It struck me last evening that despite the best efforts of the leaders of the game to ruin it for me, September baseball is outstanding and there’s nothing like a playoff chase.

It kind of made me mad to be watching the Blue Jays play and to feel very invested in just about every pitch and every at-bat given what’s taken place to get us to this point this particular season.

I loathe the 60-game season because that’s mot baseball, I absolutely detest this runner-on-second-to-start-extra-innings because that’s a bastardization of the sport at its very heart and it promotes bunting, which should be out-lowed.

I think the sport basically made up a way to deal with the pandemic as it went along and that wrecked the first bit of the abbreviated year.

I can almost live with the three hitters per reliever rule but it’s still not real and I guess the fake cutouts of fans in the seats makes things look good but it’s rather odd, isn’t it?

But, still.

In the last week of a season – even this one – when games really matter and seasons can absolutely turn on a manager’s decision, a hitter’s hit or a fielder’s gaffe –there’s just something about the tension that is more compelling than almost anything in sport.

Sure, it helps that the local nine – well, the Buffalo Nine – is right in the thick of things although if the game wasn’t screwed up for this year with the expanded playoffs that wouldn’t be a factor at all.

But here we are.

A week left, no days off, the Yankees in town, so to speak, and a Blue Jay team basically grasping for air as it tries to hang on to a playoff spot.

It’s going to be intense and it’s going to put an awful lot of pressure on an awful lot of young players who have somehow survived bits of a season in which they ran the bases like they were drunk and played defence like they had their gloves on the wrong hand.

Every move the manager makes is going to be scrutinized like never before – good luck with that! – and every explanation he gives for whatever he does is going to be more closely dissected than ever and, boy that might be fun.

But it’s a playoff race, pennant fever in a very altered state and despite the many failings of the people who run the game, the game as somehow survived.

It’s gonna be a great week.

I suppose I should invest some time in Schitt’s Creek, no?

I’ve never seen an episode but now that it’s basically won every award imaginable for a television sitcom, it might be worth some time.

Should I?

Tons of good stuff in this week’s mailbag and since I have a feeling this is going to be a full shut-in week with the COVID-19 numbers skyrocketing and not enough of us willing to do what’s necessary to protect our fellow citizens, we may as well get started on next week’s right away.

Send your notes, questions,, whatever, to asdkoug@thestar.ca and keep me entertained, please.

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There are a couple of explanations for the egregious blown assignment by Mason Plumlee that gave the Lakers the shot they needed to beat the Denver Nuggets at the buzzer last night.

Maybe he thought a screen was coming and it was a “switch everything” last second situation.

Maybe he just blacked out of a second.

Either way, it was a mistake captured perfectly on video that’s going to haunt him for a long time.
What it won’t do, I don’t think, is have any long-lasting impact.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Bubble Basketball it’s that every game is different, that the Nuggets are different and I wasn’t a believer in game-to-game momentum before these playoffs and I’m certainly not now.

However, if the Lakers go on to win the series, and I now suspect they will, this clip’s going to haunt that guy forever.

We’re halfway through the omnibus series looking at the tasks ahead for Masai and Bobby and as I’m piecing it together and trying to make sense of what’s ahead three things have become glaringly apparent.

First, there are a ton of moving parts and they’re all inter-connected.

Second, this team is going to look a fair bit different next year, especially at t he back end.

Third, I’m glad I’m not them having to make the decisions because they are hard.

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