Whether you’ve reached the end of your rope or merely the end of your week, welcome to Whitt’s End:
*Weird, unprecedented scene/vibe tonight in Arlington. Rangers-Orioles will play Game 1, which will actually be a Game 7.
*Despite their epic collapse, Rangers will win tonight and move on to play the Yankees in the ALDS. Why? Yu Darvish. Simple. In his last 7 starts he’s 5-1 with a 2.13 ERA, 59 strikeouts and only 10 walks. With the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan Yu made 11 playoff starts, going 8-2 with a 1.38 ERA and 5 complete games. You want him on the mound or Baltimore’s Joe Saunders, who is 0-6 lifetime at Rangers Ballpark with an ERA of 9.38? Thought so.
*And, as if Yu wasn’t enough of an edge, the Rangers will have throwing out the ceremonial 1st pitch: 86-year-old nun Sister Frances Evans, who’s been a Texas fan longer than any of us.
*Chris Davis was only a Minor League masher in the Rangers’ organization. With Baltimore he hit 33 homers and .270 this season. In other words, Chris Davis = Martellus Bennett.
*Not ready for this: Cold front. High Saturday won’t get out of 50s. And it’s getting dark early these days. Summer, I already miss you.
*When the Cowboys return to play Oct. 14 at the Ravens they’ll have back Jay Ratliff, Kenyon Coleman and Phil Costa. They’ll also have this going for them: They are 15-7 after their Bye week.
*Intrigued by the new movie The Paperboy. Have no idea about the plot, but in it Nicole Kidman pees on a shirtless Zac Efron. For real. No trick photography. Don’t know why this interests me because, ya know, I could probably find similar watersports with just a couple clicks on the Internet. But nonetheless, it does.
*QUARTERBET 2012: The NFL, more than ever, is a quarterback league. Gonna try an experiment. Regardless of site or line or team, I’m going to bet a mythical $100 on every NFL game versus the spread this year merely by picking the best quarterback in the game. 8-6 last week. Through 4 weeks the theory is 30-29-3. After WEEK 2: -$190. So far, so bad.
*I’ll ask it again in light of the Cowboys’ offensive struggles: What’s so great about Bill Callahan? Cowboys haven’t scored this few points after 4 games since the days of Dave Campo and Chad Hutchinson in 2002.
*Because the Wild Card is considered its own playoff round, the Rangers can set their 25-man roster for tonight’s game and then change it before Sunday’s Game 1 against the Yankees. That means that, strangely, 18-game winner and ALDS starter Matt Harrison will be left of Texas’ playoff roster.
*While the Republicans are chortling over Romney’s perceived “victory” in the debate Wednesday night, U.S. unemployment today fell to 7.8%. Lowest since January 2009. If you don’t think President Obama deserves another 4 years to straighten this thing out then you’re not really paying attention. I look at this way, Coach Obama took over a team that went 1-15 in ’08 and has steadily improved them to 6-10 in 4 years. Fire him? Really?
*So how have the Orioles flipped from 69-93 in 2011 to 93-69 in 2012? Bullpen. Their closer Jim Johnson has 51 saves. They went 29-9 in 1-run games, best mark in 100 years. And they’ve won 16 consecutive extra-inning games. Solution: Get them early or … beware.
*Rangers in ruin: That’s 2 historic collapses in consecutive years. Trying to put into perspective the Rangers’ come-from-ahead-loss in the AL West, it ranks right up there with the Mavs coughing up a 2-0 lead in the ’06 NBA Finals, the Mavs losing to 8th-seeded Golden State in the 1st round of the ’07 playoffs and the No. 1 seed Cowboys losing to the Giants in ’07. But, nope, nothing compares to last year being within 1 strike – twice – of winning the World Series in Game 6.
*Pray to Failure Jesus, and He delivers. The Seahawks lost to the Rams, and Golden Tate caught just 1 measly pass for 7 yards. Next?
*Drug busts? Starting quarterbacks arrested for DUI. I guess Playboy was right when it included Texas Christian University on its list of America’s top party schools.
*Not too late to register and play in Monday’s 1st Annual Joe Avezzano Golf Tournament benefitting Special Olympics Texas. It’s 1:30 at Tour 18 in Flower Mound. Sign up at www.sotx.org/joeavezzano.
*So wait, now Magic Johnson owns the Los Angeles Dodgers and Peyton Manning owns the Memphis Grizzlies? Yep.
*“Guys, it’s me – it’s Josh – it’s going to be something weird.” – Josh Hamilton. Amen. Tonight could be No. 32’s last game in a Rangers’ uniform.
*This weekend? Rangers-Orioles sudden-death tonight in Arlington. Saturday, weather permitting, it’s some morning tennis, afternoon Top Golfing and then re-telling tall tales at the Duncanville High School 30th Reunion. Yes, I’m that old. Sunday? Sabbath, accessorized by the NFL. Don’t be a stranger.
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