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Sunday, May 19, 2013
Are the MLB playoffs just around the corner?Posted Monday, October 5, 2009, at 10:05 AM
Despite the one-game playoff The Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins will play Tuesday, the 2009 Major League Baseball season officially ended Sunday.
Typically in the past, I would have been incredibly excited.
The playoffs begin this week. The road to the World Series starts now.
But for some reason, this doesn't seem to matter to me anymore.
All I could think about Sunday and Monday morning was the football season.
After I left the office Sunday evening, I drove home and found my fiancee watching one of the music channels on television.
The channel was featuring a concert by her favorite, Keith Urban.
But as I sat there, I couldn't help but think, "Pittsburgh vs. San Diego."
Sure, at the moment, the Steelers were pounding the Chargers. But, hey, it's football and a game was on.
San Diego managed to make a game of it late, but I decided enough was enough. I was ready for bed.
Monday morning rolls around and all I can think about is Minnesota -- my beloved Vikings -- against the Green Bay Packers.
Years ago, I would have been scouting statistics for the MLB playoff teams, preparing for a couple of weeks of baseball magic.
But no longer.
Now, baseball just slides right by.
Is it because the playoff games are scheduled for the evening, making it difficult to stay up to watch?
I don't think so. But that might be it.
Is it because of the pace of the game? That is a possibility, but the pace of baseball never bothered me before.
In fact, I loved it. Baseball always seemed like the ultimate chess match.
It could be a variety of factors.
More than likely, it probably has something to do with the fact that my favorite team, the Cincinnati Reds, was -- in reality -- eliminated from playoff contention several months ago.
When that happens, it makes for a difficult season.
Sure, I scan the division race and check statistics to see how the Reds are doing, but when they fall so far behind, it just seems like the season can't end soon enough.
The Tigers and Twins are in the same position the Reds were in in 1999.
Cincy won 96 games that year and were led by manager Jack McKeon. However, the Reds lost their one-game playoff to the New York Mets.
The following year, McKeon guided the Reds to an 85-77 finish. But since 2000, the Reds have not had a winning season.
Long summers can take a lot out of a person.
It really is sad because the Reds have a good mix of veterans and youngsters.
the pitching has started to come around in recent seasons. Pitching has been incredibly thin for the Reds.
They have a good amount of really good young players, led by Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce, Chris Dickerson and Laynce Nix.
But they can't find their way to a winning record.
And that gives even more meaning to the football season. At least for fans of teams that are perennial cellar dwellers.
The 2008 MLB playoffs looked a little like this. From the National League, you had the Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs.
In the American League, you had the Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels.
The Phillies and Dodgers advanced to the NL League Championship, while in the American League, it was Tampa Bay and Boston.
From there, the Rays and Phillies advanced to the World Series, with Philadelphia winning its second World Series.
The 2009 MLB playoffs will look like this. In the National League, we have the Phillies facing the Colorado Rockies and the St. Louis Cardinals taking on the Dodgers.
Two of these teams were there last year. The Rockies advanced to the World Series in 2007 and the Cardinals won the World Series in 2006.
In the American League, the 2009 playoffs will feature The Red Sox against the Angels and either the Twins or Tigers against the Yankees.
Last year, the Red Sox and Angels faced each other in the AL Division Series. The Yankees made the playoffs in 2007, falling to Cleveland in the Division Series.
Minnesota's last trip to the playoffs was in 2006, when the Twins were defeated by Oakland in the AL Division Series.
Likewise for the Tigers. Detroit's last playoff appearance happened in 2006, when it advanced to the World Series, only to lose to the Cardinals.
Fans of these teams should take note as they always seem to have something to be excited about.
Their teams always seem to make the playoffs or are in contention year in and year out.
But my Reds? Well, fans can always think back to 1999 when they almost made it.
Or fans can remember the glory days of 1990, when Cincinnati defeated the Oakland A's for the World Series title.
And we can always cherish all the titles that were won in the 1970s.
But as far as this year is concerned, none of that seems to matter.