Oct 02

AL Wild Card Game, Rays – Indians

I’m agnostic. The Indians were in the postseason as recently as 2007 when they beat the Yankees in the ALDS but lost to the Red Sox in the ALCS. The Rays were in the postseason in 2010 and 2011, losing to the Rangers in the ALDS each year.

There are two managerial stories. The Rays’ Joe Maddon is a two-time AL Manager of the Year, a cunning old bird who believes in keeping the clubhouse loose. The Indians have Terry Francona, who formerly managed the Phillies and moved on to the Red Sox in 2004 when they went on to win their first World Series in 86 years. He was manager when they repeated in 2007. He and the Red Sox parted ways after the 2011 season, and after a year off Francona took the Indians’ job.

The Indians have some old-timers in Swisher and Giambi; the Rays have Longoria and ex-Dodger James Loney (he led the Majors with a club-record .351 batting average (97-for-276) on the road this season. Who could have foreseen that?).

Rays v. Indians, 8:00PM Eastern, 5:00PM Pacific, 2:00PM Hawaii.