Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Baseball In The Daytime: 8-15-07

The theme for today's docket of big-league games is the American League wild card. So let's hear it for the Commissioner, who instituted the wild card back in 1995. It was totally his idea, too. The fact that it existed in every other professional sport was purely a coincidence, because this was a wild card for baseball. Completely original.

Anyway, the first games get underway at 11:05 Mountain and have a bevy of playoff implications. With forty-something games to play, every division race is tight. Boston's come-from-behind win last night gave the Sox a five-game cushion in the AL East, and that's the biggest lead in baseball.

Those Red Sox and D'Rays renew hostilities today at Fenway, with Andy Sonnanstine and Daisuke Matsuzaka toeing the slab. Although these are both rookie pitchers, they're worlds apart. Dice has dominated the league in spurts this year, cost his team over $100 million in contracts and negotiating fees, and is a worldly gentlemen. Andy was called up from Triple-A Durham, North Carolina a few weeks ago and is looking for a job in baseball. Join the fun on XM 176 and DTV 735.

Even though they still trail the Red Sox in the East, the New York Yankees are maintaining their torrid second-half pace. The share the wild-card lead with surprising Seattle, and today send phenom Philip Hughes against the Orioles. Although Baltimore is 11 1/2 back in the wild card race, their improved play of late has saved manager Dave Trembley's job, at least for now. And don't forget that since Los Anaheim moved to Angeles, the Orioles are always lead the American League, at least alphabetically.

Erik Bedard, who leads the majors in strikeouts and may just win himself a Cy Young award if he's not careful, gets the nod from the O's, on XM 176 and DTV 735.

At 2:35, the Twins and Mariners get together at Safeco, on XM 179 and DTV 736. While Seattle starts the day percentage points ahead of the Yankees in the wild card standings, Minnesota lurks at 8 back and desperate. So desperate, in fact, they may trade for Michael Piazza. Holy smokes, that's reaching. Scott Baker, who may some day be great, matches wits with Jarrod Washburn, who we once thought might some day be great.

That picture, by the way, is of ex-major leaguer Jose Offerman trying to kill someone with a baseball bat. Cheers!