Who can think of football on a day like today?

I get that football is more popular than baseball.
I understand it.

I understand that American Idol is more popular than Mad Men.
I have grasped that a Michael Bay Transformers movie is going to be more popular than a Joel and Ethan Coen film.

And I don’t dislike football.

But please. The NFL is in week 4. There is a way to go.
Baseball?

There’s only four games left and there is a real possibility for total anarchy.

How crazy is it?
Yankee fans are rooting for the Red Sox and Red Sox fans are rooting against the Red Sox.

That’s so bonkers that it brings up the possibility that the Mayans were right.

Let’s just take the American League and bring up the following plausible scenarios.

Orioles defeat the Red Sox. 
Not only is that possible, but Zach Stewart pitching for the Red Sox it is as much of a lock as any bet you could make today.

Twins defeat the Tigers.
Unlikely, but the Tigers are not pitching Verlander today and the game is in Minnesota. It is possible.

Blue Jays defeat the Yankees.
Toronto has a way of playing the Yankees very tough. And while Phil Hughes has pitched well recently, he is due to lay an egg.

White Sox defeat the Rays.
A tall order against David Price. But they are at home and Jose Quintana is no slouch.

Athletics defeat Mariners.
The A’s are at home and they play with a certain magic there.

Angels sweep the double header against the Rangers
A very tall order, especially against Yu Darvish and Derek Holland. But Zack Greinke and Ervin Santana can throw well and the Angels are loose.

What would happen if those seven scenarios all came true?

The American League playoff picture would look like this:
The Orioles would be in first place for the East by one game over the Yankees.
The Tigers would be in first place for the Central by one game over the White Sox.
The Rangers would be in first place for the West by one game over the Athletics.

And the Angels would be one game out of the Wild Card.

And that would set up the final three games of the season with not only no playoff position in the American League set, but not one single American League team having clinched a playoff spot going into the final three games of the season.

That is potential anarchy.
That is potential insanity.

And it is happening all over baseball today.

And if you turn on sports talk radio, they are talking about the Packers and the Saints.

Folks! There is a lot of time for football.
This is anarchy.
This is dogs and cats living together and mass hysteria to paraphrase Peter Venkman.

Let’s play ball!

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Melky’s suspension is denying us dual M. Cabrera Batting Titles

Melky Cabrera is off the Giants. He will not be on the playoff roster. He will probably not be back with San Francisco next year. And his wonderful break through season will forever be tainted by his P.E.D. suspension and that whole weird website thing.

That’s not what I am lamenting.

I like strange things in baseball. And the minute Melky Cabrera did what Bud Selig did not have the guts to do and remove himself from the batting race, the game was made better by that moment of accountability.

But history was denied a strange coincidence.

Here are the current batting standings, which include Cabrera:

It’s a double take.

But the American League and the National League have M. Cabrera as the batting leader. Miguel in the American League and Melky in the National League.

Seriously, I demand to know the odds of that.

That does not happen where the batting leader of both leagues have the same last name and the same first initial. And for two guys who are not brothers!

There was no William Boggs winning batting titles in the 1980s for the National League.

Nobody named Tiberius Williams won no titles in the National League.

I do not recall anyone named Randolph Carew or Thaddeus Gwynn or Horatio Wagner or Simon Musial winning a batting crown.

This would have been a first.

And would it be worth having a caught PED user win the batting title to have this kind of coincidence in the history books?

I’m not so certain that I know the answer to that.

Sure punishing those who do wrong and teaching our kids a lesson is great.
But so are oddities like this.

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I am rooting AGAINST the Red Sox for the first time in my life

I am doing something this weekend that I have never done in my life:
I am rooting against the Boston Red Sox.

They lost yesterday and I was happy. I want them to lose today and tomorrow.

Let me explain.

I have stood by the Red Sox through thick and thin.
I’ve been a Red Sox fan since the late 1970’s.
I have hazy memories of the red hats of 1978 and vivid memories of the 1979 squad.

I cheered for Carlton Fisk, Fred Lynn and especially Butch Hobson.

I had a Yaz poster and loved Jim Rice. I cheered for Roger Clemens, cried in 1986 and was in the stands in 1988 when they lost the pennant in Oakland.

I have not lived in Massachusetts since 1987 and could have abandoned the Sox many times.
I lived in the Bay Area when the Bash Brothers ruled Oakland and they won three pennants and the 1989 title.

The Giants played a Hum Baby brand of ball and won a division and a pennant.

I lived in New York for the bulk of Joe Torre’s run.

I am living in Los Angeles in time to see two Dodgers and two Angels division winners.

I’ve stayed loyal to the Sox every time.

I wore my Red Sox hat proudly in Oakland and the Bronx for post season games.

I appeared on HBO, ESPN2 and NESN as a representative of Red Sox fandom.

My Red Sox fan credentials can not be questioned.

I have earned them.

So why am I rooting against them for three days?

It is simple.

There is nothing to gain for the Red Sox by winning this weekend.

The season is over. It is a disaster. It has a chance to be the worst season since 1966.

The worst year before the Impossible Dream of 1967 revived the team.

So winning a few games here or there is not going to save the year.

But Red Sox fans can take heart in knowing the Yankees are struggling and could possibly lose the division to the upstart Orioles. And maybe even have to win out to clinch a spot in the post season at all.

There is Red Sox misery this year. It has already happened. But to couple that with Yankee joy would be unbearable.

Hoping the Yankees are scrambling for a playoff spot in the final three games, not resting starters, using Sabathia when they do not want to and having an aura of panic set in the Bronx is worth three more losses in a lost season.

And who do the Yankees play at the end of the year? That would be the Red Sox. And you bet the spirit of Dom DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Johnny Pesky that I will be rooting for the Red Sox in those three games.

It is worth it to see the Red Sox lose Saturday and Sunday to see them have the chance for a spoiler role as the season concludes.

Hoping for misery in the Bronx is almost as important as rooting for success in Fenway.
There will be no success in Fenway this year.

But ending the year knowing that the Yankees could lose the Division and at best use their best pitcher in a one game playoff at the Red Sox hand?

That would be a sweet ending to a rotten year.

All it takes is a 3-2 record the rest of the way. Two losses to Baltimore and three against the Yankees.

Forgive me 2012 Red Sox. But you haven’t earned my love this year. Knock the Yankees out. It could be the only thing the team does right all year.

For two games, go Orioles. Then everything goes back to normal.

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