NL wild card looks like a Padres-Giants affair

When it comes to predicting which teams will make the playoffs, the first order of business is evaluating "third-order wins," writes Rob Neyer.

Originally Published: September 11, 2006
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
What is wrong with us?

I mean, really: What is wrong with us? Apparently, we're incapable of waiting to see what happens next. Or rather, we'll wait because we have to, but first we need a preview. On Sunday, The New York Times ran a preview, well more than 100 pages, of upcoming movies, plays, television programs, etc. Before each baseball season, everybody publishes a preview and predictions. All-Star break, same thing.

Why? Well, we have to write about something. And you keep reading. As a French politician once said, "There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader." I must write something today, and lately the people seem to want to talk about who's going to the playoffs in three weeks. Four of the eight playoff teams are apparently set, and two others -- the Tigers and the Dodgers -- are nearly so. But aside from wondering who's going to win the American League batting title and whether Ryan Howard will break Roger Maris' non-steroids record, it's still fun to look at the standings every day and wonder about those last couple of playoff spots.


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