Guess What? There's Divisional Playoff Intrigue After All!

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If you're anything like Times of Trenton columnist Mark Eckel, you didn't watch a lick of baseball over the weekend and you darn well won't be watching any of that regular season nonsense during its last week. Regular season games are for losers and Canadians, right Mark?

Is there anyway to fast forward through the rest of the Major League Baseball season and just get to the playoffs?

For the first time in a long time there isn't a thrilling race to take you to the last weekend of the season.

If you want to get excited about the American League Central Division and Detroit and Minnesota, where the winner gets a chance to get swept by the Yankees, go ahead have a good time. I'll save my excitement for other things.

Other things Mark Eckel is saving his excitement for:

  • Jay Leno's upcoming interview with Matthew McConaughey
  • Pizza Day in the Times of Trenton cafeteria
  • the new Maroon 5 record

Well with that repertoire of excitement on Eckel's plate, I can't argue with his lack of passion for a division race where the top two teams, separated by two games, will play each other four times in the next four days. Justin Verlander versus Joe Mauer? Sounds snoozy!

Even more importantly, if the Twins stay in the race until the weekend, the final three baseball games in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome might have meaning! Imagine, if you will, The Mexicutioner striking out Joe Mauer on Sunday to end the Twins' last hope for the playoffs, and then the entire Baggiedome gets evacuated and imploded immediately afterwards. Drama!

And since the short, five-game format of the Division Series can be easily turned by a couple tidy pitching performances, I think Eckel's hubris-filled assumption that the Yankees will sweep either of the flyover teams is not only bad in a baseball sense, it's embarrassing to Yankees fans everywhere. Dude, the Yankees have gone 0-4 in playoff series since that sonofabitch Dave Roberts swiped second base back in 2004. There is no such thing as a sure thing.

So, what did Mr. Eckel think of the National League races before the weekend started?

The wild-card race, which almost always comes right down to the end, sees Colorado with a five-game lead over both San Francisco and Atlanta going into last night's play.

All that's left is the actual seeding, and even that's not a big deal because it's either going to be the Dodgers vs. Phillies and Cardinals vs. Rockies, or the Dodgers vs. Cardinals and Phillies vs. Rockies.

Well, Atlanta reeled off five straight wins and closed the gap to 2.5 games (just 2 in the loss column) since Mr. Eckel tippy-tapped this column out on his word processor, so we can use the magical tool known as "hindsight" to call him a boob. The Braves have a seven-game homestand with the Marlins and Nationals; with six wins in the last week, the Rockies would need to win 4 of 6 against the Brewers and Dodgers to avoid the dreaded one-game playoff.

So don't start dicking around seeding yet, Mr. Eckel. The Twins and Tigers will play their games in front of a national audience the next three nights (Monday and Tuesday on MLB Network, Wednesday on ESPN) and then I'll liveglog the Thursday afternoon game if it has meaning. And if all eight of the playoff seeds have been decided by Thursday, I'll allow you to groove to that Maroon 5 snoozer all you want.


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14 Comments

Holy geebus, my first mistake was clicking on "right Mark?". I guess every sports section needs a cantankerous boob...

"Manager of the Year: Joe Torre, Los Angeles "" did the most with the least."

Did the most with the least? WTF? I'm thinking Jim Tracy from the Rockies might have something to say about this.

MVP: Derek Jeter, Yankees "" if you're using the word "valuable" the right way, he's the guy.


OMG He's using "valuable" exactly the same way Jeets plays the game!

Sportswriter of the Year: Mark Eckel. Did the most (wrote a WHOLE article!) with the least (brains).

Ed,
Reading anything from nj.com is a mistake

BC Twins Fan = David Paterson

If this idiot is any indication, then you're absolutely right, bc.

And yes, I agree with his sentiment on Derek Jeter... as long as you replace the word "valuable" with the phrase "lifetime achievement award".

"Rookie of the Year: Jeff Niemann, Tampa Bay "" just barely over Elvis Andrus and Nolan Reimond."

That Nolan Almond sure is great. I mean Reimond, yeah, Reimond.

"Manager of the Year: Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles "" because he's the best."

Case closed.

Ed,
You could also replace "valuable" with "boyish good looks"

Fun facts, Atlanta is 21 games over .500 since June 28th. Too bad the season started in April

@matt_T, and the Dodgers are only 11 games over .500 during the same time, but don't forget Torre has done the most with the least.

When I saw that picture above, I thought this was going to be about how that new show Flash Forward, with some Lost-ish premise about everyone on Earth blacking out, has some weird Detroit Tigers connection.

"The one person who doesn't black out is captured on a grainy security camera at a Detroit Tigers baseball game."

Has anyone seen this show? Can I get a confirmation that this is true? It's just Miguel Cabrera eating up all the tater chips from the Comerica concourse, isn't it?

Another gem from the same column:

>

And, what's the DEAL with airline food, people?

I saw that show Freetzy, I like the premise. I think it was actually Jim Leyland.

Wait, I thought Mark Eckel covered the Eagles.

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