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The NL West: Praise the
2002-09-12 11:58
by Mike Carminati

The NL West: Praise the Wild Card

National League fans have had little in the way of division races all year. The Braves have reigned supreme all year in the East and have already clinched their umpteenth straight division title (and why are they not reviled like the Yankees?). The Cardinals fended off the Reds, who then proceeded to drop like a stone in the second half, as well as personal tragedy to lead the Central. The Astros have lay siege from afar (now 6.5 back) to the Central crown, but it's not like Stalingrad or Vicksburg. It's more like King Arthur and his knights getting cows dropped on them and being called "ka-nig-hits" while attacking a French garrison in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Meanwhile in the West a division race appeared at hand around the All-Star break, but the Diamondbacks took control of the lead very quickly, and the Dodgers and Giants have been duking it out for second ever since. That's why I come to praise not bury my newest and bestest buddy, the Wild Card. Without the wild card, the NL races would be all but done.

But the glorious wild card race is now knotted after San Francisco took two of three from LA at Pac Bell. The teams meet again on Monday for a four-game series in Chavez Ravine. The Dodgers and Giants each of 17 games remaining. The Astros here too have not been Patton in Sicily but are still in the running. This should be a good one with basically the winner of second place in the NL West taking it the playoff spot, and the loser getting to watch a lot of football.

As an NL fan, I thank you, O, Great and Mighty Wild Card! Now please can you give us an important game that ends before 1 AM on the East Coast (and I don't mean the Red Sox vs. the Devil Rays), or is that asking too much?

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