The Hunt for another Red October

1960s Redbird Pennant

1960s Redbird Pennant

It is post-season time again in Baseball. To my mind it officially starts today, although I do recognize that a few preliminary post-season bouts have already been fought. Ahem, I would first like to congratulate my brother-in-law Carl for being named the Mariner’s Best Fan of the Year. It is recognition that is well deserved. It must have been great fun throwing out the first pitch. He really nailed it too. I do wish that I could adopt his more ecumenical spirit, but I’m afraid that I am too stuck in my old partisan ways. Go Cards!

Other than wishes I shall not be making any predictions. I wouldn’t want to end up like that SB Nation pundit (Marc Normandin), who predicted the A’s to beat the Pirates in the series. Most pundits have the Dodgers beating the Cardinals in their series. Tonight’s pairing of Cardinal Ace, Wainwright (20-9), against Dodgers Ace, Kershaw (21-3), should be telling or maybe not. Usually, the post-season story is easier to tell afterwards.

For most of the history of Major League Baseball (MLB), the playoffs were just the World Series. It is only in modern times that today’s playoff system has given teams with lesser regular season records a second chance at the two leagues pennants and a berth in the World Series. I’m not saying that this is bad, especially as a 2011 Cardinal fan. I’m just saying that looking forward to this post-season that there are a number of interesting pairings for the World Series.

LA Freeway Series must be one of FOX Sports top choices. Here you have the Dodgers pitted against their cross town rivals the Angels. A one-off of that would have the Giants facing the Angels. None of these combinations are optimal, because we have already booked a LA vacation during the World Series. The inconvenience of extra baseball related tourism could only be mitigated if there was a Redbird in the series.

On Wednesday night, the KC Royals reentered post-season play for the first time in 29 years. The ghost of Don Denkinger has begun to be expunged. Another Show-Me / I-70 Series could complete the exorcism. With Detroit in the mix, Cardinal batting practice should eventually include hit it to the pitcher drills. I have little knowledge of and even less interest in following either the Orioles or the Nationals. I view them at this point as mere Yankee/Red Sox stand-ins as part of FOX’s attempt to enthrall the east coast viewership. I just hope that I don’t have to eat my own words and watch a Beltway Series.

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