March Madness In October

Baseball’s postseason is facing a dilemma that often challenges March Madness–the tournament has peaked in terms of national interest after the first weekend.

It’s been a sharp decline for baseball since the conclusion of the division series, which couldn’t have been scripted any better given each series reached a decisive Game 5–a first in postseason history.

But the outcomes of those series, unfortunately, has left us with a Final Four lacking virtually any rooting interest from the masses.

Nothing would’ve been more fun, more interesting, than watching the excitement of Moneyball II, the New Red Machine, BUCKleup and Natitude compete against each other for a World Series championship.

Instead, we’re left with another ALCS appearance by the Yankees and a Cardinals team we’ve seen reach the World Series in 3 of the past 6 seasons…and most likely 4 out of the last 7 years once they defeat the Giants in the NLCS (just a tinny little touch of sarcasm).

Aside from Buster Posey, there’s hardly anything exciting about San Francisco, whose most colorful player, Brian Wilson, was lost for the season due to injury, and whose best starting pitcher, Tim Lincecum, has been demoted to bullpen duty. Oh yeah, there’s also the Melky suspension.

Detroit, of course, offers us one of the game’s most dominating hurlers in Justin Verlander, and one of the game’s best sluggers in Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera. But the Tigers are largely thought of as underachievers for its lackluster regular season play…and who wants to rally behind that?

It’s fascinating, yet greatly disappointing, how quickly this year’s postseason has lost its luster after all the all the dramatics and thrills from the final two weeks of the regular season through the division series.

If we’re lucky, we might get a World Series Game 7, something that would give baseball fans aside from the MLB Final Four cities a reason to care again. But until then, and if a WS Game 7 even happens, what’s there to root for, what reason do we have to care?

Our postseason brackets are busted, our teams bounced. It’s March Madness in October…and the best, it seems, has already come. At the very least, the first weekend was fun.

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