Hey, we're back. That last few weeks of silence was Marcel Marceau's newest hit single, "Walkin' In The Wind." And now, here are the playoffs. I am sure you are all sitting on the edge of your seat wondering who I am going to support this October. The last couple of years, my choices have been the kiss of death, but I would feel remiss if I didn't share my usual insane thought processes. This year, three of the teams that made the AL playoffs also happen to be the three teams who won the three World Series directly before the Mets did in 1986 and, much like the Amazin's, haven't won it since. This wonderful bit of convolution is the key to my choices.
The Kansas City Royals won the Series in 1985 and sadly, stupefyingly, and horrifyingly haven't even been to the playoffs since.
That team starred a veteran George Brett at third and first base. After winning the AL west like a million times between 1976 and 1984, the Royals the shocked the Cardinals in 1985 - with a little help from Don Denkinger, of course. It is a long shot, but I would love to see KC take the title after a 29 year drought.
Everyone remembers the 1984 Detroit Tigers.
They were the team that just steamrolled everyone through the whole year, kind of like a baseball version of the '85 Bears. They led wire to wire in the regular season and then lost only one game in the playoffs while taking the title. Everyone remembers Jack Morris and Kirk Gibson from that team but no one ever remembers Lou Whitaker. 1984 was just another in a long line of gold glove silver slugger all star seasons from their second baseman. Everyone has spent the last decade arguing about whether Jack Morris should be in Cooperstown when the real travesty is the fact that Whitaker got less than 5% of the vote early and dropped off the ballot when he (and Alan Trammell) should be in the Hall - probably more so than Morris. Detroit has since seen a few horrible teams and a few playoff teams, even going to the Series in 2006, but they haven't won it all since that magical 1984 season.
Then in 1983, you had the Baltimore Orioles.
The Orioles in '83 were led by a young MVP shortstop named Cal Ripken. You may have heard of him. The 31 years since that title have seen more dark times than not for Baltimore. The mid 90's team was a juggernaut that never quite got to the Series and since then, it has been all dark. But this year they finally won the AL East title for the first time in 17 years. I jumped on the O's bandwagon two years ago - mostly to stick it to the Yankees - and they immediately tanked. So this time around I am putting them third on my love list, hoping that a little reverse psychology will help them out. Of course, now that I have mentioned that out loud, it is a certain jinx. I need to learn to keep my mouth shut.