Congratulations to the 2011 American League Central Champions, the Detroit Tigers. I’m glad to see they actually earned it, rather than winning it by default, which seemed to be the fate of the division in July. A 12-game winning streak in Septemeber is earning it about as much as possible. They are clearly the hottest team in baseball right now, and if the playoffs started today, would get a reeling Red Sox club. I personally believe they have been too hot to stay this hot throughout the postseason, but with the way Verlander is going, it’s almost a lock for 2 wins a series. Also, the way Leyland uses Verlander, he very well could pitch 1,4,7 in a 7-game series. Ok, enough about the Tigers.
I was thinking earlier this week about the White Sox 2011 marking campaign of “All In”. Just another zinger from marketing that kind of turns into a joke by the end of the year. My personal favorite was “There are traditions, and they’re White Sox traditions.” But, in regards to “All In”, as a poker player, I can correalte this whole season to the opening scene of Rounders.
Mike McDermott shoves all in against KGB thinking he has a made hand. I thought the White Sox were that made hand this year. As I’ve stated previously, on paper they are a good team (if you discount 2011 results). They were a good team, as were 9s full of Aces is a good hand. But, I didn’t account for the other outs out there. I couldn’t account for Alex Avila being the best catcher in baseball, or Verlander being this good, or Jhonny Peralta’s BABIP. Just as Mikey couldn’t even consider KGB’s Aces full of 9s. That is the beautiful thing about baseball, there is never a sure hand.
Stuff happens. And a lot of stuff happened this year for the White Sox. Most of it was bad, and we went all-in and got busted. But, as a true poker player, you have to dust off that bad beat and go at it again next time. Hopefully, in 2012 we can show the division the nut straight instead of the division telling us “I don’t have the spades”.