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Excitement is the Word of the Day for MLB Postseason: Fan’s Take
Watching the Tampa Bay Rays complete their stunning, come-from-behind 8-7 victory in 12 innings over the New York Yankees to claim the AL Wild Card on Wednesday, Sept. 28 was pretty thrilling, and frankly more than just a little unbelievable. It concluded the collapse of the Boston Red Sox—who just a short time earlier had fallen in dramatic fashion 4-3 to the Baltimore Orioles on two ninth-inning runs—and set up a meeting on Friday, Sept. 30 between the Western Florida team and the AL West Division Champion Texas Rangers.
Furthermore, it has given me more than enough reason to continue to watch the MLB postseason; as if I didn't have enough to spark my interest with the Philadelphia Phillies helping the Atlanta Braves complete their own collapse by defeating them 4-3 in 13 innings at Turner Field on Wednesday night.
My own beloved Florida Marlins are done for the year; although the announcement on Wednesday afternoon that former Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen will be taking over the helm has generated quite a bit of enthusiasm for the South Florida club's 2012 season. However, I can honestly say that above and beyond that excitement for my favorite team's chances next year when they move into their new retractable-roof ballpark—becoming the Miami Marlins when they do—there is a palpable fervor for this year's MLB playoffs.
I can only imagine that level of exhilaration will only be doubled if MLB Commissioner Bud Selig is successful in getting the owners and players to agree to realignment as well as two Wild Card teams in each league for the 2012 year. Yet, even with just one, the emotional anxiety is through the roof this year.
Literally every team going into this postseason has the ability—in my view—of winning it all, and the storylines that have been created over the past few weeks are remarkable. With Boston seeing a nine-game lead in the AL Wild Card race on Sept. 3 disappear because of a 7-19 September break down, and Atlanta seeing nearly the same thing happen—allowing the St. Louis Cardinals to improbably capture the NL Wild Card—the game has captured the hearts of millions across America.
I don't really have any clear team I'll be rooting for during this postseason, although, being as my family is originally from Michigan I wouldn't mind seeing the Detroit Tigers take home a World Series title. I certainly will be rooting hard to see anyone, including the Tigers, defeat the Yankees—and I wouldn't mind seeing the Phillies knocked off early—but there just isn't anyone I'm really passionate about.
Nevertheless, I'm somehow passionate about the process itself, and about the game; which is rather unusual in a year my Marlins aren't in the postseason. I've been interested in the playoffs before—especially last year when the San Francisco Giants raised the level of enthusiasm here in the Bay Area with their World Series Championship run—but I've rarely been glued to my television set watching as many of the games as I can.
That seems to have changed this year.
I might be trying to re-connect with the game in a more meaningful way in anticipation of the rebirth of my own favorite franchise, the Marlins, who will be starting on a new journey when they move into their new digs in 2012. Or, it may simply be I've begun to appreciate the game more over the past year watching the NFL and NBA seemingly treat their fans as meaningless; with my beloved Miami Dolphins going even further to make the once proud organization a laughingstock of professional football.
Whatever it is, I'm ready for this MLB postseason as I've almost never been before. I want to see whether the Tigers are as good as they seem. I want to see whether Tampa Bay can continue to shock the world as they did when Dan Johnson(notes) smacked that two-out home run in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game on Wednesday. I want to witness whether the Milwaukee Brewers can eventually take down the mighty Phillies; or whether they might just fall early to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Most of all, I just want to watch some great baseball, and it looks like I'll be getting my wish.
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Read more by Daniel Barber aka Hotnuke at TFS Sports.
*Daniel Barber has rooted for all Miami teams since he was a child or since their inception having been born right above Miami.
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