July 2008

Familiar faces

The march toward October is in full swing, and we caught a good taste of what might happen in the postseason over the weekend at Fenway Park.

I don’t want to make any bold playoff predictions based on three games in July, but if the Yankees taking two out of three in Boston is any indication, I think Tampa Bay better start doing as well on the road as they’ve done at the Trop. Yep, the Bronx Bombers are back and making the American League East THE division to watch as the summer heats up, and their deal for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte and rumored upcoming deal with Seattle — Jarrod Washburn, anyone? — should make them even stronger.

Here are some other O.G. observations that may or may not mean anything when that fall chill hits the air and the pennant races whittle down to eight teams…

The Angels continue to pile onto their AL West lead and best record in baseball, and now they add Mark Teixeira to the mix? Ridiculous. All that AND the fact that Vladimir Guerrero still hasn’t gotten hot. That’s a scary proposition for the rest of the league come October.

http://freevideocoding.com/flvplayer.swf?file=http://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/2008/07/28/mlbtv_anabos_945608_800K.flv&autoStart=false

 
The Mets are finally playing to their potential. I’m not sure if it has to do with replacing Willie Randolph with Jerry Manuel, but something’s clicking at Shea – particularly the ball off of Carlos Delgado’s bat.

http://freevideocoding.com/flvplayer.swf?file=http://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/2008/07/26/mlbtv_slnnyn_929443_800K.flv&autoStart=false

Watch out for Milwaukee. The C.C. Sabathia trade was genius and the Brew Crew has responded, big-time. And oh yeah, if you need any late-game heroics, Ryan Braun is clearly your man.

http://freevideocoding.com/flvplayer.swf?file=http://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/2008/07/28/mlbtv_chnmil_947431_800K.flv&autoStart=false

 
So many games to watch, so little time. But the clock’s ticking down to the Trade Deadline and to October.

More commentary after the deals are done before Thursday at 4 p.m. ET …

O.G.

What’s in your memory bank?

With some major pennant races starting to heat up, I’m starting to think ahead to what might happen in October, and when I do that, I can’t help but think back.

It’s true that my mind pretty much goes blank to anything but baseball when October moments are playing in my personal memory bank. And the drama of the first seven years of this millennium have clogged my baseball brain so much that right now I don’t know where my car keys are and I think I might have put my drivers license in the freezer.

http://mlb.mlb.com/chc/fan_forum/y2008/october_gonzo_vote.jsp?poll_q=1In other words, let’s get on with the memories…

Did you stay up late to watch Game 7 in the emotionally charged 2001 World Series, when the Diamondbacks finally got Mariano Rivera and Arizona won a thrilling seven-game Fall Classic over the Yankees?

http://freevideocoding.com/flvplayer.swf?file=http://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/2008/07/22/mlbtv_895576_800K.flv&autoStart=false

Who can forget Moises Alou running over to the brick wall along the left-field line at Wrigley Field in 2003 and having a sure out botched by fan Steve Bartman?

http://freevideocoding.com/flvplayer.swf?file=http://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/2008/07/24/mlbtv_flochn_914035_800K.flv&autoStart=false

Were you among the millions of people who say they were sitting in 55,000-seat Yankee Stadium when Aaron Boone hit that Tim Wakefield pitch out in the 11th inning to win the 2003 American League Championship Series?

http://freevideocoding.com/flvplayer.swf?file=http://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/2008/05/12/mlbtv_bosnya_359419_800K.flv&autoStart=false

Did you consider yourself close enough to the action last year in Colorado to really figure out if Matt Holliday was safe or out?

http://freevideocoding.com/flvplayer.swf?file=http://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/2008/07/24/mlbtv_sdncol_914040_800K.flv&autoStart=false

So bring it. What’s in your October memory bank?

O.G.

What have we learned so far?

The countdown to the 2008 postseason began right after the All-Star Game, and we’ve definitely learned a few more things.

In case you didn’t believe it, the Angels are really for real. A home sweep of the Red Sox set that in stone, even though Boston still needs Big Papi to get rolling again. But right now, Vlad Guerrero and the boys have the best record in the Majors. This is Vlad’s shot that got things started:

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The Tampa Bay Rays got their groove back with a few wins and took back the division lead over the Sox, while the Yankees took care of the A’s in the Bronx. That means things are starting to get a little crazy in the American League East. Check out Evan Longoria’s grand slam against the Blue Jays:

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How about the Dodgers? A major comeback over the D-backs and all of a sudden we’ve got a tie in the National League West. Here’s the big ninth inning:

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There are almost too many storylines developing to blog about in one post. The Cardinals continue to surprise everybody, including me. Cliff Lee of the Indians already has 13 wins. The Mets are still on fire.

The suspense is building. Can you feel it?

O.G.

Advantage, FANS

What a night.

I expected the drama, the Hall of Famers and all that fanfare about Yankee Stadium.

But the longest All-Star Game ever?

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

This is one stadium that knows how to put on a show.

Yankee fans cheering a Red Sox homer.

http://freevideocoding.com/flvplayer.swf?file=http://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/2008/07/17/mlbtv_860040_800K.flv&autoStart=false

National League players refusing to give in.

http://freevideocoding.com/flvplayer.swf?file=http://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/2008/07/17/mlbtv_860042_800K.flv&autoStart=false

And the look on Terry Francona’s face that said it all.
 

http://freevideocoding.com/flvplayer.swf?file=http://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/2008/07/17/mlbtv_860041_800K.flv&autoStart=false

Somebody’s going to reap the rewards in OCTOBER. With home-field advantage in the World Series.

Angels? Red Sox? White Sox? Tigers? A’s? Even the Rays?

Keep your eyes and ears open.

The first half flew by — the second half is ON.

O.G.

Go Gonzo Over October

October Gonzo, checking in for the first time. There’s a new blog here that’s
coming to life on TV and here at MLBlogs.com. It’s going to be dedicated to
everything October Baseball Past. Present. And everything in between.

http://freevideocoding.com/flvplayer.swf?file=http://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/2008/07/11/mlbtv_oaklan_833760_800K.flv&autoStart=false

The
shocking blows.

http://freevideocoding.com/flvplayer.swf?file=http://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/2008/07/14/mlbtv_nyaoak_859659_800K.flv&autoStart=false

The random miracles.

http://freevideocoding.com/flvplayer.swf?file=http://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/2008/07/11/mlbtv_boscol_833761_800K.flv&autoStart=false

The images of grownups being kids again.

I’ll be checking in with posts
about those unforgettable gems and stories that lead us to The 2008
Postseason. Plus they gave me ACCESS TO THE VIDEO VAULT!

So we’re
going to put together some videos on the blog too! Check out those clips above.
They’ll be plenty more where they came from. And drop in all the
time!

O.G.

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