Friday, September 28, 2007

This is how you start a weekend

Friday night is about the last time I like to do blog posts, and not because I'm busy re-enacting the Friday nights of my childhood by watching high school football and reruns of Dallas (by the way, yes that is Larry Hagman, and yes, I'm already sorry for your nightmares). Nobody much reads blogs on Saturday morning, mostly because they're either sleeping or having, you know, a life. But I have to chime in about the insanity of the 2007 baseball season and what may have just been the best non-playoff Friday night in sports history.

Entering the night, seven of the 16 National League teams were still eligible for the postseason, but none of them had clinched a spot. At evening's end, two teams had clinched division titles: the supposedly cursed Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox. What's more, the Phillies went into sole possession of first place in the NL East for the first time all season, thanks to a brilliant and auspicious performance by Cole Hamels and the continued suicidal performance of the Mets.

This was also the first Friday night to feature a meeting of two ranked college football teams, and No. 18 South Florida served further notice that it the Big Three in Florida is now the Big Four with a win over No. 5 West Virginia in Tampa (which isn't in South Florida, but is nonetheless the location of the University of South Florida. Which should tell you something about the infrastructural common sense in this state.)

But of greatest importance to me is that the Phillies now have a Magic Number of one to clinch at least a tie for the division and two to clinch their first title and playoff berth since 1993. The notion seems straight from theater of the absurd, considering everything that's happened this season. But the Phillies have gained 8 games in the standings in 15 days, a cosmic payback for 1964 (at least in part). Maybe this means the Phlorida Phils, down 15 points can ... no, no they can't. But there's a shot at second place, so we'll hold off on worrying about first place until we've had a fantasy team for an entire season. Did I mention I'm optimistic about the Pit Bulls' chances?

By the way, if there's a Phillies one-game playoff, it'll get live-blogged here, as will a meaningful Sunday game if its televised in my market. The first Phillies playoff game, providing there is such a thing, also gets live-blog treatment. In other words, I'm already doing finger exercises, figuring out optimal placement of my TV and holding tryouts for the best hamsters to run the wheel inside my computer. Anyone with any kind of rodent for a pet is encouraged to get in touch.

In the mean time, Saturday should be interesting. I'm working and taking a night trip (otherwise known as a day trip, but taken at night) up the coast, where I'll be seeing these guys. So no big college football Saturday, but no big deal. The best game of the week, Cal @ Oregon, gets bumped by ABC for Clemson @ Ga. Tech, a matchup of mediocre teams from the lone BCS conference capable of making the Big Ten look decent. When ABC (aka ESPN on ABC) regionalization reminds you of FOX Baseball regionalization, that's not a good sign. Which reminds me, I'll be missing the FOX Game of the Week on Saturday, too, so someone tell me how the Cardinals-Astros game turns out, OK?

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