This is exciting

Man, is this exciting!
This past Sunday morning, the Rockies chances of taking the division were almost nil. If you take the chance of any game going one way or the other to be 50-50, then they were one in 2048.

Now, today, they’re just one in 4.

But it gets better! Today the Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals both lost. The Phillies had the upper hand over the Rockies in the race for the best record in the NL. They were tied, but a tie would go to the Phillies for home field advatage in the playoffs, because the Phillies won more games against the Rockies. Now, if the Rockies win the division the only way they can, by winning the next two games, then they’ll have a better record than the Phillies no matter what.

In fact, they’ll have the best record in the entire National League. They’ve never even had the best record in their division before!

So it’s all in the Rockies’ hands now. Nothing that happens in any other games can determine where they’ll land in the playoffs. Either they win the division and play the Cardinals with home field advantage in that and the next round, or lose the division and play the Phillies without home field advantage in any round.

Then again, lately the Rockies don’t seem to need that home field advantage. Somehow, in this year and in 2007, when the odds are getting to just about, but not quite impossible, impossible is what they do. Somehow, it seems as though they are destined to win tonight and make it a one-game playoff for the division.

But I mustn’t get too confident about that. *They* mustn’t get too confident about that, and they must play it like it’s a playoff game. Because really, isn’t it?

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Rockies division hopes now in their own hands

On Saturday night, the Dodgers reduced their magic number to clinch the division to 1, with 7 games to go for both themselves and the one team that could catch them, the Rockies.

With the Dodgers’ loss last night, their fourth in a row, they gave the Rockies a gift … the Rockies’ division pennant fate is in their own hands. Because all 3 of the Dodgers’ remaining games are against the Rockies. And the Rockies, having won all three games they’ve played since Saturday, have kept that magic number at 1.

The Rockies are lucky to be playing the Dodgers this weekend. Think about this: if they weren’t, then 7 games would have to go the Rockies’ way for them to take the pennant. But because of the schedule, because they’ll be playing the very team they’re trying to catch, only 4 games have to go their way. That’s like the difference between a 1 in 128 chance versus a 1 in 16 chance. One in sixteen are much better odds, 8 times more likely to happen. Plus, I’m sure it’s relieving for the players to not have their fate determined by goings on elsewhere in other parks, needing a team that is out of the playoffs to win 3 straight.

What’s more, two days ago their hold on the wild card was looking very much in doubt, with a white-hot Braves team only 2 games back with 6 games to play. Now they’re four back with four to play, and the magic number in that race has gone from 5 to 1. The Rockies, in their last home game this afternoon at 1:10 pm, have a chance to clinch their playoff spot at home. Last chance, and it took a remarkable week to get to this spot. I hope for their sake, and for their fans’ sake, that they get it.

I was at last night’s game. This is fun.

2008 Red Sox vs. 2001 Red Sox?

It is very interesting to be considering the possibility of a Los Angeles Dodgers – Boston Red Sox World Series.  I have been wondering something, and today I found out it is true:

The Los Angeles Dodgers right now look more like the 2001 Boston Red Sox than the Boston Red Sox do.

Check out the rosters, and you’ll see that while the current Dodgers have 3 players from the 2001 Red Sox (Derek Lowe, Nomar Garciaparra, and Manny Ramirez), the current Red Sox have only 2 (Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield).

What’s extra interesting is that these three Dodgers were 3 of the superstars on that Red Sox team – the kind of guys that you’d see on the cover of the program guide.

What’ll happen if these Dodgers show up in Fenway Park for Game 3 of the World Series?  I expect we’ll hear applause for Garciaparra, and if there’s an appropriate moment, for Lowe; but expect to hear Manny booed as loudly as ever we’ve heard a player booed in Boston.

As for who wins, I hope the Red Sox would demolish the Dodgers if the matchup comes to pass.  Vindication that would be!  And validation for the decision to ditch Manny.

The one thing to make me worry is that Joe Torre would be in the opposing dugout.  If there’s one man who could best coach a National League team on How To Beat The Boston Red Sox, I’m thinking Joe Torre’s gotta be that guy.

But we’re not there yet.  We must wait and watch …

(By the way, though I’d root for a Sox sweep of the Dodgers in the World Series this year, I’d be hoping for a 7 game Sox-Rays ALCS.  The Rays have been fun to watch this year, and I’d like to see them get something for all the effort they’ve made.)