Friday, October 12, 2012

Baseball...It Prevents Us From Going Crazy

You may think that the title of this blog is a little off. After all, the four series that took place this week all went to five games. A fan of any of the eight teams might be feeling a little crazy right now! Between the team that lost two games at home but managed to win all three games on the road (in a row!) to the teams that kept going into extra innings, to the team that just had to win one on the road...and it took them three tries and an inconceivable performance by their ace to do it.

But could you imagine a fall season without baseball? It has happened before - but that was eighteen years ago, in 1994. Sportscenter was just beginning to become the regular hangout for people when they woke up in the morning. ESPN2 was still the place for skateboarding shows and men lifting tractor tires.

Our normal lives kept the human race from going nuts. But in the days of 24-hour sports networks, Internet blogs (like this one!), and the constant barrage of social media, baseball is the only thing that is keeping the nation from overloading on...football.

If we didn't have baseball right now, the only thing out there is football. High school football, college football, the NFL, fantasy football, Monday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, football commercials, football behind-the-scenes, football analysis, analysis of the football analysis, year-round speculation of football plots, and the Super Bowl. The NHL is locked out and all its players moved to Europe and Asia to play the game. All that the NBA does right now is argue with each other. That sport doesn't become relevant till Christmas.

I imagine that if ESPN or the NFL Network had the chance, they would spend 24 hours straight dissecting the logo color of the Dallas Cowboys.

The only thing that is stopping us from this madness? Baseball.

Because of baseball, we have another outlet for our sports fandom. Anyone will tell you that if you spend your whole life doing just one thing, it will drive you mad. You need to add that second (or third or fourth or so on) hobby to relieve the stress and work another part of your brain.

So thank you, baseball, for providing sports fans with an alternative choice of sports programming. It prevents me from having to read an article at the end of October about Aaron Rodgers' fifth word in his eighth interview of the day implying that his wide receiver's route in the eighteenth play of the fourth game of the season caused him to develop a pinky tic that may or may not prevent him from throwing a slant route pass against AFC teams with right-handed defensive backs who went to an SEC East (not West!) university.

Because when we do see an article like that, we can just flip to baseball instead.

Thank goodness.

Anyway...
A few other baseball playoff, oops, I mean Postseason oddities. The word "Postseason." In any official MLB promotional materials, they will never say playoffs. It  has to be "Postseason." And this from the only  league that doesn't have a Preseason...it's Spring Training.

I wonder how long the Yankee's champagne bath lasted tonight. They probably have to be at the ballpark around 2pm tomorrow to prepare for that evening's game against the Detroit Tigers. Or maybe they did what they should do after a simple ALDS win...congratulate each other, take a shower, and go home! What's up with the constant locker room celebrations? I can understand celebrating a berth in the playoffs Postseason, but does beating the fifth-best (second-best Wild Card) team warrant the plastic over the lockers and the coolers full of horrible alcohol to waste?

I seem to remember the 1995 Detroit Red Wings celebrating the Western Conference championship like they'd won the Stanley Cup. Then they got swept in the Finals Final by New Jersey and vowed never to celebrate that stupid trophy ever again. And they still don't celebrate it! Why can't teams take a cue - don't celebrate the little steps like you've won the championship. Win the championship, then celebrate!

With the 2-3-2 NBA Finals-like setup of the ALCS this year, it is crucial for Detroit to get one of those first two games in Yankee Stadium. The Yankees have just played three straight games against a formidable Orioles team who gave everything they had. They showered each other in liquor for a while tonight (for some reason - see above). And now they've got two games on Saturday and Sunday against Detroit. This is the perfect time for Detroit to take advantage of that exhaustion - and the fact that the Yankee's lineup is depending on second-tier replacements to win games for them while their starters hit below the Mendoza line.

I don't make predictions - I pray. Dear Lord, let the Tigers win in five. And thank you for preventing me from having to listen to Joe Buck for another week or two. Amen.