The MLB playoffs begin today and I am excited. Sure, I would be a lot more excited if we were preparing for a Tigers post-season run but the MLB playoffs bring plenty of intrigue whether the Tigers are part of it or not.
I probably started paying attention to the MLB playoffs sometime in the mid-90s. I was drawn in by the increased intensity of the game compared to the regular season games I was used to watching involving the Tigers. Add on top of that a 40 degree night in Cleveland or New York and it was quite obvious these games were something far different from the lazy affairs during the dog-days of Summer.
Perhaps it was the ignorance of my youth but I don’t recall the hatred towards the Yankees that we see today, probably because they were still underachievers at the time. With the Tigers never a factor in the post-season I started rooting for the Yankees to get over the hump and win their first championship in a number of years.
My admiration grew along with the Yankee dynasty. I figured if the Tigers weren’t going to win a World Series then the Yankees might as well win it every year. After all, George Steinbrenner did everything in his power to field a winner, a far cry from what I was seeing from the Tigers at the time.
Before I draw the ire of Yankee-haters everywhere, I will mention that my stance has softened over the years. I do cheer on the underdogs much more than I used to as I have become more involved in following the game over the years. Living outside of Michigan for a while and interacting with people from different places has caused me to root for teams like the Reds and Rockies. Heck, you might hate the Twins but you still have to respect them for what they do.
The thing I now look forward to at playoff time is sitting back and watching some really good ball. I will be cheering on the Reds against Philadelphia but I am content to go along for the ride with the other series. The football season is in full-swing but baseball is giving us one last showcase of its greatest teams and players. We would be remiss to let it pass without notice.
Consider this your chance to talk playoffs. Is there a story line that has interested you that you are looking to follow through the post-season? Have you picked out a team to cheer on this October? How about a team to cheer against?