Just One More
We have a decision to make. Who do we start in the one-game playoff with Boston? This is not a flip decision. You have to figure that whichever starter we put out there won’t be able to go until at least game three of the first round. And you can’t be too careful about setting up the rotation for the playoffs. But then again, you don’t want to blow the play-in game and be left out entirely. So who will it be? Randall? Moose? Wang? What’s that you ask? Why am I getting ahead of myself? Because we have to look ahead, that’s why. Do you realize that if we lose our last eleven games in a row, and Boston wins their last eleven games in a row, we’ll have to…. Ahhh, but I kid. I should have more respect, I guess. But sometimes I can’t resist. Goodnight Boston. Again. I hope the BOSTON RED SOX – NINE CONSECUTIVE AL EAST SECOND PLACE TITLES t-shirts come out nice. Maybe I’ll pick one up for my Uncle Jimmy in Boston.
Well, another day, another anti-climactic win. This is a nice problem to have, and I’ll admit to being a little over the top, but I worry about walking into the postseason this way. It’s difficult to just turn it on sometimes. Al Leiter was waxing eloquent about this during last night’s broadcast. There is no sense of urgency, there is no pressure. Everybody is playing with a huge safety net because you know you’re already in. The Mets are even deeper into this. The Mets haven’t played a meaningful game since the end of May. Even home-field was a foregone conclusion. Those guys have played with absolutely no pressure on them for months. How will they respond? I think certain players will be fine, and certain players will have a little trouble. Billy Wagner is the one guy who is a huge question mark for the Mets, whether they realize it or not. Early in the year, before the Mets blew everybody else’s doors off, he had many a rough night out there, and the saves he did get were nail-biters. Now there’s a guy who has benefited tremendously from not having any pressure on him. He has been artificially successful over the last few months. He is a liability in the late innings, and mark my words – he will blow at least one big game for the Mets in the post-season. The Yankees have the same issue with Farnsworth. He is going to have some rocky moments out there. The good news is you have a safety valve in Mr. Rivera, who has pronounced himself pain free and ready to go. And he’s had a month to rest. But further than those guys, the Yankees have trotted who after what after what happened out there to pitch. The last few starters were Darrel Rasner, Jeff Karstens, Sean Henn, Cousin Angelo, Big Willie, Vasco DeGama, Fatty Arbuckle, and Willis Drummond. We have watched an endless parade of add-ons out there in every conceivable situation, and they haven’t put the A-1 starting lineup out there since the Boston Massacre. You’d think Joe would want the starters to play together at least one day a week. But maybe I’m the knucklehead….
Joel Sherman wrote an article in the Post today, repeating his contention that there should be another playoff team added from each league. The idea is that the two wild card teams would play each other in a best of three series for the right to play the team with the best record. This would allow the end of the year to mean something more, as the team with the best record would get an extra day or two off while the wild-card teams beat each other up, and the wild card round winner would have to show up with a jumbled rotation to play the champs. It would provide greater incentive for the first-place teams to get the best record, and it would be disincentive for a team to just sit back, take it easy, and accept the wild card rather than going for the division title. I started out hating the idea, because I already think it blows when awful teams (let’s face it – awful) like the barely or not even .500 Reds, Marlins, and Phillies are contending in the first place, while decent teams aren’t even close just because they play in the AL. That would only be compounded if you were taking two wild-cards from that disgusting National League. And you would lose that AL Central battle that’s brewing right now, because all three team would know that they were in. Sure, they wouldn’t want to be in the bottom two, but they would be in. So that’s how I started out. And I think I’m still there. But I’m not cast in stone. There is something to be said to adding a little pop to the end of the season, and to getting a little bigger bonus for having the best record. But interesting article from Mr. Sherman.
Here’s something we should all remember. Every team has flaws. The instinct is to panic and think there is no way you’re going to win unless you plug every conceivable hole in your staff/lineup. The truth is, one team is going to win the World Series this year, and that team, whoever it is, will have flaws and weaknesses. It has always been that way, and it will always be that way. You just have to deal.
The big boy and I will be at the Salty Dog in Brooklyn watching the game tomorrow night. Doc Halladay against Sean Henn. Good gracious. Sheffield anyone?