Apologies to those who don't hail from the U.S. or don't take an interest in baseball, but that's what's on my mind this week. There are few times of year that I enjoy more than the baseball playoffs - I've been known to cancel my cable television after the World Series. In October, I will typically do whatever's necessary to watch as many of the playoff games as possible.
There are some good matchups this time and I'm trying to look at the bright side of any given team advancing...
ALDS, Angels - Red Sox: Though I typically don't like to see teams repeat any more frequently than ten years, I have to respect the Angels for building a great season with a team of young, enthusiastic, non-soiled players; furthermore, Vladimir Guerrero deserves a chance at playoff glory. As for Boston, I've slowly been won over in the last few years (plus my girlfriend is a rabid Sox fan!) I was sitting at a bar with a bunch of Yankee fans watching the end of the 2003 ALCS game 7, and I've never seen Yankee fans so meek. If anyone is due, it's the Red Sox.
ALDS, Twins - Yankees: For the Twins, I repeat my comments on the Angels. For the Yankees, I don't want them to win even one game. They've had their championships, and besides, they don't deserve to win, because anyone can buy the players to win the World Series. An added bonus of them losing will be watching George Steinbrenner's head explode.
NLDS, Astros - Braves: The Astros are due, and this may be their last shot at playoff glory. Bagwell and Biggio deserve this chance, and Clemens too because he came out of retirement to play for a lesser-respected local team. As for the Braves, while I'm sick of them winning, I have to respect what they've done with their weakest team in a decade.
NLDS, Cardinals - Dodgers: Neither of these teams has won it all since the 1980s. The Cardinals are stacked with dangerous hitters, while the Dodgers kind of snuck up and I don't know many of their players, only their closer. This playoff is the least important to me, among the first-round matchups.
This just in: I'm going to the Braves-Astros game #1 !!!