And so we've reached the last day of September. The Indians will be playing into October, but that's only because the regular season schedule says so.
Paul Cousineau, who has been writing at the DiaTribe since 2005, is hanging up his keyboard permanently, though for a very good reason:
Maybe you could posit that this is the product of the apathy that has set in around the fanbase regarding the organization, particularly after seeing a fanciful alternate universe presented (tongue firmly in cheek) this week by AC , but the greater truth is that I’ve reached a point in my life in which this no longer fits neatly – or even messily – into any part of it. I suppose that I could continue on in some fashion on a part-time basis, but (as you may have noticed) I generally either go all-in (inexplicably finding 4K words on bullpen usage) or simply pull the band-aid right off.
Paul's been a great friend of this site from the beginning, and to say he'll be sorely missed is a vast understatement. His massive and insightful weekly columns have long been my first stop on Sunday mornings, and a source of inspiration for my writing. The blogosphere on any subject gets better as more voices are added, and the Indians 'sphere is no different. So when one of those prominent voices go away, we all suffer.
But the site isn't going away; Al Ciammaichella will take over the site duties on a full-time basis, and in his capable hands, I don't see the quality of the writing suffering at all.
Lonnie Chisenhall won't be playing winter ball; he backed out due to concerns about being healthy for next spring:
"I feel good with the at-bats," Chisenhall said. "I don't think I'm going to wake up in January and feel like, 'Oh, I didn't get 600 at-bats.' But I could wake up in January and say, 'You know what? I'm still tired.' I just don't want that to be the case. I want to show up to Spring Training 100 percent."
Brantley has quietly had an outstanding season...where would the Indians have been in the outfield if not for him?
The craziest thing is that even with the two wild cards, no AL team has clinched a playoffs spot. Every team in the American League, including New York and Texas, could end up missing the playoffs entirely if they lose out.
For those rooting for a crazy Thursday, here's the scenario you want to happen over the next four days:
Texas: 0-2 vs LAA, 1-2 vs OAK (93-69, tie for AL West)
Oakland: 1-0 vs SEA, 2-1 vs TEX (93-69, tie for AL West)
New York: 0-1 vs TOR, 2-1 vs BOS (93-69, tie for AL East)
Baltimore: 0-1 vs BOS, 2-1 vs TB (93-69, tie for AL East)
Chicago: 1-0 vs TB, 2-1 vs CLE (86-76, tie for AL Central)
Detroit: 0-1 vs MIN, 1-2 vs KC (86-76, tie for AL Central)
That would mean each AL division would have a tied after the regular season, and that would mean three tie-breakers on Thursday, with the loser of the Central tie-breaker missing the playoffs entirely and the loser of the other two tie-breakers playing the Wild Card game on Friday.The crazy thing about this scenario is that it's rather plausible.
There's other scenarios in which it's possible to have more teams involved (Tampa Bay and Los Angeles), meaning multiple playoff games, but that would mean a couple clubs would have to lose out. It's still possible for there to be a three-way tie for the AL East title, but that would mean the Yankees and Orioles would lose the rest of their games. I don't see that happening. It's also possible that at the same time Oakland and LAA would end up at 91-71, therefore creating Bud Selig's worst nightmare: five teams at 91-71 playing for three playoff spots (AL East, both Wild Cards). But several implausible things would have to happen:
Oakland: 1-0 vs SEA, 0-3 vs TEX (91-71)
Los Angeles: 1-1 vs TEX, 3-0 vs SEA (91-71)
New York: 0-1 vs TOR, 0-3 vs BOS (91-71)
Baltimore: 0-1 vs BOS, 0-3 vs TB (91-71)
Tampa Bay: 1-0 vs CHW, 3-0 vs BAL (91-71)