9/23: Bronson Arroyo (13-9, 4.31) @ Daniel Cabrera (10-11, 4.68)

I’m not going to lie. I’m not a happy camper. I can be optimistic, but every once in a while, the devil comes and whispers in my ear.
You’re dead. Finished.
No! We’re only .5 1 game away! ONE GAME. They lose tomorrow, we win, voila.
The Yankees? Lose, where have you been?
Yeah, but they play 20 straight to end the season and just sent their best pitcher to the bullpen.
They’re the Yankees. Even their best pitcher is not good enough!
You get the point. I’d love to win the division just to see what would brew in New York in the off-season. (If they lost the division in the final series with the Red Sox, you can expect a lot.) I’d love it to get another division flag.
But let’s not kid ourselves. The Red Sox (and the Yankees as well) … their chances to win the World Series? Extremely slim. The Yankees are pretty hot right now, and if they carry it through, could win the World Series. But they’re a tremendously flawed team. There’s similiarities on how they scuffled through the first half of the year and now are turning it on, but unlike the Yankees, our Red Sox last year were dominating everywhere. Their pitchers are not. Heck, they’ve steamrolled the Orioles four straight, and the Orioles always made the final score closer than it really was.
Both teams are equally as flawed, and as ridiculous as it sounds to hear someone whose team is only out one game – I’ve already turned my eyes to the offseason. Not because I don’t think we can win the division – we can, and you truly never know in the playoffs – but I see so many flaws and issues with this team I can’t help but look ahead to see how we’ll fix it. And overall, I’m pleased with the team we’ll tentatively enter 2006 with.
Another thing: Team. We don’t have one. We had Cowboy Up in 2003, which I loved, and Idiots in 2004 (which I didn’t love, but it served the purpose). I don’t see any TEAM here. Sure, they’re a team in name only, and they’ll bluster about how they are in fact a team, but … I don’t see it.
Anyways, with that heart-warming prose, I bring you … the Orioles. The team who over the last several years has been the difference-maker for the Yankees winning the divisions and the Red Sox not. I really am looking forward to pounding this team into next year. This team has been the bane of our existence for so long, and the right medicine for the Yankees. THEY. MUST. PAY.
ADDENDUM: It gets harder and harder to remain optimistic, especially when one learns that since May 6th, the Yankees have baseball’s best record at 77-44, while the Red Sox sit at 72-52. We’re still close, but consider the Yankees better even the Cardinals…
MLB held coin-flips today to determine home-field advantage for potential tiebreaking games.
American League
East: Boston at New York
Central: Chicago at Cleveland
West: Oakland at Los Angeles
Wild Card
New York at Cleveland
Oakland at Cleveland
Oakland at New York
Cleveland at Boston
National League
East: Atlanta at Philadelphia
West: San Francisco at San Diego
Wild Card
Houston at Florida
Washington at Houston
Florida at Philadelphia
Houston at Philadelphia
Florida at Washington
Philadelphia at Washington