2011 playoff preview: Baseball with the stars
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Well, that was a heck of a playoff race, huh? I guess that’s why they call it the “wild” card. All the division winners got to shift over to cruise control as the season wrapped up, but Tampa Bay and St. Louis took advantage of the simultaneous meltdowns of Boston and Atlanta to secure their spots.
Last night was such a crazy night of baseball with so many different playoff scenarios flip-flopping around like a toddler in a kiddie pool after drinking his first can of Mountain Dew. Looking back over the last month at all the things that had to go right and go wrong for last night’s drama to line up the way it did, we see everything that’s great and horrible about following sports.
As a Red Sox fan, I am … [disappointed]. [Editor’s note: Due to the editorial standards of our website regarding profanity and any content which specifically states or gives the appearance of advocating for violence against any person’s physical body or any group of people and their physical persons, we have removed some of Mr. Rigney’s comment previously appearing here.]
But the Red Sox brought this on themselves with just about the worst month of pitching, hitting and fielding you could put together. And, of course, the hated Yankees had to come up short against the Rays the past few days. They say, “It takes one to know one.” Well, I’m an a-hole and I know another a-hole when I see one. Joe Girardi is an a-hole.
The Braves collapse was just as ugly. They just couldn’t seem to catch a break while also making a slew of mistakes. And, to make everything worse, the team chasing them, the St. Louis Cardinals, got to play the super-awful Houston Astros for their last three games, and the Braves had to play the best team in the league who played all of their starters and also used their ace closer in a game that was actually meaningless to them. See, Joe Girardi, you … [unflattering adjectives and nouns], that’s how it’s done.
Okay, so we’ve got all that out of the way. Now let’s see if we can sort out where the postseason is headed. In the playoffs, it doesn’t really matter who the best team is. There’s a lot of random chance involved when teams match up for a series. Last year’s San Francisco Giants are a great example. No one with any amount of intellectual capacity would say they were the “best” team. But with some exceptional pitching and some lucky hitting and adequate defense, they were the world champions. This year, with almost the same team, they didn’t make the playoffs – by a lot.
In the past 10 years, there have been nine different World Series winners. So, what I’m really going to do here is just try to make some educated guesses as to how this will all turn out. And this year, maybe more so than any year recently, there is no one team that really stands out as the one.
There’s another competition going on right now that has a very similar circumstance – with approximately the same number of participants and no clear-cut favorite to win it all as in years past. Each of the competitors has flaws, and most seem like they have the potential to go all the way.
One of the sacrifices that a person makes when they get married is they wind up watching a lot of television that they would not particularly watch otherwise and of which they would even be ashamed to admit being a regular viewer. One of these shows is “Dancing with the Stars,” and if you don’t know what it is, then you don’t have a television or you aren’t married.
This season, they are really stretching the definition of “stars.” But I suppose that’s not surprising – after all, if they really were “stars,” they wouldn’t need to be on this show. In addition to being light on starry-ness, my wife tells me that it’s a fairly weak crop of dancing talent with not one standout. Of course, I say “my wife,” but really I just mean “me.” My pride is having a lot of trouble with the fact that I am knowledgeable about such things.
Anyway, it occurred to me that I could do my playoffs preview with a whole DWTS theme (yes, I even know the acronym for the show – but I’m okay with this, my wife is beautiful). I think it could be funny and I’m hoping this will somehow help me deal with my shame.
Let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of these playoff teams and match them up with their corresponding dancing star. It sounds weird right? Okay, I’ll explain with a team that didn’t make the playoffs. Hmm, who could I pick? Um, hmm, um, okay, Boston. So, Boston was a lock to make the playoffs. This was an absolute certainty just a few weeks ago. And then things changed drastically and now they’re going to miss the playoffs entirely. DWTS contestant Chaz Bono also changed drastically. He used to be a she. And now, as a man, Chaz is ill equipped physically to compete and he’s got a bunch of injuries – just like the Red Sox.
Pretty simple, right? Good. I figured you’d get it. Hold on, one question. When we talk about Chaz before “she” became a “he,” do we still use “he” or is “she” the proper past tense pronoun? Probably not “it,” though, right? Okay, whatever.
Let’s do this.
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