Yesterday was the first day of fall, or autumn if you prefer.
Fall is the time when temperatures and leaves both start to drop.
Fall is also the time when pumpkins and nutmeg make their yearly appearance in everything from pies to beverages at various restaurants.
Fall is also a time when the summer clothes get put away and the sweaters and jackets come out.
Of course despite the calendar saying that fall is here and temperatures should be falling it tends to arrive in different parts of the country at different times.
I was recently reminded of this fact over the weekend while watching some college football games.
While the fans in the stadiums of many of the games were wearing their fall best as temperatures were likely in the 60’s I was sitting in shorts and a t-shirt and experiencing 80 degrees outside.
Despite fall’s arrival throughout much of the country for Gulf Coast residents fall does not arrive until late October or early November most years.
As much as I would love to be enjoying the flavors of fall such as soups and pumpkin flavored coffees it is still way to hot to even think about any of that here. With temperatures still forecast to hit the 90’s this week the calendar telling me it is the first day of fall does not really mean anything to me.
So while I still need to wait a bit for the fall temperatures to arrive there is no lack of excitement on the baseball schedule to keep me entertained while I wait for the autumn chill.
Starting today there are only seven days left in the regular season of Major League Baseball as teams jockey for position to be included in the Fall Classic known as the World Series.
Some teams have already clinched a spot in the postseason while others are still battling for their ticket to the postseason.
Perhaps no where is that neck and neck race more intense than in the American League Wildcard race.
The Tampa Bay Rays hold a half game lead over the Cleveland Indians for the top spot in the Wildcard race. So, if the season ended today the Rays would host the Indians in a one-game winner takes all wildcard showdown at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.
Of course, the season does not end today and the Rays have seven games left to play in the regular season. After finishing the series with the Baltimore Orioles today the Rays have three games against the Yankees in New York and three games north of the border against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Indians have six games left in the season with a home set against the Chicago White Sox and a road series against the Minnesota Twins.
On paper the Rays have a more difficult schedule remaining over the Indians who were able to pad their push to the Wildcard with a sweep over the Houston “yes, we really are still a Major League team” Astros.
The Texas Rangers who were the second Wildcard team until a few days ago will hope that a series against the Astros helps restore their postseason hopes as they have been in a tailspin in Kansas City falling to the Royals on consecutive days.
While the Wildcard round certainly allows more teams to make the postseason it certainly makes for some long fall nights watching the games and pulling for teams to win and others to lose.
So while the rest of the country takes out those fall sweaters and windbreakers I will be rolling out the Tampa Bay Rays rally t-shirts and polo shirts and watching a lot of games on television.
Once the dust is settled and the playoff teams have been identified there will be time to think about all of those fall scents and flavors. Until then it is still time for the Boys of Summer to play a little longer.
Now if you’ll excuse me all of this talk about the flavors of fall has me craving a pumpkin flavored beverage.
Copyright 2013 R. Anderson