** Baseball's division champs have been decided, so congratulations to the winners. Yes, even Boston. The wild card races are still up in the air, so that should make for an interesting last weekend.
** I read an article this week about the favorite for the rookie of the year in the American League. Two writers wrote about the reasons the candidate from the team they follow should win/ The choices are Detroit's Michael Fulmer, a pitcher with an 11-7 record with a 2.95 ERA. Pretty good numbers and certainly worthy of consideration. The other choice is Gary Sanchez of the Yankees, who's hitting .311 with 20 homers and 42 RBIs. Also good numbers. The argument against Sanchez is that he's only played 50 games. A fair argument of course, however, writer Mark Simon, advocating Fulmer, says that Sanchez would be unable to maintain that pace for the remainder of the season (there were about 10 games left at that time), while Fulmer would get one more start and would probably win it, therefore cementing his winning the award. That last argument is ridiculous, that one player will continue his good season while the other one won't. In fact, since Simon wrote that, Fulmer went 3.1 innings against Cleveland, giving up 6 hits and 3 runs while Sanchez has hit a couple more home runs. If Sanchez does well in his final four games, it will be a tough choice for the voters.
** I see Pete Rose has appealed directly to the Baseball Hall of Fame to be considered for inclusion to the Hall. What's interesting here is that the HOF has the final say on who is inducted and not MLB and not the writers. So this is certainly a shot for Pete, but the Hall has always gone along with the BBWA choices for induction. I'll bet money Rose loses this battle, too.
** I can't say I'm crazy about Joe Girardi's penchant for giving cute nicknames to his players. They're not very imaginative and kind of silly. For example, Brett Gardner is called "Gardy," and now Sanchez is called "San-chy." Maybe his players can live with it but I think it's embarrassing.
** Mark Teixeira is going out with a bang. A game-tying homer against Toronto a couple of days ago and now a walk-off grand slam against Boston (Yay!). No season-long retirement tour for Mark, just a true professional trying to do his job. He will be missed.
** Can someone explain what Craig Kimbrel is doing when he looks in to the catcher for a sign? All bent over with both elbows up in the air and his head jutting out. He reminds me of that pelican move mister Miyagi taught Daniel that won the match at the end of "The Karate Kid."
** From Brad Dickson's Bottom Ten:
1. Florida International (0-4): On the plus side ... well, I’ll have to get back to you.
2. Miami (Ohio) (0-4): The RedHawks’ game vs. Cincinnati aired on ESPNN. I’m pretty sure the N is for Nobody’s watching.
4. New Mexico (1-2): Lobos players are holding hands in the huddle, partly to make sure their teammates don’t try to flee the stadium.
** Speaking of being missed, how will we handle being with out the dulcet tones of Vin Scully? This man is so good at painting pictures with his words, he could make a blind man appreciate the beauty of the sport he loves so much. Baseball HAS to find a way to get him into the booth for the 1st game of the World Series.
Good by, Vin. Thanks for everything.
***THEY SAID IT***
" Bummer. RIP #ArnoldPalmer, 87. For younger generation who think golf started with Tiger Woods, Arnold was much more than name of a drink." -- Janice Hough
" Northwestern has a reputation as an academic powerhouse. My favorite play on Saturday night occurred when the team called timeout to correct the referee’s grammar." -- Brad Dickson
"The IOC finally stripped some 2008 Olympic medalists for PEDs. It took eight years for these test results to come to everyone’s attention. So, is the testing lab on one of the moons of Saturn?” -- Jack Finarelli
"Sacramento mayor and ex-NBA star, Kevin Johnson, severely beat up a guy for throwing a pie in his face. My wife may say I'm missing the point again, but what kind of pie?" -- RJ Currie
"Setting the record straight after Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher said his team’s 63-20 loss to Louisville came down to “inches”. Florida State was outgained by 8,856 inches." -- Rick Bozich
" A leading fantasy football website crashed. Middle-aged fantasy football players used the downtime to learn the names of all of their children." -- Brad Dickson
" The Dodgers honored Vin Scully and his 67 years of broadcasting last night. 67 years?! Wow. That almost goes back to Jamie Moyer’s rookie season." -- Janice Hough
"Graphic of the Week: ESPN’s reliably ridiculous stats department gave us, “Eagles first 2-0 start since 2014.” That long? Seems as if it were just a couple of years ago." -- Phil Mushnick