Got the lap top in my, uh, lap, coffee at my side and remote in my hand. All set, in other words, for one of the best days in baseball history. And not just because we’re bidding farewell to lousy seasons from the A’s and Giants.
Final day of the season and four teams in the National League are still alive. And there’s a possibility that three teams could finish tied for the NL wild-card, and that myriad tiebreakers could take place before the actual playoffs begin.
Some folks who like to bash baseball regularly for its supposed lack of competitive balance should take note. In the American League playoffs, three of the four teams (Boston, the Angels, Cleveland) weren’t in the postseason a year ago, and in the NL, the only two to have clinched a spot (Arizona and the Cubs) weren’t there, either. By the end of the day, seven of eight playoff participants may have missed out a year ago.
If that happened in the NFL, we’d hear about what a wonderfully competitive and balaned league that is.
Anyway, a quick glimpse at Sunday.
NL EAST: Mets send Tom Glavine to the hill vs. Florida’s Dontrelle Willis, and the Phillies will go with Jamie Moyer vs. Washington’s Jason Bergmann. Advantage: Phillies.
NL WILDCARD: Padres will start Brett Tomko at Milwaukee, where he’ll face Brett Tomko. Colorado Rockies start Ubaldo Jimenez vs. Arizona’s Doug Davis. Advantate: Rockies, if only because Jimenez is still too young to realize how much pressure is involved. (Plus, gotta admit that I’m pulling hard for the Rockies, a long-suffering franchise that put together the longest winning streak in its history to get to this point).
Now, assuming my scenarios take place (a risky bet, for sure), the Philllies will win the NL East over the Mets, and the Padres and Rockies would play a wild-card tiebreaker tomorrow, with San Diego set to send Jake Peavy to the mound.
But let’s let it unfold and see what happens.