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AL East Notes

September 27, 2012

Last year Allan “Bud” Selig, who allows 2 wild card teams in each league and continues in conspiracy with other baseball brass to keep the great Pete Rose out of the Baseball Hall of Fame, had his “blank’ dream when the race for the wild card spot in both leagues culminated with 3 exciting games on the final day of the regular season. The next day I foolishly listened to Selig “gushing” about it with Mike Lupica, on the latter’s radio show. Lupica, by the way, “bailed” on his opposition to the wild card when the “local,” long time Lupica family team, the Yankees, made a run to make the wild card in its initial year in 1995. There are so many reasons to be against the wild card but I will address only one.

Last year was no doubt exciting but at least one factor produced by the wild card race and its exciting conclusion was not addressed. The tying home run by the Rays’ player (I know about Hartnett in 1938, Aaron in 1957, Dick Nen in 1963 and of course Bobby Thomson in 1951 but “fight the windmills” me has no desire nor inclination to remember wild card races and thus do not recall who hit the tying home run) was not hit vs Yankees’ relief star Marianno Rivera. The Yankees had nothing to gain by winning. In the days when a team had to finish first in its entity (league or division) to make the post season, no team that had clinched said entity had any games of consequence remaining in the regular season.

Looking ahead, if the Orioles win all 3 vs the Boston Red Sox and then play spoilers vs the Yankees would the Orioles finish first? That would not eliminate the Yankees but force them into a one game playoff just to be one of 8 teams left? A rare prediction here is that the Orioles will at best win 2 of 3 vs Boston as was the case last week. I think the Toronto Blue Jays( 5 of 7 relevant Jays’ games have gone in the Yankees’ favor) might start helping the O’s by winning 2 of 4 vs the Yankees. However, that is at best, I predict. If that happens the Yankees will lead the Orioles by one game with 3 left. The Yankees would/will not sweep Boston but would the Sox win 2? The Orioles close in Tampa and at best win two. The Yankees now are only a half game behind Texas in the loss column (Texas is up 1 in the loss column but the Yankees have the tiebreaker) are far more likely to be the 1 seed than not win the division. So for the record, the Yankees split 4 in Toronto and the Orioles win 2 of 3 vs Boston. Yet that proves not to be enough for the Orioles. The Yankees will win the division and very well could be the AL one seed.

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