OH NO! NO RED SOX IN PLAYOFFS! CRY ME A RIVER!
Since I last posted, claiming the Chicago White Sox faced the true pressure in the last game of their series with the Indians, the Tribe not only won that game 8-0 but have won the first two games in their series with Kansas City. Travis Hafner has homered in six straight games, and Scott Elarton, in that third game of the Chicago series, had probably the best big-game performance of his career. As it stands, the Indians trail the ChiSox by 1.5 games in the division with another three-game series--this time in Cleveland--on the slate to close the regular season next week. You cannot help but be excited as an Indians fan. Playoff tickets go on sale as I am typing this.
The national media has finally warmed up to the Tribe, but deep down you know that ESPN and FOX are quietly pulling for both the Yankees and Red Sox to make the playoffs. Why? The highest-rated baseball games on television are consistently Yankees/Red Sox grduge matches. I, however, am sick of it. Putting aside my pro-Cleveland bias, I am utterly exasperated with having the baseball experts ram the New York/Boston matchup down my throat. Were the series in the last two years exciting? Sure, no one will argue that. But if the biggest complaint against baseball is that the game has been lacking parity, wouldn't it be great to see a small-market, low-payroll, "cinderella" team like the Tribe get into the playoffs and make some noise? Also, there are closet Indians fans all over the country just like there are closet Browns fans. They are all native Clevelanders who moved away when their job got raped from NE Ohio (wait, this is a sports blog, I'll stop right there.) Regardless of what I say, though, the major networks who cover the postseason, especially FOX who has the primetime rights, are pulling hard for the Red Sox. Unfortunately, they could be grossly unhappy.
To my Reds-fan readers, I promise the year is almost over. Last night, the Reds imploded, blowing a 10-6 lead in the ninth to the contending Phillies, and the Phillies won 11-10. The Reds' don't seem to be relishing their spoiler role, and I don't blame them. With Griffey out for the rest of the season, there isn't really a good reason to watch them. My advice is hop on the Benglas bandwagon and buckle your seatbelt. The Reds desperately need to rebuild, as last night's game was a microchosm of the whole season.
Ohio State will be playing in its second-biggest game of the season today against No. 21 Iowa. (No, the biggest was not against Texas.) Last year the Hawkeyes completely handed it to the Buckeyes, so revenge is necessary. In order to win, the Buckeyes will have to play their best game of the season. That means hanging onto the football, picking up those big first downs on third and short and getting Ginn as many touches as humanly possible. I'll take the Buckeyes 17-14.
I won't get a chance to see the game, though, because I'm covering Capital at home against Heidelberg. Though the rain might slow the scoring down a bit, I would give you Heidelberg and 30 points in a bet. They're terrible, and if Collins is any kind of coach at all, Capital should be angry from the way they gave the Otterbein game away.
Enjoy the weekend, and of the Buckeyes, Browns and Bengals, at least one team has to win, right?