September 24, 2003

How The West Was Won and Where It Got Us. All three AL divisions clinched last night. Seattle lost 2-1 to the Angels in 11 innings, so the wild card is all but set in stone as well. Boston's magic number = 2. Seattle plays Anaheim this afternoon. When Boston begins tonight at 7pm (Burkett/Hentgen), they should know if they can clinch or not.

Back on August 5, Bill Mueller and his .330 batting average was moved up to #2 in the lineup and Todd Walker dropped to #8. That wise move lasted for only two weeks, however. I've never understood why Grady wanted (for months) the 2 worst OBP guys (Damon and Walker) at the top of the order. And now Walker's hitting third? Do we need any more proof that Grady is a moron? ... Well. ... After his improbable two-strike, two-out, bottom of the ninth 3-run homer -- which Walker called "probably by far the biggest thrill of my life at this point" -- my bitching about where Walker's hitting is over. ... Little says he made the move because he likes going L-R-L-R, but Mueller is a switch-hitter, so it would have worked with him too. (Not a complaint, just an observation.) Oh, Grady also called last night's win the biggest game of year.

Walker's post-game comments to NESN's Tom Caron were hooked up to the Fenway Park PA and I swear he choked up when he said to the roaring crowd, "We're going to go into the playoffs and win this thing." ... Cowboy Up: It's everywhere. ... Scott Williamson's mind has been far away from the diamond, but it appears that both his wife and son have improved. Also, an MRI on his shoulder was negative. ... Yankees traveling secretary David Szen was arrested last night at US Cellular Field and charged with misdemeanor battery. ... In Grady's corner: Garry Brown and Jackie MacMullan are pro-contract expension. ... Sean McAdam looks at the possible playoff roster, which will likely have 11 pitchers.

Jon Heyman of Newsday believes Posada is an MVP candidate. Heyman calls Posada "the most deserving of all candidates ... has statistics to match almost anyone on a playoff team ... My guess? He finishes no better than eighth ... My guess is the winner is Manny Ramirez, who is slightly superior statistically to other candidates on postseason qualifiers..." Posada has "statistics to match almost anyone"? Ramirez is only "slightly superior"? Nonsense.
        AVG         OBP        SLG         HR   RBI

Jorge: .278 (40th) .405 (5th) .512 (20th) 29 98
Manny: .325 ( 1st) .428 (1st) .587 (2nd) 36 102
Manny's OPS of 1.015 leads the American League (5th in MLB); Posada is 10th (.919) in the AL, 23rd in baseball. Very good, but nowhere near MVP consideration. Damn, nearly half of the Red Sox lineup has a higher OPS than Posada (Ramirez, Nixon, Ortiz, Mueller).

New York's ALDS Game 1 starter Mike Mussina was pulled after allowing 8 runs in the 6th inning to Chicago this afternoon: Lee singled. Thomas doubled. Ordonez singled. Everett doubled. Daubach struck out. Valentin homered. Crede doubled. Olivo singled. Harris singled. Harris stole second. Lee doubled. ... Mussina's next start will be Tuesday night against Minnesota.

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