Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rant #349: My Time of Year

This is my time of year.

As the leaves are starting to fall, the baseball season is in full tilt with the annual run to the World Series.

There is no sport more exciting than baseball, especially in the games leading up to the Fall Classic.

The eight best teams in baseball are all vying for the ultimate prize, the World Series Championship, and this year, I think that any one of the eight teams could win it all; there isn't a bad one in the bunch, and they all deserve to be where they are.

The playoffs started yesterday with a bang, as Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay pitched the first post-season no-hitter since Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series, leading the Phils over the Reds 4-0.

This was preceded by the Texas Rangers and Cliff Lee topping the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1, and was followed by the New York Yankees defeating the Minnesota Twins 6-4.

Today has a slate of three games: Texas at Tampa Bay, New York at Minnesota, and in the first game of their series, Atlanta at San Francisco.

Anybody who says that baseball is too slow, too boring, and too old fashioned, should watch these games. Every pitch, every play, and every at-bat is important, and with the crowds as loud as ever, you just know that even as we approach the middle of October, this is still baseball season.

Sorry, football lovers and ESPN, in spite of what you think--and in spite of what your brackets tell you--this is baseball season, and will be until the final pitch is thrown in the final World Series game, which might be in early November.

Halladay's triumph yesterday was clearly incredible. He joined the Yankees' Larsen, who defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers with his perfecto, as the only pitchers in baseball history to throw a no-hit, no-run game in the postseason. Again, this feat was not done against some also ran, although that would have been impressive too--this was done against the Reds, one of the top teams--and top hitting teams--in the sport.

Texas has proven that they are a team to be dealt with. They haven't been this far in a season in years, and they are a legitimate contender, as are the Rays, who faltered yesterday but won't do that too consistently.

The Yankees always seem to be one of the teams that could be in the World Series, and they always seem to dominate the Twins, but one game does not make this series a done deal. As a die-hard Yankees fan, I know the Twins are to be reckoned with.

And the Giants and Braves are two very good teams that will duke it out starting today.

What more can I say? The National Pastime is as strong as ever, and even though it doesn't generate as much betting interest as football does, it is our national sport because it is pure sport--no betting, no phony fans just in it to win their brackets, no hangers-on.

Baseball is for real sports fans, and with that being the case, real sports fans really enjoyed the regular season and can now sit back and watch eight finalists vie for the World Series trophy, which the Yankees are defending.

It doesn't get better than this, does it?

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