October 5, 2010

The greatest baseball in the world

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball

This is the time of year when Major League Baseball really shines. This is when the best of the best meet after a gruelling 162-game schedule pared down the have-nots and left us with the eight best teams in the game. But I have to ask, is ending the regular season on a Sunday in October really a good thing?

A Sunday is a logical ending day for the season, but then there’s the fact that the final games are going up against the NFL – that daunting sports ratings giant. Even Fox, one of the biggest broadcasters of MLB can’t show games because they are committed to the NFL. There has to be some way to work around this, right? Well, there isn’t right off the top of my head, unless MLB would be willing to end their season on a Saturday.

And also, how many people were cheering for a Braves-Padres tie to force a one-game playoff? After watching last year’s Twins-Tigers thriller, it’s sad that it can’t happen every year. Why not have two wild cards per league and have them faceoff in a one-game playoff? First, you would add an extra playoff team and second, you’re adding two games in which anything can happen. Doubleheader the games on FOX the Monday after the season ends and you’re looking at huge ratings.

As for this year’s October of awesomeness, it’s time to make some picks.

The Yankees aren’t exactly the powerhouse that they could be, but they have tons of playoff experience and face the Twins, who are trotting out Carl Pavano as their No. 2 starter. If Pavano has to pitch in Yankee Stadium – luckily unlikely for him – forget about any chance the Twins have. The Twins will have to win it without the concussed Justin Morneau either, but they’ve been doing that since July anyway.
Pick: Yankees in Five.

The Rangers are looking for their first series win in franchise history, which isn’t all that surprising when you consider this team moved from Washington in 1972. There have been some legends to suit up for Texas, but there haven’t been any real memorable teams, and that includes this one. The Rays are flush young talent and this is the last chance to win one before some of the older generation turns over. I’m really interested to see if Tampa can fill up their stadium after calling out their fans. Facing David Price twice will be too much for Texas.
Pick: Rays in Four.

Over in the senior circuit, the Phillies are without a doubt the team to beat. With a rotation of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, there are no slouches on their front end. With an MVP-laden lineup, it’s hard to pitch around people too and shouldn’t have too much trouble with the upstart Reds. I’m happy for probable MVP Joey Votto to make it to October but the ride ends here.
Pick: Phillies in Three.

The Braves were fading down the stretch and form plays a big part of winning in October. The Giants offence is nothing special but they have strong pitching to fall back on. The Braves could excel by playing some small-ball, but it will be an early October exit for Bobby Cox in his final year managing, so fitting.
Pick: Giants in Four.

1 Comment

  1. I wish that Bobby Cox has a wonderful final series. Bobby has definitely had a majestic career. Atlanta will absolutely miss his presence.

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