Daily Archives: October 1, 2010

Is That the Giants Headed for the MLB Postseason?

It’s usually not a smart idea to post about a team returning to the playoffs when they haven’t clinched yet, but I’m an A’s fan, so if the Giants meltdown and fail to make the playoffs, I won’t shed any tears. At any rate, I’ve got to admit I’m a little excited about the black and orange returning to the postseason for the first time since they blew the 2003 World Series to the Anaheim Angels. Now, they’d have to get swept this weekend by the Padres to force a one game playoff for the division, but the way the two teams are playing right now, that doesn’t seem likely. So let’s assume the “G-men,” as the much maligned announcing duo of Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow call them, hold off the Pads to win the NL West. Contrary to Chappy’s sentiments, I’m pretty excited for the MLB Playoffs this year – on the NL side at least. The Phillies are pretty much a perennial postseason favorite at this point, but if things hold the way they are, we’ll see the return of the Giants, the Atlanta Braves, and most refreshingly, the Cincinnati Reds.

In all likelihood, the Giants will open the first round at home against the Braves, which should be an exciting series. Remember that the Giants knocked off the Braves in the first round in 2003 on their way to a World Series berth. But SF has the makings of a pretty dangerous playoff team. The pitching staff is unparalleled, led by Tim Lincecum of course. Throw in guys like Matt Cain, a revitalized Barry Zito, and quite possibly the hottest pitcher in the rotation, Jonathan Sanchez, and you can’t figure them to give up many runs. On the offensive side, though not the most dangerous lineup on paper, the Giants are ridiculously deep. It’s a huge collection of guys that can come through with the big hit at any given time. Buster Posey, Jose Guillen, Pat Burrell, Aubrey Huff, Edgar Renteria, Pablo Sandoval, Freddy Sanchez, Mike Fontenot, Cody Ross, Aaron Rowand….. I could go on for days. I guess I’ll put away all my green and gold and break out that one Giants shirt I have for the next few…. weeks, hopefully.

Two Quick Things…

Bynum’s surgery

It’s lame that Bynum put off his surgery opting to go to the World Cup instead. Even if he thought it was going to be a less serious surgery, he knew he was going to have surgery. I don’t buy his story that he didn’t know what the recovery time would be, anytime you know you are going under the knife, you get all the details from the doctor on the major points like say, recovery time. It was a bonehead move to say the least. Maybe he just thought, if Favre can do it, why not me?!? In the end, Bynum has never played a full season (35, 50, and 65 games), so why start now?!? It really won’t matter if he’s in the lineup for the first month or two. The Lakers are going to be in the playoffs regardless of what Bynum does to start the year, which makes me question how meaningful the regular season is. The Sports Chump brought up a good point that it comes down to three teams that truly have a shot at winning the title (Lakers, Heat, and Celtics), so why all the fuss. There’s always hope of OKC, Orlando, and Chicago pulling out some miracles, but would you really bet on them? In basketball missing a month or two isn’t the worst thing in the world for a team. It hurts, but when we already know who the title contenders are before the season nearly every year, it’s really a non-story. Maybe it matters if you’re a small team, and want to see LA early in the season while Bynum is still out, but that’s beyond a team’s control.

Baseball’s dated playoff system

The MLB has seen an attendance dip for yet another season. Not too surprising in a season with very little drama, and we ended up hearing about Strasburg for four straight months. Alas, we really only have one interesting race to get in the playoffs in the NL West, and that race is all but over, unless the Padres pull out a miracle in SF. Baseball is in a down year because of its lack of star power, but with all the good looking rookies that broke onto the scene this year, I’d say the future is very bright. It’s been brought up in hundreds of articles that the MLB playoffs should be changed to make it more interesting at the end of the year. I agree with most of them. We have a great race between Tampa and New York, but since home field really doesn’t mean crap in baseball this isn’t, and shouldn’t be getting much attention. Baseball is by far the slowest evolving sport, and has batted around the idea of instant replay for what seems like a decade. We already debated about instant replay, and unless you hate Armando Gallaraga you’d agree that getting the calls right are more important than anything, but the MLB continues to stay behind on the technology curve, and has chosen to stay in the simpler times of cassette tapes and VHS’s. We could upgrade to at least DVD’s and CD’s if we aren’t ready for IPod’s and Blue Rays, but I don’t think Selig’s great grandkids have told him what those are yet. I’d like to see more teams in the playoffs like two more in each league with a total of three wild card teams. Does that diminish the regular season? A little, but there’s ways around that to reward the division winners with some perks. Have the wild card winners play each of the division winners, but start a best of seven series at 2-0 in the division champs favor. Maybe even make the all the games at the division winners home stadium, so they only have to win two of five games to advance. Would that give the Yankees and Rays some incentive to play out this final week? I would certainly think so…