Monday, October 03, 2005

They didn't back in.

By taking two of three from the Yankees this weekend, the Red Sox showed they belonged in the playoffs. By being swept by the White Sox, the Indians proved they didn't. Ortiz and Manny put on a show, with Ortiz getting the nod for American League Player of the Month for September. Ortiz should be the MVP, no doubt about it. The pitching was there except for Wakefield, who had a tough time on three days rest.

Despite articles on why you should have been rooting for the Indians over the Red Sox or the Yankees, I think it's pretty clear that the better teams won out. If you go 6 of 7 against the (AAA team of the)Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay in the last week of the season, you simply don't deserve the win.

I'd list this under things you need to worry about, not things to be proud of:
Mike Timlin faced the final two batters of the game to establish a new Sox record with 81 relief appearances. The previous mark of 80 was set by Greg Harris in 1993. ``As you get up in age, you're a little more prideful that you can keep up with the younger guys,'' Timlin, 39, said. ``And it's even better if you can set the pace for younger guys to keep up with you.'' Manager Terry Francona said he wanted Timlin, who stabilized the closer role when he took over in August, to have the opportunity to celebrate yesterday.

This is probably the most succint explanation I've seen of the whole playoff scenario that might have been:
Why didn't the Sox and Yankees, who finished this season with 95-67 records, have a one-game playoff to determine the division champion? Because Major League Baseball rules stipulate that in the event of a tie, regular-season head-to-head records determine the winner when both teams are assured of a playoff spot. But if the wild-card race is affected, a playoff game would have been necessary. Once Cleveland lost to the White Sox on Saturday, eliminating the possibility of a three-way tie, the Yankees were declared winners of the AL East on the basis of a better record against the Sox (10-9). Had there been a three-way tie, the Sox and Yankees would have had a one-game playoff in Yankee Stadium today, with the loser facing the Indians tomorrow.

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