October 3rd, 1951 is a very famous date in baseball history as it is the 61st anniversary of Bobby Thomson’s shot around the world. “The Giants win the pennant” you’ve heard the call many times as the then New York Giants defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers in a playoff to win the pennant.
And today is the final day of this baseball season, and it could be very exciting. The New York Yankees are one game ahead of the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East. One will win the division and the other will be one of the two wildcards. If there is a tie in the standings there will be a one game playoff for the AL East in Baltimore. Meanwhile on the West Coast the Texas Rangers will play at the Oakland A’s. They are tied for the AL West. Again both will make the playoffs one as a wild card and one as the AL West Champion. Just a note the A’s were 13 games out in June so they have made a remarkable comeback in the AL West.
Also the Orioles, Yankees, Athletics and Rangers are all fighting for the best record in the American League.
Meanwhile Miguel Cabrera, a member of the other American League playoff team, the Detroit Tigers the AL Central champs has a chance to win the Triple Crown in baseball.
Wiinning the Triple Crown is a rare feat as a player must lead the league in batting average, runs batted in and home runs. And going into the final day of the season Cabrera has the lead in all three categories. The last men to win the Triple Crown were Carl Yastzremski in 1967 and Frank Robinson in 1966. Cabrera has a .331 batting average 44 homers and 139 runs batted in, RBIs. We’ll see what happens there.
Meanwhile in the National League the Cincinatti Reds and the Washington Nationals are tied for the best record in the National League and since the National League won the All Star game the team that has the best record in the NL will have home field throughout the World Series. And as far as a playoff note the St Louis Cardinals the defending World Champions will be able to defend their crown as they beat out the Los Angeles Dodgers for the final NL Playoff spot. The Cardinals will play at the Atlanta Braves on Friday in the NL Wildcard game.
As for me I’ll be rooting for the Texas Rangers to try to win the AL West today and if not that the wild card game so they can try to eventually get back to the World Series for a third year in a row after losing the last two World Series to the San Fransisco Giants the NL West winner this year in 2010 and the St Louis Cardinals in 2011.
Other teams that I like the Milwaukee Brewers had a strong finish and will finish over .500 with an 83-78 record heading into their season finale tonight. The Boston Red Sox meanwhile had a horrible year for them at 69-92 and will finish in last place in the AL East. Embattled manager Bobby Valentine’s future there is in question. However the Red Sox still could spoil some things facing the Yankees in their season finale tonight. Finally woes to the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros. As recently as 2003 they finished a game apart at the top of the NL Central with the Cubs winning. In 2005 the Astros went to the World Series. Today they will play each other in the season finale and the Astros final game in the National League. And both teams have over 100 losses. The Cubs have 101 losses and the Astros have 106 losses. Perhaps as a good friend of mine has mentioned these teams should be demoted to the minor leagues in Peoria and Round Rock.
Oh well Opening Day is only 6 months away and we can always dream of next year. In the meantime enjoy the suspense of the final day of the season, Miguel Cabrera’s Triple Crown chase and the playoffs. Enjoy the games as October baseball is here! Best wishes. Bratman