Who's Best? Play Ball

Stirring play-offs send the Yanks and Braves toward an epic Series

No one likes the baseball play-offs. Purists yearn for the days when just two teams would emerge from the grueling, 162-game slog of the regular season to battle one-on-one on crisp October afternoons. Modern fans too often watch their deserving hometown favorites stumble to an early-round upset. And nonfans run the risk of missing three weeks of Just Shoot Me.

Even the baseball officials who decreed this clumsy, attenuated and sometimes--as this year--thrilling system don't like the play-offs, although in their case it's the word itself that bothers them. It makes them gag--"play-offs" sounds so much like, oh, hockey, where everyone...

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