Sunday, September 28, 2003

Seems official to me
After getting knocked around by the Braves in the season finale at the Vet today, Kevin Millwood tossed his glove and hat to the crowd, and writers couldn't figure out if he was angry at the booing or sending the fans a souvenier. Here's my interpretation -- he gave away his Phillies cap because he no longer needs it. Millwood is gone, and he'll be lucky if he gets Randy Wolf money ($7 m) after his performance down the stretch. After starting out 7-1, Millwood went 7-13. The scuttlebutt has him back with the Braves, but Atlanta must cut its budget again this winter, so its ability to sign Millwood is questionable.

Speaking of pitchers, if I were a baseball writer, my vote for NL Cy Young would without a doubt go for Chicago's Mark Prior, who struck out 245 in 211 innings, won 18 games, and dominated during Chicago's crucial stretch run. Eric Gagne had a nice season for the Dodgers -- maybe the best ever by a closer -- but his team choked when it mattered most, and Gagne couldn't do anything about it. As for the NL Rookie of the Year award, in a just universe it would belong to Scott Podsednik of the lowly Brewers. Podsednik was the best leadoff hitter in either league, getting on base more often than Ichiro, Soriano, and Florida's Juan Pierre.

I hesitate to offer playoff predictions, because I'm almost always wrong, but my heart is hoping for Boston over Atlanta in 7.

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