There is a playoff preview this weekend… and it isn’t in Fenway

Today there is a game between First Place American League teams. Technically it is an “If the Playoffs Started Today” match up.

One team has the best record in baseball and the other has had a surprising run to tie for the division lead.

And I am NOT talking about the Yankees and the Red Sox.

Oakland, who is tied with Texas for the top of the AL West (and might stay up there if the Angels and the Mariners keep collapsing) is hosting the Tampa Bay Rays, who at 21-7 has the best record in the game.

This should be an exciting and talked about game… and if ANY of the games draws 20,000 I’ll be stunned.

Come on fans! You are sick of everything being Red Sox/Yankees? Then pay attention when there IS a good match up.

Let’s go A’s fans. This is a year you can steal the division and a team that is LOADED with exciting young talent is coming to town.

This could be a huge test for the A’s right after winning the series against Texas.

Let’s see at least 20,000 there tonight. Tickets are cheap.
You could be a Cubs or Mets fans and paying premium prices for a subpar product.

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Good For Milton Bradley

I’ve crapped a lot on Milton Bradley over the years on this blog.

I’ve crapped on him as a member of the Padres
I’ve crapped on him as a member of the Cubs
I’ve crapped on him as a member of the Mariners

I’ve crapped on his lack of trade value
I’ve crapped on his crazy temper
I’ve crapped on his getting thrown out of spring training games

He is a super talented guy who wears out his welcome wherever he goes before he unpacks.
He is nuts and possibly unstable.

And I was just sitting back, waiting for the inevitable implosion that was going to happen in Seattle.

SEATTLE! The most remote team in baseball whose media crush is almost nonexistent.
And it was getting to be too stressful for him. Maybe it wasn’t the Cubs fault after all.

But after being benched from a game the other day and leaving the ballpark… Milton did in Seattle what he DIDN’T do in Cleveland, Los Angeles, San Diego, Texas and Chicago:

He sought help.

It clearly isn’t an issue about the media because he has played in some of the most anonymous markets in all of baseball.

It clearly isn’t about the money. He is a millionaire many times over.

It isn’t about not getting another chance. He has gotten more chances in his career after flopping than Colin Farrell.

There’s clearly something wrong… with HIM.
And he’s asking for help.
And he’s getting it.

And who knows? Maybe he’ll figure out what the heck is wrong with him.

Now that doesn’t excuse him from quitting on his team… and it certainly doesn’t absolve him from his dreadful play (and it might behoove the Mariners to eventually designate him for assignment.)

But what if he figures out what is ailing him… and then harnesses his talent without the anger?

He’s clearly needed help all along.

So I won’t crap on him when he finally asks for it.

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Well I wasn’t expecting a win… but MAN I will take it!

When the Red Sox were down 4-0 and warming up Scott Schoeneweis and Tim Wakefield in the first inning with Dice-K pitching like he just came back from a secret World Baseball Classic, I wrote the game completely off.

I ever wrote a quick post that was supposed to be my throwing in of the towel.

Today’s Red Sox game was a blow out… one that I didn’t have to even check on the score. I could focus on my work.

By the 5th inning the Red Sox were ahead.

By the 7th they were blowing the Angels out.

Dice-K went from being potentially released to actually getting the win! (Take THAT winless Zack Greinke!)

This was a dodged bullet in the purest sense: The Red Sox won a game that I gave up on.
The final score might not reflect it, but this was a bullet that was dodged.

Let’s update the tally.


April 4 – 9-7 win against Yankees (On Opening Night, the Red Sox overcome a 5-1 Yankee lead with a game tying HR by Pedroia and a go ahead passed ball.)
April 10 – 8-3 win against Kansas City (Beckett out pitches Zack Greinke and nearly gets decapitated by a line drive.)
April 14 – 6-3 win in Minnesota. (Okajima gets Morneau to pop up with the bases loaded in the 7th and Papelbon wiggled out of a 9th inning jam.)
April 20 – 7-6 win against Texas. (Darnell McDonald introduces himself to Boston with an 8th inning game tying homer and a walk off hit in the 9th.)
April 21 – 8-7 win against Texas. (The Red Sox were down 4-0 early only to win it on Youk’s 2 out 11th inning double.)
April 23 – 4-3 win against Baltimore. (The Sox blow a 3-0 lead but win it on Adrian Beltre’s bases loaded walk.)
April 24 – 7-6 win against Baltimore. (The Red Sox score 6 in the 7th and hold off a late Baltimore comeback attempt.)
April 26 – 13-12 win at Toronto. (The Sox blow an early 5-0 lead but hang on for dear life in a slugfest.)
April 27 – 2-1 win at Toronto. (Buchholz holds the Jays down for 8 but it takes a bases loaded walk in the 8th to go ahead.)
April 28 – 2-0 win at Toronto. (Daniel Bard wiggles out of trouble in the 8th to help Lester shut down the Blue Jays and finish the sweep.)
May 4 – 5-1 win against the Angels. (Juan Rivera misplays Jeremy Hermedia’s 2 out flyball into a 3 run game winning double)
May 5 – 3-1 win against the Angels. (Papi and Beltre homer and the Sox hang on despite squandering many potential rallies.)
May 6 – 11-6 win against the Angels. (Dice-K puts the Red Sox in a 4-0 hole before they even bat. The Sox bats respond.)

April 6 – 6-4 loss against the Yankees. (Scutaro’s error leads to the winning run.)
April 7 – 3-1 loss against the Yankees. (Sox leave the winning run on in the 9th only to lose on Granderson’s 10th inning homer)
April 9 – 4-3 loss in Kansas City. (Bard coughs up the lead, denying Wakefield a win.)
April 17 – 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay. (The Sox can’t score with the bases loaded and nobody out in the 11th… lost it in the 12th.)
April 17 – 6-5 loss to Tampa Bay. (The Red Sox comeback falls a run short, leaving two on in the 8th)
April 25 – 7-6 loss to Baltimore. (The Sox blow a 4-1 lead, leave the winning run on second in the 9th, let up 3 in the 10th and could only score 2 in the bottom of the 10th)
April 30 – 5-4 loss in Baltimore. (Tejada ties the game with a 2 out 8th inning homer and wins it with a bloop in the 10th)
May 1 – 12-9 loss in Baltimore. (Dice-K and Wakes get pounded, wasting 2 homers from Ortiz and an early 4-1 lead.)
May 2 – 3-2 loss in Baltimore. (Varitek is thrown at home trying to score with 2 outs in the 8th. Sox get swept in the 10th.

+4 and now above .500.

I’ll always take a 4 game sweep of the Angels.
Now let’s keep the momentum (and the pitching) into the Yankees series.

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