1. It’s here, gang: The greatest month of the year. But don’t take this blog post’s word for it. I’ve sung the praises of October so many times before. Here. Here. Here. Here. And on and an and on. Shoot, I even took time out to praise October in a blog post ripping February. Enjoy all 31 glorious days of it, my friends.
2. Postseason baseball is upon us. The Rays beat Rangers 5-2 in last night’s one-game playoff to earn the second AL wildcard and the right to face Cleveland on Wednesday night. Tonight, Cincy and Pittsburgh go at it like crazed weasels. Nothing against the Reds — they seem nice enough — but I’m guessing most of us whose teams aren’t in it are unabashed Pirates fans tonight. My enjoyable sojourn to Pittsburgh over the weekend only enhanced my appreciation that the Buccos back in the postseason for the first time since 1992. Jerseys everywhere you looked.
3. How do you reduce the human element in baseball? Hold humans accountable. Hire humans with good eyesight. Give humans who blatantly and repeatedly miss easy calls the Dale Sveum treatment. All those options are preferable to me than replay (my favorite sport is slow enough, thanks), but you’ll hear a lot of replay talk today after that missed call in the seventh that robbed the Rays of at least one run. I think CR calls stuff like that the “easy button.” Of course, replay’s coming next year whether I like it or not. All those folks who watched the Saints blow out the Dolphins last night instead of the baseball game should be pleased, though. That’s what’s important.
4. Pedro Martinez was a bit shaky early in the TBS pregame show last night, but he just needs to get loose. He’s a natural showman and should be a fine addition as an analyst once he starts feeling a little more comfortable. And if he ever finds himself searching for the right words, he needs only to default to this line, over and over.
5. The Hokies have opened as a 7.5-point favorite over North Carolina, which lost to ECU on Saturday. That ECU victory and the Hokies’ win at Georgia Tech actually pulled me out of Fearless Forecasters purgatory, moving me from 845th place to 341st place in the overall standings. Hubbahubba and timmyj55 are the pace-setters of the Blog Crowd subgroup with 76 points apiece.
6. Tech corner Antone Exum has been cleared to play this week for the Hokies. The emergence of freshmen Kendall Fuller and Brandon Facyson, coupled with Detrick Bonner’s struggles, have led to speculation that Tech might move Exum back to safety (a position he played two years ago), but the coaches say he’s staying at corner.
7. Frank Beamer used the terms “pounding,” “hammering” and “hammer job” to describe the loss to UNC last year. Which of those descriptions do you find most apt? Put me in the “hammer job” camp.
8. UVa is a 5-point favorite over Ball State, which is 4-1 and helped mold the minds of entertainment giants such as David Letterman, Jim Davis (“Garfield”) and Joyce DeWitt (Janice on “Three’s Company”).
9. Battle of 4-0 teams in Tallahassee at noon on Saturday, as the Terps face FSU. Maryland is a 15-point underdog (and rightfully so), but that win over West Virginia is looking better after the Mountaineers’ upset of Oklahoma State this past weekend.
10. Only two games on the slate pitting ranked teams against each other: No. 3 Ohio State at No. 15 Northwestern and No. 18 Washington at No. 5 Stanford.