Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rant #105: It's Baseball Season!

I love baseball. I find it to be exciting, exhilarating, and frustrating, all at the same time. I was a lousy player—although I did play in my community’s Little League until I was 15—but I am a great fan.

And the Twins-Tigers’ 163rd game proves that baseball remains our National Pastime.

Even after a grueling six-month, 162-game schedule, two teams were tied with the exact same record in their division, the Central Division of the American League. Thus, an extra game had to be played.

The stakes: the winner goes into the playoffs against the Yankees; the loser goes home.

What the Twins and Tigers gave us was probably the best overall game of the regular season, a 12-inning, four-and-a-half hour affair that had more thrills and spills than a rollercoaster ride. The Twins won 6-5, on a hit by Alexi Casilla (pictured), but the real winners were the fans--both in attendance and those who watched at home--who couldn't have asked for a more breathtaking game to end the regular season and send Major League Baseball into the playoffs leading up to the World Series.

As an added bonus, the game was a late-afternoon game, which is great. Kids could watch the game on TBS without fear that they will fall asleep and not be ready for school the next day.

Personally, I came home from work and saw playoff-level baseball without having to look at the clock.

I guess my interest in the game was heightened by the fact that the Twins will now face the Yankees in the American League Divisional Series, but the Tigers and Twins are two gritty teams that are fun to watch, and they did not disappoint anyone during this game.

What made it even more fun is that the game was played at the Metrodome, that Minnesota mistake that seemingly always plays into the hands of the home team. The Twins will be playing in a new baseball-only outdoor stadium next year, but for now, the frenzy of this place sends shivers down your spine, even while watching in the comfort of your living room.

Sure, the NFL will be going into its fifth week, the NHL has just started its season with the NBA will be coming in right behind it, and the collge football season is in full swing, but it doesn't really matter. Until the final out of the World Series is recorded, this is still baseball season.

Three playoff games on tap today ... I mean, it doesn't get better than this!

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