September Surprise: How Did Baseball Suddenly Get So Exciting?

What I look forward to every year, Patrick. The Yankees in the playoffs.

Full disclosure: I love the Yankees. I was born and raised in New York, I've been going to games since I was five, and Mariano Rivera is my favorite athlete in any sport, bar none. It always amuses me when the Moneyball discussion turns into small- vs. big-market teams (as you said Patrick, "mo' money means mo' victories") because the haves are playing by the same rules as the have nots. If Major League Baseball wants to put in a salary cap, I'm all for it. But until then, I hope the Yankees spend whatever it takes to win, even if their payroll skyrockets like our national debt.

Back to the season at hand. An afterthought in spring training while everyone fawned over the Phillies and Red Sox, the Yankees have the second-best record in baseball and a four-and-a-half-game lead on Boston in the AL East. Curtis Granderson, given up for dead by the Tigers, has turned into the best run producer in baseball and is a legitimate contender for MVP. And Rivera has kept chugging along, earning his 600th career save on Tuesday to pull within one of Trevor Hoffman's record.

As good as the Rangers and Justin Verlander's Tigers are, the most likely ALCS matchup is Yankees-Red Sox, a series diehard Bronx Bomber fans have been lusting after since the 2004 Series-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named. That would be an October to remember.

How about you, Emma? What's whetting your appetite in baseball's home stretch?

–Jake

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Sports Roundtable

Patrick Hruby, Jake Simpson, and Hampton Stevens 

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