Sunday -- Rays 8, Jays 5: It's over, good. Eighty-four wins, instead of 83, would have just been too close to John Gibbons' job is safe territory.
The news has been confirmed: Ernie Whitt is first-base coach next year, with Marty Pevey moving to third and Brian Butterfield taking over in the dugout — as bench coach, not manager, unfortunately.
Anyways, if some A-hole happens to start going on about A.J. Burnett showing his true colours, ignore him. People with such selective memories ain't worth the time. They'll never learn.
Meantime, it's kind of disappointing that it's only a two-way tie between the Rockies and Padres for the NL wild-card spot. That's right, complaining about a tie received as a gift — I've officially become my dad.
The Mets completed their collapse and the Phillies are actually champions of something. Phillies and the Cubs in the same post-season. Hell will be freezing over around noon tomorrow (12:30 in Newfoundland).
Saturday -- Jays 5, Rays 3: Please take time and hit your church, mosque, prayer circle, synanogue, temple, wat, whatever -- hit a few of the other guy's, too, we can't take any chances here -- and ask the Great Spirit to make the San Diego Padres lose today and bestow victory on the Colorado Rockies, New York and Philadelphia Phillies.
The Padres, clergy-inspired nickname notwithstanding, cannot be allowed to win today and end up in a tie with the Diamondbacks at 90 victories, with Arizona getting the NL West title and San Diego taking the wild-card based on the season series. If that happens and either the Mets or Phillies win the East outright, Bob Costas is going to get up on his soapbox (hey, you'd need one too, if you were his height) and spout off self-righteously about how baseball has ruined the integrity of its pennant races, how there'll never be anything again like the 1908 National League pennant race again (who cares?). Never mind that Costas now gets paid well to glorify a lower form of sport that perfected institutionalized mediocrity, he'll go off in that smug little way of his and you will have to listen, since you read somewhere about him carrying a Mickey Mantle baseball card in his wallet and once leaving a $3.31 tip at Stan Musial's restaurant in homage to Stan the Man's career average.
(Cheap bastard. We'd have left $4.17 -- in homage to Musial's career on-base percentage.)
Costas might not be able to say it on NBC, since the NFL is the only real sport* his network carries and won't want him to hype the competition, but keep your ears open. He'll say something.
Oh, right, the game... John-Ford Griffin banged out a home run. Good on him. Still not sold on Jesse Litsch. Ask again in January.
Sunday, 1 -- Rays righty Jason Hammel (2-5, 6.08, 1.64 WHIP) vs. A.J. Burnett (10-7, 3.49, 1.17 WHIP): That's it. It's over. Yes, there were injuries, underperforming hitters, but in the words of Ari Gold, "There are no asterisks in this life, only a scoreboard, and it says we are f---ed!"
Come to think of it, it does sound a lot like high school extended -- good call by The Tao of Stieb. We will get together over the summer and talk about how we're sure that Alison, Christina or whatever her name is will totally notice us next year.
Friday -- Jays 5, Rays 4: Deep-down, you knew this was the case without having to do the number-crunching.
Russ Adams, in the considered view of Baseball America, was the most average hitter in the International League this summer in Syracuse. He wasn't a league average hitter. He was league average.
Adams' had a .333 on-base percentage and .401 slugging, a hair off from the IL averages of .333 and .397. He should totally be the Jays starting third baseman next spring.
Meantime, there isn't much else to say other than to poke fun at the teams still playing for something.
(Thankfully, Notre Dame football doesn't fall under the auspices of "real sports." Neither does the NHL, to most Americans.)
That's all for now. Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.