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Snakes and Ladders is a board game from my distant youth;  I use it to identify those teams that improved by 10 games (climbing the ladder) or declined by 10 (slipping down the snakes.)
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Well, that was a tough year. A big question now is who was worth the money and who wasn't.
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There are certain rituals I conduct once every season is in the books...
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It's time for the 2012 Jays to receive their grades.

This won't be pretty.
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Is it too soon to proclaim the Athletics as the present day 1969 Mets? After several years of struggle, Oakland has suddenly and unexpectedly produced a high quality baseball team. As I write, they are on the verge of sweeping the Rangers and winning the division over the team that has led the AL West almost from wire to wire.
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The Jays have 69 wins with six games left, three more against the Yankees and three with the Twins. But this team is not going quietly into the night, Omar Vizquel created a brouhaha today with some comments.

Chad Jenkins starts today in a big test for him. Jenkins is likely to start in the last game of the season against the Twins. He could do well in that game, the Twins will be hacking to get out of town ASAP and Jenkins sinker could be hit into the ground again and again.

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The Jays win, the Jays win, the-e-e-e-e Jays win!   Ricky Romero got a win, his first since June.  I believe that puts the Romero plus Morrow combined win total since June at three.  The Jays are playing out the string and the commentary suggests it gives the Jays a chance to look at the kids.  well they are getting a good look, but it doesn't give us a lot of hope for the start of 2013.

Meanwhile Shi Davidi has a three parter on what happened with Travis Snider and there are some good insider stories in part one.

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You've all noticed that the Orioles have played .750 ball (27-9) in one-run games this season?
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At this point, we can be pretty certain of the identities of nine of the ten teams that will proceed to the post-season. The murkiest situation is in the AL Central, where the White Sox hold a two game lead on the Tigers. However, all but one of Detroit's remaining games are against Minnesota and Kansas City. The White Sox have to play the Angels and Tampa Bay seven times before this thing is over. I wouldn't count the Tigers out just yet.
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At last, at long last, the end is here. The third and final installment of The Replacements, which covers all the relief pitchers who were added to the roster in mid-season.
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Congratulations to the regular season champs: W-A-M-C-O in the Alomar Division, Yonge St Bomber in Barfield and the Chilean Grasshoppers in Carter. .

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The end is near. It's part two of the Replacements. This installment covers the starting pitchers who were called into service after the season was underway.
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And now we look at the Replacements, the men who were summoned to join the team in mid-season.

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The bullpen, gang. The bullpen.
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Not enormously interested in the bench, were you. But you've been waiting for this one!

The starting pitchers, boys and girls.
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