September 30, 2009

Looking backward to look forward

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball

Since the Twins and Tigers split their doubleheader yesterday in their biggest series of the season, Detroit is now two games ahead of Minnesota for the AL Central title. But, as I’ve stated before, this race is essentially moot. So, why not take a look back at the predictions from the beginning of the season before looking ahead to the best part about baseball: The Post-season.

In the AL, nailing three out of four playoff teams is actually nothing to write home about. The Rays fell apart after their 2008 run, the Rangers couldn’t keep up with the Angels in the West and then the Red Sox in the wild card race and my predicted AL Central champs, the White Sox, couldn’t hold it together when injury trouble hit — not to mention moves like trading for an injured pitcher and taking on Alex Rios. I’m not even going to justify my darkhorse pick of Cleveland either.

Anyone really could’ve pencilled in the Yanks, BoSox and Halos at the start of the season and they would’ve been right unless there was several catastrophic injuries in their clubhouse. Now it’s really a question of who can perform while the weather gets colder.

As for the senior circuit, I clearly didn’t believe that the Cubbies would have to play through as many injuries as they did, otherwise, I would have stayed far away from them. The Cardinals, Phillies and Dodgers were favourites to begin with, so, again, hardly inspired choices at the time. But how about the call on San Francisco making it interesting? That’s something to be proud of.

So, with October baseball only a day away now — sure, it’s not the playoffs yet, but it will be October on the calendar — we get to see the best baseball of it all. Where every out actually feels like it means something and every pitch can keep you on the edge of your seat. This is the baseball that’s worth waiting 162 games, through the rain of spring and the heat of summer for. And it’s just about here.

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