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Wednesday's what ifs (August 30)
2006-08-30 07:00
by Bob Timmermann

Because of a rainout in New York, there are 17 games scheduled today. The checkered jerseys in both leagues changed hands. In the AL, a good team took it over from a good team. In the NL, a mediocre team took it from a team that is more mediocre. But can you compare mediocre? Can you be more or less mediocre? Think about it.

First of all, in the AL, Central-leading Detroit and East-leading New York will play day-night doubleheader (which according to the Elias Sports Bureau really isn't a doubleheader so just ignore the fact that two games are scheduled on the same day). Detroit leads Chicago by five games and the Yankees are ahead of what's left of Boston by 7 1/2 games. The first game is scheduled for a 10:05 am PT start (Nate Robertson vs. Chien-Ming Wang). Then everybody files out of Yankee Stadium, goes and hangs out somewhere and comes back for a 4:05 pm PT game (Wilfredo Ledezma vs. Jaret Wright).

Oakland now leads the Angels in the West by 7 1/2 games and hosts Boston at 12:35 pm PT (Curt Schilling vs. Barry Zito). Boston is without Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. Theo Epstein and Terry Francona are accepting applications for anyone who wishes to pitch or play first base.

Chicago leads Minnesota by 1/2 game for the wild card. The White Sox host Tampa Bay at 5:05 pm PT (Tim Corcoran vs. Jon Garland). Minnesota, shut out last night by the Royals and Mark Redman, go at it again in Minneapolis at 5:10 pm PT (Luke Hudson vs. Boof Bonser).

In the NL, the Reds dropped a 16-inning marathon and lost possession of the wild card spot and actually are now behind two teams. San Diego leads Philadelphia by 1/2 game and the Phillies lead Cincinnati by .0001 in the standings.

The Mets lead the Phillies by 15 1/2 games in the East and have a magic number of 17. The Mets are at Colorado at 6:05 pm PT (Dave Williams vs. Josh Fogg).

The Cardinals lead the Reds by 3 1/2 games in the Central. The Cardinals host Florida, winners of nine straight, at 5:10 pm PT (Ricky Nolasco vs. Jason Marquis).

The Dodgers lead San Diego by 3 in the West. They host the Reds at 7:10 pm PT (Aaron Harang vs. Greg Maddux). The Dodgers have won all five games this season against the Reds and go for a season sweep.

Wild card leading San Diego plays at Arizona at 3:40 pm PT (Mike Thompson vs. Claudio Vargas), a very strange time especially considering that both teams are off Thursday.

The Phillies can take over the wild card if they can win at Washington at 4:05 pm PT (Cole Hamels vs. Ramon Ortiz) and the Padres lose. The Reds can go back in to the lead for the wild card if they beat the Dodgers and the Padres and Phillies lose. If the Padres, Phillies, and Reds all lose, San Diego would still lead, but Florida would join the pack just a half game back.

They will also play:
Chicago at Pittsburgh - Cubs creeping closer to the worst record in the NL
Toronto at Cleveland - The Blue Jays have a better record than all but 3 NL teams and are irrelevant
San Francisco at Atlanta - The Giants could be considered contenders, but c'mon!
Baltimore at Texas - Thinking about the Orioles irritates me
Milwaukee at Houston - Willy Taveras tries to stretch his hitting streak to 1!
Los Angeles at Seattle - The Angels only play well against the Yankees

2006-08-30 07:27:50
1.   Sam DC
2006-08-30 07:47:17
2.   Bob Timmermann
I would hate to think that I would have been up at 1 or 2 in the morning trying to record this.

And then expect people to listen to my voice.

2006-08-30 08:15:16
3.   Greg Brock
My mediocrity varies from spectacular to thoroughly unimpressive.
2006-08-30 08:39:21
4.   Ken Arneson
The Red Sox don't need first basemen. Last night, they had a first baseman in left field (Kevin Youkilis) and another one in right field (Eric Hinske). What they need is some real outfielders.
2006-08-30 08:52:42
5.   mehmattski
Are you considering the Marlins a contending team yet?
2006-08-30 08:57:20
6.   Bob Timmermann
The Marlins are contenders, although BP's odds aren't up yet.

The Giants aren't. Mainly because I just don't see how the Giants can finish with a winning record with their lineup.

2006-08-30 09:48:14
7.   Bob Timmermann
The Giants are at 12%, which I find surprising. Even more surprising, the Astros are nearly at 10%.
2006-08-30 11:19:42
8.   Linkmeister
I want to be the first commenter to use the sobriquet "Lone Harang(uer)" for the Reds' pitcher tonight. I'm stunned that nobody beat me to it either here or at DT.
2006-08-30 14:38:35
9.   das411
And I'm sorry Bob, but you spelled the Phillies starter's name wrong. He is to be referred to as COLE HAMELS at all times or else I will link to yet again...

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