The Loud Bassoon Guide to Sport

A Look at Baseball Postseason Play
by Roman Gregroi

The Playoffs are here and Major League Baseball has never been more exciting. Even when Roberto Clemente smashed a tall one off Babe Ruth in the final game of the 1950 World Series, the element of surprise has never played this big a role in who is going to win. Start out with two teams who shouldn't even BE in the playoffs (the Denver Dominoes and the Vancouver Condo Committee), add a couple of unforeseen injuries that have sidetracked two legends (Grant 'Jicama' Jimenez of the San Diego Padawan Learners, out with a busted hand; Jake Jerrold of the Hawaii Hey Theres, still out with a bad hangover), and you have the perfect recipe for October Soup!

Of course the smart money is still on the San Francisco Giant Cysts, who have won the past 20 World Series and will most likely do it again. Led by the co-managing team of Mike Schmidt and Mike Schmidt (no relation), the Cysts are always spreading, with an unprecedented unbeaten 4,000 game streak. Despite league suspicion that the players are using alien-hybrid steroid technology to remain dominant (and the enormous two-foot-wide head of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela III seems to be evidence of that), you still can't help but root for this rag tag crew.

It's amazing to think that one of the favorites to win this year wasn't even a major league team last time around, but since the Bad News Bears were finally incorporated into the league, ticket sales and heart-pounding baseball action have both been through the roof. How can anyone resist when every game is advertised as "The Bad News Bears Go to St. Louis," "The Bad News Bears Go to Seattle," etc? Not to mention that they have a star in pitcher Jose "Bad Burrito" Torta, whose staggering .001 ERA this year is leaving everyone scraching their heads.

Now here's a dark horse that you can't count out just yet: the Giant Georgia Atlantas (formerly the New Jersey Crazy Noodles & Rice, before that the Chicago White Sox). These guys made a spectacular debut against their hometown rivals the Atlanta Braves, clocking up an amazing 100 home runs in the first inning to win 100-0. They have a strange knack for incredible first innings followed by deeply wearying game remainders – in fact, no one has scored in a GGA game past the first inning, including the GGA.

Future Hall of Famer Ollie Toes couldn't be having a more dreamlike final season to his career. After announcing his retirement, his team (the Oakland Oakland Public Libraries) went on a tremendous winning streak that left them champions of the American League Northwest Division. Now if they can stand up to the fierceness of the Minnesota (formerly the Minnesota Twins) and brute slugger Percival P. Pfiffy IV (on track to beat Hank Aaron's all-time home run record in only his first season), they might well have a shot.

The death of manager Yogi Bear (the former cartoon star) has left the Madison Pump-Me-Ups with something to prove. They're playing some good ball, fueled by renaissance man Steve Carlton II, not the son of, but a clone of, the former Phillies pitcher. Carlton II can not only pitch, hit, and field, but he's doing the club's finances and preparing concession stand menus for every game, as well as writing and editing the game day keepsake magazines.

So when all the dust settles, look for this race to be anyone's game. You're bound to see some bouncing balls flying over the wall as the plate-slidin' heroes get their chance to shine. It is only fitting that in this anniversary year, the World Series is dedicated to the professional baseball players who died aboard Flight 93. This was ATA Flight 93; it had nothing to do with the World Trade Center. Most of the players died of food poisoning (though two were murdered).