In the spirit of full disclosure, I'm a Chicago Cubs fan, so I've been nothing but impartial during the playoffs for 23 of the last 29 years unless you count the fact that it killed me when the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago White Sox won it all.
Before I move on, I'd just like to say that even though I watch probably 150 Cubs games a year, I find baseball to be fairly boring by nature. There's 35 minutes of action packed tightly into three hours of television.
That being said, I don't remember caring so much about non-Cubbie baseball as I did on the last night of the regular season. That was great television.
Likewise, the first round of the playoffs has been extraordinarily entertaining. Three out of the four series went all five games and it was rare to see anyone get blown out. Two of the three game five winners were away teams, meaning the underdog came through.
Now we move on to the second round and what is left? I feel totally let down right now.
Detroit versus Texas? I'll care twice: When Justin Verlander pitches and then when he pitches again. Quite frankly, other than Josh Hamilton I couldn't really tell you much about the Rangers. The same goes for Detroit and Verlander, now that I think about it.
Milwaukee and St. Louis? Blech. Albert Pujols, although maybe one of the greatest players of all time, is about as exciting as your fourth grade math class (the one that was right before recess). Sure he's magic with a 31 ounce sliver of ash, but let's be honest here: his sound bites make Ben Stein look like Michael Buffer.
There is one redeeming factor here; one baseball would be very wise to play up: Nyjer Morgan. Morgan and his multiple personalities have exactly the kind of spark that baseball needs in general, but even more so in the playoffs. He's Ray Lewis or Chad Ochocinco. He's Chris Pronger or Dennis Rodman. A walking reality show waiting to happen, his flamboyant trash talk and lack of censorship are raw, if not refreshing.
Baseball has a unique opportunity to promote fresh faces like Morgan. I don't know about the rest of the nation but I'm pretty sick and tired of watching the Yankees and Red Sox every other weekend on ESPN.
There has to be some hidden gems in the remaining four teams. Again, I couldn't list you more than two or three guys who play for Texas but maybe there's a jokester in there somewhere. Maybe Detroit has a magician in their clubhouse.
Personally, I'm excited about the next two rounds of baseball (as long as the Cardinals get swept by the Brewers). I'm excited to hear stories I haven't heard yet. I'm excited to just watch baseball without really caring who wins.
There's no A-Rod. There's no Big Papi.
But there is Tony Plush.
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