Oct 3, 2011, 10:29 AM EDT
Things I’ve learned while listening to readers and fans for the past couple of days:
- Robinson Cano is the best there ever was;
- The Rays are an unstoppable juggernaut;
- Kirk Gibson is a fraud;
- The Rays lack a knockout punch;
- Alex Rodriguez is a terrible baseball player;
- Robinson Cano isn’t clutch;
- Tony La Russa is a moron;
- Cliff Lee sucks;
- Tony La Russa is a genius.
And I’m sure there are more. The completely understandable, yet 100% insane, reactions of people to playoff baseball. Baseball where the sample sizes are the smallest yet the significance of any one event is magnified to crazy extremes. A time when nothing has ever mattered as much as the thing that just happened, and nothing will be forgotten quicker when the next thing happens.
I’ve never gotten 100% comfortable with this. My feelings about baseball and the world it inhabits do a complete 180 when the playoffs start. I love watching playoff baseball. The games are crazy-intense and the drama is out of this world. Yet the commentary about it is, almost by definition, kind of meaningless once you get past the “wow, that was somethin'” observations. Contrast this to the regular season where single games have almost no significance apart from being a brick in the wall of what will eventually form a somewhat cogent narrative that, at least in my view, has some value.
I tell myself every year that I’m going to ignore the overreactions that are inevitable once the playoffs come. And then I usually forget. I guess that’s just part of playoff baseball too.
- And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights 37
- Andrew McCutchen departs game versus Cardinals after aggravating injured left rib cage 3
- Mariners extend general manager Jack Zduriencik’s contract 12
- Money, money, money (and Bud Selig’s nirvana) 14
- These days, the correlation between payroll and winning is historically weak 60
- And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights 49
- Report: Cubs calling up top prospect outfielder Jorge Soler 40
- Shin-Soo Choo to undergo season-ending bone spur surgery on elbow 13
- The Cubs grounds crew was short staffed because the Cubs were trying to avoid Obamacare (247)
- Forgiveness for Pete Rose? Not in this lifetime (142)
- Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to sign with the Red Sox for $72 million (96)
- A pitch clock in Major League Baseball? No thanks. (92)
- Even if he’s reinstated, does Pete Rose make the Hall of Fame? (89)