Saturday, September 30, 2006

Congratulations A's

I watched the A's division clinching victory on Tuesday against Seattle. It was heartening to see so many fans fly up there to join in the celebrating. With the Giants out of the picture, I'll be cheering for the Green and Gold to win it all. Congrats.

Monday, September 25, 2006

A Ring in '06: The Giants' Slim Chances

The Giants are still mathematically alive in their quest for a World Series title in 2006. But, their chances are next to none. Here's the scenario: They've been eliminated from the division race, so a wild card berth is their only hope. With 7 games left to play, 6 scheduled and one potential rain-out make-up vs. St. Louis, they're 7 back in the loss column to Philadelphia and 6 back of LA who has 6 left to play. There are still 5 teams in front of them they have to beat, also including Houston, Cincinnati and Florida.

Here's what needs to happen: They need to win all their remaining games. Both LA and Philly need to lose all their remaining games. This at a minimum would force a 3-way tie for the wild-card and a 3-way tie-breaker to decide it. The Giants and Dodgers still play each other three times, so the Giants have control of at least this. Houston is 2 ahead of the Giants in the loss column, so they need to lose a minimum of two games, Cincinnati is 1 ahead so they need to lose at least one game, and Florida is tied in the loss column, so they aren't required to lose a game, but it would be helpful. But Philly still plays a game against Houston and 3 against Florida, and Florida plays 3 against Cincy. So, the Astros are required to win one game, and the Marlins three.

At worst, there could be a 5 way tie for the wild card, as Cincy vs. Florida will force one of those teams to fall behind the streaking Giants. And with the Giants needing to play St. Louis on Monday before all the tie-breakers start, the NL playoffs could be delayed 3 or 4 days. But it would all be worth it for a ring this year. Wouldn't it?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Braves Are Almost Dead!

The Atlanta Braves string of 14 consecutive division titles has come to an end. Their string of 14 consecutive playoff appearances is on its death bed in their feeble quest for a wildcard berth. With 11 games left, they are 6 games behind with 5 teams still in front of them. One problem with the 5 teams in front of them needing to lose a lot of games is that many of them still play each other, meaning that each of those teams will win several games each.

The Braves may have already been mathematically eliminated in advance without it happening yet. For example, the Giants still play 3 games against the Dodgers. Somebody has to win at least two of those. The Marlins play 6 games against the Phillies and 3 with the Reds. The Braves' chances are probably slimmer than they appear.

When that day finally arrives when I know that they and their fans' stupid, endless tomahawk chant won't be on TV, I'll be rejoicing. I've been waiting for this for about 13 years. But then, I'll be deprived of seeing them lose in October yet again. But at least they won't win the World Series. Sometimes trade-offs are worth it.

Monday, September 4, 2006

Baseball Proposal: Home and Away Series

The baseball schedule traditionally has teams playing each other in series, home and away, one week apart. It doesn't happen as much anymore, but as an example, there are many teams who play each other the last weekend of the season that also play each other the previous weekend, in the other city. This happens with weekday series, too.

I always thought it strange that there could be six games out of nine against a team, with three in between against somebody else, and you could miss their top starters altogether because they pitched in the interim series. My proposal would be to play six in a row against the same team, three in one city, the next three in the other. You'd be guaranteed that all starters would face the other team. This would be exciting.

Saturday, September 2, 2006

Cast and Crew: The Future Mrs. Scott

I met my wife for the first time late in the '83 season. We dated for a couple of years and didn't marry until 2000, which is another story in itself. We went to games from '83 to early '85 when we broke up. She said that baseball was #1 in my life, followed by school, then her. I think she's right about that. She didn't care much for baseball then (but she does now!), but she still went to quite a few Giants and A's games with me. One double header, she brought a book to read. That was then, and I'll write about now later. But she did go, so she was part of cast and crew.

Friday, September 1, 2006

Fast Freddie

Today being Sept 1st, the Giants called up some of their minor leaguers and Freddie Lewis was one of them. A day game after a night game, Barry Bonds was on the bench. Lewis was a late inning defensive sub for Todd Linden, and this was his first major league appearance. The next inning he came to bat with Niekro on second base. His first at bat was a run scoring double - his speed just beating the throw to second - in place of Barry Bonds, at Wrigley Field. It doesn't get much better than that. Congrats, Freddie.