Oh, October!

What a season.  Seriously.  Here we are, days away from the start of the playoffs and the AL Central will be decided by a one game tie-breaker on Tuesday.  The Twins and the Tigers will duke it out for the top spot and a chance to take on the Yankees. 

               tie.gif picture by lafmyers

It doesn’t really surprise me that it would take a tie-breaker to determine a division.  We’ve seen all kinds of crazy stuff this season.  Who would’ve thought, after their record setting start, that the Dodgers would struggle more with Manny than without him?  And who didn’t write the Rockies off before the All-Star break?  I actually thought the Cubs would’ve been contenders in the NL Central but I sure was wrong.  I wouldn’t have guessed the Mets would end the season with a record that resembled the Nationals’ more than the Phillies’. 

   

In the AL, the Yankees had a shaky start while the Red Sox looked like they would easily put insurmountable distance between themselves and the Bronx Bombers.  I’ll give the Yankees credit.  When they get their act together, they really get their act together and perform like a well-oiled machine.  A super-expensive machine.  The Rangers sure kept the battle for the west interesting.  Everyone kept expecting them to implode but that didn’t happen.  The Angels had to fight hard for every inch of ground they gained.  (If you’re reading this, Big Mike…yes, the Angels did finish 10 games ahead, exactly as you predicted, but it wasn’t easy.)

    

I’ll admit the last few days have been less stressful.  I watched the remaining games of the Texas series, as well as the final three games in Oakland, secure in the knowledge that my boys had made it to the postseason.  It was fun to watch the newbies take the field and do their best to impress the powers-that-be in the Angels organization.  Strike-outs?  Yawn…whatever.  Errors?  I just rolled my eyes.  None of it mattered.  How refreshing is that?

               

Carefree?  Yep…that’s me.  I haven’t felt like this since just before spring training.  On one hand, it feels like it’s been years since Opening Day.  On the other hand, it seems like it was just yesterday.  When I went to the Big A last Monday night to watch the Angels clinch the west, the usual video montage that’s played before games to the Train song “Calling All Angels”, had been replaced with a new montage that chronicled the 2009 season.  It was a bittersweet ride down memory lane and I found myself a bit emotional when it ended.  There wasn’t anything in it that I hadn’t already seen.  But I think that’s what got to me.  I realized I’ve been there for all of it, good and bad, happy and sad.  Just like seasons past, I haven’t missed a single moment of it.  I’ve cried with my Angels and I’ve rejoiced with them too.  And no matter what happens in the postseason, I’ll do the same next year.  Because I’m a fan and that’s what fans do.  I know for many players, it’s just a job.  But I’d like to think that it’s more than a paycheck.  More than a quest for a mention in the record books.  There may be a few hundred players but there’s millions of fans.  And without us there wouldn’t be Major League Baseball.

 

Baseball…good to the last drop!  

 

 

7 Comments

I have tickets to game one of the ALDS between the Angels and the Red Sox. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is for me to have to wait until after the one game playoff to know if this game is going to take place Wednesday or Thursday. Of course the Yankees already know which date they prefer and MLB should step in to make sure this doesn’t happen again. This isn’t about the teams, it is about the fans. A mid-week game is much different from a weekend game. Not knowing between Saturday and Sunday is one thing, but not knowing between Wednesday and Thursday? Some people actually have jobs and children in school! We have to arrange sitters, or substitutes or feign illness! We have to arrange dinner and pickups as well! Being a fan and a parent and a job holder is NOT made easier by MLB dangling this “Wednesday or Thursday” business over our head till the last possible minute. There… that’s my rant. Go HALOS!

Yes, let’s hear it for us fans! We do make the engine run. (Clap clap clap.) It’s hard to believe we’re into the postseason (almost). Did time fly or what? I’m hoping for a Yankees-Angels ALCS so I can drive down to Angel Stadium for a game. But first things first. We both have to beat our ALDS foes – and in my case I still don’t know which team that will be!

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

I was a Fenway last Tuesday night – what a night! Now can we just get the playoff game over with in Minnesota (yes, it reminds of ’78) so we can “officially” know that our guys will play Thursday night!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Ok, unlike Julia I don’t remember ’78 – but I was around! :) But I still love watching these “winner takes all” games. Then the real games can get started!!
Ginny
http://watercooler.mlblogs.com

Great post, and thanks for the kind words re: my Rangers. I wish I could agree with you and say they didn’t implode, but they did just that right after the Sept 7-9 series in Cleveland. I still don’t know what the heck happened. Oh well, it was a good season and your boys proved they are still the team to beat in the not-so-pitiful-and-weak AL West.
:^)
–Jonestein
http://jonestein.mlblogs.com

The AL Central is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your gonna get. : )

Ted
http://tribewithted.mlblogs.com/

I’m not a Tiger fan or a Twins fan, I’m a baseball fan and I’m sick to death of umpires being a deciding factor in games. I’m so disgusted with the umpiring behind the plate these past years and especially the garbage calls from behind the plate of the tiebreaker game that I’m ready to call for electronic balls and strikes.

That would negate the necessity of checking for overseas offshore bank accounts of these bad, bad umpires. (i.e., different strike zones for one team over the other, unbelievably bad base calls, etc)

Then there would NEVER be a bad plate call. The technology exists to make it 100% perfect. Heck, do away with all of them and use automated, electronic and video calls for EVERYTHING. Get the umpires OUT of the game. Get the calls right EVERY TIME. Then no punk kid gets away with stealing an out from Atlanta where the umpire somehow DIDN’T SEE THAT???; no inexcusably bad call in game six in 1985, and a MILLION others.

Brashki

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