Cards sidestep chokery (for now): Cards fans breathe SLIGHTLY easier after beating the Padres – because the Astros won again, too. (Of COURSE they did.) With 4 to play, the Cards are up 1.5 games. Still plenty of time to choke on it.I'm with some other sports columnists and fans: It's Clemens' fault.
Dodgers toying with Phillies fans emotions: The Phillies win, the Dodgers win. The Phils are still 1 GB LA for the NL Wild Card. I can't think of a fan east or north (or south) of LA who wants to see the Dodgers make the playoffs ahead of the Phillies.
AL Central Watch: Tigers lose, but Twins can't capitalize. Considering the division runner-up gets the Yankees in the first round of the ALDS, perhaps they could play with a bit more urgency.
Pedro: Questionable for NLDS? After last night's rocking (8H, 7R, 2HR, 2.2 IP), Pedro might not pitch in the NLDS.
That's too bad, because that might be the only playoff series the pitching-poor Mets get.
Even in the weak-ass NL, the Mets could end up as this year's version of the team that finishes with the league's best record, but blows it in the LDS. Despite (or maybe because of) Pedro.
Yankees set ALDS pitching: Wang (19 wins), Mussina and Unit in Games 1, 2 and 3. Between that and the absolutely sick lineup, they should be considered the favorite to win the World Series.
(Who else is OK with Wang being a Top 3 finisher in the AL Cy Young race? Who would have thought he'd become the team's ace?)
Managerial notes: Frank Robinson out in D.C.? If I was Stan Kasten, I would out-bid the Cubs for Joe Girardi. Felipe Alou done in SF? If I was the Marlins, I would bring him in to replace Girardi. Robinson? Sorry, guy. And round and round she goes...Shaun Alexander still hurt: He got a second opinion, but it was the same as the first. Here's another second opinion that confirms the first one: Shoulda skipped the Madden cover.
Bonzi Wells to the Rockets: Two points to make here:
(1) Wells turned down an offer of 5Y/$36M to stay with the Kings, a playoff team, to take a 2Y/$5M offer to go to the Rockets, a non-playoff team. Get a new agent, man.
(2) Wonder how Wells is going to enjoy playing with a gunner like T-Mac? Bonzi will be the third option in that offense, behind McGrady and
Odell Thurman banned for the season: Hmm, perhaps it's because he didn't understand the concept of "staying clean while already suspended." How many games for Chris Henry puking out the car window?
Anyone got a pint of "lean?" Maybe I should ask the Chargers' Terrence Kiel. What's "lean?" A potent cocktail of cough syrup and soft drinks.
CFB Tonight: Here's your chance to see No. 2 Auburn in a quality game -- AT South Carolina and the Ol' Ball Coach. The Gamecocks aren't what they used to be, but they are still a "name" opponent on national TV in primetime.
With a dominant display on national TV, there's a chance that
Meanwhile, not many people will be watching, but you can catch unbeaten TCU – nation's longest winning streak! – on Versus (nee OLN) against (or "versus") BYU. The Cougars aren't much of a stumbling block for TCU en route to an unbeaten season; let's judge them on how impressively they win, though, not on the schedule alone.
The new BlogPoll is up: Here's the link, and you can imagine that I'm tweaked that
Tomorrow, I'll have the usual Friday mayhem of a complete Top 25 preview, with predictions.