September 14, 2005 [LINK]

Vote for "Latino Legends"

In recognition of Latino Heritage Month, and implicitly, the absence of any Latinos on the "All Century team," MLB is inviting baseball fans to choose a "Latino Legends" team. See I was a little surprised at the paucity of retired Latino position players on the ballot, and the offsetting paucity of current Latino pitchers. Here are my picks:

Nats hang on for dear life

After the crushing blow suffered in their 9-7 loss to Atlanta on Sunday, it was a good sign that they bounched right back and took the first two games from the Mets at Shea Stadium. Revealing the Nationals' desperate lack of healthy starting pitchers, Hector Carrasco filled that job on Tuesday, the first time he's done so since 2000, and he managed OK for four innings. Esteban Loaiza won his 11th game, and Chad Cordero racked up two more saves, and with 46 total now, he is once again firmly in the lead among major league relievers. The bullpen performed in the crunch both nights, holding the Mets to just five runs combined in the two games. The Nationals are now only three games out of first place in the NL wild card race, but the sad fact is that they have very little control over their own destiny, as their postseason hopes now depend on three very good teams losing most of the rest of their games. I give the Nats a five percent shot at making it.

Andruw leads sluggers

I probably should have paid tribute to Andruw Jones' amazing (if aggravating) burst of home run hitting during the Braves' visit to Our Nation's Capital. With a total of 49 thus far, he leads the rest of the majors by seven. If it weren't for his relatively low batting average (.275), he would have a shot at the triple crown. On the other hand, if he had hit a few fewer homers, the Cubs' phenomenon Derrek Lee would have been contending for the triple crown. (Sammy who?)