It’s only August but yet we need to start looking ahead to the MLB postseason. The trading deadline came and went with high end deals showing teams going “all-in” to acquire top talent while another team became sellers for the first time in the modern era of baseball. The current playoff races aren’t close with the exception of two divisions (AL East, NL West) but granted there is still plenty of baseball left. Yogi Berra put it best, “It ain’t over, till it’s over”.
The potential storylines that set up for this year’s postseason however, make it something to be excited about. We have a team, the Chicago Cubs, positioning themselves to break a 100-year-old curse when they acquired a shutdown closer in Aroldis Chapman.
The Cleveland Indians, who haven’t been to the World Series since 1997 and no championship since 1948 go out and acquire Andrew Miller. They were close to getting Jonathan Lucroy but that fell through when Lucroy vetoed it but still makes the Tribe a force. You have the Texas Rangers also going all in to get back to the World Series for the third time in seven years after they acquired Carlos Beltran, Jeremy Jeffries and Jonathan Lucroy.
It’s an even year so we all know we need to watch out for the San Francisco Giants who went out and got another starting pitcher in Matt Moore and reliever Will Smith. The Dodgers who are right on their tail also improved to keep that race close. The Washington Nationals trying to finally close the deal as they addressed their shaky bullpen.
It’s certainly going to be an exciting time for baseball as the stretch run takes place. You never know what can happen in baseball, we have seen some crazy things that have gone down to the wire (2011 regular season finish). Just to refresh that 2011 finish, we saw two teams blow historic games (Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves) and were knocked out of the playoffs after having substantial leads entering the final month of the season that year.
If you are a baseball nut like myself, you can’t help but picture what this postseason can bring us. Could we see three of the longest World Series droughts (Cubs – 107 years, Indians – 67 years and Rangers – 55 years) all collide in the fall classic? A dream match from that standpoint for baseball would love to see a Chicago Cubs/Cleveland Indians World Series match-up and you would have to believe all of America would want to see that.
The other storyline you can possibly look forward to would be two teams with dynasty like elements. Although the Rangers haven’t won in 55 years, they have been to the classic twice in six years with back-to-back appearances in 2010 and 2011. Then you have the Giants who have won three championships in the last six years; that match-up would also be terrific given the fact these teams have seen the World Series more in the last several years.
The possibilities are truly something to relish in when thinking about it because it certainly will be a memorable postseason. Don’t get me wrong the season is still far from over and we have seen things happen but the likelihood of these match-ups happening are becoming more real as the days move closer to October, but until then one can only hope.