- Posted: 9:55 AM, August 10, 2012
AL: Texas (1) vs. winner of Oakland (WC1) and Detroit (WC2A) and Baltimore (WC2B), Yankees (2) vs. White Sox (3)
NL: Washington (1) vs. winner of Atlanta (WC1) and Pittsburgh (WC2), Cincinnati (2) vs. San Francisco (3)
Notes: The A's enjoyed one of their finest days of the season. Just by not playing, they gained ground on their wild-card foes Detroit, which lost to the Yankees, and Baltimore, which lost to Kansas City. If the season ended today, Detroit would host Baltimore for a one-game play-in, and the winner would then travel to Oakland for the actual wild-card game.
Why would Detroit host? Because the Tigers have a 2-1 edge over the Orioles in head-to-head action. The Orioles visit Detroit a week from today for a three-game set.
--OK, onto this week's Friday Five, which came to life thanks to Joe Girardi's colorful antics yesterday in the Yankees' victory in Detroit. Here's my column on it.
It was top-notch for Girardi, but nowhere near the best ever. Here are my five favorites:
1. Earl Weaver, date indeterminate. I'm not going to provide a link to this one, because it isn't family-friendly. Or, as the kids say, "NSFW." But you can find it with some basic Googling, and it'll be worth your effort. My favorite part comes when the umpire mentions Weaver's lack of success in World Series, and Weaver responds, "I've won more than I lost!" When the umpire disagrees with that account, Weaver comes back with, "Games."
Which isn't true, by the way. Weaver went 11-13 in World Series games (1-3 in World Series). No matter what year this classic occurred, Weaver never had a winning record in World Series games during the regular season. He was 7-5 following the first two games of the 1971 Series, which the O's proceeded to lose.
Any way, if you track this one down, you won't be disappointed.
2. Bobby Cox, August 15, 2007. In reading this story, it appears that fans were largely unaware that Cox got tossed this night and therefore broke the record for ejections (131) held by legendary skipper John McGraw. Too bad. But it still ranks high here because it was arguably the most anticipated ejection in baseball history.
3. Jim Leyland, August 31, 2006. In a game at Yankee Stadium, Leyland got rung up in the middle of the seventh for arguing balls and strikes. So Leyland bolted from the dugout to jaw with home-plate umpire James Hoye.
But what happens during the seventh-inning stretch at the Stadium? They play "God Bless America." Leyland, therefore, stood respectfully at attention, standing next to Hoye. And once the song concluded, Leyland resumed his argument. Just awesome. Here's some video.
4. Cookie Rojas, August 18, 1988. Man, I guess August is a good month for these things. Maybe it's the heat? Anyway, this, too, took place at Yankee Stadium, with Rojas managing the Angels. When he adamantly argued a ruling on an interference call, Rojas received simultaneous ejections from three umpires on the scene -- Mike Reilly, Dale Ford and John Shulock. You couldn't have choreographed it better. Here's a story on Rojas' memorable night.
5. Pete Rose, April 30, 1988. Rose, in his final full year in Major League Baseball (he would get suspended permanently in August 1989 for betting on baseball games), had a point when he challenged first-base umpire Dave Pallone on a late safe call -- as Mets announcers Fran Healy and Tim McCarver say on this video. But Rose immortalized this showdown when he shoved Pallone, drawing a 30-day suspension.
--Have a great weekend.