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The Playoffs: Baseball Without Pressure

I love the playoffs. I mean, I'd love them more if the Orioles were in them, but there is such liberation in watching baseball that is generally high quality, which doesn't embarrass me as a fan, and which I don't feel the the need to analyze or summarize or otherwise think about if I don't want to. The playoffs are like baseball vacation.

As the end of the regular season has approached the last two years, I have had grand plans about all of the Oriole-related things I'll write about to wrap up the season and get ready for the winter. But then the playoffs start and I get wrapped up in it in a much different way than I have been with the Orioles all summer long. I don't have much invested in the teams and players, and as such I can enjoy the game for what it is.

So when I'm watching playoff baseball, talking about the Orioles somehow becomes a chore. The simple pleasure of watching baseball would only be tarnished by thinking about the antics of the 2011 Orioles or the multitude of mistakes they will probably make in 2012.

Once the playoffs are over, the Orioles will once again be front and center in my baseball life. General managers, free agents, minor leaguers, and the like, will all be on my mind again. But it's nice having a few weeks where I can genuinely enjoy baseball without all of the complex feelings that come with being a fan of a terrible team.