And it isn't the wretched stink of the Tigers' terrible season.
As I watch the make-up game between Detroit and Chicago, I can't help but feel like the end of this MLB season is...well, a little bit rigged.
I don't want to go Frank P. on everyone and start speculating on wild conspiracies. But the facts speak for themselves.
The ChiSox have a slim lead over the Twins in the AL Central for most of the second half. Suddenly, they implode, losing 7 of their last 10 games. The Twins, meanwhile, fare a little better and overtake Chicago for the lead.
In order to stay alive, the Sox have to A) beat Cleveland, B) beat Detroit, and C) beat Minnesota in a tie breaker.
In their matchup against Cleveland, the ChiSox are slated to face Cliff Lee, the AL Cy Young favorite. Whoops! Lee's neck hurts. It's a little stiff. Tell you what, White Sox...why don't you face Bryan Bullington instead.
Win for Chicago.
Next comes the makeup game against the Tigers. This time, you get to face Freddy Garcia. Garcia has barely pitched since shoulder surgery, and when he HAS been in he's been...less than effective let's say. But that doesn't stop the Tigers from starting him. Because...none of the regular guys you started all year were rested??
First, the AL's best pitcher goes down with a questionable injury. Then Detroit gives the nod to a has-been pitcher related by marriage to the White Sox manager. And as the 1st inning comes to a close, Freddy has walked 2, given up a hit and a run as well. And he's lucky that was all the damage. If I didn't know better, I'd think he wasn't trying very hard. Even for someone who sucks.
Call me crazy, but for a team that completely pissed away its lead by playing terrible baseball and showing no signs of recovery, things have become awfully convenient lately. I wonder how much money MLB stands to make by airing yet another tie breaker game tomorrow...
Maybe Garcia bounces back. Maybe the ChiSox lose today and reveal my paranoia for what it is. But if the season is extended through tomorrow, I'm going to be watching with a jaded eye.
Sure, I'm halfway kidding with all this. But isn't it all just a little weird?