Sunday, September 28, 2008

The baseball playoffs dilemma

It's Major League Baseball playoff season and what does a New Yorker do. It just seems part of being American, something ingrained in childhood, to have favorites, especially by the time the World Series comes around. What would I say to the butcher, baker or sandwich maker if I didn't have some interest. The problem is that, for the first time in 12 years, both New York teams are out. I'm a Mets first, Yankees second man, unlike most native New Yorkers who must choose to love one and hate with a passion the other. I go with either as long as they last and if, as happened in 2000, they both make the Series I'm pulling for the Mets.

So choices must be made, favorites must be chosen from teams about which I know little.

In the American League, now pulling up the sports section from my lap to remind myself of the teams to choose from, the only team that I really know anything about is Boston and I'm tired of them and their rivalry with the Yankees, and besides they traded away Manny Ramirez, one of the few great characters in the baseball today. Since I know absolutely nothing about the Minnesota Twins or the Chicago White Sox the fact that their division is up in the air means little, although Chicago is certainly a fine city. That leaves Tampa, having come from a season last year in which they lost far more games than they won, entering the playoffs for the first time. The do have Cliff Floyd who is a good guy and played for the Mets, and is having a comeback year. They also have a star pitcher named Kazmir who the Mets traded away before he cut his teeth and they have regretted that deeply. Tampa Rays is the choice in the AL.

In the National League there is no debate. It's the Los Angeles Dodgers. Two reasons. First, their coach is Joe Torre who was fired from the Yankees after taking the team to 12 straight post seasons. He won in a weak division but, who cares, he got there for a 13th time in a row and the wealthiest team in the business did not. Second, the Dodgers have Manny Ramirez, one of the few great characters in baseball today. He's also an amazing clutch hitter and an entertaining prankster in his free spirit way. Dodgers in the NL, and they're a total longshot, and if they can make it Dodgers all the way.

Now there's a break from the Great Financial Crisis of 2008.


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