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March 28, 2012

Texas Rangers Spring Training Photos, Monday

Zach Osborne and 12 others here

Posted by Lucas at 03:19 PM

March 26, 2012

Texas Rangers Spring Training Photos, Last Tuesday

Roman Mendez and 13 others here

Posted by Lucas at 02:22 AM

March 23, 2012

Hotel Room Blues

Neil Young, "LA," from Time Fades Away (still not released digitally), 1973

Elliott Smith, "LA," from Figure 8, 2000

Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, Anders Parker (singing), Yim Yames, "Old LA," from New Multitudes, 2012

Posted by Lucas at 10:04 AM

March 21, 2012

Texas Rangers Spring Training Photos, Monday

Ronald Guzman and 14 others here

Posted by Lucas at 01:12 AM

March 20, 2012

Texas Rangers Spring Training Photos, Sunday

Jurickson Profar and 13 others here

Posted by Lucas at 02:56 AM

March 19, 2012

Texas Rangers Spring Training Photos, Saturday

Braxton Lane and 22 others here

Posted by Lucas at 03:04 AM

March 15, 2012

Arizona Bound

Posted by Lucas at 02:54 PM

March 02, 2012

2012 American League Playoff Hypothetical

Wednesday, 3 October, last day of regular season:

West Central East
Texas (96-65) Detroit (90-71) New York (92-69)
Los Angeles (95-66) Kansas City (81-80) Boston (88-73)
- - Tampa Bay (85-76)

Texas at Oakland
Los Angeles at Seattle
Boston at New York

Texas enters the day with the best record in the league (in fact, the best record in baseball) but ahead of division-mate Los Angeles by only one game. Texas sends Yu Darvish to the mound against Oakland's Brandon McCarthy. McCarthy matches Darvish and the A's eke out a 3-2 victory. The Angels beat the Mariners 4-1, creating a tie atop the West.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox and Yankees are able to play the back ends of their 40-man rosters, having secured their playoffs berths, and, more critically, their #2 and #5 seeds.

Thursday, 4 October, division one-gamer:

Texas at Los Angeles

The Rangers and Angels fly into Los Angeles to play a single game to determine the West champion. (The Angels host based on a 10-9 advantage head-to-head.) Texas again loses 3-2. Boston has a plane prepped and is able to land at DFW before the Rangers.

Friday, 5 October, wild card play-in:

Boston at Texas

Having fallen from the #1 seed to the #4 seed in two days, Texas hosts the play-in game. Boston had the previous day off, while Texas is playing its third consecutive game in a different city and lost two hours on its most recent flight. Furthermore, Boston's "safe" position as #5 seed allows the Sox to hold back ace Josh Beckett for this very game. Boston wins 6-2, eliminating the Rangers, who had the best record in baseball 48 hours ago.

Saturday, 6 October, ALDS:
Los Angeles at Boston
New York at Detroit

The ALDS begins with the one of the two best teams already eliminated and the other on the road. Because of the 2-3 ALDS format, the Angels are rewarded for their victory over Texas and the best record among playoff contenders with a cross-country red-eye into Boston. They had to wait for the outcome of Friday's game, because a Texas victory would have them playing at Detroit (the ALDS can't match division foes).

I'm sure Bud's thought this through.


I knew I posted this too quickly. The #1 vs. #4 matchup would begin on Sunday, not Saturday. See here. And division rivals CAN play each other in the ALDS.

I still don't like it much. It still leaves the strong potential for punishing better teams. The 2-3 format reminds me of the 1996 ALDS, when Texas had home field advantage over the Yankees despite a slightly worse record (90 wins vs 92) but had to open on the road. (Even worse, 99-win Cleveland had to open at 88-win Baltimore.)

Also, that division rivals can play each other creates another weird scenario in which the team with the best record is forced to play against (and open on the road against) the team with the second-best record. In my hypothetical, that happens if Texas wins the play-in. LA would open in Arlington.

Yeah, I ruined my punchline by having to make corrections.


I also knew I wouldn't be the first to chime in on unintended(?) consequences of the new wild card system, and in fact, Joe Sheehan (among others, I'm sure) has covered a similar scenario in better detail and more capably pilloried Monsieur Selig.

Posted by Lucas at 06:33 PM

March 01, 2012

Forgot Last Weekend's Weekend Photo

Pow Wow Trading Post, Route 66, Holbrook, Arizona, 14 March 2011

Posted by Lucas at 01:56 AM