Average Thoughts: MLB Playoff Edition 10-14-12

I love the baseball postseason…

And I can’t think of a better example why as to this year’s four first round playoff series.  The two biggest underdog stories of the year, the Oakland A’s and Baltimore Orioles took the favored Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees respectively all the way to a final fifth and decisive Game 5 in each of their series.

The defending champion St. Louis Cardinals overcame a 6-0 deficit in their Game 5 to stun the Washington Nationals and the San Francisco Giants won three straight on the road against the Cincinnati Reds while becoming the first National League team to overcome a 0-2 deficit in a best of five series.

I was rooting for Oakland, Baltimore, Washington and Cincinnati so even though I was disappointed by the outcomes of each series, all provided great drama and kept me glued to my seat until the very end.  As a baseball fan I can’t ask for more than that.  As for the next round, I’ll be rooting for St. Louis and Detroit.

A terrible occurrence took place in the Bronx last night…

When the Yankees lost shortstop Derek Jeter for the rest of the postseason when he fractured his left ankle while trying to make a diving play during New York’s 6-4 loss in Game One of the ALCS against Detroit.

Those of you who regularly read my blog know I never root for the Yankees and am in no hurry to see them win their 27th championship however I never want to see a player get injured, let alone a player of the caliber and class of the Yankees captain.  When I root for the Yankees to lose I want them to get beat when they’re at full strength.

Jeter’s injury is not only a loss for the Yankees but all of baseball this postseason.  Here’s wishing “The Captain” a speedy recovery.  I hope he eventually gets to end his postseason career on a healthy note.

I thought it was one the biggest crimes in baseball…

That the Washington Nationals continued to be stubborn in their position of not letting Stephen Strasburg pitch in these playoffs.  The decision by Washington’s management to shut Strasburg down after reaching a season innings limit is a huge slap in the face to every player and coach in the organization as well as every one of their fans who supports the team with their hard earned money.

Yes, the Nationals were way ahead of schedule in compiling baseball’s best regular season record at 98-64.  You can’t argue with the fact the team is in a great position to make annual playoff appearances over the next several years.  However, current success is not a guarantee of future results and chances to win the World Series don’t come along every year.

Not pitching Strasburg wasn’t the reason Washington lost Game 5 but during this off-season everyone in the Nationals organization along with their fans will be focused on what might’ve been.

Shame on the Nationals organization for letting their ego get in the way of a doing what’s best for the team.  You were a great story this season Washington but your decision not to play your best healthy pitcher means that I don’t feel sorry for you.

Never underestimate the heart of a champion…

The St. Louis Cardinals showed us why in a 9-7 win over Washington in the decisive Game 5 of their first round series.  Not only did they overcome a 6-0 deficit in the game but they were down to their last strike twice before pulling off the biggest comeback ever in a winner take all postseason game.

Since winning it all last year the Cardinals lost manager Tony LaRussa to retirement and their best player in first baseman Albert Pujols to free agency.  They respond by continuing to not only win but do it in a historically, dramatic fashion.  Congrats Cardinals!  You deserve every bit of your success.

Thanks for stepping into the clubhouse.

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