12 days into September and the race to the postseason is picking up. 162 games are coming to a close. If the regular season were to end today, then the postseason would look like this:
AL Champs: Red Sox, Athletics, and Tigers
NL Champs: Braves, Cardinals, and Dodgers
Wild Card Teams: Rangers, Rays, Pirates, and Reds
MLB has a better visual representation here.
My beloved Orioles would be out of the race but my Tigers would at least represent and as division champs nonetheless. 🙂 I'm not too worried about the Tigers they just need to keep doing what they are doing, more wins and less losses. I'm pretty sure they'll be AL Central Champs.
But there is still some baseball left to play and it isn't over till that final out. Usually during the regular season, you would never find yourself rooting for your opponents. In September, everything changes. In the final stretch, it is all about the numbers and grabbing that Wildcard spot if you have not clinched the division and the O's have not clinched the division. You try to get into the playoffs any way you can.
September is important for every team because you're either fighting to be in the postseason or fighting to be a spoiler. Remember when the Orioles played spoiler for the Red Sox in 2011. It was the scene any player worth his salt wants to be in. Bottom of the 9th. 2 outs. Tie Game.
The O's knew they played an important role even if they weren't going to the playoffs because September is an important month for every team. You don't just lie down and give the other team the win. You make them earn it.
So even if I needed the Yankees, my least favorite team (I'm a Mets fan), to win against a team standing between my O's and the playoffs, I would want them to win. I don't think I would “cheer” for them but I would need them to win. But that is not the situation just yet so I am not rooting for the Yankees. Do not go out and spread rumors. :p Just to be clear, that does not make me or anyone else a bandwagon fan. That makes us a limited by necessity well wisher. I would not even go so far as to say fan.
September and the postseason, the time of year, where you find yourself doing things out of the norm.
Tonight however, I root for the O's to beat the Yankees!!!