Wednesday, August 27, 2003

A new year begins....
... school year that is. Yes, I've started yet another year at the wonderful University of Texas at Austin and combining a full work load with a full-time job means the posts here at the ol' bloggy blog may be a tad sporadic. That means, look for more night posts. I've got a few topics cooking and some of them aren't time sensitive pieces meaning I can save them for days things get real tight with available time to post. While I'm here a few tidbits:

- I thought the Pirates were going to get more for superstar and arguably the most underrated in baseball, Brian Giles. Oliver Perez and Jason Bay are nice players, but there were rumors that Xavier Nady would be included and he wasn't, just another PTBNL.

- Esteban Loaiza hasn't slowed all season and solidified himself as the AL Cy Young Award Winner with 7 shutout innings against the Yankees, sorry Tim Hudson.

- Another late season flop for Seattle... soon they'll join Boston and Chicago (N) as infamous late season choke artists.

- If pitching coach Joe Kerrigan is so darn good, why can't he fix Randy Wolf? Oh, because he's hurt. Sit out, Randy. What is the point of pitching injured?

- Speaking of Randy's... Johnson is slowly getting better, if he peaks at the right time, that wildcard is theirs.

- The BrewCrew have won 8 straight... yes, those Brewers. Danny Kolb has 4 saves and win during that stretch.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Don't look now, but here come the A's...
While they are not putting together one of their patented 2nd half runs, the A's have crept into the back pocket of the Seattle Mariners. While they are just 21-16, the Mariners are 18-19 and now only one game ahead of the A's. The A's made their statement over the weekend, too, as they pounded out 28 runs in two games against the Blue Jays. Meanwhile, the Mariners lost their fifth straight and second to the Redsox last night.

The problem for the A's is that ace lefty, Mark Mulder's season is now in jeopardy. His right hip has suffered a stress fracture and it's currently unknown how long it will leave him sidelined. The obvious answer would be to defer his duties to youngster Rich Harden but he has fallen on hard times since starting out 3-0. Harden's last three starts, all losses:

@ Chi 5.0 2 1.40
v Tor 4.0 6 2.50
@ Bos 2.2 8 4.14

That Boston outing included 7 walks, too. Also, Barry Zito continued his inconsistency and after winning 2 straight, was downed by Toronto after giving up 5 runs in just 5 1/3. Tim Hudson remains the only constant of the Big 3 as the season winds down.

The question is, can Ted Lilly, John Halama and the Athletic offense push them into the playoffs while Mulder heals, Harden gets accustomed to the league and Zito rights the ship? If they continue their 7.5 RPG from the past 8 games (6-2), then yes, but that's not terribly realistic. However, the schedule is their best friend over the final 35 games of the season. Just one of their remaining opponents has a record over .500 (Seattle, 6):

Toronto (1) 64-66
Baltimore (6) 61-68
Tampa Bay (6) 51-78
Anaheim (7) 63-68
Texas (6) 61-70
Seattle (6) 76-54

This scheduling advantage is only over the Red Sox, though because the Mariners play the identical schedule save one more against Boston instead of Toronto. The Red Sox meanwhile have series against the Yankees and White Sox as well as a makeup game against the Phillies. So with the three team for two spots race in full heat, there is no odds-on favorite. Boston is dealing with Pedro v. the fans/media, while Seattle continues to see their starting pitchers spin out of control including All-Star Jamie Moyer, who has gone just 3-1 with a 5.93 ERA. Also, youngsters Gil Meche and Joel Piniero have suffered ERAs of 4.79 and 4.97 since the break, and of course the A's with their starting pitching struggles as well.

I will say that the Mariners will be on the outside looking in come October. Led by Zito and Hudson, the A's will continue to push forward en route to the West Division title, while the Red Sox will pound out enough runs to acquire the Wildcard berth from the East leaving the reeling Mariners on the disappointing end of another season.

Webb hurt...
The D'Backs are just 2.5 out of the wildcard race, but were handed a scare on Sunday afternoon. Rookie sensation, Brandon Webb was hit in the right forearm by a line drive and left the game after just 3 innings pitched. According to, he's not expected to miss his next start, but if this is a lingering injury, it will seriously hinder the D'Backs' chase for postseason play.

What do the viewers think?
It's quite obvious to anyone that either has a blog or reads several blogs, that the blogging world is baseball. With that said, I'm considering opening a football blog or just mixing football posts within this blog, but I'd like the opinions of you, the readers. Would you be the slightest bit interested in football posts that you'd like to featured here? Would you be mildly interested and thus want them on a separate site? Or would you have no interest at all and feel that I really shouldn't waste my time with the wonderful world of football?