What does October have in store?
The unexpected moments of life turn out to be the most memorable. Even more so in sports. However, when we’re talking about fine margins when it comes to making the playoffs, no sport does it better than baseball. Even though there’s a 162-game season, many playoff spots aren’t decided until the final week. This always makes for a thrilling final month and gives “September Baseball” the exciting reputation it’s earned over the years.
The fact is that, though there are some teams that obviously would have made it into the playoffs (Yankees, Astros, Dodgers), but beyond that, experts couldn’t have predicted the teams that have made it to the Big Show. For instance, the Washington Nationals were written off before the season began. They’d just lost superstar Bryce Harper to division rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies, they had a banged-up bullpen and were considered to be “too young” to seriously contend. Fast forward to the present and a resurgent Nationals squad has earned a wild card berth while the Phillies were eliminated from playoff contention last week.
I say this to reinforce a few ideas. First, anything can happen. It’s said ad nauseum, but the fact is that no team should ever be counted out before seeing them play and for a while. Second, the idea that young people cannot lead a team to victory in 2019 is ridiculous and needs to go out of style. Finally, thinking that the departure of a superstar will damn a team to the pits of despair cannot continue to be a reasonable critique, at least not in baseball. In other sports with shorter seasons, superstars are absolutely needed. But baseball is a bit different. Due to the nature of the sport, anyone and everyone is liable to have an off night, so everyone needs to perform. But this isn’t about celebrating the achievements from the regular season, because October Baseball is almost here! Simply put, it’s the most unpredictable and excited set of playoffs to gauge. From the Wild Card Games, which take one game to determine who moves on, to potential rivalries waging war in the MLB Playoffs. To say that I’m excited in an understatement, but let’s face it. In about a week’s time, the excitement will spread to you too.