A brief blurb on how pleased I am with this year’s baseball playoffs. Getting the Yankees wiped out – and looking particularly feeble – in the play-in game was a treat in itself. Next to depart were the Cardinals, who have won too much, in a colorless fashion, to root for. The fact that it was the wild card Cubs that accomplished the feat only made it sweeter. Toronto was my favorite team of the season’s second half, with their bludgeon baseball and former Twin Chris Colabello; so I thoroughly enjoyed seeing them come from two down to take out the Texas Rangers. Moreover, they did it morality play manner: just when you thought they would lose on an undeserved, freak play – with a return throw from the catcher bouncing off the batter’s bat – they bounced back with a four-run seventh, climaxed by a monstrous home run by Jose “Joey Bats” Bautista. The fact that Elvis Andrus dropped three straight balls to create the rally made you think there was some kind of baseball karma at work.
Kansas City has been a favorite since last year’s playoffs. They play the most entertaining brand of baseball – good defense, basehits from everyone, and a shutdown bullpen – and they are from the Twins’ division. But best of all was the Mets defeating the Dodgers, in Los Angeles, no less. I don’t usually warm to New York teams, but the Mets have been down so long you almost feel sorry for their fans (not their ownership). The Dodgers, meanwhile, are the Yankees West, an overpaid smug bunch. What set me off completely, however, was the Chase Utley slid play, which was not only loathsome in itself (see prior blog), but gave LA a game the Mets c0uld have, if not should have, won. If the Dodgers had gone on to the NLCS because of that, their defeat would have been a moral crusade. As it is, I don’t really have a rooting interest. KC v. Toronto is speed and finesse v. power, a classic confrontation. Mets v. Cubs is a revelatory showdown of great young pitchers v. great young hitters. I hope both series go the distance, by which time I may know whom I’m for. Until then, I will hope every game goes to the home team.