Checking the Signs

Checking the Signs

OctoberQuest is here! Mercury, the planet of communication, will be retrograde Oct. 11 until Nov. 2, taking us on a bewildering journey through the playoffs and into the World Series -- creating potential confusion, blown calls, last-minute changes and countless replays.

This planetary cycle occurs three times a year for three weeks. Mercury rules information, communication and transportation. Mercury retrograde can give rise to misunderstandings, setbacks to negotiations, as well as glitches with phones, computers and travel. It won't be unusual for team planes and buses to be delayed during this planetary hot-spot. Maintaining equilibrium with shrewd strategy is the order of the day with trickster Mercury in Scorpio, retrograding back to Libra. The full moon on the eve of the World Series on Oct. 24 emerges with dramatic glory, ushering in passion, a bit of mania and culmination -- it's Scorpio season -- a call to action to make dreams a reality.

Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, or "Tulo," was born Oct. 10, 1984 in Santa Clara, Calif. Harmony and balance are keynotes to sun-sign Libras. Libra begins at the magical moment of the autumn equinox -- Sept. 23 -- a time when the length of day equals that of night. Libras strive for such balance in all they do. Typified by the scales, diplomatic Libras do all they can to avoid conflict, expressing a spirit of cooperation and compromise. One of Libra's greatest assets as an air sign is their ability to see both sides of an issue.

Tulo has the rare combination of power and defense. Baseball America rated him as having the top arm and being the best defensive shortstop in the collegiate Big West League. Even at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, he's an athlete with great range and a well-rounded game. Tulowitzki hit .291 with a .370 on-base percentage with 13 home runs from his leadoff position for Double-A Tulsa last summer, and .240 in 96 at-bats for Colorado.

Rapidly rising through the Rockies system, in 2007 he set the National League rookie record for homers by a shortstop. He makes solid contact and drives the ball -- very conducive at Coors Field. Blossoming into the ideal ballplayer, he hits for average and power with an exceptional arm, is solid in the clutch and is a natural leader. Rockies manager Clint Hurdle, impressed with Tulowitzki's year (23 homers, 93 RBIs and a .292 average through Wednesday), calls him "my Rookie of the Year." Coming from an upper-tier college program at Long Beach State that also produced A's shortstop Bobby Crosby, Tulo's old-school approach and steady Libra sensibilities have energized the Rockies during the pennant race.

Aries (March 21-April 19): With the sun in Libra transiting through your seventh house of partnerships, you and your significant other are connecting on every level. While there's no shortage of passion with Mars in Cancer all month, there may be some conflict on everyday matters like money, scheduling and domestic issues. With Mercury retrograde in Libra, keep the lines of communication open.

New York Mets center fielder Lastings Milledge is a headstrong Aries.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): The communication gap with your partner can widen, with Mercury retrograde from Oct. 11 on. Although you are known for your legendary stubbornness, it's not a trait you should show at this time. With Venus in Virgo again, use the gentle healing power of romance to fix what's wrong.

Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Brandon Webb is a determined Taurus.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Mercury, your ruler, is retrograde from Oct. 11 until Nov. 2. Nonetheless, the Twins are making plans for adventure. Plan ahead, allowing for indecision and delays. Look within for answers to questions and be sure to finish old projects before embarking on the new.

New York Yankees southpaw Andy Pettitte is an enigmatic Gemini.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): Mars spends the whole month in your emotional sign -- try to steer clear of controversy and conflict. When passion runs high, take the high road. This is one of those months when you're going from morning till night. It may be exhausting, but results will put you in good standing.

Cleveland Indians left-hander C.C. Sabathia is a food-oriented Cancer.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Mercury turns retrograde in your domestic house, so do rethink redecorating projects. You'll need to get a lot of exercise on a regular basis this month. Mars transits through Cancer, your solar 12th house of karma and the subconscious, causing you to sublimate anger. Emotional repercussions will not be a problem if you work your body.

Milwaukee Brewers southpaw Chris Capuano is a dramatic Leo.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Mercury turns retrograde on Oct. 11, so stay away from investment opportunities that seem too good to be true -- they probably are! There are plenty of chances to have fun with Mars in Cancer all month. During this time, enjoy the company of friends who are bold and even more aggressive than you.

Chicago Cubs right-hander Wade Miller is an analytical Virgo.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23): Happy solar return as the sun transits through Libra till Oct. 23. This is a time of new beginnings, projects, pastimes, and of course for Libra, romance. Mercury turns retrograde on the 11th, so be sure to double check all agreements through the rest of the month. Wait until next month to make things final.

San Diego Padres right-hander Heath Bell is a diplomatic Libra.

Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 21): Mercury is retrograde in Scorpio from the 11th to the 23rd, indicating the need to watch what you say and where you sign your name. Once the sun enters Scorpio on Oct. 23, you'll feel like you have the whole package -- physical, emotional, mental and spiritual inspiration. The ideas and projects you begin now not only bring good luck, but define your path for months to come.

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz is a passionate Scorpio.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Things are running rather smoothly for you, especially in your professional life. You've got a reputation for being smart and capable, and the influence of Saturn in your career sector is also working well for you. Venus moves back into Virgo on Oct. 6, making it easier than usual to get along with colleagues and authority figures. Still, watch for rumors being spread while Mercury is retrograde.

Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins is a grandiose Sagittarius.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Career-wise, make hay when the sun shines in Libra through the 23rd. A recommendation you get from a past employer can lead to great things. Capricorns who are starting a new job need to be careful about starting off on the wrong foot with co-workers, as Mercury retrograde can create bad first impressions. Mars in Cancer all month turns the heat up on relationships.

New York Yankees designated hitter Jason Giambi is an ambitious Capricorn.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): For the past few months you may have questioned your judgment simply because you felt as though you were trying to navigate your way out of a fog bank. Clarity returns as nebulous Neptune turns direct in your sign on Oct. 31. With Mercury retrograde, gossip is absolutely out of the question.

Los Angeles Angels right fielder Vladimir Guerrero is an innovative Aquarius.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): You may feel the need to revamp your financial habits as the sun transits through Libra until the 23rd. At times, it can be hard for you to say no to frivolous spending. There is added passion in your love life with Mars in Cancer all month. Take a weekend off from the daily grind and renew your spirit.

Boston Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell is an imaginative 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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.