Too bad it's not 2006 again………….

Ryne E. HancockCorrespondent IAugust 30, 2009

CHICAGO - AUGUST 30: Tom Gorzelanny #22 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the 4th inning against the New York Mets on August 30, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Mets defeated the Cubs 4-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The one thing that was missing from my debut book about the Memphis Redbirds and the fun I had being an intern as broadcaster for Fantasy Radio was the excitement of a pennant race that involved the Redbirds.

Fact is, the only exciting things for that season was the return of a girl who calls me “Pumpkin” that I knew while writing for the North Shelby Times as a 19 year-old and well, a chocolate cutie and a candy bar.

I mean a person would need to have something to look forward to when they go to the ballpark when their team is really sucky right?

Why not two cheerleaders, one that gets on your nerves and one that you liked to ignore the fact that the team on the field was just plain awful?

But enough of flashbacking to 2006, let’s focus on 2009 in which the Redbirds and the Nashville Sounds are playing what is by far the most important series of the season for both teams beginning Monday at Herschel Greer Stadium.

For the Redbirds, who have gone 4-8 on the season against the Sounds, the objective of the series in Nashville is simple, win at least three against the Sounds in Nashville and Labor Day weekend will be not only an appreciation for the fans, but also a celebration of a great season of baseball at the corner of South Third and Union.

Lose 3 of 4 and then the only saving grace for the ‘Birds would be to sweep the doubleheader on Saturday against Oklahoma at Autozone Park.

So what do the ‘Birds need to do?

  • Bring the bats up Interstate 40 (On this recent road trip, the Redbirds, long known as one of the worst hitting teams in the PCL, have turned into a Memphis version of the Lumber Company that was made famous in Pittsburgh. Against Round Rock on August 24th, the Redbirds slugged four straight homers in the 8th inning en route to a 12-7 win over the Express. Last night against the Isotopes, the Redbirds slugged three homers to counter the Isotopes’ five in an 11-9 victory in New Mexico, including a grand slam by Matt Pagnozzi.)
  • One game at a time philosophy (In a perfect world, it would be nice to sweep the Sounds and then just spend the weekend celebrating in Memphis this weekend, however, the Sounds, who defeated Round Rock last night and has won two straight, are going to be motivated since it’s the final homestand of the season in Nashville. Realize from this point that the Redbirds, Sounds, and the I-Cubs are playing an eight-game season from Monday on.)
  • Ignore the scoreboard (In 1926, Cardinals manager Rogers Hornsby instructed that the score for the Cincinnati Reds game against the Boston Braves not be shown in New York when the Cardinals and Reds were in the hunt for the National League pennant. Can’t turn the scoreboard off in 2009, but what is happening for the I-Cubs, who are also a game and a half out, should be farther from both the Sounds and Redbirds’ minds.)

Do all these things and more, the Redbirds will more than likely just need two wins and a Nashville loss to head to their second playoff appearance in franchise history.

Short Hops

  • David Wright is on the way back to recovering from his concussion during the Mets-Giants game on August 18th. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Wright was working out with his teammates at Wrigley before Saturday’s game against the Cubs.
  • When the Cubs got their first hit against the Mets in Saturday’s game, it was the 6,981 game in which the Cubs were not no-hit. The record was held by the New York Yankees, which went 6,980 games without being no-hit from 1958 to 2003 when the Astros no-hit the Yanks in Yankee Stadium.
  • Louisville clinches their second straight IL West championship, while Durham and Gwinnett are going into the final week of the season tied for first in the IL South.