It’s ANYONE’S Division to win but Wainwright’s Cy Young to lose

I am sure this is not how Brandon Phillips saw this series unfold… The Reds went from 2 up to 1 back… and Cincinnati has 47 games to get back on track.

If they don’t they can look squarely at this weekend as a big time lost opportunity… when they showed they couldn’t play with the big boys.

The Reds are part of my “Less Than Magnificent Seven“… the seven teams that went from 2000 to 2009 without making the post season once.

They can get off the schnide with a division title in a month and a half… and the lead in the NL Central hasn’t been more than 2 games since May 9th with the exception of one day where the Reds opened up a 3 game lead.

In other words, a tradition filled midwestern team that has a lot of red in their uniform will be playing in October this year… your guess is as good as mine as which one.

But despite Ubaldo Jimene’s solid performance last night in New York, Adam Wainwright at this point has to be the Cy Young winner.

He came up big in today’s big game that put the Cardinals in first by themselves.

He’s matched Jimenez’s 17 wins… his ERA has joined Josh Johnson as sub 2.00. Wainwright’s 1.99 ERA trailed Johnson’s league leading ERA by 0.02 points.

His 0.97 WHIP is the lowest in the league.

His 176 1/3 innings pitched is second only to Roy Halladay. His batting average against is third in the league.

It’s an amazing year for aces, and a strong August and September could put Jimenez, Johnson, Halladay and even Lincecum into the winner’s circle.

But right now, it needs to be wrestled from Wainwright.
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Montreal had better honor the Hawk

Andre Dawson dusted off the Expos beach ball cap one more time and was honored by the crowd in Washington DC tonight. The Hall of Famer got emotional watching the tribute to his career and the crowd was respectful and cheered.
But most of them were there to see Stephen Strasburg.
You see Strasburg plays for Washington… Dawson never did. In fact Dawson never played a big league game that counted IN Washington.
He played the bulk of his career for the Expos… who moved from Montreal to Washington.
The tributes have been many for The Hawk. The Marlins (his current employer) has honored him already and in August he will have his own day at Wrigley Field. (Hopefully they will retire his #8 there.)
But he went into the Hall of Fame as an Expo and became a superstar in Montreal.
Yeah his knees were banged up there and he became a national figure when he moved to Wrigley… but that doesn’t excuse the fact that he should take his bows in front of the French Canadian fans whom he played his guts out for.
And there is a way to do it.
Montreal doesn’t have a baseball team anymore… and it is sad because that team produced a lot of great players and as I have said before, I miss the Expos.

But they DO have a hockey team. And that hockey team has a crazed following. And it is safe to say if you are a Canadien fan of a certain age, you probably have fond memories of the Expos of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
When the Canadiens start their season, they should do the right thing.
They should bring out the Hawk and have him do that strange honorary first puck drop before one of their first games.
It would be the fitting farewell to his year long victory lap and closure to his Expos career that ended in collusion after the 1986 season.
One more time, Montreal. VIVE LE FAUCON!

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I can’t help but feel partially responsible for the brawl tonight

I thought it was fun that Brandon Phillips wants to get the Cardinals’ goat.
Why not put a little electricity into a potential rivalry. I mean have the Cardinals and Reds, two of the oldest franchises in baseball, EVER been considered rivals?
Why not start now?
What I DIDN’T expect is to see an all out brawl in the first inning.
But I guess that’s what a rivalry is like. It’s bad blood. It’s “I want to beat you because I don’t like you.”
I tell you something I found very interesting… not that Brandon Phillips got under the Cardinals skin or that LaRussa and Dusty Baker were at each other (there is no love lost between them.)
It was Scott Rolen going after Chris Carpenter.

Carpenter said something to Dusty that got an f— you from Baker.

And then Rolen, who earlier was trying to be a peacemaker, went right after his former teammate and fellow 2006 World Series winner.
So Rolen, the former Cardinal and current Red, is smack dab in the middle of this rivalry. And to quote Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi… There is no conflict!
They play tomorrow, 9:30 AM Pacific time, and three more times in September.
This could be good folks.

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