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October 4, 2012 [LINK / comment]
Upset: A's depose the Rangers!
In a shocking development, the Oakland Athletics swept the Texas Rangers in a three-game series and thereby claimed the American League West title. It was a humbling, rude jolt to the team that had won two consecutive pennants and had come within a single strike -- twice! -- of winning the World Series last year. As in politics, the advantages of being an "incumbent" are often overestimated. A key turning point was when center fielder Josh Hamilton dropped a pop fly in the fourth inning, extending a big rally by the home team. See MLB.com.
Upset: Teddy wins presidents' race!
For the very first time in five and a half years of trying, the "Teddy Roosevelt" mascot won the presidents' race at Nationals Park. He was helped by a faux Phillie Phanatic mascot. This amazing event may have sparked the Nationals' offense, as Ryan Zimmerman hit a game-tying home run (#25) just minutes later. Michael Morse later hit a home run, his 18th. Final score: Nats 5, Phillies 1.
Even if the Reds had won last night, the Nats would still have claimed top-seed honors since they were 5-2 against the Reds this year. But as the Washington Post notes, having the best record in the regular baseball season has very little to do with whether a team goes all the way to winning the World Series. It's a whole new season just getting started from scratch.
Kudos to Adam LaRoche for hitting his 33rd home run in the Nats 4-2 win on Tuesday night, thus reaching the 100-RBI plateau. He's just the third National player to have done so.
Miguel Cabrera wins Triple Crown!
Congratulations to Miguel Cabrera for making baseball history by winning the Triple Crown, the first time anyone has done so since Carl Yastrzesmski in 1967. Meanwhile, the Yankees' Curtis Granderson hit two home runs to close to within one of Cabrera's total. (Yikes.) Miguel ended the season with a .330 average, 44 home runs, and 139 RBIs. See MLB.com.
Postseason matchups set
Otherwise, the teams expected to win the division titles and wild card slots pretty much did so. The Yankees crushed the Red Sox again, and earn highest-seed postseason honors on the American League side, with a record of 95-67. They will face the winning wild card team on Sunday. That could be either the Orioles, who lost to the Rays (thanks mainly to three home runs hit by Evan Longoria), or the Rangers. The wild card teams will face each other in Arlington, Texas on Friday. The Oakland Athletics will host the Detroit Tigers in that divisional series beginning on Saturday.
In the National League, the Braves will host the Cardinals in the NL wild card game on Friday. The winner of that game will host the Nationals, beginning on Sunday. The Cincinnati Reds will host the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night. I have updated the Postseason scores page with the correct matchups, but I may yet modify the way the wild card teams are displayed. It's complicated.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 04 Oct 2012, 7: 04 AM
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Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:
Culture & Travel
Science & Technology
This (or that) year's
January 3, 2012 ~ Campaign 2012: All eyes are on Iowa
January 9, 2012 ~ Superdome (name and diagram) update
March 24, 2012 ~ Spring (or is it Summer ?) Training 2012!
April 1, 2012 ~ Goodlatte faces challenges from the left and the right
April 17, 2012 ~ Nationals start 2012 season on a winning note
June 11, 2012 ~ Bird breeding season is here!
June 24, 2012 ~ Strasburg wins his sixth in a row
June 19, 2012 ~ University of Virginia's president forced to resign
June 28, 2012 ~ Supreme Court upholds Obamacare (But why?)
July 17, 2012 ~ R.I.P. Cliff Fretwell (1938-2012)
August 14, 2012 ~ Baseball road trip 2012: Chicago & Cleveland
September 1, 2012 ~ Vacation 2012: travelogue and photos galore!
September 10, 2012 ~ Nats come stormin' back, get a BIG win
September 14, 2012 ~ Paul Ryan visits the Shenandoah Valley
September 19, 2012 ~ It's fall bird migration season!
September 20, 2011 ~ Humala is inaugurated president of Peru
September 25, 2012 ~ Nationals get back at Brewers, twice
October 12, 2012 ~ Romney wins the debate, cheers the Valley
October 13, 2012 ~ Deja vu: The Cardinals do it again
October 30, 2012 ~ Deja vu: Giants are World Champions, again
November 7, 2012 ~ Decision 2012: Obama wins by a clear margin
November 12, 2012 ~ U.S. Congress to remain divided (and stalemated?)
November 25, 2012 ~ Stadium comparison page updates
December 22, 2012 ~ End of the world? Not yet!
December 24, 2012 ~ Sunshine state mass update
December 24, 2012 ~ New Anglican archbishop named
December 31, 2012 ~ Are you ready for some (postseason) football?
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
- Wild birds (LAST)
- Science & Technology
- Latin America
- Culture & Travel
- Canaries ("Home birds")
- Baseball (FIRST)
Also see: My blog practices.
Blog errata (Nobody's perfect.)