By DJ Gallo
Special to Page 2

Sportoon


September 1 -- Active rosters expand to 40 players, allowing Marlins manager Joe Girardi to choose from 15 additional lousy players each game.

September 2 -- With more and more runners picking up extra bases on Johnny Damon's arm as the postseason nears, Yankees manager Joe Torre pulls Damon aside to suggest that he maybe try punting the ball into the infield during the stretch drive.

September 3 -- Unable to afford them any longer, the Marlins leave Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera on Bud Selig's doorstep with a note asking the commissioner to find them a good home.

Manny Ramirez
AP Photo/Jim Mone
Manny Ramirez always manages to make waves every season.

September 4 -- Manny Ramirez stands awestruck in left field and refuses to move for nearly an hour after his eye catches something sparkly in the Fenway crowd.

September 5 -- Confused as to why his big offseason acquisition from the Marlins has been struggling all season, Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi suddenly realizes it was Josh Beckett he meant to acquire, not A.J. Burnett.

September 6 -- Dodgers manager Grady Little reverts to old habits by leaving starting pitcher Brett Tomko in until the eighth inning which, in Tomko's case, is eight innings too long.

September 7 -- With Barry Bonds just two home runs shy of eclipsing Hank Aaron's all-time record, Bud Selig sends a memo to every team urging them to intentionally walk Bonds every plate appearance for the rest of the season or, better yet, throw fastballs at his head.

September 8 -- Another Randy Johnson love child comes forward and sues the pitcher for giving him his looks.

September 9 -- Mets closer Billy Wagner receives a standing ovation from Shea Stadium fans when he hits 100 mph on the radar gun in the ninth inning of a game against the Dodgers. Unfortunately, the ball is hit at 168 mph over the right field wall by J.D. Drew for a grand slam, but Wagner's velocity is no less impressive.

September 10 -- Orioles designated hitter and ex-Red Sox player Kevin Millar spends another evening regaling his teammates with stories of what it was like to play for a team with an above-.500 record.

September 11 -- Cubs starter Greg Maddux loses his 15th game of the season, becoming the first pitcher in history to win 15 games in 17 consecutive years and then follow that up with 15 losses in two consecutive years.

September 12 -- Grady Sizemore of the Indians hits what would be a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Royals, but he never makes it out of the batter's box because he is tripped up by underwear hurled at him by 25,000 smitten Cleveland women. And some men, too.

September 13 -- For a home game against the Rockies, the Giants honor reliever Merkin Valdez by giving away a free merkin to the first 20,000 fans over the age of 12.

September 14 -- With first base open in a one-run game in the eighth inning, the Cubs try to intentionally walk Dodgers first baseman Nomar Garciaparra by throwing pitches well outside, but the first one strikes Garciaparra on the tip of his nose, sending him to first.

September 15 -- Before the beginning of a home series against the Red Sox, the Yankees unveil a plaque in Monument Park that honors their 2004 squad as the first team in major league history to blow a 3-0 series lead in the playoffs.

September 16 -- Alex Rodriguez makes it to the final two in a tournament at an underground New York poker club with a huge chip lead, but blows it all and loses by repeatedly going all-in with 2-7 unsuited.

September 17 -- The Red Sox lose to the Yankees, falling a hopeless 11 games behind New York and seven games behind the second-place Blue Jays. Boston management announces a change of mind and will allow fans to wear "Yankees Suck" T-shirts at Fenway Park again.

September 18 -- White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski creates a MySpace page in hopes of getting some friends for the first time in his life.

September 19 -- The Braves clinch their 15th consecutive division title with a victory over the Nationals. Atlanta fans are so excited that nearly two playoff tickets are purchased within hours.

September 20 -- Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts hits his first home run of the season, but it's not enough to prevent his teammates from awarding him the Brady Anderson Memorial Flash in the Pan Award.

September 21 -- Astros closer Brad Lidge gives up a three-run home run to Albert Pujols in the ninth inning to lose the game, but feels encouraged since it flew only 410 feet this time.

September 22 -- Play is briefly halted in the Mets-Cardinals game when a loose screw allows Julio Franco's faceplate to pop off, revealing his robotic inner workings.

September 23 -- The Yankees clinch the American League East, and Derek Jeter is widely lauded for his leadership skills in somehow finding a way to guide the talent-starved, $200 million ball club to yet another playoff berth.

September 24 -- Manny Ramirez tells Coco Crisp that he thought he looked better last year when he wasn't so tan and had long hair and a beard. Crisp informs Ramirez that he is not Johnny Damon and that Damon hasn't been on the team all season, after which Ramirez just stares blankly for a few seconds and then walks away.

September 25 -- With the A's mathematically eliminated from the playoffs for the second year in a row, general manager Billy Beane announces: "I've decided this OPS stuff is a bunch of crap. My bad if I've led anyone astray."

Eric Gagne
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
They love Eric Gagne up north -- they even love his eyewear.

September 26 -- For the fifth year in a row, Dodgers closer Eric Gagne is awarded the prestigious Greatest Canadian Reliever Award, as voted on by the Canadian baseball press.

September 27 -- Barry Bonds hits his 48th home run of the season, passing Hank Aaron on the all-time list and, in a scene reminiscent of Aaron's record-breaking blast, is joined by fans as he rounds second base. However, in a scene not reminiscent of Aaron's record-breaking blast, Bonds isn't congratulated by the fans, but punched over and over and over again.

September 28 -- With the Indians tied for the lead for the American League wild card spot, Travis Hafner, Grady Sizemore and C.C. Sabathia are struck and seriously injured by a motorcycle ridden by Browns tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. while walking on the sidewalk in downtown Cleveland.

September 29 -- At the tail end of a season in which he'll hit .248 with 13 home runs and just 58 RBI, Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran stresses that he needs just another season or two to get comfortable playing in New York.

September 30 -- Invoking baseball's oft-used "best interests of the Yankees" clause, Bud Selig grants the Yankees permission to use a softball-style short fielder in the outfield during the playoffs so Johnny Damon can have someone throw for him.

October 1 -- Barry Bonds angrily denies a report on BarryBonds.com that he took steroids and threatens to sue the author of the site for libel.

DJ Gallo is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine, as well as the founder and sole writer of the award-winning sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He also contributes headlines to The Onion.




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