As everyone already knows I am a sports fan and my favorite sport is baseball! Even though my Astros are not in the playoffs, I spent the last week eagerly watching the standings as the races to claim the final playoff spots came down to the wire.
Today, I am excited about the one-game playoff between the Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins. Personally, I have been pulling for the Twins. I don’t really have anything against the Tigers but the Twins have overcome so much, with injuries knocking their All-Star first baseman out for the season and most of their starting pitchers ending up on the disabled list. Nevertheless, they have surmounted all of those obstacles to tie the Detroit Tigers for the lead in the American League Central. Also, I have to admit that I am excited by the prospect of seeing an Albert Pujols versus Joe Mauer World Series. Both of them are practically shoo-ins to win MVP of their respective leagues and seeing them face-off against each other would be the kind of matchup that dreams are made of!
For my own part, I love one game playoffs. The intensity of a win-or-go-home game is just as exciting as any game 7 of the playoffs or any playoff football game. I stayed up late into the night watching the Rockies-Padres playoff game in 2007 and stayed up later than I should have watching the White Sox-Twins playoff game in 2008. I was cheering for the Twins in 2008, too, but that is because I cannot forgive the White Sox for beating the Astros in the 2005 playoffs.
Unfortunately, the Twins lost that game but they are back for another game this season, becoming the first team ever to play back-to-back one-game playoffs! I am hoping that maybe their luck will be better this season.
Of course, someone may say that luck doesn’t have anything to do with a sport like baseball but I am not so sure. I am reading a book called “The Baseball Almanac
” by Schlossberg, and as I read all the interesting tidbits and fascinating stories in the book, I am really left pondering just how much luck does seem to play a part of the game. For example, a fly ball drifting toward the foul line can either be a homerun hitting off of the foul pole or a foul ball just missing the pole by an inch. Can anything but luck really account for such a slim margin of one inch? Sometimes luck seems the only way to account for the difference between a ball being caught on the edge of the glove by a diving outfielder for an out or ricocheting off the edge of the outfielder’s glove for a game winning hit.
Nevertheless, whether baseball games are sometimes decided by luck or whether the games are all skill, the team that wins the playoffs will be considered the best team. So, as the playoffs roll around tonight, I will give a “Go Twins!” and hope that either skill, or luck, or even destiny is somehow on their side.