Playoff picks are just below, but first a response to the question of how I feel about Eric Gagne's name appearing in the Mitchell Report: Basically, I'd still rather see the Brewers with Gagne than without him, assuming 1) he stopped using once MLB put HGH on its banned substances list (I believe everything about Gagne in the report is 2004 or earlier) and 2) When he comes out and talks about it, he fesses up (to date, I don't think he's said anything publicly). We already have one wild and unreliable closer that used steroids
before MLB started its current policy and has since fully apologized, so it's not like some significant change of course for the Brewers. The only thing that would truly turn me against Gagne would be if he pulled a Clemens and started issuing denials, excuses, and threats rather than accepting any kind of responsibility. And speaking of Gagne, a question for you, Chris: I never watched him on the Sox last year (I can't watch baseball games involving the Yankees or Red Sox) - what the hell happened there? Was his stuff no good, did he lose control on his pitches, did he become mentally unhinged, or was it the case of some bad breaks snowballing? When Doug Melvin signed the guy he said that Theo Epstein had nothing but good things to say about Gagne - was Theo just being a snot or is he actually salvageable? I don't want your opinion as a Sox fan, I want your opinion as a scout...
WAS at SEA: Ok, I went back and looked at Seattle's schedule again, and they did beat one team with a winning record, but it's Tampa, so that totally doesn't count. 0-2 otherwise. Upset special. WAS.
JAX at PIT: Everyone on earth is picking the Jags here, and for good reason. JAX.
NYG at TB: I truly cannot stand this pick, but picking Eli Manning to lead the Giants to victory in a road playoff game is insanity. And I don't want to hear any "they hung with the Patriots" arguments, the Patriots have been playing like a very lucky .500 team for the last 5 weeks or so, and beating the Patriots would have been NY's Super Bowl. TB.
TEN at SD: I still have no idea how the Titans are in the playoffs, when the Browns were a significantly better team all year. Makes you yearn for a BCS-type system, right? SD.