This is the time to now see the final kick or sprint in the final leg of the marathon of a baseball season. We can see it around the league. You see sweaters in the stands and some players wear their long sleeves on field and jackets in the dugout. The hint of Fall is in the air and the chill of failure once again is heavy over those teams that dreamed of success just a week or two ago.
The Milwaukee Brewer are now on the outside looking in. Their fate was sealed on a cold Friday night in San Francisco on Labor Day weekend. At AT&T Park that evening the bottom of hope drained from their faces and bodies that was visible for fans to see. They could feel it. On their faces were no longer the Gomez inspired laughter and free spirit of life but now the glassy look of hope lost. Today they are six games behind the Giants in the wild card hunt. On that Friday they were in first place in the Central and ahead of the Giants. What two weeks in the world of baseball bring.
At present in the National League, it looks like the Nationals, Dodgers, Cardinals, Giants and Pirates are playoff bound. The Brewers and Braves are going to be pressing and fighting to overcome their recent decent.
In the American League, the magical Angels led by Trout with 33 home runs, Orioles, Tigers, Royals and Athletics are in but the Mariners are charging. The Blue Jays, Indians and Yankees are dreaming.
These are the only teams with winning records in baseball this season, exactly half of the teams.
Yet these last two weeks are important for another reason. This is the time for teams to get and remain hot. These will be the teams that will move through the playoffs and reach the league championships. That does not bode well for the A’s as they are not playing good baseball since their big trades in August. Perhaps the chemistry was broken. The Mariners, on the other hand are playing better and there seems to be a renewed strength in this team.
But the real battle in these last two weeks is for last place. It means you are the worse team in baseball. In soccer this team would be relegated to the minors and Nashville would be moved up to the majors next year. At present, the Texas Rangers, who will have a new manager next year is leading the pack. And those woeful Colorado Rockies are close behind followed by the Arizona Diamondbacks who by all reports will lose their manager this next season. Minnesota Twins still has a chance to reach the ultimate reverse pinnacle of failure. This is a team that should fire their manager, general manager and hitting coach, pitching coach and beer vendors.
So with two weeks to go before thought of pitchers and catchers reporting and dreams renew, here’s to those who succeed. It’s been a long run.