The World Series is over and now we go off to face life without the respite of baseball for a while. I had to take a few weeks off as life caught up with me and I will continue to go on hiatus. But I wanted to say hello, especially after my Red Sox won it all.
Before the Oakland/New York Wild Card Game, I gave my thoughts and concerns. Afterwards, I made sure the blame did NOT go on "Bullpenning" but on the A's inability to get the big hit. Plus I appreciated what the A's have achieved, as empty as it may feel.
As Vin Scully would say, not a bad opening act for the post season. Tony Wolters becomes the hero and demonstrates why baseball is so wonderful in creating unlikely immortals. Meanwhile Cub fans will take comfort that hurtful losses like this no longer have the baggage of the Cursed Days of the team.
FINALLY we know what the National League Post Season picture looks like. And man oh man will either the Rockies or the Cubs regret not winning just one more game in the regular season. I give the final Who Owns Baseball Tally and make my post season predictions.
One thing is certain about the National League post season chase: Trying to predict it is an act of futility. I compared it to David Lynch's surreal movie Mulholland Drive. Trust me, the comparison makes sense.
Do you want an exciting final week of the season? Then you better start rooting for the Rockies to make things interesting. That and Bryce Harper's inevitable free agent departure from the Nationals might have him wind up in Philadelphia.
The Dodgers were left for dead less than a month ago. But after taking 5 of 6 from the Rockies, they have a clear path to get back to the NLCS. Meanwhile, Colorado might regret letting a once in a generation opportunity slip away.
The Yankees should be very worried if their bats remain this dead into October. Meanwhile, say what you want about the Rays new "Opener System." But it works and since late May, they are one of the best teams in baseball.
While standing on the Stanford campus, and avoiding a creepy guy, I look at the potential 100 win defending World Champion Astros as an unlikely post season underdog. Plus Rickey Henderson, with the benefit of time, has suddenly become old school and the type of player kids today should emulate.
The Indians will be the worst AL Playoff team... so naturally they are the first team to clinch a division. The concept of geographical divisions made sense once but are obsolete now. And my concept of playoff seeding would provide a ton of drama in the AL this year.
Are the Diamondbacks a dominant team powering their way into the post season? Or are they a maddeningly inconsistent team who find new ways to lose critical games? They have been both this year and that could cost them a chance at a winnable pennant.
Doing a Sunday Request from friend of the podcast CU8SFAN (aka Cubs Fan with an 8.) He wants to know which team should be the next great championship challenge for Theo Epstein after delivering to Red Sox and Cubs fans. He makes some suggestions. I have a thought of my own.
While at a rest stop traveling up the 5, I realized that neither the Mets nor the Los Angeles Dodgers have a franchise defining offensive superstar. I wondered if Mike Piazza had stayed with LA if he could have been that figure for the Dodgers. And would David Wright have been that player if he remained healthy?
Driving along along the 5 freeway, I began to think about ways to put together a pitching staff that doesn't require wearing a bullpen down but still tries to keep starters from facing an order more than twice. I have an idea.
When the World Series is clinched, a whole team will celebrate knowing they are champions. There are two categories of champions: Those who have never won one before and those who have. And in those categories, there are several subsets. Today, I will break those down.
This is my favorite part of the year as a baseball fan. It is like Christmas morning every day. Which is one reason it is so frustrating that the Red Sox have decided to coddle domestic abuser Steven Wright and make this month a whole lot less fun.
It is September and a bounce here or a bounce there will be the difference between playing in October or not. The Brewers get that and are fortifying their team in any way they can. Meanwhile Jim Kaat wrote a surreal tweet. Not only does it make Kaat look like a factually incorrect bitter old man, but it also illustrates a problem of how MLB markets and presents itself.
There is a realistic scenario for a series of one game, winner take all playoff games this October featuring teams that have a legitimate shot to win the NL Pennant. That is a cool thing. Meanwhile, the Red Sox have a shot to have their best regular season ever, which would be great even if they don't win the World Series.