With four weeks to go in the 2011 baseball season we face a September devoid of pennant races. A coupe of weeks ago it was looking like I would be lucky enough to be residing in one of the few markets — San Francisco — involved in meaningful September baseball. How wrong I was.
The end of August saw the Giants three games behind the plucky Diamondbacks. They were entering an easy part of the schedule, however which featured seven games against baseball’s worst team, the Houston Astros. The Giants, however, spit the bit, losing four of the seven, while the Dbacks overcame a mini losing streak to rattle off nine straight.
The Giants could not overcome the myriad of injuries they have suffered all season long. Furthermore, the magic that journeymen players, Cody Ross, Aubrey Huff, and Pay Burrell delivered last year, did not carry over into the current season. Their pitching had been brilliant, but now is showing the wear and tear of the stress that comes with having no margin for error. Even their ace, Tim Lincecum, has looked mortal lately, blowing up during the last two games he has pitched.
Currently the black and orange are riding a two game winning streak and are sitting six games out. It’s not hard to imagine them putting together a streak of wins –they will be remain in the west all month — but in order for them to catch up, the Diamondbacks would have to play .350 ball the rest of the year, which seems unlikely given the fact that they will be playing the same mediocre teams as the Giants.
The NFL begins this week, and not a moment too soon. Let’s hear it for labor settlements! The trouble is, I’m stuck with the Raiders and 49ers, two teams that can ruin any given Sunday.
This situation has, improbably, driven me to…college football. Oy!
At least we have he 6th ranked Stanford Cardinals and their Heisman candidate, quarterback Andrew Luck. Stanford started off in true early season NCAA form — with a 54 point slaughter of patsy , San Jose St. This Saturday they will travel to Durham, North Carolina to play Duke, which should be a more competitive game — they’re only three touchdown favorites.
But wait, there’s more. I live in a little town in the East Bay called Albany, which is just a few blocks north of Berkeley, and that, as you know, is the home of a certain Cal Bears. University of Berkeley, baby! And they’re 1-0, coming off an impressive, if not sloppy victory over Fresno State.
Having lived in the east for so long, where college football was an afterthought, it feels odd to live just a couple of miles from a bigtime college school. I’m actually considering going to a game. Cal doesn’t do that well attendance-wise, so scoring a ticket shouldn’t be difficult.
In the meantime, tomorrow is Wednesday and the A’s are home. This combination can only mean one thing: $2.00 ballgame! I am so there. A’s – Royals give it!