Thursday, October 4, 2012

Moneyball 2: The Chronicles of Reddick and the Rest of the Postseason Teams

I'm in the process of getting the rights to that first part of title, so don't even think about using it.

Well, baseball's postseason is set, with the two Wild Card games set to play Friday.  From the American League, the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles will square off for the Wild Card, with the winner facing the number one seed New York Yankees.  The middle match-up will be between the Oakland A's and Detroit Tigers.

In the National League, Friday's Wild Card match-up is between the Atlanta Braves and defending World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals.  The winner of the one-game playoff will face the number one seed Washington Nationals, and the middle match-up is between the San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds.

Some big surprises and storylines in the playoffs here, which always makes for great baseball.  The A's were down 13 games to the AL West-leading Rangers going into July, and completed the division-winning comeback by sweeping the Rangers in games 160, 161 and 162.

Looking at the team this year, Billy Beane appears to have done it again.  Former Red Sox great Josh Reddick is having a career year to lead the team, alongside the likes of Coco Crisp, Brandon Moss, Brandon Inge, Josh Donaldson, Yoenis Cespedes, and George Kottaras.  Their pitchers?  Travis Blackley, A.J. Griffin, Evan Scribner -- ever heard of them?  You're not alone.  Looking for big things out of this team, they remind me of the 2004 Red Sox.

Oakland A's fans get a pretty bad rap for being, well, bad.  But if you haven't seen the phenomenon that is Balfour Ragefest, then that link right there is for you.  They have all of those intangibles you look for in a Cinderella Story, plus all of the goofy pieces and players that you look for to jump on the bandwagon.

As for the rest of the postseason, the Orioles haven't made the postseason in any form since 1997, and an hour south, the Nationals haven't made an appearance since they were the Montreal Expos in 1981.  For the Braves, this will be Chipper Jones' last season, and last postseason.  Can the Braves get Chipper one more for his already Hall of Fame-bound career? So many season to love baseball.

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