If you had "one regular season game" in the Broncos QB switch pool, you can collect your money now. Also, my hometown Bears beat up on a Packer team that must be making Brett Favre strongly reconsider his retirement decision with every three-and-out.
We're not a football site here, however. The Rockies beat fellow also-rans Washington by an NFL-like score this afternoon, 13-9, completing an improbable but ultimately meaningless 8-0 season sweep. Todd Helton hit a grand slam and Garrett Atkins added his 25th homer of the season. You have two choices when it comes to playing out the string. You can collapse brutally and let the bad feelings run rampant (see the Cubs), or you can go on a nice little run, play with dignity, and round off some good individual lines. Last September, the Rockies had their best month of the whole season. Cory Sullivan pretty much locked down his starting job for this year during that stretch. BK Kim got himself invited back. This year, the Rockies have a few things to play for, assuming you're the type who finds grasping at straws fun and relaxing. There's a distant chance that all of the Colorado starters could finish with double-digit wins. Jeff Francis already has 11. Josh Fogg and Aaron Cook have nine. Kim has eight. Jason Jennings, who has been the ace of the staff, has not seen much in the way of run support; his record stands at a terribly unrepresentative 7-12. The Rockies have 19 games left, so everyone except Francis should get 4 more starts. Brian Fuentes needs five more saves for 30. These numbers are of course all completely meaningless in the grand scheme of things, but it would help for next year's prognosticators perhaps noticing that the Rockies' pitching staff has gone from a running joke to the one of the league's best in a very short period of time. I wouldn't count on it, but it could happen.
I watched the Tigers-Twins game today, until it got ugly late. Is there a matchup more analagous to Christian vs. lion in the MLB today than Neifi Perez squaring off against Johan Santana? The Tigers will make the playoffs, since the White Sox seem unable to seize the moment and Detroit's schedule the rest of the month is Kansas City soft. I highly doubt they will advance past the first round, especially if they end up facing the pitching-rich Athletics. The Tigers simply don't have hitters who work counts. It ought to be the Indians in their place. There is no weirder story in baseball this season than Cleveland's inexplicable underperformance. Sure, they miss Kevin Millwood and even Bob Wickman, but that hitting attack is the real deal. I'm sure I'm not alone in believing that they will be back with a vengeance in 2007. The Tigers? I don't know. I think we may be seeing (begging your pardon) their real stripes just now, and the likelihood of Kenny Rogers repeating this year's performance next season? Not good. And Jim Leyland is just one more bad series away from exploding with the force and finality of a Spinal Tap drummer.
Other than one final series against the Dodgers, the Rockies don't play anyone interesting the rest of the year, unless you find the Atlanta and Chicago trainwrecks somehow compelling. So, am I going to tell you to watch anyway? Hell no. You should be watching soccer. The other day in England, Sheffield and Blackburn played a bizarre game which featured no fewer than three missed penalty kicks in the second half. Now that's compelling.