Thanks For The Memories
The point to all this is, of course, the wonderful moment we were all provided courtesy of the New York Yankees and Mo Rivera. If you didn't see it, go google it and watch it. It was really special, and that's probably because Rivera was such a special guy. He wasn't just a fierce competitor and ace closer and the most accomplished reliever in the postseason or any of the other on the field accomplishments he acheived. Rivera was always a solid citizen and ambassador for the game. No dope. No violence. No contract squabbles. No nothing. Just a player who always gave his all and was always someone we could aspire for our kids to emulate.
And I thought the way Joe Girardi handled the whole situation was just beautiful. When it was time to go get Mo and give him the ovation he so richly deserved for all those great years of service to the organization and to the game, he sent his other 2 war horses out from the Yankees great recent history. Both Pettitte---also making his last appearance on the field for the Yankee faithful---and Jeter were sent to the mound to "retrieve" Rivera. It really was amazing to watch, and I'd also like to give Yankee announcer, Michael Kay, some kudos here as well. Kay makes his living with a daily radio show in The Big Apple. In other words, he's paid to talk, but he just shut up and let the moment wash over all of us who were watching. Love them, or hate them, the Yankees are an organization that has usually always been about class, and that sure showed through last night. Thanks to everyone that had anything to do with it for another seminal moment that we should all be able to look back on and cherish in the years to come.
THE SHOW (2-2 yesterday and 14-9 so far for the week)
I like drama as much as the next guy, but it sometimes makes it difficult to get an edge. Things came through on the "feel" last night with the Braves, and I'm pretty much in the same boat again today. But at least there are some actual numbers to back up tonight's play. Here we go!
BUTTA (1-0 last night and 5-6 so far for the week)
1. RANGERS (OGANDO -150) over Angels (Wilson) - It would only be fitting and add to the drama of the situation if C.J. Wilson and Josh Hamilton were able to come back to Arlington and throw a serious monkey wrench into the Rangers postseason hopes, but I don't think it will happen. At least, not for Wilson. Wilson has been aces on the road over the last 2 seasons in going 22-11, but he worked hard his last time out. He threw over 120 pitches, and in his next start after tossing that many in the past, he's only 1-5. For the Rangers, it looks like they might be starting to find their bats a little bit, especially in the clutch, and Ogando is 4-0 lifetime with a 2.48 ERA against the Halos, including 2-0 this season.
2. Brewers (Gallardo -110) over METS (TORRES) - I like what the Crew has done in the 2nd half. They've been out of things for a long time and took that "gut punch" losing their superstar to suspension, but they've refused to buckle under and are 23-14 in the 2nd half against teams with losing records. I also like that Gallardo is 18-5 when he gets the ball off a team win over the last 2 seasons. With this being his last start of the year, I think he goes hard and baffles the Mets tonight.
ON THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR
1. REDS (BAILEY -140) over Pirates (Burnett) - As I said, I like drama as much as the next guy, and a Reds win would certainly keep things dramatic for the weekend in Cincinnati. But even though we all know of Burnett's struggle on the road, not only this year, but over his entire career as well, I can't pull the trigger on the Reds. Bailey may be 8-4 lifetime against the Bucs, but I have a thing about backing a pitcher named Homer, and the Pirates are in the driver's seat to host the wild card game right now. One more win, and they can salt that away. Too much drama means no play.
2. Royals (Shields -110) over WHITE SOX (SALE) - It was nice to see that the Royals didn't lay down last night after being eliminated on Wednesday. They won't be able to do that tonight either. Big Game James is a beast, and he won't stand for it.
3. Red Sox (Buchholz -125) over ORIOLES (FELDMAN) - The price on this game is much lower than it would have been had it been scheduled a couple of weeks ago, but this game means relatively nothing in the grand scheme of things. It all boils down to what lineups the respective managers want to put on the field, but based on the starting pitching matchup alone, the Sox should have a huge edge here.
RUN-(NING) LINES (6-3 ATS/7-2 SU/6-3 TOTALS yesterday and 31-36/33-30/40-27 so far for the week)
1. ORIOLES (+1 1/2, U7 1/2) vs. Red Sox
2. Rays (-1 1/2, U8) over BLUE JAYS
3. Angels (+1 1/2, U8 1/2) vs. RANGERS
4. Indians (-1 1/2, U8 1/2) over TWINS
5. WHITE SOX (+1 1/2, U6 1/2) vs. Royals
6. ASTROS (+1 1/2, U8 1/2) vs. Yankees
7. MARINERS (+1 1/2, U6 1/2) vs. Athletics
8. Pirates (+1 1/2, U7) at REDS
9. Brewers (-1 1/2, U7) over METS
10. Phillies (+1 1/2, U6) at BRAVES
11. CARDINALS (-1 1/2, U7) over Cubs
12. D-BACKS (+1 1/2, O7 1/2) vs. Nationals
13. DODGERS (-1 1/2, O6 1/2) over Rockies
14. Padres (+1 1/2, U7) at GIANTS *
15. MARLINS (+1 1/2, U8) vs. Tigers
COLLEGE FOOTBALL (0-2 last night)
1. BYU (-24) over Middle Tennessee St. - The Blue Raiders are a long way from home, and it doesn't look like they've got much going on. That's not the least of their worries tonight though. They're going to have to deal with a surly bunch of Cougars after BYU dropped their big rivalry game to Utah last week. Now, I'll be the first to tell you that this kid playing QB for the Coogs is not a 24-point favorite type player, but the defense is stout, and if the Coogs just line up and play smash mouth like they did with Texas, they should have no problems tonight.
2. Utah St. (-9 1/2) over SAN JOSE ST. - The Spartans defense was exposed last week by the Hoosiers, and the QB talent for the Aggies is much better than what Indiana has. It will be a good battles between Keeton for Utah St. and Fales for San Jose St., but the Aggie defense looks good enough to be able to grab this one and put a stranglehold on it.
Another busy day for yours truly, but I got it all done under the wire. Have a great night, be careful out there and I'll talk to you early tomorrow morning.