Thursday, October 6, 2005

Behind The Scoreboard
By Claude Vinson

Baseball playoffs arrive

Well, it is now fall (or better known as the autumnal equinox), when the boys of summer know that they have to show their best.

It’s also a tenuous and contentious time when nerves fray and tempers flare. The primary reasons seem always to be wild cards and records. The major leagues don’t have any instrument like the BCS (thank goodness), but it does have its own process for letting in the teams which are thought to have the best chance of making the playoffs more interesting.

Going into Sunday’s games there were a few wildcards to be decided. The New York Yankees (who else), Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Angels had clinched the divisional titles for the American League. There was a wildcard to be decided and it could have been pretty complicated. It boiled down to how the Cleveland Indians and World Champion Red Sox did. Boston had a one-game edge over Cleveland and I think they took advantage. If I am wrong, then Cleveland and Boston would have a tie-breaker on Monday.

The wildcard in the National League was also still open. The titles had already been sewn up by Atlanta, St. Louis and San Diego. The Cardinals had the best record of all the teams and were looking for their 100th win over Cincinnati on Sunday.

On the bubble in that league were Houston and Philadelphia. The Astros had a one-game lead over the Phillies. This one is easy. I have it on good authority that the Astros sent the Phillies back East with a little help from Washington. So, it looks like the Astros will be part of the mix.

Now, we know what your next question is: Which Tony has the twin? Well, let’s put it this way, yours truly feels that the Red Sox will just have to live off the euphoria gained last season.

The Cardinals are IT this season, you say. Not so fast, that 100th win notwithstanding, Herr Steinbrenner stated way back when that the Yankees were taking it all, no matter what. Me? Hey, I believe George.

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