Here’s what I want to have happen this Labor Day weeekend

As we enter the last part of the season, there is a full slate of games for this weekend.
Here’s what I hope happens in each series.
I want to see the White Sox win the division… but not at the expense of MY Sox. Look, I realize the Red Sox are probably going to fall short, but I want the Yankees and Rays to EARN their playoff spot. Obviously I want a sweep… but I wouldn’t mind seeing Manny hit a garbage time home run either. Buchholz is going for win #16, Lackey for win #13 and Beckett win #…5? Let’s pad some stats!

Duh… I want the Blue Jays to sweep them. And I don’t want any game to be close. And I want someone in the Yankee dugout to be sobbing and questioning their role in the universe.
I have no ill will towards either franchise, but I WOULD like to see the Mets finish above .500 this year. Plus I like R. A. Dickey and would like to see him get to double digits in wins. I hope the Mets take 2 out of 3.
Another duh. I want the Orioles to dig deep into their bag of pride and sweep Tampa. If the Red Sox are going to have a miraculous come back, they will need some help.
I actually like this Phillies team and wouldn’t mind seeing Cole Hamels get a win seeing that he was denied a few wins due to poor hitting. And I want to see Roy Halladay get to 20 wins and a win this weekend will be #18. But the Phillies losing would mean the Giants would gain ground in the Wild Card race. And I would like to see the Brewers above .500 (they are 9 under now.) I will be pulling for the Brewers to win 2 of 3, but Halladay getting the win on Saturday.
First of all, there had better be a give away this weekend in Pittsburgh. Like Steelers tickets. Two teams thinking draft pick going head to head… what can I say? I am a sucker for the Pirates. I hope they win the series 2-1.
And oh yeah, I want Nyjer Morgan to take on the whole city of Pittsburgh.
I never liked the Bobby Cox Braves and I am not going to start liking them now! I’d much rather see the Phillies win the Division. The match up tonight has Kawakami vs. Miller… two pitchers with a combined 1 victory. I want a Marlins sweep and have the Phillies inch closer.
A.K.A. the ALCS from Ratings Hell. Normally I would be pulling for 3 well played games and let the winner fall where it might. But because I am rooting for the Red Sox to sweep the White Sox, I need the Rangers to sweep the Twins to let Chicago keep pace.
The Reds can essentially sweep the Cardinals playoff hopes away. A Reds sweep would give them an 11 game lead with 28 to play. And I WANT the Reds to win the Division. But they are going to anyway. So I want Cincy to win tonight and have Arroyo get his 15th win. And then I want the Cardinals to win the next two and get Carpenter HIS 15th win and Wainwright to get his 18th.
I hope the Royals win tonight… I’d like to see Zack Greinke get a few more W’s. I’d like to see Armando Gallaraga get a perfect game on Sunday. As for Saturday? I want 28 innings.
I literally couldn’t care less about the outcome of this series that will not affect the pennant race in the slightest. So I want each game to go 30 innings, each team to hit a game tying home run down to their last strike and I want an outfielder to leap over the fence, catch a ball and land in the pool.
ANGELS vs. A’s
Even when they aren’t contenders, I don’t like the Angels. Plus I’d like to see the A’s get to .500 and Trevor Cahill get to 15 wins. I want an Oakland sweep.
No offense, San Diego. You have a lovely city and your team is a great story. But I want the Giants to win the Division and a nice big ole sweep by the Rockies will go a long long way for that.
I hope they get a Time Machine and go back to 1995 when this would have been a great match up. I hope Felix Hernandez gets a “W” and each other game is decided by a leaping catch into the stands.

Some day a Dodgers/Giants series will bring around a lot of tension in my house as I have one son who claims to be a Dodgers fan and another who calls the Giants his own. For now, they seem more interested in watching Toy Story. So to my son Matty, who likes the Dodgers, I’m sorry pal… I want the Giants to sweep them!

So let’s see what I can get in terms of my wish list.
And let the great Red Sox comeback begin NOW!

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90 wins and missing the playoffs in the Wild Card era

Since baseball adopted the Wild Card format and sent 8 teams instead of 4 to the post season each year, 90 wins has been a pretty safe goal to play in October.

Gone are the days where the 1993 Giants could win 103 ballgames and be playing golf in October.

If you win 90, chances are you are either taking the division or the Wild Card.

But not every time.

This year’s Red Sox are on pace to win 91 or 92 games. But barring a collapse by the Rays and or Yankees, they will fall short of the post season.

In the 15 post seasons since the Wild Card was added, there have been 10 teams that have won 90 or more games and been sent home come October.

They are…

1999 Cincinnati Reds – 96 wins
1 ½ games behind the Astros and lost a 1 game playoff to the Mets for the Wild Card

2000 Cleveland Indians – 90 wins
5 games behind the White Sox and 1 game behind the Mariners for the Wild Card.

2001 San Francisco Giants – 91 wins
2 games behind the Diamondbacks and 3 games behind the Cardinals for the Wild Card.

2002 Boston Red Sox – 93 wins
10 ½ games behind the Yankees and 6 games behind the Angels for the Wild Card.

2002 Seattle Mariners – 93 wins
10 games behind the A’s and 6 games behind the Angels for the Wild Card

2003 Seattle Mariners – 93 wins
3 games behind the A’s and 2 games behind the Red Sox for the Wild Card.

2004 Oakland A’s – 91 wins.
1 game behind the Angels and 7 games behind the Red Sox for the Wild Card.

2004 San Francisco Giants – 91 wins.
2 games behind the Dodgers and 1 game behind the Astros for the Wild Card.

2005 Cleveland Indians – 93 wins.
6 games behind the White Sox and 2 games behind the Red Sox for the Wild Card.

2006 Chicago White Sox – 90 wins
6 games behind the Twins and 5 games behind the Tigers for the Wild Card.

There are a few tortured franchises in there.
Giants fans have been waiting for a World Series title since they arrived in San Francisco.
Could a few extra wins in 2001 and 2004 have sent a winner into the playoff dance?

How about the Indians of 2000 and 2005?
Or the city of Seattle, whose misery is underrated, seeing teams in 2002 AND 2003 fall short?

Could Billy Beane’s A’s have won it in 2004?

How about the Reds missing with 96 wins?

So the Red Sox might not WANT to join this company, but I guess it is better to know you are not alone.

90 can be a magic number… or a painful one.

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The Phillies could be a runaway train

On July 21, the Phillies lost to the Cardinals and were in the midst of a 4 game losing streak… and were just 2 games over .500.

They looked dead and I wondered if there was an Invasion of the Body Snatchers scenario happening in Philly.

They’ve played 40 games since then…and have gone 28-12… a .692 percentage.

Today they played and fell behind 7-3 late today… all the while the Braves had Tim Hudson pitching against the hapless Mets.

And Holy Greg Luzinski, they won, the Braves lost… and the 2 time Defending National League Champion (and 3 time defending Division Champ) are only 2 games back in the loss column to Atlanta… and THREE games behind the Cincinnati Reds for home field advantage throughout the post season.

And guess what? Brad Lidge is actually saving games (when he isn’t balking in runs) and the team is hitting. And oh yeah Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt are an awesome 1-2-3 punch.

The Padres are falling apart, the Reds can only beat bad teams, the Braves are beatable and the Giants can’t make the big run.

Is it just me, or are the Phillies positioning them to rampage through the National League?

Oh man, people are going to HATE the East Coast bias of this post season… but they are just playing like a better team now.

I guess the Phillies are out of their pods.

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