As someone who likes to spend a fair amount of time complaining about crusty baseball men and crusty baseball thought, I also spend a fair amount of time dabbling in both. As a crank, one can’t help but look at the AL West and wonder what might have been.
We could have utter chaos. The Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, and Seattle Mariners are all within a game of each other with a month to go. Two weeks ago, the Rangers had a 6.5-game lead on the Ms. The Rangers also have three games left with the Astros and four with the Mariners. Seattle also has three games with Houston before it closes the season with those four against Texas. This should be an absolute cage match to decide who wins the division. It’s the kind of thing that could have lived on in the memory like 1993 and Atlanta and San Francisco, basically the reason we have this mutated playoff system.
And yet…does it really matter?
The Astros and Rangers occupy the wildcard spots, providing quite the safety net for whoever doesn’t win the West. The Blue Jays are the only team that can break up the West’s monopoly of playoff spots, and they’re 2.5 games back and can’t seem to ever find fifth gear.
MLB will try and push it so that whoever comes out ahead of the three will get some massive break in not having to play in the wildcard round, while also pushing the Phillies run from last year that started in the wildcard round. In MLB’s world, anything can happen in the playoffs, and it’s also a huge advantage to get the wildcard round off. Nothing means anything and everything!
Making it worse yet, it is likely that whoever finished third in the AL West will get a wildcard round date in Minneapolis to face the Twins, who couldn’t be any more mid if they were the Foo Fighters’ new drummer. That’s a far better fate than what awaits whoever finishes second, as they will play Tampa, who might not be the ultra-beast of the season’s first half but are quite a distance ahead of the Twinkies.
I know that pennant races are dead. I know that the regular season doesn’t matter much anymore. I know that younger fans probably don’t care about this stuff. I know that’s where the money is. And it still sucks. That final week with the Mariners playing both Texas teams should feel immense. They should have fans of all three teams turning pale and calling in sick to work and heaving furniture across their apartment (or is that just a me thing?) They won’t be irrelevant, likely, but it’s just as likely they’ll just be about positioning. That doesn’t really flow on a commercial, does it?
I guess we all spend our later years pining for the things we knew.
Luis Rubiales’ uncle speaks up
How big of a cretin do you have to be to get aired out by a close family member on TV? Not much of a surprise that Luis Rubiales is that cretin:
Juan Rubiales through that thread paints the picture of a very petty, small man that his nephew clearly is. One who’s keenly aware of his weakness, shortcomings, and incapability and yet will stop at nothing to shroud it in whenever he can get his grubby little paws on. Rather than show a shred of humility or weakness, which his uncle makes it clear he is rife with, he’ll lash out at the world to a farcical degree. Terrified that one glimpse of vulnerability will show the world the deep reservoir of it that’s there. Uncle Rubiales shows that his nephew thinks that one apology, that one admission of wrong would be the one Jenga piece that collapses it all and leaves nothing but the fraud he’s sure that he is, deep down.
But I guess we knew that.
Volleyball takes over Lincoln, Nebraska
Pretty cool night in Lincoln, Nebraska, where 92,000 came out to see the women’s volleyball team play Omaha.
The volleyball program in Lincoln is a big deal, which was something of the impetus to reach for a crowd that became the largest to ever witness a women’s sporting event. But if I may one small complaint, because mom didn’t hug me enough or something:
Entering to “Eye In The Sky” is a harkening back to the heyday of the Chicago Bulls…except none of these players would have been born then. Neither would any of the students attending in the crowd. None of these players and students have even been alive for a relevant Bulls team, a Derrick Rose-led one that had utterly no chance against Lebron notwithstanding. But hey, they didn’t seem to mind. Just let them choose next time.
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