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Puffing in the 2013 Baseball Playoffs

A Guide to Find a Place to Smoke in the MLB Playoff Cities
Alejandro Benes
Posted: October 1, 2013

(continued from page 1)

Detroit, led again by perennial, but oft-injured, MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder on offense and by the stellar pitching exploits of Max Scherzer, who went 19-1 to start the season, won the AL Central, but looked vulnerable, especially given a weak year from ace Justin Verlander.

A tip of the hat to the Baltimore Orioles, mainly because that hat displays baseball's best logo, the Happy Bird, pretty much the main reason I still claim to be an O's fan. The O's teased everyone this year with a thoroughly entertaining offensive display led by Chris Davis, who broke the team's home run record. Adam Jones moved closer to showing he might become the superstar everyone thought he could be. The pitching staff killed the Orioles; making it possible for the team that last year won the most one-run games to lose the most this season. Oh well. Still love the bird.

The strongest division in all of baseball this year was the NL Central, where maybe the best baseball was played. Each of the first three teams won 90 games. Each made the playoffs. St. Louis showed again what a good farm system will do for you. I mean, Matt Carpenter? What a year. Yadier Molina showed why he might be the league's MVP, though he was injured a significant number of games.

I think Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen takes the prize, MVP that is, this year. He carried the Pirates for a good stretch and propelled them not only to a winning record, but also into the postseason for the first time in two decades. And he has a WAR of 7.7 to lead everybody. (Search "wins above replacement.")

Pittsburgh faces Cincinnati in a one-game playoff tonight to determine the wild card in the NL. The Reds benefitted from more than solid years from Joey Votto and Shin Soo Choo, both in the discussion for MVP. This'll be interesting. And Reds' second-baseman Brandon Phillips was again the highlight reel on defense, and contributed more than 100 RBI batting cleanup.

The year was a bust for fans in New York. The Mets, um, the Mets? What did the Mets do? Anyway, the Yankees toyed with doing well, but as injured Bombers' captain Derek Jeter put it, the season was a "nightmare." Multiple injuries to Jeter, Kevin Youkilis, Mark Texeira, Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner and others left manager Joe Girardi with a challenging juggling act. Ace pitcher C.C. Sabathia slimmed down and fans blamed his lackluster season on his no longer weighing 300 pounds. Really. The team had shed a lot of payroll by letting expensive veterans go, but then the Yankees had to go out and get some established players to fill in, especially former and now-current Yankee Alfonso Soriano, who provided a huge offensive spark. The old guys did a creditable job, but didn't do enough to get the Yankees into October.

There were three no-hitters pitched this year: one by Homer Bailey of the Reds; one by Tim Lincecum, who likely will move from the Giants next season; and on the last day of the regular season, one by Marlins' Henderson Alvarez against the Detroit Tigers.

Most notably this season, the Yankees' and baseball's all-time closer got to say his goodbyes in every stadium the team visited. Mariano Rivera showed why he is a class act and also showed he's human this year, blowing seven saves. Still, Rivera gave the Yankees reason to celebrate.

The Playoffs

American League

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Comments   2 comment(s)

JOHN COOPER — PLEASANTON, CA, UNITED STATES,  —  October 1, 2013 4:17pm ET

For Oakland A's games, visit:
Ohlone Cigar Lounge
3370 Mowry Ave
Fremont, CA 94538

Edward Brandyberry — CORAOPOLIS, Pennsylvania, United States,  —  October 3, 2013 3:51pm ET

Another good place to smoke in Pittsburgh (especially if your lodging is in the Pittsburgh Airport area) is

The Smoke Stack
7305 University Boulevard
Moon Township, PA 15108
(412) 375-7627

This facility is 20 min from the stadium in good traffic and 40 min in heavy traffic. No minimum purchase to use the lounge. The store has over 400 facings and carries Cigar Aficionado.

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