Tuesday, August 30, 2011

MLB Playoff Races

It's hard to believe that September is almost upon us. In just a few days, it will be back to school for the little ones, fall foliage time for the New Englanders, and Amy Winehouse's 28th birthd----.

Ooo. Too soon? Nah.

With the NBA lockout in full swing, we may only have one opportunity this year to enjoy the postseason of a league that is plagued by a horrendously skewed distribution of salaries. So let's bask in the warm glow of the MLB playoff race.

You can go to any sports website that you darn well choose to find predictions of which teams will and won't make the playoffs. But here at Sports Casual, we don't care about that. This article isn't about which teams will make the playoffs, it's about which teams you should root for.

AL East - Red Sox vs. Yankees
- Red Sox fans limped through the years of the curse with a common excuse: of course the Yankees will win all the time if they buy the best team. What Red Sox fans choose to neglect is the fact that for much of that time, Boston was also a top 5 payroll team. They just spent their millions on worse players. Now that the Sox have won a few titles, there's almost as much reason to hate them as there is to loathe the Yankees. Almost. Root for the Red Sox, because they aren't the Yankees.

AL Central - Tigers vs. White Sox vs. Indians
- There's only one three-horse race in the MLB, and it's in the American League Central. How could you possibly root against the Cleveland Indians? Ozzie Guillen is an absolute nutcase, plus Chicago has the Bears and Blackhawks. Detroit at least has the Red Wings, and a possibly contending Lions team. Cleveland's other-sports hopes lie solely in one Colt McCoy. Plus, with the return of Indian-extraordinaire and classy gentleman Jim Thome, the Indians are now that much more likable. Roll Tribe!

AL West - Rangers vs. Angels
- The worst part about the the Anaheim Angels is that they try to pretend they're from Los Angeles. The worst part about the Texas Rangers is that they actually are from Texas. The state of Texas has brought us George W. Bush, massive heat waves, and Texas toast. It's pretty much the same thing as regular toast! Go Angels.

NL East - Phillies vs. Braves
- The Phillies are extremely annoying, somehow managing to land every good pitcher ever. The NL pennant race was a done deal on opening day, and that bums me out quite a bit. It's a lost cause, but go ahead and root for the Braves anyway.

NL Central - Brewers vs. Nobody
- A few weeks ago, we could have emerged with a playoff race if we did some serious enough NL Central spelunking. Not anymore. The Brewers are on an absolute tear, turning what often is a competitive division battle into a done deal. Which is fine. Who doesn't like the Brewers? They never win anything, they're named for beer, and they once had the best logo in sports.

NL West - Diamondbacks vs. Giants
- The playoff race in the west has Arizona and San Francisco separated by 5 games. As much as I dislike Arizona as a place (especially the Phoenix airport, yuck) you should still be rooting for the Diamondbacks to win this division. Why? Because if the Giants win it, we'll be doomed to another postseason of the most horrendously boring baseball ever.

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