Tuesday, September 25, 2007

And Down the Stretch They Come...

Look who's on this week's cover of Sports Illustrated...

One more week to go before October baseball, and you certainly wouldn't know it around here today, where the temps at Fenway for tonight's game against the A's are hovering in the 80's. The Sox play two against Oakland, and then have four against Minnesota to close out the regular season. Going into tonight's game, the Sox have a 2-game lead on the Spanks, and are a 1/2 game behind the Indians for the AL's best record.

The AL playoff teams are pretty much set - it's the Sox (who clinched a berth Saturday night in Tampa), Yankees, Angels, and Indians. In the NL, the Mets, Phillies and Cubs are in the mix, and a few other teams. Maybe the Diamondbacks and Padres. Maybe the Brewers. Not sure, don't care.

The Sox' magic number to clinch the division is 5, and they're currently leading the A's, 3-1, in the fifth. Big news tonight is Manny's back in the lineup. And believe it or not, the big hit so far has come from J.D. Drew. All the frothy media debate around here (there's always something) has been on whether the Sox should try to win their first Division crown since 1995, or should they get everyone healthy. It's a tricky balance as Tito would tell you. There's a little wrinkle this year in that the team with the best record gets to choose a longer or shorter first-round series.

Me personally, I don't want the Sox to have to travel to Anaheim. I want home field advantage, and would rather face the Angels than the Indians. Just a gut feeling - I fear the Angels' pitching much less than I fear Sabathia and Carmona. Let the Yanks have those guys.

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