What a weird and exciting sports weekend we just witnessed. Some thoughts…
* How bizarre was the end to that Orioles-Yankees game on Friday, the result of which was the Red Sox clinching the division crown after having won their own game earlier in the evening? A ninth-inning, two-out, bases-clearing triple off Marino Rivera to TIE the game, then a suicide squeeze bunt to win the game in the tenth. And all of that with a stadium full of Sox fans watching on the big screen long after the Sox-Twins game had ended. Totally surreal.
* Two images from the Sox champagne celebration that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to shake: the over-the-shoulder shot of Big Papi spraying champagne all over Paps which, due to the angle, totally looked like he was jerking off in Paps’ face; and the later shot of Paps wandering around the mound with a Bud Light box on his head.
* On the one hand I’m positively giddy about the Mets’ historic meltdown, because like most good Bostonians I hate anything New York, and because it pushes the 78′ Sox off the record books for the biggest late season collapse. On the other hand I’m bummed that they lost on Sunday because I really like Tom Glavine and hate that he was the one to suffer the brunt of it, and because the scenario that was laid out had the Mets won, along with Philly and Colorado winning and San Diego losing (which all happened), was PHEEEEE-NOMENAL. A Mets-Phillies games on Monday to determine the East Division winner, followed by the LOSER playing in San Diego on Tuesday, with the winner of THAT game playing the Rockies at home on Wednesday. THREE one-game playoffs in a row?! GAH! It doesn’t GET any better than that! As it is I’ll have to settle for tonight’s Padres-Rockies game, which is in itself a treat. You play a 162 game schedule, bust your ass, and then you have to play ONE MORE in which if you lost, you’re done without even being able to say you made the post-season? GOD, I love baseball!
* If Jimmy Rollins doesn’t win the NL MVP it will be criminal. A week ago the race was completely open and I thought it was gonna end up being Prince Fielder just because his numbers were so monstrous, but what Rollins did this weekend was just short of amazing. In win-or-die time, the Mets gave up 7 runs in the top of the first inning, while over in Philly, Rollins opens the game for his team with a single, a steal of second, a steal of third, then scores on a sac fly. That’s an MVP right there. A guy who will single-handedly manufacture a run if he has to in order to get his team going. On top of that he had a triple later to give him 20+ doubles, triples, homers and steals in the same season. The truly amazing thing about that feat? It’s happened only FOUR TIMES in ML history, and 2 of those 4 were this season (along with Curtis Granderson in Detroit). Mind boggling.
* I’m pretty sure Dustin Pedroia is the AL Rookie of the Year after his nearest competition, Tampa OF Delmon Young, revealed his true colors down the stretch by failing to play with any hustle and being BENCHED by his manager as a result. Remember folks, this is the same jackass who THREW HIS BAT at a minor league umpire a year or so ago. He may be talented, but he’s a tool as a human being, and he shouldn’t win any awards, especially over a guy like Pedroia who has a thimble full of talent but plays like his ass is on fire.
* Your National League playoff teams for 2007: Phillies, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Rockies. Wait… WHAT?! Who the hell saw THAT coming? I’m legit stoked for the baseball playoffs for the first time in ages because (at least in the NL) it’s a bunch of fresh faces and I’m really curious to see who’s gonna step up and become post-season legends. My money’s on Matt Holliday and the Rockies, but we’ll see.
* Honestly, I’m not all that thrilled about another potential Sox-Yankees series, and I imagine the rest of the country feels the same way. It’s played out. Here’s hoping the Indians can dispatch of NY so we don’t have to deal with another week of rehashing bad blood from the last 90 years.
* This just in: the Boston College Eagles are the #7 ranked team in the country. Seriously. And we have a quarterback who is consistently being tossed into the Heisman Trophy discussion. Suddenly it’s 1984 all over again. Yikes.
* The Colts have calmly marched their way out to another 4-0 start, and on the heels of winning the Super Bowl you’d think they’ve be the overwhelming pick as best team in the league. And yet, there sit our beloved Pats at 3-0 going into tonight’s game and THEY’RE the ones getting most of the press and sitting atop all the Power Rankings. If I was a Colts fan (or player) I’d be ticked about this. Shows a total lack of respect for the champs. AND YET… this is exactly what happened in years past when the Pats were winning Super Bowls but Indy was blowing everybody away with their high-octane offense on their way to 13-0 starts. Shoe’s on the other foot it would appear. See Colts fans, now you know how WE felt when our team was winning when it counts but your team was the trendy fave. Sucks don’t it?
* I love reading Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback column on Sports Illustrated’s website, but he said some things this week which just made me gag. To wit: comparing the Vikings fans cheering of Favre breaking Marino’s TD record on their home field to that of Sox fans cheering A-Rod had he hit homer #500 in Fenway was ASSININE. A-Rod is nothing like Favre. A more apt comparison would be if we cheered Jeter’s 3000th hit should it happen at Fenway. THAT might happen, for as much as he has killed us over the years, Sox fans have a great deal of respect for Jeter. He’s a class act and always has been. Just like Favre. They play the game the right way. A-Rod is a punk. Gifted as he may be, he’s a greedy and selfish guy who bailed on the Seattle fans to take an obscene amount of money from a DIVISION RIVAL in Texas even though there was no appeal to playing for the Rangers (outside of the cash), then whined his way out of town and into New York because the Rangers sucked. He pulls bush league move like slapping at the ball and shouting at opponents to make them think a teammate is calling them off the ball. He apparently cheats on his wife. And despite the fact the he is FAR AND AWAY the highest paid player in the game, he may opt out of his contract to try and get even MORE money this off-season.. Oh yeah, and he sucks in the playoffs when it matters most. Comparing him to Favre is such an insult to Favre he should consider filling a slander lawsuit against King.
San Diego at #10 in your Power Rankings, Peter? Number ten?!?! Are you KIDDING me?! What’s with this quote: “10. San Diego (1-3). Sorry. I don’t buy the Chargers-are-dead stuff. They’re too good.” When in your world do wins and losses start actually counting for something? Sure, maybe they have the talent to be better than their record indicates, but that’s only part of the equation. Right now they stink. They just lost to KANSAS CITY, who has looked AWFUL this year, AT HOME, by allowing Larry Johnson to run all over them even though he hasn’t been able to get out of his own way all season. So much for the Bolts vaunted defensive front. Ditto for the Bears who you’ve got at #13. The Detroit Lions are 3-1 right now and somehow you’ve got them only one slot higher than Chicago and two BELOW the Chargers. Sooner or later you actually have to WIN a game to be considered good, Peter. I don’t care how good they look on scouting reports. It’s why they actually play the games (and yet another example of why college football needs a playoff system).
* Everyone’s so shocked that Duante Culpepper and Joey Harrington are starting to look decent in Oakland and Atlanta this year after they both flamed out in Miami last season. Gee, could it be that maybe the Dolphins just sucked last year and quarterback play wasn’t entirely the problem? The fact that the Fins are 0-4 this year might be a clue.
* Outside of New England, the AFC East is a combined 2-10 right, and the only reason they have two wins is because they played each other. Ouch.
* I have no clue how my fantasy team looks after yesterdays results, and I don’t particularly care. I’m pretty much throwing in the towel on this season because I shot myself in the foot at the draft. I didn’t like too many players going in, and then I didn’t follow my instincts when I got there. With the third overall pick I was debating between Frank Gore, Larry Johnson and Shaun Alexander, even though I had reason to doubt all three and didn’t really WANT any of them, all because they were the consensus 3, 4 & 5 guys with all the “experts”. Meanwhile the guy I WANTED to take in that slot was Willie Parker, who I had last year and loved, but since it seemed like a reach, I didn’t do it. Now here we sit with Parker #4 in rushing and Gore doing just enough to keep me from dumping him, but little more. Then I went and drafted Drew Brees and Marques Colston from New Orleans even when in my heart I knew they’d suffer a drop after last year’s magical season (although I didn’t think it would be the total gag-job it has become), because I jokingly didn’t want to pin my QB hopes on Jon Kitna, even though in truth I kinda wanted Kitna. I’m not sure what caused me to flake out this year and turn into some brain-dead non-fan who only goes by what the “fantasy gurus” suggest, but I’ll consider this year a major lesson learned.
* Pats-Bengals tonight, and a Rockies-Padres one game play-in. YES!!