Baseball postseason brings unrivaled drama


Baseball is phenomenal all season long, but the postseason is the time when the unique and wonderful qualities within the game can flourish with an explosion of drama.

Drama is the key word here and it is the element of baseball that makes it so gripping during the time of year when one game can mean everything. This is real drama too, not the type often referred to in sports when talking about an obnoxious Odell Beckham Jr. interview or a post fight melee after a UFC bout. This is a type of real in game drama and suspense which only baseball can lay claim to.

For those who feel baseball is boring and slow, who say nothing ever happens and they can’t understand it, I get it. Baseball is a game filled with nuance and subtlety, it is filled with hundreds of little battles and chess matches between pitchers and hitters and if you weren’t raised to understand it or you didn’t play a lot of it, you very likely won’t be gripped by its furtive beauty.

The playoffs however, bring that beauty forward with heart pounding ebbs and flows, sustaining a level of drama typically only experienced in other sports at the very end of the game.

In basketball, there is a moment at the end of a close game when a team is down by a couple points and they get the ball with seconds remaining. A player makes a move and puts up a shot as the buzzer sounds and time seems to stand still for a moment. Then there is either the euphoria or utter deflation that comes whether the shot is made or missed.

In baseball, during a close game that moment happens over and over. There is no clock to watch, there is no end to the drama determined by anything other than completing the 27th out.

In baseball, that last second shot feeling can come with each pitch that is thrown with runners on base. That moment can last for for 12 seconds as you watch to see if a ball in the gap is going to be caught and when it drops you wait to see if the runner tries to stretch it into a triple and it peaks as you watch the throw head to third base not knowing if he will be safe or out. And then? Euphoria or utter deflation.

These moments in the baseball postseason happen again and again, making even the strongest of heart weak in the knees while they sweat and pace with invigorating anxiety. It’s the long, slow season that allows the game this kind of crescendo that can only be described as tantric sports viewing.

For those who do not get to experience this type of prolonged joy and sometimes agony, who need the instant gratification of a sport that is fast and bloody and where games are infrequent and convenient, I say slow down and sink in to the rest of this postseason. Try to experience the full scope of emotional delight and despair which only baseball can provide. Because baseball is America’s pastime not because it’s been around for so long but because it follows that age old American ideal that great things are worth working and waiting for.