Baseball now begins the drive for the playoff spots. We only have room for four spots - well, four and a half, really - so who's going to be there in October?
Print the tickets, you're in:
Kansas City, for sure.
Houston won't go away. If someone doesn't take a bat to Carlos Gomez for his antics, I'll be surprised.
Yankees/Blue Jays. A winner and a wild card - you pick 'em.
I should be typing Baltimore here, but I'm not. I just don't know who will be the last team in. There's plenty of candidates: Minnesota, Texas, the Angels. The Twins are doing it with smoke and mirrors, the Angels have an injury problem, which leaves Texas - as good a guess as any.
St Louis because they seem to be able to turn it on when they need to
The Mets will make it, the Washington Nationals will see to it. For a team that was supposed to run away with the NL East, the Nats are being beaten by everyone.
Pittsburgh. They would be in first place in every other division in baseball (Okay, a half game out in the AL Central)
The Dodgers/Giants. One will win the division, the other will be out. The Giants are winning because of karma, I guess, while the Dodgers are like a huge puzzle with a lot of extra pieces. If Mattingly can figure out who should be playing where and when, they will be dangerous.
The Cubs. There, I said it. Maddon runs the team like its a fraternity beer game. Other teams spend money on analysts and cybernetics, Maddon gives them chicken wings and pizza. He may not win, but it sure is a fun ride.
I just watched a movie called "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde." Not the one with Spencer Tracy, but that team with the old men in pinstripes. They either beat you into submission or cower in a corner with their thumbs in their mouths. How can you score 4 runs in three games against Houston and then send 15 men across home plate in one game against Atlanta?
I think Joe Girardi loves the spotlight. Why did he have to come out of the dugout in the 8th inning of a blowout with two men out to change pitchers, move guys around and change a position player? Just because the pitcher was leading off next inning? Let Wilson get the last out, pinch hit for the pitcher and put in a new pitcher in the ninth. Because then he wouldn't be on TV. Girardi is the master of the useless move.
From Janice Hough: "Vin Scully has announced he will be back for his 67th season broadcasting in Los Angeles. Maybe Vin, 87, is hoping that at some point the Dodgers will treat him like a real member of the team and hand him millions of dollars for doing nothing."
As far as I'm, concerned, millions aren't enough.
***THEY SAID IT***
" Ohio State’s Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett both said they don’t want a dual-quarterback system. I can’t wait for the Buckeyes to run out on offense for the first time and two guys line up behind center." -- Brad Dickson
"What’s with Novak Djokovic at the Rogers Cup complaining about someone smoking weed? The guy has three Wimbledon titles — he’s great on grass." -- RJ Currie
"Rays catcher Curt Casali had to leave Tuesday night’s 11-7 loss to the Twins after straining his left hamstring rounding first base — during his home-run trot." -- Dwight Perry
"General Mills has partnered with a Minnesota brewing company to produce Wheaties beer. Just what I needed for my corn flakes! No word on whether they’ll have pictures of Red Sox players on the can." -- TC Chong
"I've played behind nine centers in the NFL. It's definitely a close relationship right away. My hands are in places not a lot of other people's go." -- Eli Manning
"With all of the money that Major League Baseballers make, what’s with so many scraggly beards and bad haircuts?” -- Gregg Drinnan
"Going back to August 14, the Cincinnati Reds have won exactly ONE game, and that an August 24 make-up game from a rain out against Detroit. 1-12. If they’re going to give up on the season maybe they should offer ticket holders their money back?" -- Janice Hough
"This week's top stories: Brian Hoyer named Texans’ starting QB, Rays catcher Curt Casali pulls up lame, and two topless N.Y. women pose for tourists. Or first strings, hamstrings and G-strings." -- RJ Currie
" Reportedly, the Bills may sign Ray Rice. Rice, Incognito, Percy Harvin, IK Enemkpali. Rex Ryan is this close to inviting El Chapo to camp." -- Brad Dickson
Only Tony Chong could come up with this one:
"Yesterday was National Dog Day, except in Korea, where it was just Wednesday."