Monday, September 13, 2004
Alou Focuses On Wild CardBy pushing Schmidt to face the Pads twice:
When asked if [the rotation shuffle] meant the Giants were conceding the division race, manager Felipe Alou did not deny it.There's a long way to go before the season's over, but man, doesn't it feel good to be even this close?
"We're six games out, (seven) out in the loss column," he said. "First things first."
Ex-Cub Factor, 2004 EditionAll-Baseball.com has a summary of ex-Cubs on the rosters of the likely postseason contenders. The team with the most: the Yankees, with six. The Cubs, ironically, only have one (Greg Maddux). Of the two local teams, the Dodgers have three -- Hee Seop Choi, Jose Hernandez, and the disabled Todd Hundley -- and the Angels but one, third catcher Josh Paul. The Ex-Cub Factor is the theory that, for any two teams in the World Series, the one with the most ex-Cubs will lose. Based on a 1980 article in the Boston Herald by Ron Berler, the Ex-Cub Factor has only failed to predict the outcome of a World Series once -- in 2001, when the ex-Cub-heavy Diamondbacks beat the Yankees in seven. (At least, this has been true since the original observation was made. All-Baseball.com scholars are working on completing the archival material necessary.)
Not In Our YardBreaks, both large and small, have come the Dodgers way this year. Barry Bonds hit his 699th home run in Arizona yesterday, and seems destined to hit 700 in Milwaukee. Despite my earlier prediction, Bonds is almost certain to avoid getting to this milestone in our yard. Thank heaven.
No Strike In JapanThe Japanese players and owners have come to an agreement; there won't be any strike. The principle concession will be a reduction in the up-front fee required of any prospective owner of a baseball team, previously 10 billion yen ($91.39 million dollars). This will make new ownership more feasible for the two clubs struggling the most, the Orix Blue Wave and the Kintetsu Buffaloes.
And I remind folks once again that the more important Bonds HR number, 715, could still happen in LA. Probably next year, but it could.