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17 games to go

Man, the season is just about over. We've been here for 145 games, with great stretches and absolutely pathetic stretches alongside them. This has really been a strange first season for me to cover daily. I'll almost miss it when it's over, but there'll be another one in five months, I guess.

The four-game win streak ended at the hands of Jorge Julio and Jason Grimsley. Anyone wish Julio and his 5.89 ERA had been dealt when he was hot? Anyone want to take a gander at Grimsley's 7.41 mark, no better than Steve Reed, who got all kinds of crap while he was stinking the joint up? I hate to brag about garbage, but I recall a someone (me me me me!) that figured on both of these things happening.

Oh and how about Aaron Rakers with his five strikeouts in two innings and 1.42 ERA and sub-1 WHIP now? Huh, how about that, huh? I should probably be named President. If Rakers isn't a key member of the 2006 bullpen I will freak right out.

O's are off Thursday, then come home to face Tampa Bay before hitting the Yankee/Sox stretch where they can make things ugly for someone.

Don't forget the beard poll, and spread the word about it. I want all baseball fans involved in the voting.