George Brett did this with an otherwise mediocre Royals team in 1985, and carried his play all through the playoffs leading Kansas City to the only World Series title (and somehow missed out on the MVP -- but that's a whole other blog that Bill James explains a lot better than even we could). Barry Bonds pulled a similar act with his first year in the Giants in 1993, on a Giants team that in the new playoff format would have made the playoffs, but they missed out and he still won the MVP. Now Pujols is pulling the same shit that separates the stars from the normals.
After this weekend, if Pujols single handedly stops this historic collapse from happening, poor Ryan Howard won't have a trophy to add to his living room. Meanwhile Roger Clemens, who we love to point out usually shits the bed in big games, may want to realize that his Astros teammates just don't like him. How else can you explain how that team NEVER scores any runs when he pitches? Forget where the Astros would be if Clemens had played the whole season -- what if he signed with the Red Sox for the entire year? Would the AL East race still be up for grabs? Wouldn't it have been nice to have Rog-uh pitch one of those 5 games during the Boston Masacre II? I'm sure Papi and Manny and ET would have found a few runs to back Clemens up with. If I'm the Rockett, screw Houston, I'm doing one last tour and ending it all where it began, trying to give the Sox a great run at the Yankees and the series that HE could never have won there, finally topping Cy Young's team record for career wins, and therefore making sure he goes into the Hall with a Sox hat.
By the way, Tony Kornhiser, one of our all-time faves, foolishly suggested on PTI earlier in the day that if the Astros won last night, he'd have voted Clemens as Cy Young of the National League. IF he would have won, he'd have been a whopping 8-5 with an ERA around 2.28. Too much Theismann for our boy Tony. We'll have our award winners on Monday, because right now I'd say they're all up for grabs.
Oh, and our Royals? Well, after possibly the worst season in team history, they're actually going to play a crucial role in who gets to play who and where come post-season time. They were all set to allow the Tigers to control winning the AL Central last night, but decided to hit three homers in the top of the 11th last night and somhow WIN against the Tigers, while the Twins were losing to the already eliminated ChiSox. The funny thing about the Royals win was that even after the 3 bombs in the top of the 11th -- they almost BLEW it again in the bottom half of the inning. No kids, it's never over if you're a Royals fan. In fact, after the Tigers scored twice, they had runners at first and second with the game winning run at the plate. Trust us Twins fans -- you can't rely on any help from KC if you wan that AL Central title.