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Wednesday's dates with destiny (September 20)
2006-09-20 04:00
by Bob Timmermann

One more team hovers on the brink of clinching a playoff spot. One more team (that I buried prematurely) hovers on the brink of elimination. And the NL West and wild card remain very much up in the air.

The New York Yankees are on the brink of clinching the AL East for the first time since 2005. They have a magic number of 1 and lead the Red Sox by 11 games. The Yankees play at Toronto at 4:07 pm PT (Sean Henn vs. Roy Halladay). OK, so this matchup doesn't look all that favorable to the Yankees. So they can go the alternate route and hope that Boston loses at home to wild card leader Minnesota in a 4:05 pm PT game (Boof Bonser vs. Curt Schilling).

The Twins are just 1/2 game behind the Tigers in the Central. The Tigers play the third place White Sox, who trail the Tigers by five games and the Twins by 4 1/2 games, at 5:05 pm PT (Jeremy Bonderman vs. Jon Garland).

In the AL West, Oakland leads the Angels by 6 1/2 games and has a magic number of 6. Oakland hosts Cleveland at 7:05 pm PT (Fausto Carmona vs. Esteban Loaiza).

The National League West and wild card remain the best race. The Dodgers and Padres exchanges yellow and checkered jerseys as division leaders and wild card team for the third straight day. The Padres currently occupy the top spot with the Dodgers a half game back. Will they trade places for the fourth straight day? San Diego is at home to play Arizona at 7:05 pm PT (Edgar Gonzalez vs. David Wells). The Dodgers play Pittsburgh at home at 7:10 pm PT (Shawn Chacon vs. Greg Maddux).

The Phillies are just one game back of the Dodgers and they play Chicago at 4:05 pm PT (Les Walrond vs. Brett Myers). The Phillies will be off on Thursday before the Marlins come to town over the weekend.

St. Louis leads the Central over Cincinnati by seven games with a magic number of 6. The Cardinals will be at Milwaukee at 5:05 pm PT (Jeff Suppan vs. Carlos Villanueva). The Brewers will be eliminated (for real this time!) with a loss or a win by Philadelphia or Florida.

They will also play:
Cincinnati at Houston - The Roger Clemens Farewell Tour V has not been a commercial success.
San Francisco at Colorado - The Giants playoff hopes couldn't withstand a trip to St. Louis and Colorado. They've been outscored 52-17 in their last four games.
Baltimore at Tampa Bay - Hayden Penn has his ERA down to 27.00.
Atlanta at Washington - The Braves have to go 8-3 to finish the year to avoid their first losing season since 1990. That was the last of seven straight losing seasons for the Braves.
Florida at New York - The Mets need one win or a Cardinals loss to clinch homefield advantage for both rounds of the NL playoffs.
Seattle at Texas - Texas was the first team with a winning record to be eliminated.
L.A. of Anaheim at Kansas City - The Royals play the Tigers and Twins to close out the season so the Royals will be kingmakers in the AL Central.

2006-09-20 06:26:04
1.   Sam DC
For all the (basically reasonable) talk about how the wild card keeps teams in it and generates excitement throughout September (e.g. Philly wouldn't be an interesting story without it), it sure is sapping the drama from the AL central, where Minn. and Det. sure look solid both to go, one way or another.
2006-09-20 06:55:28
2.   Cliff Corcoran
Isn't this "only" Clemens Farewell Tour IV(2003 with the Yanks and three seasons since with the Astros)?
2006-09-20 07:08:19
3.   Bob Timmermann
I can't be bothered with figuring out how many times Roger Clemens retires. He's still well short of the Rolling Stones.
2006-09-20 07:22:35
4.   vockins
Is ther anyone that has retired more than Clemens?
2006-09-20 07:55:09
5.   Vishal
i don't date destiny. we just have trysts from time to time.
2006-09-20 08:45:11
6.   Bob Timmermann
I would prefer that you have a committed relationship with destiny.
2006-09-20 13:51:45
7.   tjshere
I had a one night stand with destiny once but I didn't see any future in it.

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