express it publicly.”
Asked what he could say to his team after such a loss, Collins said: “You’ve still got to play. You’ve still got to play the game right, play like Juan Pierre plays. He hit a chopper down the first-base line in a game [while] meaningless and beats it out for a hit. That’s how you play.
“Obviously the way the first inning started and the way things have gone, certainly we were behind the eight ball from the start. And that doesn’t add to a very positive start to the game, or very positive attitude on the bench. But I saw some things tonight that were unacceptable.”
What was most troubling?
“I’m not going to talk about it,” Collins said.
Is his team embarrassed like him?
“You have to ask them,” the manager replied. “I’m not inside their heads.”
I touched on this earlier today. The Mets, the Red Sox, the Blue Jays…
…I have watched them all recently on TV. And, the players have mailed it in. What an embarrassment. If I was an owner or a fan of these teams, I would be going nuts right now.
Here’s the story -
In an unprecedented agreement between Major League Baseball and union officials, suspended Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera will be ruled ineligible to win the 2012 NL batting title, sources told CSNBayArea.com.
Cabrera asked to be removed from consideration on Wednesday, when his representatives sent a letter to union officials. The Players’ Association worked out a one-time amendment to Rule 10.22(a) with MLB officials on Thursday, one day after Commissioner Bud Selig said publicly that he was not likely to take action on the matter.
Cabrera, who is hitting .346, will finish one plate appearance short of qualifying for the batting title. Rule 10.22(a) permits a player to be recognized as the official winner if extra hitless at-bats are added to his average and it remains higher than any qualifying player. (Cabrera’s average would fall from .3464 to .3456 – still .346 when rounded up.)
Under terms of the agreement, Rule 10.22(a) will not apply to suspended players.
Cabrera’s request to refuse the extra at-bat is a clear attempt to rehab his public image and market value, both of which were tarnished by his Aug. 15 suspension for testing positive for testosterone. The 27-year-old switch hitter sustained further damage to his reputation through subsequent revelations that a liaison paid by his agents, the Levinson brothers, created a phony Web site and product in an attempt to persuade the league that Cabrera inadvertently took a banned substance.
In a statement to be released shortly, Cabrera said he had “no wish to win an award that would be tainted,” and that he “believe[d] it would be far better for someone more deserving to win.”
The Roger Maris family probably wants to know what’s going to happen for them now…
Via FOX Sports -
The Baltimore Orioles, who open a weekend set at Fenway Park Friday night, still have only one pitcher (Wei-Yin Chen) with more than 20 starts. No such team has made the postseason in a non-strike-shortened season, according to STATS LLC. Not surprisingly, their Saturday and Sunday starters are (again) listed as TBA.
Players with 30+ HR and a Batting Average of .299 or better in the same season with less than 90 RBI and 70 walks or less:
Of course, Cano’s season this year is not yet final.
Via the Daily News -
In the glow of Derek Jeter’s resurgence over the last season-and-a-half and the frenetic rush of a surprise pennant race between the Yankees and Orioles, it’s easy to forget the cold free agent winter of 2010-11.
That’s when the baseball business was laid bare in a staredown between the team’s brass and one of its Mount Rushmore-esque legends, Jeter. He was always destined to be a Yankee-for-life, wasn’t he?
Only when Jeter was a free agent, it turned out it wasn’t so easy. It’s a business, the Yankees reminded him, multiple times. You haven’t played great lately, either.
So who is surprised now when Jeter sits in the dugout at Yankee Stadium, as he authors another superstar season, with ESPN’s Rick Reilly and serves the Yanks a taste of their own business theory.
As part of a 15-minute powwow last Friday before the Rays series, Reilly asked: “Peyton Manning changed teams this season after 14 seasons with one team. Could you see yourself doing that?”
“Well, if I wanted to keep playing, yes,” Jeter replied. “It’s a business. People forget that.”
If it happens, man, will that be a strange sight…
Imagine being a fan of the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Marlins or Mets right now.
Bad season. And, for the last month or so, their team has mailed it in – playing like crap.
I don’t know how their fans can even watch those teams play right now. It’s beyond ugly.
The latest batch of tweets out there now say that this rumor is totally false.
But, then again, we’ve seen this before in MLB – where rumors fly, are quickly denied, and then turn out to be true later down the road.
Yet, it’s very important to remember here that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
Is it just me, or, is the excitement of the Yankees sweeping the day-night doubleheader yesterday not as impressive as it appears because New York only scored 6 runs over the two games against a Blue Jays pitching staff that is 25th overall in the major leagues in ERA?
It looks like September 22, 1966 on YES today.