in the light of the new day, now that I have survived the night (having put away all sharp instruments yesterday afternoon and confining myself to the first floor last night), here are my morning after thoughts:

*Give the Rays and Cards all the credit. They took advantage of the Sox’ and Braves’ decline, had terrific Septembers, and won when they had to. I wish them well for the playoffs and will be rooting for them both in the postseason.

*I’ll leave it to the sports’ writers, radio/TV pundits, bloggers, stove league fans, and MillersTime readers to pin the blame for the Sox’ and Braves’ September disasters. For the Sox, I think everyone on the team contributed to the breakdown, with the exception of Ellsbury and Pedroia.

*Judged against the preseason expectations of being in and possibly winning the WS, there’s no way to avoid the disappointment of the season’s results. I, for one, boldly and mistakenly (for the second year in a row) said the Sox would win 100 games or more. Beware of giving too much weight to my predictions.

*However, I also said that what excited me most about the season was the opportunity for the Sox to be in every one of their 162 games. And from that perspective, the Sox provided me with six months worth of excitement and enjoyment, along with the angst of September.

And a few other thoughts:

*I still think the Phillies will win it all, tho I won’t be rooting for them.

*Don’t be surprised if the Yankees don’t make it into the WS.

*The Nats ended the season almost at .500 with a record of 80-81 (a rained out game apparently will not be made up) and in third place in their division. They continued to improve, especially after Davey Johnson took over. Look for them to be in the ‘hunt’ next year with an even stronger team.

*Adrian Gonzoles is everything, and more, he was touted to be. Not so Carl Crawford. Ellsbury and Pedroia are the heart of the team and hopefully Jacoby will return.

*Jose Reyes is no Ted Williams.

*Baseball is wonderful: three races decided in the 9th or extra innings of the final game(s) of the season.

One piece of MillersTime business left: figuring out the winners of the 2011 MillersTime Baseball Contests. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, please leave a comment below.