A Whole Lot a Clinching Going On
By Lisa R. Neilson
Tis the season: MLB playoffs start on Tuesday, so naturally the contenders are sliding into position. At post time, the only undetermined faceoff is the AL Wild Card, with Tampa, Cleveland and Texas vying for the spots. In the National League, the Pirates could still win their division but it’s unlikely—St. Louis has to win just one of their three games against the Cubs this weekend, keeping the Pirates and the Reds in the NL Wild Card. It has been an exciting week of baseball, even if you don’t have a team in the running.
Probably the most disappointing result of these late September games was Baltimore’s elimination (if you’re not a Yankee fan, that is). Although I’ve always liked the Rays, who are holding steady at the top of the AL Wild Card race, it would have been fun to see Baltimore grab a spot and advance further than last year. First baseman Chris Davis was awesome this season, leading the majors with 52 homeruns and 363 total bases. It will be interesting to see what he can do next year. Watching his teammate, Manny Machado, go down with a knee injury on Monday was disheartening; how quickly Machado can recover is on every Orioles’ mind, but at least he will have a full four months before spring training. It’s not unlikely for him to make the 2014 Opening Day roster. The Orioles have a bright future and a lot of talent so stay tuned.
The Red Sox have a solid team and I can’t help wondering now if they’re going to win it all. The Las Vegas odds are pitting the Sox against the Dodgers, which would bring a rematch of the 1916 Fall Classic to the ballpark. I’m rooting for the Pirates, though. I predicted them to win the World Series when we returned from the All-Star Break and I’m sticking to that prediction. It won’t be easy for them. They can dominate the Reds in the Wild Card matchup but then they’ll have to get past the mighty Red Birds. We all know how fierce St. Louis can be in the postseason. If they can manage the Cardinals, the Pirates may very well be on their way to a championship.
I don’t know about you but I’m going to tune in and see what happens. October baseball is headed our way. Enjoy the postseason!
Here’s a poem by Hester Jewell Dawson entitled “October.”
the high fly ball,
arches out above left field,
hangs there in the sky
outblazing the sun
while fifty thousand heads swings and cry
“Over the wall! Over the wall!”
then hold, fixed and dumb
as the ball drops
down and down, a dead bird
into a waiting glove
and there you have it: the song,
the flight, the perilous whisper of truth
or of love or possibly of faith
then the descent
and the end of the game