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Thursday, September 27, 2012

AL playoff race: September 27, 2012

AL East

NYY 90-66 [15-10 in SEPT]
BAL 89-67 [16-9 in SEPT] (1 GB)

AL Central

DET 84-72 [14-11 in SEPT]
CWS 82-74 [10-15 in SEPT] (2 GB)

AL West

TEX 92-64 [14-11 in SEPT]
OAK 88-68 [14-11 in SEPT] (4 GB)

AL Wildcard

BAL 89-67 [16-9 in SEPT] (0.5 GA)
OAK 88-68 [14-11 in SEPT]
LAA 86-70 [14-9 in SEPT] (2 GB)
TBR 86-70 [15-9 in SEPT] (2 GB)

MLB.com: Yanks’ East lead trimmed to one after shutout
MLB.com: Tigers keep grip on first with walk-off sweep
MLB.com: White Sox two games back of Tigers after loss
MLB.com: Relentless Rangers increase lead in AL West
MLB.com: Little mistakes add up to huge missed chance

NTNgod Posted: September 27, 2012 at 11:22 PM | 52 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, athletics, orioles, pennant race, rangers, rays, tigers, white sox, yankees

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   1. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 27, 2012 at 11:30 PM (#4247778)
The way the Sox are going right now, Tampa might still be in this thing.
   2. DKDC Posted: September 27, 2012 at 11:50 PM (#4247794)
Tampa controls their own fate now. If they win out (sweeping Baltimore in the process), they are guaranteed at least a tie for WC2.

But this was still a good off day for the Os. A strong series against Boston is needed to give them some breathing room and keep the pressure on the yanks.
   3. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: September 27, 2012 at 11:50 PM (#4247795)
I've been looking at the schedule every day, mentally seeing what it would take for the A's to outlast the Angels. Now I gotta worry about the Rays, too?
   4. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:02 AM (#4247803)
It's simple. If the A's win 5 of their last 6, nobody can catch them. If they win 4 of 6, Angels or Rays would have to win out just to tie. If they do worse than that, they need to worry.
   5. Jim Wisinski Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:09 AM (#4247807)
I hate that the Rays can only realistically make the playoffs at the expense of the A's or Orioles, two teams I would be happy to see make the playoffs. Plus, after knocking one of them out of the wild card, advancing to the DS would almost certainly require sending the other home (since it's extremely likely that the Rays' path to a wild card spot would prevent the Orioles from having a shot at the division
   6. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:27 AM (#4247811)
Jim, the only moral thing to do would be to ask Joe Maddon to tank the next week and, oh, while he's at it, can he call in a few favors around Anaheim as well.
   7. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:59 AM (#4247842)
Fingers crossed for the following triple bank shot:

1) The A's sweep Seattle and Texas takes two of three from the Angels to finish them off.
2) A's sweep the Rangers to force a one-game playoff for the division.
3) Yankees finish 4-2 in their last six.

A's could then get home-field advantage by winning Game 163 on the basis of the divisional tiebreaker.
   8. Dr. Vaux Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:39 AM (#4247845)
It's amazing. I have zero confidence that the Tigers can win even one more game this season, let alone two. The division is still in the bag for the White Sox, since they get to play Cleveland for the final three.
   9. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: September 28, 2012 at 03:21 AM (#4247847)
If we're going for crazy outcomes:

1) A's lose 2 of 3 from Seattle and sweep Texas -- 92-70
2) Angels sweep Seattle and Texas -- 92-70
3) Rangers lose all games -- 92-70
4) Rays sweep White Sox and Orioles -- 92-70
5) Orioles sweep Red Sox and lose 3 to Rays -- 92-70
6) Yankees go 2-4 against Blue Jays and Red Sox -- 92-70

7) White Sox lose 3 to Rays and sweep Indians -- 85-77
8) Tigers go 1-5 against Twins and Royals -- 85-77

9) Hilarity!
   10. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 07:30 AM (#4247871)
Tough game for the Yankees, but doesn't shock me that they lost. Their magic number is 6, if they win four (which seems reasonable to me) they should be in fine shape. If the Yankees do that, and Baltimore wins 5 of 6 to fend off elimination, then they play Game 163. But I don't see it.
   11. Gamingboy Posted: September 28, 2012 at 07:57 AM (#4247877)
If we're going for crazy outcomes:

1) A's lose 2 of 3 from Seattle and sweep Texas -- 92-70
2) Angels sweep Seattle and Texas -- 92-70
3) Rangers lose all games -- 92-70
4) Rays sweep White Sox and Orioles -- 92-70
5) Orioles sweep Red Sox and lose 3 to Rays -- 92-70
6) Yankees go 2-4 against Blue Jays and Red Sox -- 92-70

7) White Sox lose 3 to Rays and sweep Indians -- 85-77
8) Tigers go 1-5 against Twins and Royals -- 85-77

9) Hilarity!


Madness....
   12. DKDC Posted: September 28, 2012 at 07:57 AM (#4247878)
I don't know RB, I think the Yanks lead is less safe than you think.

The Os have drawn pretty good pitching matchups the rest of the way (they should miss Lester, Price, and Moore). It's not likely at this point, but if the Os do well against the Red Sox and the Rays struggle against a desparate White Sox team, the Rays could be eliminated by Monday and start playing out the string.

The Jays have been playing tough the last week and you know the Red Sox aren't going to lie down for the Yanks in the final series.

It should be a wild a crazy 6 days, and I like the Os chances to take the division.
   13. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: September 28, 2012 at 08:09 AM (#4247881)
Pretty incredible with this new playoff format that not one A.L. playoff spot has officially been clinched with just six days left to go.
   14. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 28, 2012 at 08:22 AM (#4247884)
If Price starts Sunday for Tampa (I think I'm right) then he would certainly be available for a relief role on Tuesday and/or Wednesday if circumstances dictate. Maddon is certainly the type of manager I would expect to be willing to make such a maneuver.

   15. DKDC Posted: September 28, 2012 at 08:51 AM (#4247894)
#14,

Maybe, but if Price starts Sunday, he's set up to start the wild card game on Friday on regular rest. I could see Maddon using Price for an inning or two in lieu of a side session, but pitching him any longer than that would be robbing Peter to pay Paul.
   16. villageidiom Posted: September 28, 2012 at 08:54 AM (#4247895)
Pretty incredible with this new playoff format that not one A.L. playoff spot has officially been clinched with just six days left to go.
Even under last year's format it would be true. Under all prior formats going back to 1903 it would be true.
   17. BDC Posted: September 28, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4247900)
Even under last year's format it would be true. Under all prior formats going back to 1903 it would be true

But that's because there were fewer spots, right? It's never been unusual to have a race go to the final series. What's unusual is that nobody's clinched fourth place (effectively) in a 14-team league.
   18. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 28, 2012 at 09:15 AM (#4247902)
Maybe, but if Price starts Sunday, he's set up to start the wild card game on Friday on regular rest. I could see Maddon using Price for an inning or two in lieu of a side session, but pitching him any longer than that would be robbing Peter to pay Paul.


Yeah but if the Rays are in a must win situation on Wednesday there are worse things than having a guy like Price available for a couple of innings of relief. Obviously if it's not a must win then Maddon wouldn't do it but my theory is it's a situation where the Rays need to win to stay alive.
   19. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4247916)
I don't know RB, I think the Yanks lead is less safe than you think.
It is certainly possible Baltimore could catch them, but I don't see any reason to change my fundamental view. Toronto is playing a little better, and Boston might--although I don't necessarily know that this is true--"get up" for the Yankees in a way they don't for other teams. (Though if they're going to "get up" for anyone else, the O's seem a strong bet after last season.) But the Yankees should still reasonably take four of their remaining six games, especially since they've have their three best pitchers (CC, Pettitte, Kuroda) starting four of them. Like I said, if that happens, Baltimore basically has no margin for error.

I think the Yankees are probably about 75% favorites to win the division at this point.
   20. DKDC Posted: September 28, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4247949)
75% sounds about right, but some of that 75% comes from winning game 163, which is not a comfortable path.

I’ve been projecting the remaining schedule using live betting odds for today’s games, and a guesstimate of true talent log5 for the rest (I have TEX as a .575 team; BAL/ CWS/LAA/NYY/OAK/TBR/DET as .550 teams; BOS/SEA as .450 teams, and TOR as a .425 team).

The probabilities I have are:

Os win East outright 14%
Yanks-Os Tie 18%
Yanks win East outright 68%

At this point, the odds can change quickly. With an Os win and Yanks loss tonight (both are 2-1 favorites to win), I have the following probabilities:

Os win East outright 30%
Yanks-Os Tie 23%
Yanks win East outright 47%

If the opposite happens, and the Yanks take a 2 game lead tonight, then they have some breathing room:

Os win East outright 3%
Yanks-Os Tie 9%
Yanks win East outright 88%
   21. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 28, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4247950)
Pretty incredible with this new playoff format that not one A.L. playoff spot has officially been clinched with just six days left to go.


As noted, not one AL playoff spot would be clinched yet with the old playoff format either. And all of the same teams would still be in contention.

What's unusual is that nobody's clinched fourth place (effectively) in a 14-team league.


I'm not sure how unusual that really is. It's just always been irrelevant before, so we haven't paid much attention. But I bet if we were to peruse the standings from the pre-wild card era we'd find a lot of 3rd and 4th place ties.
   22. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: September 28, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4247961)
1) A's lose 2 of 3 from Seattle and sweep Texas -- 92-70
2) Angels sweep Seattle and Texas -- 92-70
3) Rangers lose all games -- 92-70
4) Rays sweep White Sox and Orioles -- 92-70
5) Orioles sweep Red Sox and lose 3 to Rays -- 92-70
6) Yankees go 2-4 against Blue Jays and Red Sox -- 92-70


I'm trying to work out what happens in this situation. If they stiffly follow set procedures:

1. There are a series of coin flips in the AL East & AL West, so there are 1-game playoffs between 2 teams, then the next day the 3rd team plays at the winner of the 1st game. IOW, maybe Texas at LAA, then Oakland at the winner. The winners of these second games win the divisions. I hate this setup, but that's what MLB has said they'd use in the past.
2. Then there are coin flips with the 4 losing teams to set up two games, the winners go on to the one game wildcard game against each other.
3. Then the ALDS starts.

We can imagine a path in which LAA finishes the regular season in Seattle, wins the next day in Texas, loses the next day in Anaheim (to lose the AL West), then wins the next day in Tampa to win the wildcard spot, wins the wildcard game in Anaheim, then opens the ALDS in New York or Baltimore. So that schedule would be:

Sunday -- Seattle (regular season)
Monday -- Fort Worth (division playoff 1)
Tuesday -- Anaheim (division playoff 2)
Wednesday -- St Petersburg (wildcard playoff)
Thursday -- Anaheim (wildcard game)
Friday -- Baltimore (ALDS)

Realistically, Bud should just invite everyone to Milwaukee and have a big cage match.
   23. bunyon Posted: September 28, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4247993)
But I bet if we were to peruse the standings from the pre-wild card era we'd find a lot of 3rd and 4th place ties.

I've thought the same thing but haven't had time to look into it. The further you push playoff spots toward 81, the more bunching you should expect. The oddness in having NO teams clinched is that there isn't just one blowout division. But having 3rd, 4th and 5th place unsettled with a week to go is probably more the norm than the exception.
   24. BDC Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4248048)
I reckon I am misunderstanding the point (and therefore the fun). To me, and others perhaps, what seems odd is that the Rangers (the overall first-place team) has not yet clinched fourth place, with six games to go. (New York, Baltimore, and Oakland could pass them, and the Rangers could still be tied with the Angels and/or Rays for the last berth. I think.) Contrast the NL, where we already know four of the postseason teams.

Obviously there have been past seasons with a very close grouping of teams (four clubs within two games after 156 in the 1967 AL, for instance, just the most famous of them), and there have probably been closely-bunched leagues even in the past few years which are less memorable, but it does seem a little that there are no Xs or Ys at all by the AL teams in the standings this morning.
   25. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4248063)
I guess I'm a little surprised that with just six games left to go, the best team in the A.L. has only 92 wins.

Given how much better they are and their recent dominance in interleague play I would have expected that number to be a little higher than that. I suppose it largely speaks to just how incredibly well-balanced and tough from top to bottom the A.L. is this year. The west in particular turned out to be a lot tougher than what I had expected early on.
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4248072)

Given how much better they are and their recent dominance in interleague play I would have expected that number to be a little higher than that. I suppose it largely speaks to just how incredibly well-balanced and tough from top to bottom the A.L. is this year. The west in particular turned out to be a lot tougher than what I had expected early on.


Yeah, even the bad teams aren't dreadful like the Astros, Cubs, and Rockies.

   27. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4248079)
But this was still a good off day for the Os. A strong series against Boston is needed to give them some breathing room and keep the pressure on the yanks.

No predictions about who wins the games, but here's my prediction for the Camden Yards crowd over the weeken:

70% Orioles fans rooting for the home team

15% Yankee fans rooting for the Red Sox

15% Red Sox fans rooting for the Orioles

That's written tongue in cheek, but there's actually a fair amount of logic behind it. I love this ####.
   28. Gamingboy Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4248090)
I have often wondered what would happen if a league were to somehow end completely even: all tiebreakers and records the same. I mean, in the NFL, it'd mean that who would go to the playoffs would come down to a series of coinflips (the NFL, of course, would market as the NFL TIEBREAK COINFLIP SHOW BROUGHT TO YOU BY GATORADE, and it would end up being the 8th most watched thing on TV that year). But in Baseball and such, I can only presume it would require a mega-playoff that would push the World Series to Thanksgiving.
   29. JJ1986 Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4248092)
15% Red Sox fans rooting for the Orioles


This number is way too high. Red Sox fans don't want to see their sorry team.
   30. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4248099)
15% Red Sox fans rooting for the Orioles

This number is way too high. Red Sox fans don't want to see their sorry team.


You're probably right, and anyway, I always figured that their "hatred" for the Yankees was highly overrated.
   31. Poster Nutbag Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4248114)
Realistically, Bud should just invite everyone to Milwaukee and have a big cage match.


Can we, please? Royal Rumble (do they still call it that?) for the AL Pennant? I gotta say, I think the A's win hands down if that's the case...those guys already look like they could be in the WWE....Reddick, Gomes, Norris...where can I buy tickets!?!?!?

I'd be ok with a Survivor Series-style match too.
   32. Gamingboy Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4248121)
No predictions about who wins the games, but here's my prediction for the Camden Yards crowd over the weeken:

70% Orioles fans rooting for the home team

15% Yankee fans rooting for the Red Sox

15% Red Sox fans rooting for the Orioles


Assuming a sell-out crowd or close to it (which seems safe given the rush of new life that has come to Charm City's baseball fans), that means you think there will be roughly....

32,180 Orioles Fans
6,896 Yankee Fans
6,896 Red Sox Fans

I highly doubt all figures except the first. Of course, you were being tongue in cheek. I'm guessing that there will be closer to 0.15% Red Sox Fans at the game... or about 68. Tops. And most of them probably got tickets at the start of the year thinking they might have a chance of seeing the team clinch a playoff spot.
   33. SoSH U at work Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4248140)
I always figured that their "hatred" for the Yankees was highly overrated.


Not by anyone I'd call a Sox fan.

   34. AROM Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4248143)
15% Red Sox fans rooting for the Orioles

This number is way too high. Red Sox fans don't want to see their sorry team.


Last weekend the cameras seemed to pick up a good number of Oriole fans in Fenway. Amazing what a winning season will do.
   35. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4248149)
You're probably right, and anyway, I always figured that their "hatred" for the Yankees was highly overrated.

Nah. I'd much rather see the Orioles win the division than the Yankees, and as such will be rooting for them against the Red Sox this weekend, and then the Red Sox against the Yankees after that. Because #### the Yankees.
   36. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4248153)
what seems odd is that the Rangers (the overall first-place team) has not yet clinched fourth place, with six games to go.


OK, I did kind of miss your point. Or part of it at least. But I still think it isn't as rare as we might guess. Just look for pre-division seasons where the pennant winner was around 92-94 wins and I bet you'll find more than a handful.
   37. AROM Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4248154)
I always figured that their "hatred" for the Yankees was highly overrated.


I'm sure it's sincere enough in actual meaningful games. Last season in game 162 I was sitting in the section behind the Red Sox dugout, so plenty of Red Sox fans in attendance. The majority seemed to overcome their Yankee hatred enough to root for them over Tampa Bay.

In this case though, does Yankee hate trump an opportunity for revenge? These Orioles are the ones who knocked the Red Sox out of the 2011 playoffs and celebrated the end of a last place season like they had just won the world series. If I were a Red Sox fan (a huuuge stretch for me, so I could be way off base) I'd be hoping to beat the Orioles this weekend to set up a do or die at Tampa Bay, and hope that Chris Davis and Robert Andino get to see a Longoria walkoff up close and personal.
   38. SoSH U at work Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4248162)
In this case though, does Yankee hate trump an opportunity for revenge?


Asolutely not. Nothing trumps Yankee hate. Go O's.

Frankly, I hope those Sox fans who rooted for the Yanks in Game 162 are appropriately remorseful for their sins.

   39. JJ1986 Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4248171)
Orioles fans in OPaCY really hate the Red Sox. It would be an awkward confederation.
   40. escabeche Posted: September 28, 2012 at 07:16 PM (#4248464)
Teagarden starting at catcher today, due to the early-morning birth of Maverick Luther Wieters, 8 lb 2 oz.
   41. DKDC Posted: September 28, 2012 at 07:21 PM (#4248468)
Goodbye, home run!

Welcome back, Gary Thorne.
   42. DKDC Posted: September 28, 2012 at 07:33 PM (#4248485)
Orioles at +4 run differential on the year.
   43. cardsfanboy Posted: September 28, 2012 at 07:41 PM (#4248490)
In a perfect world, the A's, Rays and Orioles all make the playoffs and the Yankees lose out... I have my fingers crossed, but since the Rays play the Orioles, it's probably not possible.
   44. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 28, 2012 at 07:53 PM (#4248498)
As much as I want to see the Orioles win the division I really want the Red Sox win this weekend I'd like to see them show a little professional pride at some point this season
   45. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 28, 2012 at 09:55 PM (#4248601)
Not a lot of Red Sox pride showing tonight. Or Blue Jay pride, either, for that matter.
   46. DKDC Posted: September 28, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4248606)
Jays aren't quite dead yet.
   47. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4248610)
So I am watching the YES broadcast via MLBN. Question: Lawrie led off the second with a double. Rasmus then hits a sharp grounder to Swisher who, instead of touching first base, fired the ball to Jeter to get Lawrie, who was attempting to return to the bag. Kay and Leiter subsequently opined that Lawrie had blundered by allowing himself to get caught napping. How so? Assuming there is no teammate planted on third base, aren't runners on second trained to sprint toward third on all grounders hit at them or to their left...?
   48. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 28, 2012 at 10:14 PM (#4248619)
So I am watching the YES broadcast via MLBN. Question: Lawrie led off the second with a double. Rasmus then hits a sharp grounder to Swisher who, instead of touching first base, fired the ball to Jeter to get Lawrie, who was attempting to return to the bag. Kay and Leiter subsequently opined that Lawrie had blundered by allowing himself to get caught napping. How so? Assuming there is no teammate planted on third base, aren't runners on second trained to sprint toward third on all grounders hit at them or to their left...?

The Toronto team credited Swisher more than it blamed Lawrie, and IMO that take reflected reality more than Kay's and Leiter's. Lawrie only made one tiny step towards third before he reversed himself, but Swisher and Jeter sprung into action almost immediately in what looked like a terrific heads up play on their part.
   49. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 10:23 PM (#4248628)
Jays aren't quite dead yet.
Barring an astonishing comeback, looks like another coming off the magic number for the Yankees. Word is also that Tex might be back for the Boston series. I'm still feeling pretty good about their chances.
   50. DKDC Posted: September 28, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4248643)
It looks like just one of those games for the Jays. I'm not sure how you score only 4 runs on 12 hits (including 7 for extra bases) and 4 walks, but the Jays managed to do it. They are still playing tougher than the final score will indicate.

It's fantastic to see Kuroda looking so vulnerable, and I feel pretty good about the chances of Pettitte's pixie dust wearing off any day now. Hopefully that's tomorrow.

If the White Sox hang on here, that takes destiny out of the Rays hands. I think I'll start rooting for the As to win - their wins would help eliminate the Rays earlier, and I'd like that to happen as soon as possible before they face the Os.
   51. Good cripple hitter Posted: September 28, 2012 at 10:50 PM (#4248652)
The Toronto team credited Swisher more than it blamed Lawrie


Gregg Zaun absolutely ripped Lawrie (and Davis and Escobar for their respective blunders) when he came on after that. He claimed that it was a line drive so Lawrie should've frozen instead of advancing on contact. I see his point, that ball was hit so hard that any decent play to third would've gotten Lawrie out. Then again, Zaun's been getting progressively angrier and more disgusted as the season's gone on, so maybe he's just crabby.

I'm not sure how you score only 4 runs on 12 hits


The inning with two doubles, a wild pitch, a single and 0 runs scored was a masterpiece. I'm still not sure how Escobar got picked off third, or why Davis stopped running from first on a double hit with two outs, but there you go.
   52. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 29, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4248820)
I'm not sure how you score only 4 runs on 12 hits (including 7 for extra bases) and 4 walks, but the Jays managed to do it.


Oh come on, the Yankees do that every other game.

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