Purgatory Online

Friday, September 10, 2004

I'm not exactly tickled pink about losing two of three to the Blue Jays, but, for now, I'm looking at them as back-to-back oddball losses. The first was lost because Guerrero lost a ball in the gloaming, and the Angels couldn't score a run in nine innings. The second was lost because Washburn's wheels fell off for five batters. These aren't good things, but I don't think they're necessarily indicative of what's to come.

They're going to have to play pretty damn well this weekend, though. A lot rests on Lackey's shoulders tonight; the White Sox are putting Jon Garland out there and, while Garland's having a tough year, he's fully capable of stepping up. Meanwhile, the A's throw Mark Mulder against Scott Elarton, which shouldn't be much of a contest.

We should start seeing information about potential tiebreakers soon. As a quick recap:

- If Oakland and Anaheim tie, and both teams have better records than the 2nd place team from the East, the tie is broken based on head-to-head winning percentage, and then intradivision winning percentage, and then a bunch of other stuff that doesn't involve a one-game playoff.

- If Oakland, Anaheim, and the 2nd place team from the East have identical winning percentages, the A's and Angels would play a one-game playoff to determine the division champion. The loser of that game would play the 2nd place team from the East to determine the wild card, thus getting a second bite at the apple, as it were.

- If Oakland and Anaheim tie, and both teams have worse records than the 2nd place team from the East - which seems the most likely of the tie scenarios - they would play a one-game playoff at a site yet to be determined.

It's too soon to be talking about this, of course, but what the hell. Last year, MLB posted the sites for the tiebreaker games on September 11, but this year the season lasts a few days longer. We should hear something early next week, I'd guess.

Meanwhile, over at the Orange County Register, there's a story pointing out the fact that Joe Maddon is a likely candidate to manage a team next year. I'm pretty sure I've heard that one before, but it wouln't surprise me.