MLB Week 23 Sluggers and Slugs: Why Yankees Drive Baseball
This week in Sluggers and Slugs we will be taking a quick look at the We’ll start out East with the Phillies and Braves who are separated by one game. Atlanta has a one game lead in the wild card. The Phillies go to Florida for a series with the Marlins before returning home to play the Washington Nationals.
The Braves start the week at home against the Nationals and then make the trip to New York for a weekend series with the Mets. Both teams have a relatively easy week playing teams that are already planning their vacation destinations for this off-season. I believe both teams will stay in their current positions in the East.
The Rockies and Padres square off for a three-game set in Colorado to begin the week. I would hope the rarefied air would shock the Padres into realizing they are about to choke away the NL West lead no one thought they should have had in the first place, but it probably won’t.
Things only get worse for the Padres as they will travel to St. Louis for a series against the Cardinals. This will have them falling farther behind in the West by the end of the week.
The Rockies get the Los Angeles Dodgers to finish their week. This should be a tough series, but it won’t be because manager Joe Torre is already thinking about whether he wants to coach again or do yoga full-time. Plus, a majority of the Dodgers will be bugging Matt Kemp for free tickets to some stop on Rihanna’s next tour.
The Giants have the best schedule of the NL West teams. They get to torture Dodger fans with meaningful wins in the Bay Area and then slam the Brewers like a can of their hometown Old Milwaukee.
The Giants will have the division lead over the Rockies by the end of the week and the Rockies will be a half game back of the Braves for the NL wild card.
Steal Some Attention
With the NFL season getting into full swing this weekend, baseball coverage is placed on the back burner until the post-season. To make things even worst, heaven forbid the Yankees weren’t in the playoffs giving the majority of baseball fans no one to hate on.
Hatred is what drives baseball at this time of year with every game being overshadowed by NFL highlights. The ratings have proven my theory to be correct over recent years – ’08 Rays V.S. Phillies World Series had horrible ratings, but the following year was Yankees V.S. Phillies and the ratings were much better.
The great thing about baseball that people forget is that only four teams from each the AL and NL get in to the post-season. Each year fans from 29 teams start off the season with hope that this will be their year to celebrate – meaning get drunk and vandalize the city.
However, one organization gives the impression that it is their God-given right to have a spot in the post-season, the Yankees and their fans. They have the most money and do what they want, when they want, and say anything they want which is why fans love to hate.
I’m not saying that die hard baseball junkies have given up on the season, but if you’re a Kansas City sports fan you have most likely already moved on to what the Chiefs are doing. They are also probably not going to watch a World Series game if it’s Giants vs. Rays, but if it’s Giants vs. Yankees all of the sudden they have on their best Aubrey Huff rally thong on.
The Yankees are going to make the post-season; it’s just a matter of whether or not they are going to be the wild card or the division winner. I know a lot of people would rather see the Rays win the AL East simply to deprive the Yankees of the accomplishment and make them play a couple more road games.
The Rays and Yankees are currently separated by a half-game and start a three-game series Monday. The two teams will meet at Tropicana Field this week and then partake in four-game series at Yankee Stadium. I predict that the Yankees will find a way to win this division and drive the hate monster into the playoffs.
The Yankee’s current situation is great for baseball, and the further they make it in the playoffs and the later they fail only makes it better. People only watch sports if they have something to root for, and it doesn’t matter if its hope, hatred, or failure. The Yanks are giving us a little taste of that right now and will steal attention from other sports even more once the playoffs start.