Checking the Signs: Fall edition

Checking the Signs: Fall edition

Octoberquest -- the exciting baseball postseason coined by MLB.com -- is finally here! As magic numbers dwindle and Wild Cards and division titles are secured, slates are washed clean, summoning new starts and fresh heroes.

Tuesday, Oct. 3, begins the first round of playoffs. The Full Moon in Aries on Friday, Oct. 6, appears with dramatic glory. Energies reach their peak, as hard-driving Aries, the warrior spirit, inspires confidence and fortitude. A strong, competitive spirit and renewed vitality are the blessings that Full Moon in Aries invites us to tap into. It's a call to action, to make dreams manifest.

October shares the month with harmonious air sign Libra and intense water sign Scorpio.

San Diego closer and future Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman is a gregarious Libra born Oct. 13, 1967 in Bellflower, Calif. Hoffman recently converted his 479th save, capturing an all-time Major League saves record. Although he was the losing pitcher in the '06 All-Star Game, Trevor's a finalist for DHL Delivery Man of the Year.

"It's not easy getting those last three outs," says Padres manager Bruce Bochy. "It takes a special guy and Trevor is one of them."

This five-time All Star enters home games during a save situation to the tune of "Hells Bells" by AC/DC.

Libra is the sign of balance. The symbol of the scales depicts the constant weighing of data before conclusion. More "in love with love" than any other sign of the zodiac, gentle Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) morphs into forceful Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 21), mirroring a mild October that turns into the pending storms of the season. This time of year, like the Scorpio personality, brings an air of mystery and mysticism. People are more attentive to hidden agendas and their need to connect with passion. The realm of Scorpio deals with transformation of life's deep mysteries. The eagle and the phoenix -- Scorpio totems -- teach us growth and change.

The World Series begins on Saturday, Oct. 21, as the New Moon in Libra rouses the next phase. On the 23rd, we enter the deep and complex world of Scorpio. A potent planetary lineup unfolds throughout the World Series -- the Sun, Mercury, Mars, Venus, and Jupiter are all in compelling Scorpio. The most crucial for athletes is Mars, in motivated Scorpio on Oct. 23 -- just in time for the World Series, imparting a daring edge to all activities. This awesome buildup of energy in Scorpio late this month is just the beginning of a highly successful period of several weeks when most "Scorps" have the Midas touch.

Scorpio is an all-or-nothing vibration. A fixed water sign, granting endurance as well as stubbornness, there's a profound desire for leadership. When pointed toward constructive goals, Scorpio's tenacity brings recognition.

The NL East Division-champion New York Mets cornered the market on intense Scorpio pitchers, including powerful-yet-vulnerable Pedro Martinez, Steve Trachsel, Aaron Heilman, and Roberto Hernandez. The AL West champion-Oakland A's Scorpio contribution includes relief pitcher Justin Duchscherer. The AL East champs, the New York Yankees, claim magnetic outfielder Johnny Damon, and the Detroit Tigers clinched a Wild Card playoff berth with the help of kindred spirit Scorpio pitchers Jeremy Bonderman -- the first Tigers pitcher to record over 200 strikeouts in a season -- and Kenny Rogers.

Martinez was born Oct. 25, 1971 in Mao, Dominican Republic. It appears that Pedro is currently experiencing a challenging Saturn (limitation) aspect to his Mars (energy). This deleterious aspect occurs once every 29 years, and lasts throughout October 2006. Saturn rules the skeletal-system bones, knees, joints, and back. This cycle indicates thwarted power, imbalanced energy and a tension filled period. Overburdened by responsibility, this Scorpio warrior is a shadow of himself, feeling restricted and blocked. Timing is off as he experiences continual delays. Subject to false starts, actions meet with resistance, he's not in a winning frame of mind. What a cosmic twist of fate for the Mets and Pedro, who has a bloated 16.97 ERA over his last four starts, giving up 22 hits and 20 earned runs in 11 2/3 innings. As baseball is a game of adjustments, perhaps it's best to rest Martinez to ward off any potential crisis. How his energy is managed during October can have major ramifications for his entire 2007 season, when these very same challenges reappear. Other baseball players with this same aspect who had their share of struggles include Robb Nen, Ken Griffey Jr. and Ryan Klesko.

Mercury, the planet of communication, retrogrades Oct. 28-Nov. 18. The retrograde is in effect during the last days of the World Series, creating potential confusion, travel delays, computer glitches, last-minute changes, possible blown calls, and countless replays. Strategizing is the order of the day with Mercury in shrewd Scorpio.

Aries -- With Mercury retrograde cycles beginning on the 28th, you need to be very careful about signing your name on anything important. The Sun, Mars, and Venus move into tempting Scorpio on the 23rd, a time when you're extra attractive and alluring. New York Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang is an impressive Aries.

Taurus -- With so much astrological power concentrated in Libra and Scorpio this month, you're focused on improving relationships. Being sensible and practical, you're accustomed to doing much of the heavy lifting associated with unions and partnerships. St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter is a determined Taurus.

Gemini -- Your health habits are at the top of your list now as planets line up in Libra and Scorpio. Mercury's move into Scorpio on the 2nd suggests an interest in reading fitness or dieting books. Schedule your regular health checkups when the Sun moves into Scorpio on the 23rd. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Kenny Lofton is a lively Gemini.

Cancer -- During the early portion of the month you may be concerned with family responsibilities and home-centered tasks. But once the Sun and Mars move into Scorpio on the 23rd, you're ready to turn your attention to a creative project. This may be something you've been neglecting. Even though you have a lot on your plate right now, you owe it to yourself to wrap this up. Minnesota Twins outfielder Torii Hunter is a tenacious Cancer.

Leo -- Your schedule is extremely busy this month as planets line up in Libra during the first three weeks. Once the Sun and Mars join Jupiter in Scorpio on the 23rd, you're ready to pay attention to domestic matters. Showing home and hospitality is part of what being a Leo is about. Your enormous creativity is very much in evidence at this time. San Diego Padres pitcher Scott Linebrink is a fearless Leo.

Virgo -- You usually manage to maintain that delicate balance between professional and domestic demands, but every once in a while one of them has to win out over the other. Now is the time to give work your full attention, perhaps even putting a new financial plan into place. Of course it's never too early to start budgeting for the upcoming holiday season. New York Yankees Randy Johnson is a meticulous Virgo.

Libra -- With the Sun and Mars in your harmonious sign though the 23rd, you have all the energy and self confidence you need to make a big impression on important people in both professional and personal life. Since it's important that you look and feel your best at this time, you might want to purchase some new clothes. However that doesn't give carte blanche to break the budget. San Diego Padres closer and future Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman is an amazing Libra, capturing the all-time saves record.

Scorpio -- You can hit the ground running with Mercury moving into Scorpio on the 2nd. From that date till the 28th, when Mercury turns retrograde, your communication skills are at a zenith. Mars and the Sun move into your intense sign on the 23rd, with jovial Venus joining the party the following day. This remarkable confluence of energy in Scorpio signals the beginning of a highly successful period when it feels as if everything you do comes out right! (See Scorpio profiles above.)

Sagittarius -- With Mars and the Sun in Libra until the 23rd, the first several weeks of the month should be filled with social engagements and visits from friends. Could it be the positive vibe you're sending out? While you are an incredibly winsome and trusting individual, at times you'll have rivals and secret enemies you know nothing about. Look for such a person to show his true colors when Mercury turns retrograde in Scorpio on the 28th. Oakland A's pitcher Rich Harden is an optimistic Sagittarius.

Capricorn -- The Full Moon in Aries on the 6th suggests the need to find balance between your domestic life and career ambitions. This is always a real challenge for Capricorn. Regardless of how successful you are in your career, you often feel guilty if you don't spend enough time at home. This month you can make up for it by scheduling more family-centered events. New York Yankees Jason Giambi is an ambitious Capricorn.

Aquarius -- The latter part of the month is filled with chances to shine on the stage of your professional life as the planets line up in Scorpio. Mars and the Sun join Jupiter on the 23rd, and Venus moves into Scorpio on the following day. Someone you know is happy to act in the role of mentor-- this is a tribute to you. What you can learn from this individual is astonishing. Try for a promotion during the New Moon on the 22nd. Detroit Tigers right fielder Magglio Ordonez is a unique Aquarius.

Pisces -- When Mars and the Sun enter Scorpio on the 23rd, you are drawn to esoteric studies confirming your spiritual view of the world. Neptune turns direct in Aquarius on the 29th, which helps your psychic radar point you in the right direction. You're so accustomed to having the guidance of an inner voice that it can be difficult to find your spiritual center during retrograde periods. Detroit Tigers outfielder/DH Matt Stairs is an impressionable 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, and ESPN.com Page 2 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 percent off on all astrological services. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.