Thursday, September 29 – 10:16 AM
It lasted for only three minutes but it lasted long enough to freak me out. For those three minutes, I was rooting against the Yankees while all of Red Sox Nation was rooting for them. The Sox were on the brink of the biggest September collapse in baseball history, having just suffered a walk-off loss to the Orioles after being one strike away from ensuring at least a one-game playoff vs. the Rays for the AL wildcard, and I was loving it. I loved it even more when Evan Longoria launched that walk-off homer in the 12th inning off Scott Proctor, officially putting an end to Boston’s postseason before it ever started. Payback for ’04? Not quite, but I was glad we didn’t hand those guys an extra lifeline.
One of the main reasons why baseball is by far my favorite sport to watch is that there’s no clock. In life, time is always of the essence, so it’s always nice to escape reality every now and then, take in a ballgame and completely lose track of time. But late last night, I was rather surprised to find myself constantly looking at my watch. I was getting tired, and Proctor’s endless number of pickoff attempts was annoying me to no end. Ideally, the Yankees didn’t want to use any reliever projected to be on the playoff roster in what was for them an insignificant game, so it was really just a matter of time before the Rays would win this one, I thought. So let’s get this over with already! Eventually, it ended. The buzzer sounded, and my short-lived obsession with the clock was finally over.
Thursday, September 29 – 8:38 PMI’m not one to veto many trades, but as commissioner I felt that a Chris Johnson for Steve Johnson swap was questionable enough to put to a league vote. Come on, a consensus top-5 overall pick for a barely top-20 wideout? The deal was vetoed (I voted against it too), and less than a week after the vote, it’s looking like we made a big mistake. CJ2K, as they call him, is coming off yet another mediocre performance (and that’s putting it nicely) while the Bills’ Johnson caught eight balls for 94 yards and a score. But back to Chris, what’s going on with this guy? Is it simply rust from his training camp holdout? An injury? Something else? I still have faith that he will finish the season as no worse than a top-15 player, but I’m sure hoping that this trade doesn’t get agreed upon again. As the commish, I’d hate to set up this whole voting procedure again. What a headache! On Sunday vs. the Browns, Johnson will look to prove that three games is not enough of a sample size to deem this trade acceptable, but the Titans’ running back is running out of time.
Friday, September 30 – 7:34 PM
In fantasy football, every decision is magnified. Yeah, benching a starting pitcher who goes on to toss seven shutout innings is tough to swallow, but over the course of the season, one can easily overcome that blunder. Make the wrong lineup decision in football and you can lose the week because of it. Imagine if you benched Jeremy Maclin in Week 2? A friend of mine did just that, and at the time I didn’t think it was a bad move. There were plenty of questions about Maclin’s health fresh off a one catch, 20 yard effort in the season opener, so maybe sitting him for a week was the wise choice. Of course, he goes on to enjoy the best game of his young career. Wise choice? Not so much.
Anyway, I own Maclin in a different league, and though he’s listed as probable this week despite a sore hamstring, I’m seriously considering benching him in favor of Santana Moss, who has put up strong numbers in the early going. Hamstring injuries are tricky, particularly for wide receivers, and even if Maclin does start the game, how effective will he be? Will he even be able to get through the entire game? I’m leaning towards starting Moss but will be wrestling with this decision right up until 1 PM ET on Sunday. Less than 42 hours to go.
Saturday, October 1 – 2:52 PM
I was all geared up to watch the Yankees-Tigers game last night. Turns out it lasted only 1 ½ innings before the rains came and suspended the whole thing. And I was bummed. What started out as a night of postseason baseball turned into a night of drawn out press conferences where the basic message was that there’s nothing you can do about the weather. Despite a gloomy forecast, they thought they would have enough of a time window to get the game in. They were wrong, and the forecast for tonight isn’t much better. So when will the rain start? When will it end? What if they can’t play tonight? Doubleheader tomorrow? How would all this affect the probable starting pitchers? Is baseball really immune to the forces of time?