Of all the major team sports, baseball is, uniquely, a game of great matchups and showdowns. Mostly, it’s a game of individual showdowns within the construct of team ball.
While postseason baseball already brings us to the edge of our seats, there are certain pitcher versus batter showdowns that take us out of our seats altogether.
Think about it: When an Albert Pujols is in the batter’s box versus a Roy Halladay, he doesn’t have an offensive lineman blocking for him or a power forward setting a vicious screen so he can get a free look. It’s top batter versus ace pitcher—one of the quintessential beautiful truths of our national pastime.
And then there is the allure of the great starting pitching matchup—a mano-a-mano so compelling that fellow major leaguers would pay top money just to be in the stands. (Of course, they can afford it more than you or I, but you get the point).
We have team-versus-team rivalries, heightened by fan bases that just don’t like one another. We may not see Yankees-Sox this October, but the Yankees and Rays are already building a great rivalry.
What about players or managers facing their former teams? Just last year, many fans were looking forward to seeing longtime Yankees icon Joe Torre managing against the dynasty he helped to create in the Bronx. Oh yeah, it also would have been the first World Series battle between the Dodgers and Yankees since 1981.
If it weren’t for the Phillies successfully defending their NL title, we would have seen that.
With all this drama as our backdrop, let us preview the 5 Best Matchups We Could See in October.
Will Mr.Yankee, Derek Jeter, make our Top 5? Stay tuned.