Take in a deep breath and smell the air. It might be warmer than we’re all used to this time of year, but it is official, the Autumnal Equinox has passed, and it is officially fall.
It’s time for Major League Baseball to thrill our ever-budding embers to go the distance this autumn. Have no doubt; there is a new drift in the air this postseason. In fact, you might call this The Hallows Eve Postseason, since all of the franchises involved have comeback from the dead.
Literally, without the Red Sox recent success, this grouping has won only two World Series in the last 20 years and 13 in the last 100 years. This band of underachievers makes up 20 percent of Major League Baseball, yet they can only account for 13 percent of the Championships over the last 100 years.
This postseason has the returning champion Boston Red Sox, who went without a trophy since 1918 until they wound-up winning two of the last four World Series titles. They will square off against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who have won only one championship, and that was when they were known more simply as the Anaheim Angels, way back in 2002.
The Tampa Bay Rays (not a joke, but their real name) won the American League East (again, this is not a joke, they are a legitimate Major League Baseball franchise) title to find themselves in the playoffs for the first time ever.
On a serious note, they have had a solid season and look primed and ready to make a run. They will be going against either the Minnesota Twins, whom have two championships, or the Chicago White Sox, who won three, the last in 2005, and the previous in 1917. Those two teams will square off for the AL Central crown and a playoff berth in Chicago later today.
The Philadelphia Phillies only have one championship in their long history, which dates back, back, back. They will be squaring off against the Milwaukee Brewers, who haven’t won squat, but they certainly entertained us during their run to the Suds Series against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1982.
Let’s face it, the Phillies have one of the worst names in baseball, and they are going up against the Brewers, the best name in all of baseball-softball-dom.
Finally, the Cubs have only won two championships and the last one was exactly 100 years ago. The Dodgers were in Brooklyn focusing on American Association championships at that time…what? Exactly!
The Dodgers have the most championships of any team this postseason, totaling six; however, they have been in a whopping 18 World Series.
Here are the pairings.
Boston Red Sox 95-67 Wild Card (defending champs, won two of last four World Series, seven total champs)
LA Angels of Anaheim 100-62 NL West Champions (won WS 2002)
Tampa Bay Rays 97-65 AL East Champs (founded 1995, playing since 1998)
Minnesota Twins 88-74 (two championships) or the Chicago White Sox 88-74 (three championships)
Philadelphia Phillies 92-70 NL East Champions (won WS 1980, five appearances–most MLB losses by a franchise)
Milwaukee Brewers 90-72 Wild Card (played in 1982 WS, third playoff appearance of all-time)
Chicago Cubs 97-64 NL Central Champs (Last won WS in 1908, two Championships, 10 appearances)
Los Angeles Dodgers 84-78 NL West Champs (won 1988 WS, six Championships, 18 appearances)