Major League Playoffs to Begin; Cubs, Rays Hold Down Top Spots
You are traveling through another dimension...
Having shared baseball's best, regular-season record, the Cubs and the surprisingTampa Rays, making their first-ever trip to baseball's post-season, enter the 2008 playoffs assured of home-field advantage in the first two rounds.
In the NL, Lou Piniella's Cubs, reaching the post-season in
consecutive years for the first time since 1908, when they also won
their last World Championship, will hope to continue their superb play
at Wrigley Field this season as they host their National League
Division Series with the NL West champion, Arizona.
which won the NL East and left the division's prohibitive pre-season
favorites, the Mets, in the dust, will host the Cardinals, the NL Wild
Card winner and another unexpected participant in baseball's playoff
...a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind.
In the ALDS, Tampa will host the almost-as-surprising White Sox, while
the Angels will host the Red Sox, the defending World Series champs and
this year's AL Wild Card team.
A journey into a wondrous land of imagination.
It's impossible, at least for a Chicago baseball fan, to look at this year's post-season field and not imagine a Cubs-White Sox World Series match-up. If it comes to pass, it will be a replay of the 1906 series, in which the White Sox dumped the Cubs, four games to two.
The '06 White Sox were known as the "Hitless Wonders" for compiling a .230 team batting average, lowest in the AL. This year's edition of the team also won despite an often feeble offense that featured three regulars, Nick Swisher, Jim Thome, and Paul Konerko, whose averages were barely above .200.
Cubs manager Lou Piniella has announced that Carlos Zambrano will start the first game of the Cubs/Arizona series, with Ryan Dempster taking the mound to start Game 2.
The rest of the Cubs rotation remains undetermined.
Next stop, the Twilight Zone.