Updated Sept. 8
Barring a collapse of Metsian proportions, each of the six divisions are wrapped up. Only four legitimate candidates remain for the two wild-card spots, and there is a grand total of three head-to-head games remaining among them. There isn't a single series this week that might be described as a "playoff preview," a "clash of up-and-comers" or "something interesting to do between lunch and nightfall." My two they-can-do-eet! picks for a late-season surge, the Rays and Braves, have succumbed to injuries and self-inflicted wounds.
My God, what the hell am I going to write about for the next few weeks?
Really, there's only so much I can say about the Rangers' pluck, which remains so very plucky in the face of injuries and a pitching staff held together by twine. I've explored every possible angle on the Rockies' defense, depth and early season managerial musical chairs. Lord knows the world doesn't need any more deeply felt exegeses on the state of the Red Sox. I suppose I could prattle about how the contenders need only "get everyone rested and healthy" and "line up their starting rotations," but it seems a waste of time to devote 700 words to the notion that the Tigers have a puncher's chance in any series featuring multiple starts by Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson.
That's why I need to view or attend as many Giants games as humanly possible. After watching the team over the last week, I'm convinced that skipper Bruce Bochy is either betting against his own team or suffering from some sort of neurological impairment.
I don't understand the batting orders, which fluctuate wildly from one day to the next and rarely take into account things like on-base percentage. I don't understand his bullpen management, which combines the ride-your-horses sadism of Joe Torre's approach with the I-could-care-less surrender of Lou Piniella's. I really, really, really don't understand the decision to keep the organization's most capable backstop, Buster Posey, stapled to the bench at a time when the Giants lack anything resembling a coherent offense.
So for the sake of this column, let's keep the Giants winning and let's keep Bochy pushing the buttons. Without him, I'm nothing.