Phillies win division title
Like the Boston Red Sox, the Philadelphia Phillies have a lot of solid sluggers, decent pitchers, a feisty attitude, and -- in most years, at least -- more than their share of bad luck. In the long run, however, fortune tends to even out, and this year the Phillies finally got their due, winning the NL East for the first time since 1993. (I hope they appreciate the supporting role in their postseason quest played by the Washington Nationals.) I can hardly imagine how the Mets must feel at this point, because many people had them pegged to go all the way this year. Back in June, the two most dominant teams in the majors were the Mets and the Tigers, and they seemed poised to make it all the way to the World Series. But it ain't over till it's over, and this year the prverbial "fat lady" did not sing until the very last day of the season, and in the case of the NL Wild Card spot, she still hasn't sung. Thanks to losses by the D-backs and the Padres, tomorrow the Colorado Rockies will try to make it to the postseason for the second time in franchise history, as they host the Padres in a tie-breaker playoff game at Coors Field. What an amazing final two weeks played by that team from the Mile High City! Let's hope this success leads to higher attendance at games in Denver next year.
UPDATE: It will take a long time for the Mets to live down their dismaying September meltdown -- blowing a seven-game lead in the NL East with only 17 games left to play. To put that in context, MLB.com provides an excellent history lesson on late-season collapses by former first-place teams.
Not many people noticed, but the Devil Rays won their final game of the season, keeping them above the .400 threshold. That makes it official: Every single team in the majors this year ended with a win-loss record between .400 and .600, showing that the big leagues are more competitive than is commonly thought -- and without the quasi-socialist revenue-sharing system adopted by the NFL. Let this be a lesson to all the cynics out there: It's not all about the money!
As usual, from October through December, the postseason game scoreboard will be posted at the bottom of the baseball blog page, and will be updated every day. I just hope the World Series is over and done with by Halloween! It's ridiculous the way the baseball season gets stretched out more and more every year.
RFK Stadium photos
I've updated the RFK Stadium page with some of the new photos I took recently, plus an older one I had neglected to include. Check out the huge panorama of the night game we saw there on September 22.