It's the most wonderful time of the year for the fan-bases of eight major league teams, and the most dreadful for 22 others.
Or, somewhat positive depending on what type of note your team is ending its season on.
For me, I will be sad not to have a baseball game to fall back on every single night. I suppose that's why shows like The Office and Heroes were created to air in the fall and winter seasons.
I'll cut the intro short today, because I have a lot on my mind. But, I'll leave it with this little piece of advice.
Take it in while you can. There are seven days left of regular season baseball. If you are like me and just enjoy seeing a game or your team play, take it all in. The countdown to Spring Training doesn't begin after the World Series; it begins Monday, at least for 22 fan-bases across baseball.
What's Making Me Say Farewell
Given my Geography test and the fact that I needed a big performance out of Greg Jennings in last night's Sunday Night Football game, I couldn't fully invest myself into the Yankees final game in the House That Ruth Built.
However, from what I've saw on highlights, what I watched last night as it happened, and just seeing the entire build up for the whole situation, I've gained a greater appreciation for what the old Yankee Stadium means to baseball.
Now, I'm not in the group that believes they should keep it around. The fans deserve a new facility; the players deserve upgrades in equipment and clubhouse amenities. The Yankees are probably long overdue for an overall.
But, I do think a piece of history is getting knocked down once and for all. While it is a shame, it has to be done.
The history, however, will still be there along with all the memories and moments. You can't take away Aaron Boone's game winning home run of Tim Wakefield in the ALCS a few years ago.
You can't take away the 26 championships that we won by the team that played there or the Hall of Fame players who played in there.
All of it is still in the minds and hearts of baseball fans alike, and to me that is good enough.
Baseball is a game of everything, but it mostly is a game about history. There is nothing more historic than a stadium that hosted numerous sporting events, masses presided over by the Pope, and more importantly tons and tons of baseball games, regular season and post season.
Farwell to Yankee Stadium, no one will ever forget it, but it's about time for a new book to be started. As an Indian's fan, I can take away that we've won the last ever playoff game in that historic place, and to me that is pretty darn special.
What's Making Me Brawl
From a good thing to a bad, I think it's time I throw my opinion out there on the brawl between Fausto Carmona and Gary Sheffield.
I'm going to assume you know the story, if not I suggest you look it up, because an explanation from me would just give you that Indian spin on it.
In my opinion, the fight started because Gary Sheffield was looking for a trouble or attention. Watching catcher Victor Martinez's glove, realizing what kind of movement Fausto has on his pitches and recognizing what kind of temper Sheffield has, that is the only possible explanation I can come to.
Gary Sheffield is like the big bully on the playground that doesn't want to fight the first time around. He'll pick on you, or in this case, walk down to first base with dagger eyes, just because you accidentally bumped into him.
The situation could go into two different directions. You can back down and let the bully win or you can do what Carmona did and show you aren't intimidated by Sheffield's shenanigans.
Carmona did just that and Sheffield decided he wasn't going to let him, so he charged the mound, after the fact.
Detroit and Cleveland are both out of the picture, Sheffield has had an awful year by his standards, and there was absolutely not a glimmer of light being flashed on this game.
So, Sheffield decides to flip the switch on.
Him running his mouth post-game and blaming Carmona and calling out Martinez just leads me to believe that Gary Sheffield is just searching for someone to blame other than himself. Now, on the Indians side, everyone stayed mum, excluding Martinez who defended his reasoning for getting involved.
I hope for Gary's sake, he retires after this season or gets his on the field act together. His butting of heads with manager Jim Leyland over playing the outfield and the fact that he "plays better when he's angry" is just too much of a hassle for a team that isn't getting the production.
What's Making Me a .500 Pitcher
I just read about Ozzie Guillen's latest episode in his day-time soap opera with the Chicago White Sox.
You know the one where he basically tells the world that his best pitcher is a choke artist.
It's no mistake that Javier Vazquez has been traded numerous times.
He is a classic example of a pitcher with excellent stuff, but no means by getting it done. It's the reason he was successful in Montreal but dismal in New York.
I won't argue with what Ozzie had to say concerning his pitcher, but did he really have to say it?
Vazquez should probably have a lot more wins on his record than losses; there is no doubt about that. But, it makes you wonder why a player of his caliber isn't in a better position numbers wise.
There is always a place in a rotation for a guy like Javier Vazquez, just make sure it isn't your number one spot.
Hopefully, if the White Sox survive this final week, he can go out and prove everyone wrong in the post-season.
What's Making Me Applaud
I don't care where you are right now, but you should consider standing up immediately and give a round of applause to Lance Berkman of the Houston Astros.
If someone asks you what you are doing, just explain to them that Bud Selig has just been bamboozled by "The Big Puma."
"Major League Baseball has always valued the dollar more than they do the individual, the players and their families. That's illustrated in things like playing through a lightning storm in Chicago [on Aug. 4]."
Lance Berkman is absolutely, 100 percent, A-plus, correct with his statement.
Set aside the fact and reason this comment was made. Hurricane Ike and their impact on the Astro's schedule is another issue that I've already talked about.
Major League Baseball has always cared more about "fitting in games" and playing the games over the well being of their players.
Here is one example that I've had first-hand experience with.
A few years ago, I attended a game between the Chicago White Sox and the Cleveland Indians. It was a Saturday night, late in the season and it was very wet and rainy. It was the last series of the year between the two teams in Cleveland.
The rain delay lasted well over three hours, an amount of time it usually takes to play one baseball game.
Does this make sense sort of sense to anyone out there?
It doesn't to me looking back on it.
Now, were any lives in real danger? No, not one bit. But what about those players that need to gear up to play a baseball game that lasts well into early morning of the following day?
It might be a real minor issue, but Lance Berkman couldn't be more right with his statement. I applaud him for getting the guts to stand up and say something about it, because it's his opinion that counts. The players are the ones with the power to change something if they put their sights on it.
What I Am Randomly Thinking About
I do believe last week I made an error about the Tampa Bay Rays clinching a playoff spot last week. Forgive me, for I don't know where I heard that tidbit. I should have guessed it was wrong when no one else was making a big deal about it. But, then again it is the Rays so should I have really expected it? No matter, congrats to the Rays and their fans.
I'll have a complete update on all my fantasy baseball teams, because I know you care about that. But, I did win league number one yesterday and yes it was the result of more come from behind magic. One down, two to go.
John Smoltz will be on TBS' squad in some capacity for the post-season this year. That should ease your FrankTV frustrations. It will ease mine at least. Smoltz is a very entertaining guy to listen to, but he has all sorts of insight to go along with it. His guest spots on the Dan Patrick Show are always enjoyable.
By the looks of things, we have about four races left to decide post-season implications this week. The AL Central, the AL East winner and who will get to avoid the Angels, the NL West, and the NL Wild Card.
What series should you watch this week? Well, I'd suggest you watch any series you get your hand on, but I get to experience some post-season type atmosphere as I watch the Indians take on the Red Sox.
The Red Sox are still battling for a playoff spot, which they will probably lock up rather soon. But, my red-hot Tribe could have a big impact on both the AL East and AL Central as they face the White Sox this weekend as well.
The biggest series has to be those same White Sox against the Twins right off the bat on Tuesday. It's right there for either team to take and it should be interesting seeing how the race shakes out.
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