Congratulations to the Colorado Rockies, who clinched at least a Wild Card spot and is a weekend sweep of the Dodgers away from stealing the NL West crown, too. The Rockies were 18 – 28 and threatening to do worse than I could have predicted when they fired manager Clint Hurdle and replaced him with Jim Tracy. A turnaround like this doesn’t happen often – arguably, this is more impressive than that long winning streak that launched the Rockies into the playoffs in 2007. [FoxSports]
Minnesota topped Detroit yesterday to keep alive slim hopes of winning the AL Central. In addition to having to sweep Kansas City at home, the Tigers would have to lose at least two games to the White Sox in Detroit to force a playoff in Minnesota or win the division outright. [SI]
I was able to watch a little of yesterday’s San Francisco win over Arizona in the last home game of the year. Manager Bruce Bochy gave curtain calls to Rich Aurilia (two standing ovations) and Randy Johnson, who pitched the ninth inning. Johnson admitted that he’s running out of gas at 46, and will spend the offseason thinking about how he feels about pitching in 2010. [ESPN]
Another player who hopes to stay in San Francisco is catcher Bengie Molina, whose three year contract expires. His agent says Molina has earned the right to a good contract and Molina wants to remain with the Giants. [SI]
Talk about a pitcher helping his own cause, Chris Carpenter doubled home a pair of runs and hit a grand slam in the second inning – six of the 13 runs scored were driven in by the Cy Young candidate. [FoxSports]
Tony LaRussa thought that Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo was helping his cause – by doctoring baseballs with pine tar. Some photos show a thumb mark in the brim of his cap. Arroyo says that his cap is that way from a full season of gripping mudded baseballs. This makes me wonder why LaRussa is complaining now, when Kenny Rogers didn’t just have a stain, but had gunk all over his hand during the 2006 World Series – and yet Tony said nothing. [SI]
Milestones… Garrett Anderson got his 2,500th hit last night. He’s seventh among active players. (Name the other six for extra credit.)
More Milestones… The oldest living former major leaguer turns 100 Monday. Tom Malinosky played on the 1937 Dodgers, later fought in the battle of the bulge, and was a college classmate of Richard Nixon.
Afterthoughts… In a forthcoming book about ALCOR, Larry Johnson, a former executive at the cryonics lab, says that at least one technician abused Ted Williams’ severed head – taking swats at the frozen noggin with a monkey wrench.