Results tagged ‘ Mets ’

Intensity

The tight pennant races are getting tighter, and I’m feeling the intensity every night as the Twins and White Sox battle it out for the last Postseason spots in the American League. I’m sure you are, too.

Meanwhile, as the Mets and Brewers try to keep the pace in the National League, the Mets are set on prolonging the life of that charming 44-year-old ballpark in Queens called Shea Stadium that’s going to make way for the new Citi Field next year.

What does it all mean? It means we’ve got less than a week to go until October, and the first five teams that have clinched as I write this are waiting along with the rest of us to see how it’s all going to shake out.

And those teams still have so many unanswered questions, too.

Can the Dodgers keep up the excitement and ride the hot bat of their newest star all the way through October?

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Can a healthy Evan Longoria help the Rays continue to prove the doubters wrong?

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Do the Red Sox have another magical run in them?

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Is it THE year on the North Side?

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Or will the team with the best record in baseball live up to its billing?

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Vote in the poll and let me know how you think it will all play out. The good news is we won’t have to wait very long to see what happens.

O.G.

A Wild Finish

There’s almost too much excitement around the big leagues to blog about these days with only two weeks until October, but things are getting Wild in the Wild Card races, and everyone knows all you have to do is get in it to win it.

The Red Sox look good at the top of the American League Wild Card standings for the AL’s fourth berth in the Postseason, but the Twins are still kicking after their dramatic win Thursday over Tampa Bay.

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In the National League, it’s a different story. The Mets have fallen out of the lead in the NL East, but they’re still holding a tight lead on the Milwaukee Brewers for the Wild Card, and a big effort by their big horse, Johan Santana, kept them in charge Thursday.

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Things aren’t looking so good for the Yankees, and the last time Major League Baseball had a postseason without them was 1993. I can’t believe it, and I’m sure a lot of you can’t either, but that’s baseball, right?

Added to that stunning fact is the reality that baseball’s Cathedral is closing down at the end of the season to make way for the shiny, new ballpark across the street.

So I would like to give an official O.G. shout-out to all the majestic moments we’ve witnessed at that big ballyard in the Bronx, with a big nod to my personal favorite, Aaron Boone’s 11th-inning walk-off piece off Tim Wakefield in that epic Game 7 of the 2003 AL Championship Series to beat the Red Sox.

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Then again, there are about 100 others that come to mind, too. I’d be blogging all night if I was going to list them all. I don’t have that much time, but you all can help me out by voting in the poll and commenting.

So bring it: What are your favorite Yankee Stadium moments?

I want to hear all about them.

O.G.

Countdown to the pennant

There’s five days left in August, which means there’s five days to September, a.k.a. official crunch time in the big leagues — and the time when my fingers start sweating just a little bit more as I type away at this blog. The heat hasn’t just been turned up on my desk. It’s all around the Majors, and I can’t decide which is the craziest pennant race.

You can’t tell me you’re not checking out in the National League East every night. The Mets and Phillies are duking it out for the second straight year, and the boys from Queens are looking to reverse the September slide that knocked them out last year. Guys like Mike Pelfrey are stepping up big-time at the right time, which means Shea might stay open for an extra month — October.

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Out West, the Diamondbacks and Dodgers are in a serious scuffle, and I’m telling you, this one ain’t over by a longshot, but the D-backs have pulled ahead a little bit in the last week, and it doesn’t hurt when guys like my man Chris Young are getting their groove on at the right time.

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Flip a coin in the AL Central. For real. This one is off the hook. The White Sox have been there most of the year because of guys like Carlos Quentin going off, but man, those Twins are tough to shake! You’ve got to give it to an organization that keeps the talent flowing in from the farm system year in and year out. Check out their new guy Denard Span – beating the Angels last week – how do they keep finding these guys?!

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Who’s going to win these races? I have no clue. No idea. But that’s the great thing.

I’ve got all of September to figure it out, and it starts in five days.

O.G.

Go yard, young man

When I’m watching a game and step away from my computer just for a minute, something always brings me right back. And it’s not just the crack of the bat. It’s that special sound of wood against horsehide where you know the guy got all of it. You know he went yard.

In other words, chicks aren’t the only people who dig the long ball — bloggers named October Gonzo love it, too. And right now I’m especially fired up because so many exciting young players are coming of age and putting up monster homer numbers. You know that summer slugging will turn into October drama.

My man David Wright in New York has hit some seriously dramatic homers for the Mets, who have had their issues but are back on top.

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Who doesn’t like watching Hanley Ramirez rake in South Florida?

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Who could have predicted that Ryan Ludwick would be front and center in the hunt for the Major League homer lead?

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And there are a lot more.

Milwaukee teammates Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, Braves catcher Brian McCann, Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla, Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, D-backs outfielder Adam Dunn, White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin … seems like someone new pops up every day.

That’s what October is all about.

O.G.

Dunn right

I’m loving how the trades keep heating things up. Take the National League West, for example. The Dodgers get Manny, so the D-backs turn around and snag Adam Dunn from Cincinnati. Take that, L.A.!

It’s all in the spirit of October, people. Seriously, if you want to rock on to the World Series, you have to make things happen on the field AND with the cell phones.

So what does Arizona get in this Dunn deal? The power, on-base percentage and ability to change a game in a hurry, like Dunn did here.

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Here are some other pieces of my blogging brain, spinning dizzy with the postseason possibilities:

*Tough break — literally — for super-stud Evan Longoria and his Tampa Bay Rays. Dude’s a Rookie of the Year shoo-in and now he’s got a fractured wrist? And now he’s got to join Carl Crawford on the DL? It doesn’t seem fair, but that’s the big leagues. Here’s what happened:

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*I’ve been trying to figure out how the whole National League East picture is going to shake out, but the only thing shaking is my head. If the Mets’ bullpen doesn’t get better in a hurry, the Fighting Fish from South Florida can swim right by them. But if that’s going to go down, my boy Hanley Ramirez needs to break out of his slump and start hitting like this again:

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*Did anyone see the Twins coming? Not me, but take a look at the AL Central. There they are, right at the top! Pretty cool the way this organization keeps bringing it, and now that they’ve got Francisco Liriano back, healthy and dealing, who’s to say Minnesota won’t be a major factor in October?

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Too many things to think about right now, and we’re not even in late August yet.

Time to relax… and watch more baseball!

O.G.

No black cats, no excuses

A little bit of bad luck can go a long way toward knocking teams right out of October — if they let it. And while it shouldn’t happen, history has the ability to make sure it does from time to time.

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Just ask the Dodgers, who haven’t brought a title back to Chavez Ravine since 1988 but hope new outfielder Manny Ramirez can reverse results like this:

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Just ask the Brewers, who couldn’t quite make it all the way when they won the pennant in 1982.

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Just ask the Mets, who haven’t won a World Series since 1986, in part because of bad-luck moments like this:

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And this:

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And this:

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Ask the Phillies, who haven’t won it all since the Tug McGraw days:

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And don’t forget to ask the Cubs, still talking about billy goats 100 years later.

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Bottom line is this: October is all about putting aside the excuses, ignoring the black cats and superstitions, and coming together at the right time. One of these teams might have the magic to finally pull it off this year.

And the beauty of it is that we’ll all be watching.

O.G.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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