In the lead of today's SN column, I put the newly minted ALCS showdown in the starkest -- and most culturally relevant -- terms:
The Rays represent hope; the Red Sox represent the status quo.
With that kind of choice, how can you NOT vote -- oops, ROOT -- for the Rays?
Meanwhile, the Angels totally blew it -- SABRmetrically and otherwise -- with that suicide squeeze attempt. Remains to be seen if they take their payroll to new levels in the offseason.
The White Sox actually exit the playoffs with their heads held high: They won not one but two "play-in" games to make it, and unlike their cross-town rivals, actually won a game (a home game, no less).
Only one team can win a championship and usually, the other playoff teams go home incredibly disappointed; I think the White Sox can go home content -- compare that to the fates of Cubs and Angels fans (or even Brewers fans, who mortgaged the future on an '08 run).
Meanwhile, I'm as impressed as everyone else at Reggie Bush's 2 punt-return TDs. But it begs a question: Doesn't this confirm that Bush is merely a really good...punt returner?
What happened to the transcendent, NFL-offense-revolutionizing playmaker? He is a mediocre runner, and his reception totals are misleading. He is Devin Hester with more crippling cap implications. (If ever there was a candidate for a direct-snap "Wildcat" formation, isn't it Bush?)
There is an incredibly strong class of Bush-like players coming to the '09 NFL Draft: Jeremy Maclin (a draft-eligible redshirt sophomore), Percy Harvin and Derrick Williams, to name the Top 3. Will the "Bush-like" label help or -- to bring it back to the '08 Election -- hurt?
Meanwhile, you know what? Coming off his NBA preseason debut, Kevin Love is going to be a very effective NBA player. I can't believe there was ever any doubt about this.
And Plaxico Burress is a bit of a d'bag: You are surprised by this?
More later. Complete SN column here.