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Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

And now there were four … 

I’m glad to see the Astros advance to the NLCS (never was a fan of the Braves: I'm sorry, but they made baseball boring), which brings up an interesting point: both wildcard team advanced to their LCS. I doubt that is the first time that’s happened (didn’t it happen in ’99?), but it is interesting given that the Red Sox and Astros wouldn’t be in the playoffs but for the new three division format.

The Cardinals – Astros matchup is a lot less sexy than Red Sox – Yankees (the Victoria's Secret of baseball rivalries), but it should be a good one nevertheless: lots of runs because both teams have high-powered offenses. I’m rooting for the Cardinals, because regardless of who wins the ALCS it will lead to a rematch of one of two 1960’s World Series: the ’64 Cards-Yankees series (won by St. Louis in 7, chronicled by David Halberstam in October 1964) or the ’67 Red Sox-Cards series (again, won by the Cards in 7).

Tonight is Game One of the ALCS and you can practically see the Fox programming guys with the drool coming out of their mouths thinking about the ratings. This really is baseball’s version of the Crusades, its holy war. I know there are other rivalries to baseball (Cardinals-Cubs, Dodgers-Giants) and sport (Steelers-Browns, Packers-Bears, Redskins-Cowboys, etc.), but this is the best. No other rivalry is as ancient or has survived the test of time better.

It is going to be great.

Incidentally, yesterday I finally sat down and read last week’s Sports Illustrated (October 11, 2004 issue). If anyone gets a chance, read Tom Verducci’s “Five Outs Away”, starting on page 72. It is a nice article summing up the agony of the Cubs and Red Sox blowing last season’s respective LCS and the mind games played on fans of the Cubs and Red Sox thanks to their teams’ over eighty year journey in the desert.

Alright ... Aaron Gleeman has broken himself out of his funk from the Twins loss and posted an analysis of the ALCS on Hardball Times. Advantage: Red Sox. Ben Jacobs (Sox fan) and Larry Mahnken (Yankees fan) published this back-and-forth here. If you subscribe to Baseball Prospectus, they have an analysis here. Alas, I don't because I can barely afford food these days. Meanwhile, ESPN has no shortage of articles on the subject.

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