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The Northerner

Indians try to catch White Sox

Chris VandeWater

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Is it just me, or did Major League Baseball cancel the last week of the season to start the playoffs a week early. Here is what I mean. In the last week of the season, every team that is in contention plays meaningful games that could affect their status in the playoffs as well as other team’s chances of making the playoffs.

Let’s start with the big series. There is no better way to settle the AL East then by putting the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox on the same field and letting them battle it out. They meet the last three games of the season in Boston. As of the weekend, the Yankees hold a slim one game lead over the Red Sox. Like these two teams need any more reason to hate each other. If something doesn’t boil this weekend, I don’t know when it would happen.

That series is enough to keep our attention, but there is much more including the Chicago White Sox at the Cleveland Indians. The Indians are on fire and the White Sox are trying not to choke their way out of the playoffs.

As said on ESPN’s Sportscenter, “Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear and here come the Indians.” These two teams are separated by a game and a half in the AL Central division. Cleveland also leads the AL wildcard by a game and a half, so folks in Cleveland are scoreboard watching Boston scores these days. The Indians continue there surprising climb to the top, can they continue all the way to a division title and a playoff birth?

The final showcase series in the American League features the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim versus the Oakland A’s. These two teams are California rivals and are separated by three games in the AL West standings. A four-game series is on tap in Oakland this week with the A’s in need of all four games.

In the National League, there is enough meaningful baseball to please the biggest baseball fan. In the NL west, the San Diego Padres have been leading the division most of the year with a .500 record. Now the San Francisco Giants have Barry Bonds back and they are making a charge at the Padres. These two teams play four games this week and the Giants are just five games back. The question becomes will Barry Bonds make enough difference in the Giants lineup to get past the Padres and enter the playoffs? Bonds has missed the entire season up till now with various injuries hurting the Giants chances.

The NL East is a log jam for the wild card race with Houston. As of the weekend, the Astros lead the wild card race by two games over the Philadelphia Phillies. The race will get real interesting with the Astros playing tough games against Central division rivals the Cardinals and the Cubs. The Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals, Florida Marlins, and New York Mets will get the chance to beat each other up for a week. Will the Astros hold up against tough divisional opponents or will someone from the East clean up the wild card sweepstakes and take control?

Kudos to the people in charge of the scheduling in Major League Baseball this year. They have created a mini playoff scenario before the playoffs actually begin. If this isn’t enough excitement for you, I don’t know what is. Keep the remote next to you and the previous channel button working because you will need it this week in Major League Baseball.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Indians try to catch White Sox