September 21, 2003 [LINK]

Awesome pennant races

Perhaps the biggest surprise in this climactic month has been Oakland, which surged ahead of Seattle in the AL West. At this point, the Braves and Giants have already won their divisions outright, while the Yankees have at least won a wild card spot, and will probably grab the AL East once again, unless the Red Sox manage to pull out an amazing winning streak. The Chicago Cubs are only a half game behind Houston in the NL Central, and are in the running for the wild card spot as well. The White Sox slipped behind the Twins recently, but there still might be an all-Chicago World Series; who'da thunk it??? As Thomas Boswell wrote in the Washington Post last Wednesday, this is one of the most competitive seasons big league baseball has ever seen, and this is one of the "hottest" Septembers ever.

Earlier this month, Roger Clemens pitched what was probably his last game ever in Fenway Park, which was his home for over a decade. Boston fans set aside their understandable grudge and bid a warm farewell to "The Rocket." They deserve a big hand for the classy gesture. That was quite a memorable four-game series in Boston, by the way: the Red Sox outscored the Yanks by a huge margin, but could only manage a 2-2 split.

In late August the Oregan state legislature first voted down a bill providing funding for a possible major league baseball stadium in Portland, then reconsidered a few days later and approved it. The D.C. government is still scrounging around for creative financing options, while Virginia seems to be running in third place in the relocation race, thanks to the NIMBY-spooked Arlington County Board of Supervisors. MLB officials want to keep the Expos in limbo for another year, playing for another year in Montreal but with many "home" games in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The player's union is adamantly opposed to that, however, so the drama continues.

NOTE: This is a "post facto" blog post, taken from the pre-November 2004 archives.