Calling Stephen Strasburg, Calling Stephen....: You're the Washington Nationals and the main reason you're in the postseason is because you have one of the most dominant pitchers of his generation. Your city hasn't been to the playoffs since Calvin Coolidge or one of those guys you only see in black and white photos was president. Given the competition in your own division, not to mention your league, it may not happen more than a couple of times in the next six or seven years. So where is that dominant pitcher? He's watching and resting his arm so you can do it all again and still lose in the first round. I respect the Nationals' management. They've done a great job building a contender that should do it for the next few years. But ask any player and they'll tell you how hard it is to get there and when you do, you better take advantage of it. You tell me. Are the National taking advantage of it? I think not.
Streaks Are Made to Be Broken: Two teams I happen to root for had big streaks broken in the postseason. First, the Braves finally lost a game started by Kris Medlen after 23 consecutive wins. It just so happened to cost them a spot in the "real" postseason. And tonight, the Orioles experienced their first walk-off loss of the season after becoming the first team since 1900 to avoid that fate during the regular season. Are you kidding me? Did I just write 1900? Good grief, did they even wear gloves back then? Did the term walk-off even exist? After wearing those wool uniforms for nine innings, it was probably more like a shuffle-off win. Anyway, my point is the postseason is a lot different than the regular season (pay attention, Nationals) and the same rules don't apply. Take the Orioles tonight. Why not pitch around Raul Ibanez in the 12th? The guy was a menace for the Orioles, already homering once with one out in the ninth to extend the game. But no way. We don't allow walk-off wins, so no problem. Just give the guy a hanging curve and hope he pops it up. Instead, we get a 2012 version of Reggie Jackson. My prediction is the Orioles are toast.
Lance, Lance, Lance: I have been a pretty staunch supporter of Lance Armstrong in the past, but the latest testimony by many of his teammates appears to be pretty damning. I guess if we step back and look at his performances, his recovery from a life threatening struggle against cancer and the way he was able to dominate a sport where a majority of participants were either blood doping or using performance enhancing drugs, it should be pretty obvious that he's probably guilty. However, there is still the fact that he was the most tested athlete in history and always came up clean. The only evidence against him is testimony, none of which is backed up by any hard evidence. In a culture that is inundated with television programs based on forensics, it isn't unrealistic for most people to want testing and science to confirm those allegations before we declare Armstrong guilty. As for me, it's just sad that a sport ends up losing relevance because everyone ends up cheating. Hey Bud Selig, are you listening?