First of all, count me as one of those who were surprised that the Giants were able to stave off six elimination games and ride all the way to a World Series title. Short series are, of course, notoriously unpredictable, which is one of the things that makes baseball's postseason so entertaining after the longest regular season in sports has established who the best teams are. But the postseason can still be wonderfully instructive, and I would like to share a theory that I discussed briefly with my good friend Keith Hankins a few days ago as we were chatting about the Giants' moves in the playoffs.
Monday, October 15, 2012
On Friday night, the Washington Nationals tasted, for the first time in franchise history, the bitter defeat of an elimination game, falling 9-7 at home to the Cardinals after opening the game with 6 runs in less than three innings off of the Redbirds' ace, Adam Wainwright. But losses like that one are learning moments, and given how the team has been built, there is every reason to expect that they will be serious contenders for the foreseeable future, even if rival anonymous front offices wish that they weren't. To his credit, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo is steadfast in his belief that the team's process in handling Stephen Strasburg was correct, and has some choice words for the haters out there. Everyone knows that the Nats shut down Strasburg with an eye (or both, depending on your perspective) to the future. What will that immediate future look like?
Friday, October 5, 2012
While the National League had no drama whatsoever over the past couple of weeks, the American League had plenty, what with the White Sox and Rangers collapsing down the stretch, allowing the Tigers and A's to win their respective divisions and sending the Sox home and the Rangers, ostensibly the most talented team in the league, to the one-game playoff against that team of destiny, Baltimore.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
October may be my favorite month of the year. It is certainly the best on the sports calendar, with every sport doing something (barring labor disputes). Midnight Madness is in October. The NBA and NHL are in their preseasons. Various soccer leagues are going on. Both college football and the NFL are in full swing. And then there is the baseball postseason, still my favorite of all the professional leagues.