Chances are that what Valentine will be feeling soon is the ax. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported Wednesday what has been expected since, well, maybe the middle of April: Valentine, after just one year, will be fired now that the season is over.
Congratulations are sort of in order for the Astros, who leave the National League on a positive note, winning a three-game series from the Cubs despite falling, 5-4, in the finale. That's about as positive a note as you can have when it comes at the end of a 55-107 season.
Houston is leaving the NL Central for the AL West next year. The Astros will be joining the junior circuit as the first major-league team with at least 106 losses in back-to-back seasons since the 1964-65 Mets.
Chicago will be sad to see them go. The Astros were the only thing keeping the Cubbies out of the NL Central basement the last two years.
A couple of other "first sinces" from this putrid matchup:
The Cubs, at 61-101, piled up their most losses in a season since 1966. That's tough for a Cubs team to do.
The series matched teams that already had 100 losses for the first time since 1962.
The Cubs drew 2,882,756 to Wrigley Field, the first time they failed to reach three million since 2003.
One more for Chipper
Chipper Jones' regular-season career in the bigs ended the way it began. The Braves' Jones, unaffectionately known as Larry in these parts, entered in the sixth inning and hit a single to right off the Pirates' A.J. Burnett.
Jones' first major-league plate appearance was as a pinch-hitter against the Reds' Kevin Wickander on Sept. 14, 1993. He singled.
Of course, Jones still has at least one more game before he calls it a career: Atlanta will host the Cardinals in the NL wild-card game Friday.
When the playoffs begin, the A's and Orioles will still be alive to win the World Series. If you were so inclined, you could have gotten some pretty good odds on that before the season.
According to Vegas.com, the A's opened at 150-1 to make the postseason. The Orioles weren't much better, at 100-1. The Phillies, however, were much better: They were the favorites, at 9-2.
(Don't forget: Sports gambling is illegal, except for where it isn't.)
Contact T.J. Furman at email@example.com, or follow on Twitter @tj_furman.
This article contains information from Inquirer wire services.