September 10, 2008

Catching up with baseball

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball

You may not have known this, but there’s actually more going on in the sports world than football. In fact, there’s quite a few great races for the post-season going on in baseball. Here are  a few things I’ve realized and you might not have known if you weren’t paying attention to America’s favourite pass time.
 
— The Blue Jays are winners of ten straight. Seriously. It makes sense that they’re doing it mainly through pitching since their hitting has stunk this season. When your team leader in home runs has just hit his 17th of the season, you better pray that your pitchers come through.
 
— Where did this Alfredo Aceves guy come from? It’s too bad that the Yankees are essentially out of it because this guy could have been a playoff hero for them when you consider what he did against the Angels last night.
 
— It’s a damned shame that Billy Wagner will miss not only the rest of 2008, but maybe even all of 2009 while undergoing Tommy John surgery. At 37 years old, he may even be forced to pack it in for good. But, another way to look at this situation is that the Mets just became the frontrunner to land K-Rod when he becomes a free agent this winter. They have the money to spend on him and a huge hole in their bullpen.
 
— The Rays can win in Boston. Not only that, they actually came back in the top of the ninth against the Red Sox renowned closer Jon Papelbon last night. If Red Sox Nation isn’t scared of these young, beyond-feisty Rays, they should be. The only thing that Tampa has to do is get their closer Troy Percival and the rest of their ‘pen back on track; they looked shaky last night.
 
— The Angels are THAT close to clinching their pathetic division. In fact they could do it on any given night now that their magic number is down to two. I’ll tell you what though, if they miraculously lost the rest of their games and the Rangers (also miraculously) won the rest of theirs, it would be the greatest comeback in the history of time and I’m not sure anything could ever top it. Too bad it’ll never happen.

— The White Sox hope to have MVP candidate Carlos Quentin back the playoffs but I don’t think that’s realistic. Coming back from a broken wrist in less than a month would take some pretty quick healing and the logic behind it just doesn’t work either. How often have you heard of a power hitter, or any hitter for that matter, coming back from a wrist injury leaves you unable to generate much power in your swing at all. If you don’t believe me, look how long it took Vernon Wells to get his power stroke back this season.

— I don’t like the Cubs. Just flat out dislike them. All the way up and down their roster, there isn’t a guy that I like. It might be because I like the White Sox, it might be because I dislike most NL teams. It’s not that I don’t like Wrigley Field because who can’t love the ivy on the walls? If anything, I’ll go with “bandwagon-ability” as the reason. Whenever a team with a long-standing losing tradition (Red Sox, Cubs mainly) start winning, it seems like everyone who liked them just the littlest bit when they were losers become ultra fans. When you look at Red Sox Nation, that ship had about half the passengers before they started winning and now you’re not cool if you don’t worship Big Papi and Co. Can’t you pitcher something similar happening if the Cubs ever pull it together? Well, if that’s not a good enough reason to hate on the Cubs, I’ll just start disliking them irrationally then.
 
Finally, how did the NL West get so dreadful again so quickly? When the Dodgers can lead the division and only be three games above .500, that’s pathetic. Just last season the NL champ came out of the NL West and they (the Rockies) were the wild card team. There is something seriously wrong out there and something has to be done about it.

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