It's late August now so looking at the potential playoff picture isn't such a futile act.
Here's some intriguing facts:1. As of this morning, NO American League playoff team from 2006 has a playoff spot this year.
Take THAT people who claim baseball doesn't have the parity of the NFL! That's right, as I am typing this, the Twins, A's, defending AL Champ Tigers and even the surging Yankees would be playing golf right now.2. Only 2 playoff teams from last year are back...
The Mets, to the surprise of nobody are back in the hunt and are now separating themselves from the pack after a midseason scare. The Padres are in position for their third straight postseason berth. Nobody is calling them a dynasty... not until they can win more than one game in October.3. There are some matchups that FOX must be drooling over!
Certainly a Mets/Cubs NLCS will bring in big ratings. Red Sox versus anyone would be big, especially the Angels where they get the LA Market. The possibility of a 1986 rematch between the Red Sox and the Mets must be the best case scenario for Fox. Mets vs. Angels would have the East and West coast audiences. Cubs/Red Sox would have more spice if they were both still searching for that allusive title, but would bring in the ratings nonetheless. Cubs versus Indians would be two classic downtrodden franchises where SOMETHING
will have to give. Cubs vs. Mariners would have Lou Piniella going back to Seattle... 4. There are some matchups that FOX must be dreading
Angels vs. Diamondbacks? Mariners vs. Padres? YOU
try to promote that!5. Who would be the aging veteran who has never won a ring that people can latch on to for sentimental reasons? Kenny Lofton
of Cleveland has played in the post season for 10 of the last 12 seasons... and somehow remains ringless.
San Diego's Trevor Hoffman
is only missing a World Series title for his Hall of Fame resume.
Also Paul Byrd, Vlad Guerrero, Bartolo Colon, Richie Sexson, Jose Vidro, Carlos DelGado, Shawn Green, Carlos Beltran, Billy Wagner, Jason Kendall, Ted Lilly, Tony Clark, Mike Cameron
and Brian Giles6. Of this bunch, who do you think is winning?
I'm sticking with my pre season pick
of the Angels winning it all, beating the Mets in 6 games7. Will this be the final playoff lineup?
Probably not. The Yankees are a better team than the Mariners and will probably overtake them. The Tigers have a good shot of overstepping the Indians. But they are 15-23 since the break and had better get their act together.
Who knows who is going to come out of the NL Central... neither the Cubs nor the Brewers are exactly playing like world beaters. Somehow the Diamondbacks seem like the surest bet.8. Aren't you scared the Red Sox are going to blow it?
That's why I love Tampa Bay on the schedule as much as I do!
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