The Major League Baseball playoffs have finally begun, and fuck if it isn’t about time. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it feels like the regular season lasts, like, six whole months. Yesterday Kansas City won the first wildcard play-in for the two teams too shit-tacular to make it by clinching their divisions, which is stupid. One wildcard obviously serves two purposes, both adding a team to even out the playoff bracket and preventing a good team from being penalized for being in a tough division. But two wildcard teams? All that does is allow MLB execs to masturbate for two extra days, using your fan dollars to wipe the ejaculate off their khakis.
Since the American League is already set, let’s take a look at which of the remaining playoff teams suck.
The American League started out as a fucking buzzkill: It was created to be a forum for “clean” baseball, where the players behaved themselves, the umpires were in control and rowdy, drunken fans were booted out. In fact, some AL owners banned the sale of alcohol at their parks altogether. Fuck that. Any goodwill it engenders by being home to downright ancient teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and Tigers is immediately blown by virtue of also home to joke teams like the Rangers and the Mariners. Haha Mariners, get it? Because Seattle’s on the water!
Also, the AL uses the designated hitter, which is bullshit. Make the stupid pitcher hit.
Kansas City Royals
This is the first time the Royals have so much as sniffed the playoffs’ butthole since 1985, which I would wager is before at least half of the people reading this were born. The last time anyone thought about them was when Lorde admitted she was inspired to write that stupid song after seeing George Brett in a Royals jersey. “But we’ll never be Royals” isn’t just a lyric, it’s what aspiring baseball players say, with relief, when another team drafts them. The Royals haven’t been relevant for so long that everyone forgot they were a team, including the players. I’m serious. I bet up until the All-Star break, every morning the players’ wives had to wake them up, dress them, and remind them what they did for a living.
Until last night, I couldn’t name you a single Royals player. Their “fearsome” bullpen did a fine job of shitting the entire bed until they mustered some late-inning heroics. Speaking of which, their strategy seems to be to bunt the leadoff man to second, without fail, regardless of who’s at the plate. That’s annoying. If I were pitching against them, I’d become the first pitcher to be ejected for intentionally beaning a player when he’s already on base. Not because it would help. Just on principle. NO ONE SAC BUNTS ON MY WATCH. I predict they lose to the Angels in five games.
God, the Tigers. It’s hard to cajole or heckle someone wearing Tigers gear, because that could mean they have at least a tangential connection to the city of Detroit, making any shit-talking qualify as a hate crime. At this point, I’m pretty sure Comerica Park is the only public building in that city with running water. There is possibly no more disappointing team in professional baseball over the last few years. Their rotation includes multiple Cy Young-winning pitchers, and they have the best hitter in the world in Miguel Cabrera. And yet, always a bridesmaid. 2011? Stomped by the Rangers in the ALCS. 2012? Crushed in four games straight by the Giants in the World Series. 2013? A heartbreaking ALCS loss to a plucky Red Sox team.
This year they clinched the AL Central, but just barely, sliding so badly after the All-Star break that the Kansas City Royals (whoever they are) were able to take the lead for a while. They’ll lose to Baltimore in four games, unfortunately. I’m not sure why, but it might have something to do with Justin Verlander losing all his mojo.
I live about an hour or so away from Baltimore. It is not a nice place. The city is inexplicably proud of its crabs and the cakes they make with them. Not that there’s anything wrong with crab cakes (I could eat them all the time), but people speak of “Maryland style crab cakes” as though they’re the sole province of the city and can’t be produced elsewhere. It’s just a fucking crab cake made with crab and not much else. WHAT A REVELATION! Then you have the accents. Yip, y’all come on down now to bawlmer and git yerself summa them crab cakes, y’hear? It has to be the ugliest “southern” accent ever, and I say that as someone who grew up in Hickville, Virginia. Their ballpark is probably the nicest in the country and located in the inner harbor area, which is good because I won’t willingly set foot in another part of the city. When your city is best known for a fictional HBO series depicting just how corrupt and drug-addled the town is, that’s not a good sign.
Baltimore defied preseason expectations all year, consistently over-performing and finishing tied for the second-best record in baseball. They’re missing star players Manny Machado (injury) and Chris Davis (drugs), but that hasn’t stopped them yet. It doesn’t matter because they will lose to Detroit in six.
The Angels, the best team in baseball, have a name crisis. Take the team itself: They’re properly known as the “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.” The fuck? That sounds to me like someone from Hoboken desperately trying to sound cooler by being like “I live in New York. Well, not exactly in New York, but it’s, like, basically New York.” Then you have Mike Trout, who is the best player in baseball by virtue of being a refurbished Soviet-era autobot designed for the express purpose of playing baseball. Trout is an awful last name. It sounds like the nickname you’d give to the guy in your frat who farts too much. As if having the best player in baseball wasn’t enough, they also have the handsomest, C.J. Wilson.
SO HANDSOME! Too handsome, if you ask me. He must be hiding something (besides shitty pitching). I bet he has buckets full of his own poop and pee scattered around his house.
What’s up with their weird fucking ballpark? Why the weird rock formations, is that somehow representative of the outer reaches of L.A. County? And how about those fake waterfalls – can California really afford to spare the water? Combine that with an inexplicably rabid fanbase (you all do realise this is the team that allowed “Angels in the Outfield” to happen, right?) and you have the formula for a very annoying, albeit very good baseball team. I predict they lose to Kansas City in three straight.
I think that sums it up. If my math is correct, the winner is… no one, because they’re all somehow going to fucking lose. Sorry, no World Series this year. Look, I don’t make the rules.
Head Pro usually dispenses advice to ladies (and the occasional bro) for our friends at Betches Love This, so for him, getting published on a guys’ site must be what it feels like when kindergarten teachers get to talk to other adults. Follow him on twitter at @BetchesHeadPro