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A tip of the crooked cap

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C.C. Sabathia dominated, the O's got swept, and tomorrow's an off-day. Baseball is such a wonderful game, even in its most frustrating moments. You sweep Oakland, and things are looking up. A few days later, Cleveland has mopped the floor with you and it's right back to three games under .500. This season in particular has been one ridiculous ride for the emotions of a fan, stretching beyond the win-loss record even. I don't mean to sound like I'll be happy when it's over, but I almost can't wait for the season to end so the offseason can get here and we can start looking toward next year more definitively. I hope we finish well, but this has been an exhausting season to cover.

There's no shame in being swept by the Indians, though. They're a good team, a very good team when they're clicking, and they clicked this series. The AL wild card race is hot with Oakland a half-game up on Cleveland, the Yankees a game back, and the Twins hanging around at two and a half out. It's too bad we're not still there. The NL wild card race is just as good, with four teams within a game and a half of each other.

So the stretch run should be exciting in terms of the entire league, at least. I'll be rooting for the A's and Astros and rooting entirely against the Yankees, Twins, Phillies and Expos.

I also hope White Sox fans (and I guess their players) haven't gotten complacent because they're now only four and a half games better than the "struggling" 20 games over .500 Red Sox and five and a half better than the Angels. Their home field is no lock; it would be difficult for them to lose that division, but they are the White Sox, so never say never! I still think they're a one and done team that isn't built for the playoffs. But the AL is up for grabs. All the teams in contention have serious issues.

Monday's an off-day, and then starting Tuesday we host the Angels for three.