If it weren’t for April, October would be my favorite month of the year.
In April all things begin anew. Spring has hit the ground running, trees and flowers are blossoming, and baseball season begins.
Plus, while it’s warming up some, it’s not so oppressively hot. I’ve found in my advancing years I can’t do extremes anymore, specifically extreme heat and cold.
In October, there is the conclusion of all things begun in April. The leaves are beginning to turn, the weather has finally started to ebb, college football has finally scheduled some decent games on Saturday, and the baseball playoffs are under way.
I like things with a beginning middle and end.
I don’t like being strung along and I hate not knowing.
Last night I sat up and watched the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Texas Rangers in the wild card tiebreaker because I have to see it and I have to know who won.
I’ll watch just so I can see the postgame celebration.
I love those.
I love October because I can sit here on an early Tuesday morning and enjoy a cup of coffee without breaking out in a sweat. And while I’m not so much a slave to fashion and hygiene I love October because I can limit my baths to one a day.
But mostly I love October - more than the pending arrival of Halloween, my birthday and Thanksgiving in November, and finally Christmas Eve and Christmas morning in December - I love October because of baseball.
There is no other time of year in no other sport that compares to the baseball playoffs.
I can do without the one-game play-in with the two wild card teams. Let them play a best 2-out-of-3 series, or a best of five even. I loved those back in the days of the annual Cincinnati-Pittsburgh matchups in the early 1970s. And I loved seeing the Reds and Pirates square off again in the one-game playoff. I wish I could see more.
I like the playoffs this year because the Red Sox won their division and the Cleveland Indians with Terry Francona at the helm, are back.
I like the playoffs because the Yankees (Alex Rodriguez) and the Rangers (Victor Cruz) are out.
I like the playoffs because the Oakland A’s and Billy Beane’s Moneyball baseball brought the A’s a division championship, and the big money spending Los Angeles Angels with Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols finished almost in the cellar in the AL West.
Money does not buy you championships. Wise spending of that money is what builds championships.
I like the playoffs because the St. Louis Cardinals continue to win without Pujols, and without Tony LaRussa.
I like the playoffs because even the long-hated Los Angeles Dodgers are back and the only thing that could make me happier about seeing the Dodgers in the playoffs is to see the Atlanta Braves knock them out of it.
The games haven’t started yet and I’m not going to attempt any predicitions. Look at my weekly football picks and you’ll understand why.
I’m just happy that October’s here.
Let’s play some ball.