When the Oakland Athletics dealt for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, there were those ready to hand the World Series rings to them on a platinum platter. And there were those others, myself included, who cautioned not to do it just yet. Not that it stopped them, especially after the A’s landed Jon Lester out of Boston.
Late surges did the Detroit Tigers all the good in the world and the Los Angeles Angels none of it after Monday’s proceedings were finished. The Tigers stood with the American League Central in their hip pockets and the Angels stood with no place to go the rest of October other than playing out a two-game string with the Seattle Mariners and praying what they managed to do down the stretch this time would mean anything better than what they didn’t do in the season’s first month.
Apparently, it is now acceptable baseball code to taunt and show up the pitcher off whom you just crushed a monstrous home run, because said pitcher objected to a teammate’s possible showboating on a similar bomb four innings before you delivered yours.
That pitching duel between Justin Verlander and Jered Weaver was crusing along nicely enough—if you didn’t count Magglio Ordonez’s one-from-the-memory-banks bomb and his uncharacteristic slow step up the line to watch the ball disappear—until Carlos Guillen unloaded on Weaver.