October Baseball: Isn’t It Iconic, Don’t ‘cha Think?
It’s finally time for traditional October baseball, not just the kind where the tail end of the regular season trickles into the first couple of days of the month. Our Texas Rangers don’t know yet whether who they will play the American League Division Series. Will it be the Blue Jays of Toronto or the Orioles of Baltimore? But make no mistake, the Postseason is here and the Division Series begins at 3:38 in the afternoon this Thursday.
Having lazily kept abreast of the least meaningful game of the year Sunday afternoon, I casually wondered about the Mazara–Gomez–Choo outfield alignment. Could it be foreshadowing of something to look for against certain Postseason pitching matchups? Or was it was simply an experimental oddity saved for the last game of the year.
I also wondered if Sunday’s starter, Martin Perez, would make the October roster. After Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish, who starts Game 3? The SDI staff has had this debate for several weeks, regularly discussing whether Colby Lewis, Martin Perez or A.J. Griffin deserves the role of 3rd starter and whether or not Derek Holland deserves a bullpen role or even a playoff roster spot at all.
Possibly the foremost of mind thing that I’ve wondered in recent days has been whether this Postseason will more closely resemble 2015’s heartbreak or 2011’s glory of a near World Championship. Will we be subjected to another iconic and widely hated moment like Jose Bautista’s bat flip? Will the enduring iconic moment more closely resemble Nomar Mazara’s 491 foot home run? What about Colby Lewis’s near perfect game? Or might it be something as wild as Josh Hamilton’s home run in the 10th inning in a Game 6 of a World Series?
It’s perfectly possible the ALDS may come and go without an iconic moment either by a Ranger or the opponent. If that happens you can bet the ALCS won’t come and go without one to remember.
Once the outcome of the Blue Jays-Orioles game is decided late Tuesday, it likely won’t take Banister long to release his ALDS roster. I tend to imagine we see the names sometime Wednesday mid-morning. However, it could be Thursday morning before we know the lucky 25. Teams have until 9am Thursday morning to release their roster.
Whether we’re given a seven-man bullpen with a five-man bench or if Banister chooses to sacrifice a bench spot for an extra pen arm, we can rest assured that it will be criticized. Blogs, beat writers and national analysts alike will proceed to criticize every move and every detail of every playoff team. The criticism will continue until the last strike is thrown and the last out of the World Series is made.
We can also rest assured that Banny will make a lot of brilliant decisions. Some we’ll later call terrible and some we’ll praise. You can bet that at least one home plate umpire will wind up calling a pitch eight inches outside the zone a strike. We can know that Joe Buck will make us want to turn off the television, but we’ll refrain. We wouldn’t want to miss the action. Thank goodness he’s calling the National Games, at least until we get to the World Series.
Only a small handful of things are known right now before Postseason action starts. One of those things is that 90% of Postseason teams will have their season end in heartbreak.
For the Rangers to win their first World Championship, they need to win 11 more games. I prefer not to call that the New Magic Number, but instead, for me, it’s the Glory Number.