The MLB Postseason: A Pirates fan’s guide

After the end of the 2012 regular season, some Pirates fans popped in their copy of The Show or MLB 2k to continue the season in the virtual world. A number of those fans may have noticed this mystical
“Postseason” mode listed in the menus of those two games and wondered, “what the hell is the Postseason?” Hopefully this post will clear up any confusion.

According to Wikipedia, the MLB Postseason is “an elimination tournament held after the conclusion of the MLB regular season.” The Postseason consists of one wild-card game in each league, two best-of-five Division Series and a best-of-seven League Championship Series, both in each league. After this, two teams advance to the best-of-seven World Series which will decide the victor of the tournament. According to the Pirates website, the MLB Postseason is “what in the world is that?”

A total of ten teams will make the playoffs. The fans of eight teams will end up saying, “Aw, shucks, we’ll get them next year.” The fans of the losing team in the World Series will feel heartbreak, whereas the fans of the World Series champions will end up celebrating rowdily and with lots of alcohol. Similarly, Pirates fans celebrate the end of the season by crying with their bottle of Jack in hand.

This is a real thing.

Some playoff teams will host promotions during the regular season to commemorate great moments in their Postseason history. A good example of this would be the Braves giving out a bobblehead of Sid Bream sliding into home plate to win the NL Championship Series (vomit). The Pirates have handed out some great bobbleheads over the years – it’s one of the few reasons why fans come to the games anymore! One of the bobbleheads captured a moment that will stay in the hearts of fans
forever: Jack Wilson turning a double play with Jose Castillo. Honorable mentions include Brian Giles standing there, Ryan Doumit standing there, and Andrew McCutchen leaning on his bat.

The Oakland Athletics were able to get into the playoffs despite a slew of injuries, such as Coco Crisp, who hit for an .861 OPS in September, missing eight games due to pink eye, and Brett Anderson missing a few starts with an oblique injury. This, however, didn’t work for the Pirates in 2011, when manager Clint Hurdle started inviting people into his office, only to break one or more of their bones. Because of this, they will remove Andrew McCutchen’s kidney in mid-July of the 2013 baseball season.

Finally, many teams win the World Series due to a single or a series of plays. Most famously, Bill Mazeroski hit a walk-off home run to win the Series for the Buccos against the Yankees in 1960, but a Joe Carter three-run, walk-off home run won the 1993 World Series for the Toronto Blue Jays. Bill Bucker made his now-epitomizing blunder in 1986, which (albeit indirectly) led to a Red Sox loss and, eventually, his release the following season. In a very similar way, the Pirates have been continuing their North American-longest losing season streak in the most bizarre fashions. This season, they clinched their 81st loss by way of a Homer Bailey no-hitter and their 82nd with Joel Hanrahan’s fourth blown save of the season. The “Freak Show” in 1997 clinched the fifth consecutive losing season after being shut out by the 83-77 Houston Astros in their antepenultimate game.

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