Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Baseball Fever: In The Beginning (Part 2)

It's officially September 1 and the heat is on!

We are at the last stage of the baseball pennant races and the time has come for the men to separate themselves from the boys.

But what if the season ended today?

Here's how the playoff picture would look like--

American League:

New York Yankees (82-50) vs. Texas Rangers (74-58)
Tampa Bay Rays (81-51) vs. Minnesota Twins (76-56)

National League:

Atlanta Braves (77-55) vs. San Diego Padres (76-55)
Cincinnati Reds (77-55) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (74-58)

If I were a gambling man, I'd put my money on the Yankees and Rays in the AL and the Padres and Phillies in the NL to win the first round.

But what if the other 4 teams (Twins, Rangers, Braves and Reds) won?

And what if we turned back the clock a little bit?

Ok, let's find out. Fasten your seat belts folks and come with me on this journey--

If the Twins and Rangers pull it off in the AL and the Braves and Reds pull it off in the NL and we go back to yesteryear-- the ALCS and the NLCS would look like this--

ALCS - The Washington Senators vs. the Washington Senators
NLCS - The Cincinnati Red Stockings vs. the Boston Red Stockings

Hmmmm? Interesting!

Let me explain--

The original Washington Senators (1901-1960) moved to Minnesota and became the Twins in 1961 and the expansion Washington Senators (1961- ) moved to Texas and became the Rangers in 1972.

This was sort of like the fiasco that happened in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns. The original Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens. The NFL awarded Cleveland an expansion team which they named the Browns. The only difference is that the new Browns have remained in Cleveland, while in baseball, the new Senators moved to Texas and became the Rangers. Got it?

Yeah I know, kinda confusing.

But take my word for it, if the Twins play the Rangers in the ALCS, it'll be the first time ever that two teams with the same original name play each other in the playoffs. It'll be, drum roll please-- the Washington Senators vs. the Washington Senators.

I have my money on-- um, the Washington Senators.

The same will be (kinda) true in the National League.

If the Braves play the Reds, it'll be the second time (1995 was the first), that the original Red Stockings play the (new) Red Stockings in the playoffs.

Again, let me explain--

The Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first-ever professional baseball team, established in 1869. But after the 1870 season, there was an exodus, and all the best players fled Cincinnati and moved to Boston. They took the Red Stockings name with them and thus, in 1871, the Boston Red Stockings were born. The Cincinnati team was left in shambles and was forced to fold. But they would eventually reload and in 1876 the Cincinnati Red Stockings were reborn.

Amazingly enough, the 1871 franchise (the Boston Red Stockings) have played non-stop until this very day. I guess we can say, they are the artists now known as the Atlanta Braves.

Here's a quick look at their evolution from 1871-2010:

Bear with me on this--

The Boston Red Stockings (1871-1876) became the Boston Red Caps (1876-1882), which became the Boston Beaneaters (1883-1906), which became the Boston Doves (1907-1910), which became the Boston Rustlers (1911), which became the Boston Braves (1912-1935), which became the Boston Bees (1936-1940), which went back to being the Boston Braves (1941-1952), which became the Milwaukee Braves (1953-1965), which became the Atlanta Braves (1966-present).

Got it!

Yeah I know, all this sounds confusing-- so let me simplify it--

If the Twins, Rangers, Braves and Reds play for the pennant, it'll be:

The Senators vs. the Senators in the AL and the Red Stockings vs. the Red Stockings in the NL.

And what would I do if I were a gambling man?

I'd put my money on the Senators vs. the Red Stockings in the World Series.

That wasn't too hard....LOL

Joe Maddon photo courtesy of Getty Images
Historical team photos courtesy of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
For In The Beginning (Part 1) click here

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