The postseason has officially started, and the fight for survival has begun. The two wildcard games have happened, and we’ve seen our first casualities. While people debate the usefulness of a one-game wildcard, I think it’s shown its usefulness.
Let me start with the Rangers/Orioles game, as it’s the easier one of the two. Leading up to the game, the O’s were fighting to take the AL East, while Texas coasted in the AL West. Sadly, I was at work so I missed this game. But it sounded exactly like the Rangers ran out of gas. This does illustrate the importance of division and wild card games. If one is serious about competing in postseason, then earn the division when possible. O’s deserve to advance. Sadly, I think the Rangers may be shuffled up after this game.
The other game was more interesting. The St. Louis Cardinals took on the Braves at Turner Field. Sadly, I missed the earlier action (and I blame work/sleep schedule). But there was the 8th inning “infield fly rule” that made most of the action. To be honest, the game was not lost with this call, no matter how late or why it was called. The game was done with the Braves’ 3 errors and failure to score. In case anyone is concerned, the infield fly rule was created to protect the runners. It is also very specifically explained in the rules of the game. This isn’t like the balk rule (which is the most ambiguous rule in the books.) But for the fans to throw objects on the field I absolutely CANNOT endorse at all. That is very bad. The game was continued under protest, which was subsequentially denied by Joe Torre after the game (due to the situation of the game).
Sure, this might illustrate a potential pitfall of the one game affair. A bad call could ruin the game, just like the Monday Night Football game in the NFL that ultimately caused haste in signing the official refs back to the game. I don’t believe this was a bad call, though it was made rather late. The Braves still had runners in scoring position (RISP), which they could not capitalize upon. (This is why I shudder when I see RISP, after my Rockies game issues since 2011). They had 3 errors, and still could not produce. But right now, I think this 1 game matchup is proving great for MLB, the way it’s designed.
In other news, the Rockies cannot decide yet on the fate of Jim Tracy. Speculation has it that it will ultimately be up to Tracy whether he’s willing to work with the lesser powers he’ll have over the team. I may be a Rox fan and still support the team, I’ll support the players, and not the management/operations of the team.