October 07, 2002


THE GOOD GUYS WIN: This weekend of baseball playoff action may very well go down as a watershed in the evolution of major league baseball this decade. Not only did the previous two world champions go down to decisive defeat, but (barring a Braves victory in Game 5 Monday night) in all four series the feel-good team won. The Angels won their first-ever playoff series, and for the first time since before the 1994 strike the American League will be represented in the World Series by a team other than the New York Yankees or Cleveland Indians. The Yankees were the first team eliminated, and now their fans get to experience how every other team's fans feel every year. I'm not ready to say the dynasty is over; it's just a major, major, setback (and all you Red Sox fans out there, I'm laughing along with you).Over in the National League, while I have nothing against the Arizona Diamondbacks, I was glad to St. Louis pull out the victory, since they've faced so much adversity this season and come from arguably America's best baseball town. And while I'm no big fan of Barry Bonds, he is the best player of his generation and it would only be right for him to play in at least one World Series- especially since his first-round opponent is the most repugnant franchise in all of sports, the Atlanta Braves.
And then there are my Twins. Oh, those Twins. I even said before the playoffs that merely a trip to the postseason would've been enough. It didn't look good when they fell behind 2 games to 1- but then they won Game 4 at the Dome to force Game 5 in Oakland- and what a nailbiter it was. It stays 2-1 until the ninth- Twins score four runs in the top, then the A's score three in the bottom on a homer by Mark "Lemke" Ellis, get another baserunner after that, until finally the longest-serving Twin, Denny Hocking, catches Ray Durham's foul ball to send them to the ALCS and prevent me from having a heart attack.
So can the Twins get to the World Series? I don't see why not- they have homefield advantage and besides, Homer Hankies trump the Rally Monkey every time. Anaheim finished behind Oakland in the regular season, and they don't have anyone in their rotation who's Zito-scary. And oh yea- the Twins haven't lost a playoff series since 1970. I feel a whole lot better going into this series than I did before round 1. It's October, the Twins are still alive, and the Yankees are not. Except for all that terrorism stuff, all really is right with the world.

Posted by Stephen Silver at October 7, 2002 01:54 AM
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