retail news in context, analysis with attitude

It was one of the most remarkable final days of the season ever for Major League Baseball, as the Boston Red Sox lost to the Baltimore Orioles 4-3, completing an epic September collapse that had the team going from a certain wild card berth in the playoffs to a winter of “what-ifs.” Within minutes of the Red Sox loss, the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the New York Yankees 8-7 in 12 innings, coming back from a 7-0 deficit and assuring for themselves the American League wild card slot.

Meanwhile, the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Houston Astros 8-0, which combined with an Atlanta Braves 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, propelled the Cards into the playoffs as the NK wild card team. The Braves are likely to look to join the same support group as the Red Sox -  on August 26, the Braves led the Cardinals by 10-1/2 games.
KC's View:
Okay, it may not have been playoff baseball, but the game that most captivated my attention yesterday was the New York Mets - Cincinnati Reds game, which had the Mets winning 3-0.

In this game, shortstop Jose Reyes began with a National League leading .336 batting average, with the Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun second at .335. Reyes came up in the first inning, laid down a bunt for a base hit, and then pulled himself out of the game, finishing the season with a .337 average ... and assuring that unless Braun went 3 for 4 during his game later in the day, he would win the batting title.

Braun went 0-4. Reyes got the title. And in doing so, showed IMHO a distressing lack of character.

Exactly 70 years ago yesterday, Ted Williams went into the last day of the season with batting average of .399555 - technically a .400 average, which nobody had done in years. The Red Sox manager asked Williams if he wanted to sit out the doubleheader to protect his average, but Williams said no ... and then he went out and got six hits in eight at bats, ending the season at .406, the last man in baseball history to do so.

Perhaps Teddy Ballgame is an unfair bar against which to measure today’s players. (My son, a huge Reyes fan, would say so.) But I think that character counts, no matter what the era.

Yesterday, in what may have been his final game as a Met, Reyes showed lack of character. That’s a shame.