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With apologies to Tolkien...

"One game to rule them all,
One game to find them,
One game to bring them all
And in the darkness bind them."

So, there'll be a game seven in the NLCS tonight, with the Mets getting past a big obstacle, in the shape of reigning Cy Young winner Chris Carpenter, to force a deciding game in Shea Stadium. Winner goes to the World Series: loser goes home. I think the Mets have the edge, with home-field advantage and beating Carpenter last night, though Oliver Perez would probably not be their first, second, third or fourth choice to start Game 7. He did win Game 4, but that was largely thanks to eleven runs of support: he allowed five runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. He's also pitching on short rest.

The Cardinals turn to Jeff Suppan, who delivered the best performance on the mound thus far in the series, three-hitting the Mets over eight shutout innings in Game 3. However, he'll be relying on his team-mates to get their clutch hitting boots back on - they're less than .200 (9-for-46) in this series. Suppan does have prior experience on the big stage, winning Game 7 of the 2004 NLCS, in which he beat Roger Clemens. It promises to be a fascinating match-up: is it worth mentioning that Shawn Green is batting .345 this post-season? That's second only to Carlos Delgado among Mets with more than 15 plate-appearances. But it seems the honeymoon is over in the Big Apple: especially if they lose tonight.

Quick soundbites from the two SB Nation brothers involved in tonight's game. First, from Viva El Birdos, "So long as the effort is genuine, we Cardinal fans (and I think most fans everywhere) are willing to accept the result for what it is. Someone has to win, someone has to lose -- all we as fans can reasonably ask for is that everyone competes as hard as he can." Meanwhile, Eric Simon of Amazin' Avenue actually got tickets: "I've elected to brave the elements -- traffic, $26 parking, more traffic -- and will drive in to Queens from North Jersey. In a strange turn of events, my Dad can no longer go due to a conspiracy of the scheduling gods, so my trusty wife Kim will go in his stead, reliving her days has a high school cheerleader, only this time rooting on players who actually went on to do something with their lives."

Following up on yesterday's story, the Tribune confirms that Brandon Webb will not be taking part in MLB's Japan tour. However, discussions are continuing with the intriguingly-named Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters regarding their possible purchase of Andy Green's contract. [The name is because the company which owns them is called 'Nippon Ham'; it's a common practice in Japan for the company name to be incorporated into the team name: see also the Hanshin Tigers and Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, for example.] They're the reigning Pacific League Champions, whose roster included Jose Macias, as well as former Mets and Giants outfielder, Tsuyoshi Shinjo - though the latter reportedly announced his retirement after this season, to pursue an, er, modelling career. Derek Jeter, are you listening?

The piece estimates Green's transfer value as around $300K, and says, "If Green leaves, candidates for the D-Backs' final roster spot next spring could include Scott Hairston, Robby Hammock, Brian Barden and possibly free agent Damion Easley." I think I speak for most fans, when I say: NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!. I'd far rather we drop Easley too: between him and Green, that's over 300 plate-appearances from last year, which could be usefully employed in 2007 to assess the likes of the other three candidates mentioned. Easley will not help the team in 2008 or beyond: we should establish whether Hairston, Hammock or Barden can.

Thanks to Seattle blog USS Mariner for listing the SnakePit as their recommended choice of blog for the D'backs. I'm honoured to be alongside such sterling, well-written, and generally far superior to my rambling entities as Athletics Nation, Bat Girl, Dodger Thoughts and the Sons of Sam Horn. In comparison to these giants, I am the blog sitting nervously in the corner, nursing a small draft beer and hoping nobody comes up to talk to me...

A quick note on adverts. Just in case anyone has ever wondered, or if it isn't obvious, I should point out that advertisements on this site do not necessarily constitute an endorsement of the products or views which they are plugging. There are two reasons for this: firstly, they may be SportsBlogs Nation-wide ones, over which I have absolutely no control. Secondly, I have deep, unshakeable faith in you, my beloved readers, and your ability to separate editorial opinion from paid content. Which frees me to accept coin from...well, I'm not proud. Just about anyone short of Al Qaeda, probably. Unless they paid really well. :-)

I mention this in particular because of the advert I just approved, which will appear shortly on the left, if it hasn't already. I've heard horror stories from other SB Nation guys, about political flame-wars breaking out on their blogs, and want to prevent anything similar happening here, ideally before it even starts. This is a baseball blog, and political debate is probably best avoided, simply because little good can come of it. As a foreign national, I don't get to vote anyway, so politics is really not a topic of great interest to me. If you wish to argue the issue presented in any advertisement, I will, of course, be happy to sell you the appropriate space in which to do so. Thank you, in advance, for your co-operation in this delicate matter: let's all unite around the things which we hold common and self-evident. Like the Yankees sucking.