Checking the Signs, September 2006

Checking the Signs, September 2006

We now enter the final round of summer. This is harvest time -- Wild Cards, stretch runs and playoff pushes are the order of the day. The magical Autumnal Equinox, with an auspicious New Moon Eclipse this year, falls on Sept. 22. A chill hits the air as days are of shorter length.

It's Virgo's time to shine from Aug. 23-Sept. 22. An earth sign -- modest, humble and analytical -- Virgos live for work, and selfless commitment to service.

Philadelphia Phillies centerfielder Aaron Rowand, born Aug. 29, 1977, in Portland Ore., exemplifies the Virgo work ethic with his uncompromising, courageous playing style. Willing to sacrifice for the team, he ran face first into the fence in May, breaking his nose. He made a highlight reel catch on a bases-loaded fly ball off the bat of Mets right fielder, Xavier Nady, in the first inning.

"I've seen some great plays," said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. "That one definitely ranks up there with the best of them. That might be the best effort and determination I've ever seen."

Placed on the disabled list, Rowand soon returned, only to have his all-out playing style result in a broken ankle colliding with Chase Utley in late August, concluding a season of gutsy play.

Rowand explained, "You keep going out there and playing hard. It's the way I've played my whole career. I'm not going to change now."

Virgos rarely strive to be in the limelight. Another under the radar Virgo is New York Mets unsung hero, relief pitcher Chad Bradford. Born Sept. 14, 1974 in Jackson, Miss., this submariner is quietly getting the job done with an impressive 4-2 record and 3.10 ERA. Conscientious and conservative, Virgos are relied upon. What they lack in self-confidence, they make up for in skilled expertise and technical know-how.

Disorganization vexes Virgo's spirit. A self-critical perfectionist, Virgos often do not give themselves credit. Health and diet are important, as Virgos tend to stress out easily. Quietly working in the wings for the greater good, grounded and industrious Virgos can think on their feet.

Aries-Mars, your ruler, moves into Libra on the 7th, emphasizing that highly competitive personality. There could be some good-natured rivalry going on between you and your significant other. Though you may be spoiling for an argument, hold your tongue and make a wiser choice.

Texas Rangers first baseman Mark Teixiera is an assertive Aries.

Taurus -- You're more concerned about health, when Mars moves into your 6th house on the 7th. Even a few changes in your daily routine can make a big difference in how you look and feel. Work gets a boost as well. Boston Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett is a determined Taurus.

Gemini -- There is romance in the air for the Twins as Mars and Mercury move into Libra on the 7th and 12th. All summer you've been preoccupied with work, but now it's about spending time with the ones you love. Oakland Athletics pitcher Kirk Saarloos is a mercurial Gemini.

Cancer -- It's time to concentrate your attention on home and family matters when Mars and Mercury move into Libra on the 7th and 12th. Relationships improve once the Sun moves into Libra on the 22nd. A health matter gets your attention, so it's high time to start a fitness program. Gold Glover center fielder Jim Edmonds of the St. Louis Cardinals is an instinctive Cancer.

Leo -- The Sun is in Virgo until the 22nd, emphasizing your need to take charge of finances. You have a great talent for making money, but at times your need to impress others eclipses your common sense regarding spending. Tampa Bay Devil Rays left fielder Carl Crawford is a dramatic Leo.

Virgo -- This is your month to shine with Virgo-inspired energy all around. Traits like diligence, perfectionism and devotion are more in evidence now as distinguished Virgo rules the heavens until the 22nd. A stressful domestic matter is resolved in your favor once Pluto turns direct on the 4th, allowing you to concentrate on other things. (See Virgo player profiles above.)

Libra -- It's time to show off that fabled Libra charm as Mars enters your alluring sign on the 7th. The new Moon in your sign on the 22nd is the perfect opportunity to initiate a project all your own. Your best bet for overall success right now is by finding ways to balance mind/body/spirit energy. Pitcher Keith Foulke of the Boston Red Sox is a cooperative Libra.

Scorpio -- This month focuses on privacy and the need to recharge your physical, emotional, and spiritual batteries. With Mars moving into Libra on the 7th, you'll be able to accomplish this. There's a potential hermit lurking inside every Scorpio -- right now, that's the face you're wearing. Intense pitcher Curt Shilling of the Boston Red Sox is a bold Scorpio.

Sagittarius -- The Sun's presence in Virgo through the 22nd gives you the organizational ability to handle all that's going on in your professional life. With Venus moving into this sector on the 30th, you should have no trouble charming associates and colleagues. Switch-hitting shortstop Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies is a playful Sagittarius.

Capricorn -- Workaholic Capricorns will be pleased to have Mars move into Libra on the 7th. Expect schedules to be busier than usual with new responsibilities to manage. The sun enters Libra on the 22nd, representing the high point of career aspirations. Expect talents to be noticed and praised. Pitcher Esteban Loaiza of the Oakland Athletics is a serious Capricorn.

Aquarius -- Though Aquarius is the sign of friendship, you often conduct relationships on strictly intellectual levels. As Pluto turns direct on the 4th, an alliance deepens. Once the sun moves into Libra on the 22nd, you feel the need to get away from it all. Pitcher Bob Wickman of the Cleveland Indians is a unique Aquarius.

Pisces -- At last you feel career tensions easing up when Pluto turns direct on the 4th. This gives you more opportunities to put energy into relationships, which is excellent, since there's a line-up of planets moving through Virgo this month. Chicago White Sox closer Bobby Jenks is a perceptive Pisces.

Andrea Mallis, Sports Astrologer, is a devoted baseball fan and writer. Andrea has appeared on ESPN SportsCenter, ESPN News, ESPN2 Cold Pizza, Baseball Tonight, and ESPN All Night Radio. She's written for Major League Baseball magazines, ESPN.com Page 2, mlb.com, as well as appearing on local TV and radio shows. Andrea was recently featured in "FantasyLand," a book on fantasy baseball. For more information please visit www.virgoinservice.com. Please mention mlb.com and receive 10% off on all astrological services. Feel free to check out . This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.