Yeah, that's right, as David Puddy used to say on "Seinfeld": Live chat at 11. Who will be this week's Live Chat MVP? A nation awaits.
So just a lightning round this morning:
--Your new playoff seedings:
AL: Yankees (1) vs. Texas (3), Minnesota (2) vs. Tampa Bay (4).
NL: Cincinnati (1) vs. Atlanta (4); San Diego (2) vs. Philadelphia (3)
Thoughts: The Phillies took over the NL East for the first time since May 30, and if I were a betting man, I'd wager they'll wind up there (for now, the Phillies and Braves are even in the loss column). The Braves hold a perilous, one-game lead over San Francisco for the NL wild-card slot. If Atlanta were to wind up out of the playoffs, this would be a disastrous season for them, emotionally.
--Off the Yankees game, I wrote about CC Sabathia and his Cy Young Award candidacy. I think Sabathia has recorded a terrific season, but it's simply not as good as Felix Hernandez's, and the disparity in victories doesn't mean a darn thing besides the fact that Sabathia pitches for an excellent offensive team and Hernandez a poor one.
What will happen in the Cy Young race? Well, first of all, we have another three and a half weeks to go, which means another four or five starts. Second of all, it depends on those who have been selected to vote, and their philosophies on the importance of wins. As I've written previously here, I am not voting for AL Cy Young. I'm voting for NL Manager of the Year.
--Funny story by Anthony Rieber (I helped just a little) about Buck Showalter making hay with some Yankees pitchers prior to Monday's game.
--I didn't get to see Dillon Gee's debut at all - I believe our pal JE was there - and with Ike Davis homering again, we are getting reminders of why this lonely Mets September doesn't constitute a complete waste.
If Gee and Jenrry Mejia can get in a few decent starts before the season ends, then the Mets could look ahead to a 2011 spring training that would feature Johan Santana, R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese, Mike Pelfrey, Gee and Mejia as candidates for the starting rotation.
That's really not bad. Throw in a veteran on a minor-league deal, and it's at least the makings of a potentially decent rotation. You of course have to anticipate some regression/injury, but it's not a bad starting point.
And this September, to circle back, you can watch those guys pitch. Compare it to last September, when the Mets' final five games were started by Pelfrey, Tim Redding, John Maine, Pat Misch and Nelson Figueroa.
--Trevor Hoffman picked up his 600th save, in what has been an extremely trying season for him. Certainly, closers' importance can be overrated. But if you pick up 600 saves, then by golly, you're doing something right.
Hall of Fame? He currently has 30.6 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) for his career. That puts him in the company of players like.Jose Rijo, Derek Lowe and Sid Fernandez.
--I read this story about Jason Varitek and his desire to keep playing, and after I thought of Islander505, I thought about where Varitek could fit in 2011. How about the Mets? Varitek, a switch-hitter, hits lefties better than he hits lefties, so he would be a good platoon partner with Josh Thole. He has a tremendous reputation for working with pitchers, and he has even managed to throw out a respectable percentage (21 percent) of basestealers.
Henry Blanco - Hank White, as some of the kids on the Interweb refer to him - has been perfectly fine. But Varitek would be better, and I don't think he'll be in a position to charge a great amount of money for his services.
--I read this column by Joe Posnanski about Reggie Bush - they're reportedly planning to take his Heisman Trophy away from him - and I agreed and transferred the situation to baseball. Remember when Jose Canseco confessed to using steroids, and Mike Greenwell argued that he should get the 1988 AL MVP, because he finished second behind Canseco?
Thank goodness that case went nowhere. If baseball were to attempt such history revision, as the Heisman folks appear poised to do - it would wrap itself in a logic pretzel from which it would be nearly impossible to extricate.
--OK, so see you at 11, and at sunset tonight, I'm powering it down for 48 hours, to observe Rosh Hashanah. After the live chat, I'll see you Friday night. Happy New Year to all who celebrate.