The new wild card format is a new one on me, and everyone else who follows the sport. Time was that a one-game, do-or-die, win-or-go-home playoff was the equivalent of an extra-inning ballgame: nice when it came along, but not something you expected to see.
From the Bucky Dent game at Fenway in 1978 — the first one that I can remember — until last year, I could probably count all of the games like this on both hands. And now, I suppose, we’ll have two of them every single year. I’m going to call that progress, but Braves fans might disagree with me. And for the record, just two other TTFB writers besides myself picked the Cardinals and the Orioles. So far I’m looking like Nostradamus.
These games have the feeling of March Madness, but the word “October” presents some difficulties with the naming of these games. It’s an awkward, three-syllable word that doesn’t roll off the tongue. “March Madness” has a lyrical flow to it, not to mention an alliterative flair. For baseball to equal that, we’ll have to use an “O” word, but none spring immediately to mind. The Braves have an “October Ordeal” already, but that won’t really draw fans into the game.
There’s the “October Opener” but that’s six syllables of something that I can’t describe as catchy. But maybe this alliteration thing isn’t the way to go, either. If we followed basketball’s lead, a really long solo home run would count for two runs, and nobody wants to see that happen.
I like the idea of having two meaningful games on the same day, right in a row. It keeps either game from being a stand-alone, and it gets both leagues in on the action. So, I’m going to borrow a page from a local rock station here in Chicago (97.9FM The Loop, if you must know) and call today’s action “The Oct2ber”. Or, if the weather is really cold, it could be “The Oct-two-brr”. But if there’s a number 2 into it, rather than just the word spelled out, it might look a bit more striking visually.
Somebody with some graphic design skills can create the logo if they want, but I’m laying claim to “The Oct2ber” here and now. TTFB can share in it if they want, but you read it here first … I hope.