Thursday, October 4, 2018

The wild card games

One game and done, thanks for playing, Cubs and Athletics.

One of the games (National League) went the way of my rooting interest, the other (American League) did not. One of the games (National League) was tight and compelling, the other (American League) was not.

In terms of who I want to see win, which is different than who I expect to win, we're running out on AL teams. I am habitually unwilling to root for the Yankees, and the Red Sox fan base has become almost as insufferably entitiled. The Astros damaged themselves in my eyes by trading for Roberto Osuna while continuing to declare themselves to have "zero tolerance" for abusers. That leaves Cleveland, to whom I have no real objection other than that they play the Twins 18 times a season.

That's why I really wanted to see the A's knock off the Yankees Wednesday. Didn't happen, of course, and I saw the jeering on social media over the failure of opener Liam Hendriks (former Twin). Yep, the tactic didn't work that night for Oakland. I guess they should have started their Cy Young candidate.

That last was, to be clear, sarcastic. The A's pitching staff is emphatically bullpen-heavy. Hendriks and, later, fellow former Twin Fernando Rodney, didn't get it done.

So now its Yankees-Red Sox -- 100 regular season wins vs. 107 in one ALDS -- and Astros-Indians in the other. It should be good baseball; the only problem is, I want everybody to lose.

I also want both teams to lose in the Dodgers-Braves NLDS, the Dodgers on basic rooting principles and the Braves because their ownership, with the connivance of the government of Cobb County (sururban Atlanta), essentially defrauded the taxpayers of that county to get their new stadium. On the other hand, at least somebody will emerge from the Rockies-Brewers series I can root for.

But know this: Every team in the AL field (including Oakland) is probably better than any team in the NL field (including Chicago).

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