Disclaimer: – There is no wining or crying tone in this article. Read it with a grin or in the words of Jack Black from the Movie High Fidelity it is “intended for a conversation stimulator man!”
You might not remember, or maybe you do. It was not all that long ago. June 15th the Tourists entered the latter innings against Hickory needing some magic to pull out a first half championship. David Christensen delivered a prolific three-run blast and Joey Williamson held down the fort coming out of the bullpen as the Tourists won 8-6 to lock up a 2008 playoff birth over the Charleston RiverDogs.
It almost didn’t happen. Almost. A slippery slope to go down but lets assume for an instant that the team with the best record in baseball (68-39) had to go into a one game playoff against the RiverDogs. Toss aside the fact that the Tourists had handily beaten Charleston in six of eight games. The rules state that the tiebreaker to determine the first half champion is not a reflection of head-to head matchups, but instead it is a one-game playoff the next time the two teams meet.
Forget for a moment how ridiculous that rule is. Rules are there for a reason right? Or better put from John Goodman’s character in the movie The Big Lebowski “This is not Nam, there are rules”
So, what if the Tourists did not win on June 15th? Imagine for a moment if the Tourists and the RiverDogs had tied to end the first half of the season. Marvel Comics used to have a titled called “What If?” where the writers would creat all sorts of crazy scenarios and the heroes all ended up dead or turned evil or the X Men would lose their powers and finish the book as barista’s at a local coffee shop. So in the same theme as those comics here is your What If?
The Team goes into a funk, losing 7 of the next eight and 14 of 15 prompting everyone to start pointing fingers at one another.
The Entire team shaves their heads in protest of the archaic tie-breaker rule.
The Bus breaks down in the middle of July heading from Savannah to Charleston for the one-game playoff, causing several players to question the meaning of life and the plausibility of a higher power.
While waiting for AAA (the automotive service not the level of baseball) the team’s bald skulls get sun burnt so badly, three players are forced on the DL and Trainer Chris Dovey quits with the words “Rubbing bald heads with aloe vera is not in this job description”
The scheduled one-game playoff is rained out forcing the teams to play a doubleheader the following day. The “playoff” game is now a seven inning contest in front of 450 fans.
The New York Yankees send both Phillip Hughes and Carl Pavano for rehab appearances forcing Asheville to face two Major League arms in the playoff game. Both big leaguers hurl three innings and Jonathan Ortiz closes the game with a scoreless seventh.
Bruce Billings goes the full seven innings for the Tourists allows one run, a solo homer to Jesus Montero and the Tourists lose 1-0.
Okay, so some of that is out of the question, but truth be told the Tourists will face Phillip Hughes and Carl Pavano in the game tonight, in what could have been, may have been a playoff game. What if….What if…