Chalk it up to ‘Sweeps’ week

Jul 17, 2007 3:31 AM

Looking at this week’s match-ups you’ll certainly understand why I’ve deemed this "Sweeps Week." The perennial brooms will surely come out as many of the weakest teams must face the strongest all week.

Such unbalanced contests make for limited selections as the favorites prices will be astronomical and even laying a run and a half you may have to lay the wood. I’ll give you a for instance — the Devil Rays at Yankees in a four game series including a rare doubleheader on Saturday as my first mismatch.

Other examples will include the overrated Arizona club versus the streaking Cubs; the hapless White Sox at Boston; and Kansas City at Detroit. Again I must reiterate that during Sweeps Week if you can’t lay it don’t play it! Relax, it’s only July and this baseball season goes on and on and on.

I might just start a new segment for this column entitled "The Joke of the Week." To make up for some lost time I’ll give you two this week. Tony Larusso, who I believe to be the best manager in the National League, tells us that with two outs in the ninth inning of last week’s All-Star Game, with the bases loaded no less, he decided to let the best baseball player in his league not bat in a one run game because he was saving him in case the game went to extra innings because he can play so many positions. Hey, Ton, say it isn’t so!

The other joke of the week involves Giants manager Bruce Bochy as he was quoted by the Associated Press in a conversation about Barry Bonds. "Look at his numbers and they’re pretty impressive." He added with obvious disdain "They’re still walking him." For those of you that may have forgotten, as manager of the San Diego Padres this same Bruce Bochy intentionally walked Bonds with the bases loaded in a close game at San Diego. Imagine that Bruce baby!

I’d like to take a few minutes to point out the only obvious differences in this year’s first half season with other years that I can remember. We had an almost total lack of streaks. I know a few teams, namely the Yanks and Mariners, had eight game streaks, but other than that most teams didn’t go on the ever present streaks that are always so prevalent in Major League Baseball.

To further prove my point, at the All-Star break there were only two five game streaks (Arizona losing and Detroit winning) and only one other team had a four game streak going. All the other teams had mostly ones and twos. There are some successful professional players who follow this trend with betting both for and against streaking teams. In my opinion there is sound judgment involved here at the very least. The streakers never have to worry about trying to stop a streak; they are always riding one.

Although poetry is not my strong suit, this may help you remember at least until September:

If they lost the last two, three or four, always look for a few more;

If they won the last three or four, head for your favorite store;

If either gets up to seven or eight, don’t let fear make you hesitate;

If they get to the teens, you should be busting at the seams;

Now take your profit and run, you’ve got enough for football and it’s a lot more fun.

Have a great week!