This week it’s all about the playoff races and Miguel Cabrera on the verge of accomplishing something that hasn’t been done since 1967.
Miggy, Miggy, Miggy
Being a baseball fan these days is tough. Poor umpiring, increased interleague games looming, a ridiculous addition of a second wildcard team(when many of us didn’t even like the addition of the first wildcard), positive tests for PED’s, etc. have made it challenging for fans to partake in the pure joy that baseball used to offer in its glory days.
Any baseball fan under the age of 45 wasn’t even born the last time a player won baseball’s Triple Crown. Any baseball fan between 45 and 55 probably has a hard time remembering when Carl Yastremski won the Triple Crown in the 1967 MLB season. Nine days from now, around 11:10 PM EDT, the anointing of the first Triple Crown winner of my lifetime will take place in Kansas City.
Miguel Cabrera has an 8 point lead in the batting title race in the American League. He also has a 10 RBI lead over Josh Hamilton in the RBI title race, and is currently tied with Hamilton for the home run title race.
With Josh Hamilton being injured and his return unsure, it appears that Miguel Cabrera has done it, he’s going to end the drought. Bolstering Cabrera’s chances of winning the Triple Crown is the fact that he will be facing 10 games worth of Kansas City and Minnesota pitching. The Royals and Twins are currently 10th and 13th in the AL in team ERA.
While the playoff races are gathering almost all of the hype, the biggest story of the year is Cabrera. In the last 45 years some pretty incredible players have graced the game with their presence. None of those players accomplished what Cabrera is about to do.
Hopefully, MLB and the media who are hyping the playoff races nonstop, will give this accomplishment its proper coverage.
Make sure you mark 8:10 PM EDT on October 3rd on your calendars. At that time, you can turn on your television and watch the last game of Cabrera’s incredible season and say that you witnessed the coronation of the first Triple Crown winner since 1967. Whether or not you like Cabrera, this is an event that no baseball fan should miss. Things you wait a lifetime for are the things that should be most cherished.
If The Playoffs Began Today
In the AL:
The Orioles would host the A’s in a one game playoff in Baltimore to determine who would host the Rangers in the first two games of a best-of-five series.
The White Sox would host the Yankees in the first two games of a best-of-five series.
In the NL:
The Braves would host the Cardinals in a one game playoff in Atlanta to determine who would host the Nationals in the first two games of a best-of-five series.
The Giants would host the Reds in the first two games of a best-of-five series.
The NL races are down to seedings and who will get the last wildcard.
The Giants have closed to within 3 1/2 games of the Nats and 3 games of the Reds for the first two seeds. Those three teams can still wind up in any order for the top three seeds.
The Braves are as good as home free with a magic number of 1 to make the playoffs.
The Cards have a two and a half game lead over the Brewers and a three game lead over the Dodgers for the second wildcard position but the Cardinals are far from home as they clearly possess the hardest remaining schedule.
The Cardinals have three road games against the Astros before returning home for a six game home stand against the Nationals and Reds. With the Reds and Nats battling for the 1 seed, it is very unlikely that either will lay down for the Cards. It is conceivable that the Cards tough road home could allow the Brewers and/or Dodgers to run them down if they can play 7-3 and 7-2 baseball respectively as they end their seasons.
The AL races for the East and Central are as up in the air as they were last week at this time.
The White Sox are still clinging to a one game lead in the Central despite losing their last five games. The White Sox have a seven game home stand starting today that consists of three games with the Indians and four games with Tampa Bay before heading to Cleveland to play the Indians again in their final three games.
The Tigers play their final four home games starting today against Kansas City. The Tigers then head to Minnesota to play three games and then to Kansas City to play three games.
The Yankees have a one game lead over the Orioles in the East. The Yankees head to Minnesota to play three games that will be followed by four games in Toronto before heading home to finish the season with three games against the Red Sox.
The Orioles play four games against Toronto that start today with a doubleheader. The Orioles then host the Red Sox for three games before ending their season in Tampa with three games against the Rays. The series with the Rays becomes an obstacle for the Orioles if the Rays can close their gap with the Orioles to three games or less before that series begins. If the Rays can do that, they will control their destiny in that last series against the O’s at home.
The A’s rough schedule has gotten to them as of late, but they still hold the second wildcard slot by two and a half games over the Angels and three and a half games over the Rays. The A’s start a four game series with the Rangers tonight before heading home to finish the season with three games with Seattle and three with Texas. The last series with Texas becomes easier if Texas already has the one seed wrapped up and rests their starters. That is unlikely, as the Yankees have closed to within two games of Texas and hold the tiebreaker on Texas for the one seed after taking the regular season series over Texas four games to three games.
The Angels have been playing well but their schedule will make it very hard to close enough ground to garner a spot in the postseason. The Angels have three games with the Mariners and then head to Texas to play the Rangers in a three game set before finishing their season in Seattle with three more games with the Mariners. The Angels will face King Felix in both series with Seattle.