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It seems the general consensus among baseball fans is the additional wild card in each league will greatly effect the postseason race this season.
I’m not so certain it will.
The baseball standings come July 4th has long remained a fairly good indicator of which teams will make the postseason come season’s end.
Believe it or not, the MLB regular season is already underway. That’s no joke.
If that’s news to you, however, don’t feel left out. It certainly is for most baseball fans, even the diehards, because MLB did little, if anything, to promote the opening series between Seattle & Oakland in Japan.
I bet most of you have no idea who won, who pitched, who homered…who was the home team? I know I didn’t, except for a small blurb I caught on Baseball Tonight. The rest of the story I found online. (Seattle won Game 1, Oakland won Game 2).
Funny enough, there’s such irony in the fact that while MLB tries to expand its horizons, they failed to reach the fans in its own country, and for the season’s lid-lifter no less!
Even those aware of the ‘official’ overseas opener couldn’t find it on television, including players and managers still wrapping up meaningless spring training games.
And there’s your big kick-off to the 2012 season. Hooray?
The NL Central has long held the distinction of hosting some of the game’s greatest sluggers.
Ken Griffey Jr., Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire held court before the arrivals of Adam Dunn, Carlos Lee and Derrek Lee.
But with the decisions of Albert Pujols & Prince Fielder to sign lucrative free agent contracts in L.A. and Detroit, respectively, the question arises as to which player takes over the crown as the NL Central’s greatest slugger?
Here’s how I see it:
Here’s my ballot for the Baseball Bloggers Alliance Hall of Fame voting. We’re allowed to cast up to 10 votes.
YES VOTES: (alphabetical order)
When Scott Feldman walked Yadier Molina with the bases loaded in the fifth inning I switched the TV off.
St. Louis was leading 4-2 and a gut feeling told me this wasn’t the Rangers’ night. They wouldn’t come back, not even with four innings left to play, and despite all the hysterics that took place the night before.
It was a similar feeling of doubt I felt Thursday night with Texas leading by three-runs late in Game 6. “Too close, not over,” I thought.
Unable to bare watching the final innings unfold I turned that game off too, instead opting to listen to the conclusion of Game 6 game on the radio.
Nestled in my office I cranked up the space heater and waited for Texas to celebrate. Of course, that didn’t happen. There I was cold, in the dark, and wondering just how on earth the Rangers had let the series slip to a decisive Game 7.
My nerves were finally spent through five innings Friday night. If Texas came back to win, shame on me for not paying attention. But all I kept thinking was, “Not the Cardinals, not again.”
Only once before had I ever tuned-out a World Series game. Not surprisingly, that came during Game 5 of the 2006 World Series when St. Louis was busy beating the daylights out of Detroit. I simply couldn’t bare the heartache of watching that game either.
There are but three teams I always gain pleasure from watching lose as a Cubs, Colts and Blackhawks fan: The Cardinals, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Vancouver Canucks.
If Texas could win the World Series I’d have the three-peat in place: Green Bay defeated Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl and Boston won against Vancouver in the Stanley Cup Finals. Not to be, I suppose.
With baseball as my first love, however, this one hurts the most. LaRussa, Pujols, Berkman…Ryan expletive Theriot, baseball’s champions.
Not the Cardinals, not again.
This wasn’t the best game ever played in World Series history, but it’s certainly in the conversation…and near the top of the list.
And as thrilling as David Freese’s walkoff HR was, it’s not the best walkoff HR in World Series history, either. Sorry, Cards fans.
Adrian Beltre has become this October’s version of Edgar Renteria–an accomplished veteran making the most of the postseason.
With all due respect to Ian Kinsler, who I tabbed as the early favorite to win the World Series MVP Award, Mike Napoli has earned top honors should Texas go on to win it all.
The bearded slugger remains a surprise thorn in the Cardinals side delivering clutch hits throughout the series, including his tiebreaking two-run double in the eight giving the Rangers a 3-2 series advantage in Game 5 Monday night.
Napoli is hitting .308 with 2 HR and a series leading 9 RBI, which nearly matches the offensive output from the rest of the Rangers’ lineup (12 RBI).
If there’s a downside to Derek Holland’s brilliant outing in game 4, (besides his pitiful cookie duster!) it’s that he likely won’t be available to start a potential Game 7 scheduled Thursday night in St. Louis.