Despite the fact that there are managers, coaches, players and even fans all over the baseball universe saying things like “We’re still in this thing!” and “Anything can happen!” we are going to commit a sacrilege here at Baseball Anarchy and call some winners. After all, it is Labor Day, a day that, aside from purportedly honoring people other than those in the insurance, banking and stock market businesses who actually work for a living, has traditionally been one where pennant winners have begun to show themselves. Of course, Labor Day also used to be the starting date for political campaigns for the presidency and other loathsome offices that will get voted on in November, but that was before the onset of perpetual campaigning and perpetual war.
If the Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs do not win their respective division races then I believe that the Libertarian and Green Party candidates for president, whoever they are,will fight neck and neck to the end to see who gets their picture taken telling lies on Inauguration Day. So there are two. Kris Bryant and Jake Arrieta might collide on the field while Anthony Rizzo fights the Zika mosquito but Joe Maddon will get his deep and talented team deep into the post season anyway. I have to confess that I very rarely see the Rangers play because I was banned from the state of Texas many years ago because they found out that I didn’t believe that Sam Houston was born to a virgin mother and, even when their games are televised, I lapse into reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond or infomercials for self driving pogo sticks or something. Nevertheless,I have been made aware of the talent of players like Adrian Beltre, Cole Hamels, Elvis Andrus and others and besides, they have a ten and one half game lead with 26 to play.
In the American League, if it ended today the other playoff teams would be Cleveland, Toronto, Boston, and Baltimore. It seems to me that there is an outside chance that the defending champion Kansas City Royals or the Detroit Tigers could get hot and surpass the Orioles but, other than that, it looks safe. It’s been fun to watch the Yankees not fade completely from contention after they more or less conceded at the end of July but they don’t have enough. The most interesting thing in that league is the important question of division title winners and while Cleveland looks good at the moment, the Blue Jays, Red Sox and Orioles all have their strengths. None of them have a starting pitcher that makes you choke on your sunflower seeds.
The National League still has a race in the West except for the fact that the Giants decline since July 10 has now begun to resemble that of the 1978 Red Sox, although there is no discernible sign that they will somehow, as those Sox did, suddenly rise from their coma at the last minute. The playoff teams today would be Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and St. Louis if the Cubs would just go away and form their own division or something. It would surprise us all if any team but Chicago makes it to the World Series but we have been surprised before. These one game wild card playoffs and short series all around mean that the best team doesn’t always win but the team that wins can still call themselves the best. It’s not like the old days when one team from each league went straight to the World Series. Now it’s more fun for more people and then we can argue about it all winter if we can remember who all was involved. As for all you NFL fans, go pledge allegiance to the flag and take your Cialis.