The Stack is with you on this Wednesday with a slightly shorter post today. Having said that, we have some good stuff to talk about today including the hunt for October in baseball so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Wednesday, October 3:
Baseball playoff picture remains murky
Ok so we know who is making it the baseball playoffs in the Hunt for October. We just don't know who they are going to play...still! With one day remaining in the regular season, the postseason matchups still haven't been set.
In the AL, the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics are all in. But who are they playing? We still don't know. The Orioles defeated the Rays 1-0 and were watching the Boston Red Sox beating the New York Yankees 3-1 in the bottom of the ninth before Raul Ibanez hit a two-run bomb to tie the game. Oh yeah, he hit in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 12th. So it's fairly simple...if the Yankees win tonight, they win the AL East. If both the Yankees and Orioles lose, the Yankees win the division. If the Yankees lose and the Orioles win, the AL East finishes in a tie and most likely a one-game playoff will be on Thursday. Very intriguing. Very exciting. The AL West amazingly will come to the final day as the Rangers have squandered their division lead and now have essentially a one game playoff with the A's to see who wins the AL West. What has happened to Texas? That game tonight is going to be very, very good and nerve-wracking.
In the NL, the San Francisco Giants, Washington Nationals, Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals are all in. We know the Braves and Cardinals will meet in the wild card matchup. But the race for homefield advantage throughout the playoffs has yet to be decided. Both the Nationals and Reds are tied with identical 97-64 records. Which team will win? The Reds play the Cardinals and I think the Cardinals have a better chance to beat the Reds than the Phillies have of beating the Nationals. I like the Nationals to gain homefield advantage in the NL. Maybe we'll see Stephen Strasburg then? We can only hope. It all comes down to Wednesday night. Exciting baseball. The postseason is right around the corner.
NHL, NHLPA make no progress on lockout talks
Talks throughout the weekend led to optimism regarding talks to end the NHL lockout. That optimism is gone after no common ground could be made Tuesday between the two sides and now a lockout is all but certain. The NHLPA doesn't seem optimistic about talks resuming soon. The NHL seems open to having a federal mediator join them in talks in hopes of reaching an agreement. Really, both sides just need to give a little and strike a deal that will benefit both sides for the forseeable future. It's embarrassing that the NHL has to endure another lockout for the second time in eight years.
The good news is that at least the two sides are talking at this point in hopes of reaching a deal unlike in 2004. But this madness has to stop. Both sidese can not be so dug in that they fail to see what they are losing. The NHL hasn't been this popular in a long time. Excitement in fan bases such as Minnesota and New York are extremely high. Ratings for the playoffs last year were outstanding. Why ruin all that? It's understandable that the NHL will not have a full season. The NBA didn't last year either. But they were able to salvage part of the season and had monster ratings for the playoffs and NBA Finals. The NHL needs to follow that blueprint as does the NHLPA and get a new deal done to make sure that at least part of the season is saved and the playoffs and Stanley Cup Finals happen. Please, for the good of the game and for all the fans out there. Get a deal done.
WNBA Conference Finals set
Folks in Minnesota had to be pretty nervous last night as the Minnesota Lynx narrowly defeated the Seattle Storm 73-72 to advance to the WNBA Western Conference Finals where they will face the Los Angeles Sparks. Lindsay Whalen wasn't full healthy for the game after falling on her wrist early in the first quarter, but the Lynx, the best team in the WNBA found a way to hold on and win the game. Got to think that surviving this series will help them in their series with the Sparks. First game is Thursday night at 8 PM ET on ESPN2.
In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Connecticut Sun face the Indiana Fever after the Fever knocked off the Atlanta Dream 75-64. The Sun are a good team and probably too much for the Fever to handle. Look for the Sun to win this series in three games to advance to the WNBA Finals. First game is Friday at 8 PM ET on ESPN2.
Coming up Thursday: MLB Playoff preview plus Cardinals-Rams Thursday Night Football preview.