September 11, 2002
One year ago
I am here to talk about baseball and I generally try to be lighthearted and humorous, so I won't even try to write anything that could possibly add something new or useful to the anniversary of September 11th, 2001.
I will always remember where I was when I first heard about the attacks (about to leave for an early morning class) and I will always remember the feeling of sitting in the TV lounge in the dorm with about three times the rooms' capacity of people, all staring in disbelief at the television screen in front of us.
And that was in Minnesota, miles and miles away from the events that took place.
I can't even imagine what it was like for those who were there.
I extend my deepest sympathy and condolences to all of those who lost loved ones that day and my gratitude goes to all those who risked their own lives to try to help others.
Now, as if it really matters in comparison, a little baseball talk...
Over at David Pinto's Baseball Musings, last year's standings, as of September 11th, are posted.
We all know the basics.
Seattle was at 104-40, which is just freaking ridiculous really.
The Twins were in the middle of a complete collapse and had already fallen 6 games behind Cleveland.
The Yankees led the BoSox by 13 games.
Arizona was struggling to hold off the Giants and were only 1.5 games ahead of them and 3 ahead of the Dodgers.
The Braves only had a 3.5 game lead in their division (they are 21 games up right now).
Houston was 5 games in front of St. Louis (they eventually ended up in a 1st place tie).
And this season, a lot of things are pretty similar...
4 out of 6 division leaders as of September 11th last year are once again leading their division on September 11th this year.
The other two leaders are the Twins (who were in 2nd a year ago) and the A's (who were in 2nd too, with a 87-57 record and 17 games back of the Mariners!).
The Devil Rays still suck and if I am still writing this blog on September 11th, 2020, I will probably be able to say the same exact thing (unless the D-Rays are non-existant by then).
And the AL West is still baseball's best division.
Here are the biggest differences in winning % from last year at this time to this year:
Winning % went up:
Anaheim Angels +.111
Atlanta Braves +.092
Cincinnati Reds +.087
Montreal Expos +.063
Baltimore Orioles +.061
Boston Red Sox +.055
Pittsburgh Pirates +.053
Minnesota Twins +.051
Winning % went down:
Seattle Mariners -.139
Cleveland Indians -.125
Chicago Cubs -.124
Milwaukee Brewers -.086
San Diego Padres -.069
Houston Astros -.049
Toronto Blue Jays -.042
Philadelphia Phillies -.041
Last September 11th the Twins were actually scheduled to play the same team they played today, the Detroit Tigers.
Today the Twins scored 6 runs in the 2nd inning and went on to beat the Tigers 8-2, completing a 3 game sweep and lowering their "magic number" to 4.
Apparently me writing a two-part entry on what the Twins should do in the playoffs wasn't enough to jinx them, which is surprising.
Today's win was especially nice for the Twins because it came against a quality left-handed starting pitcher, Mark Redman (who is a former Twin and was traded for Todd Jones last year, YUCK!).
The Twins had 6 hits (including a homer and a double) off of Redman in only 1 2/3 innings.
And in the first game of the series, Monday night, the Twins did pretty well off of another (not-so-quality) left-handed starter, Mike Maroth.
They got him for 5 runs off of 8 hits (including 3 doubles and a triple) and a walk, in 6 IP.
It's only two games and Maroth and Redman aren't Zito and Mulder (or even Scully and Mulder), but at least it is something.
In other news...
I somehow forgot to mention this before, but last week I had my first official journalism class here at the U of M and while the professor was discussing the various types of media out there she basically said "Any schmuck can have a Blog."
Okay...she didn't actually say schmuck.
It was actually said in a very teacherly, professional way, but still!
And I'm not really saying she's wrong...