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Youth vs. Experience

Rockies who have been in the playoffs before: LaTroy Hawkins, Matt Herges, Mark Redman, Yorvit Torrealba

Diamondbacks who have been in the playoffs before: Juan Cruz, Livan Hernandez, Tony Clark, Eric Byrnes

Indians who have been in the playoffs before: CC Sabathia, Paul Byrd, Joe Borowski, Aaron Fultz, Josh Barfield, Chris Gomez, Kenny Lofton, Trot Nixon

Of these players, only Gomez, Nixon, Hernandez, Lofton, Byrd, Byrnes, Clark, and Redman came in with more than 15 at bats or ten innings of October experience. They've combined so far for 36 ABs and six IP.

The Cubs went into the NLDS as the more experienced team and got their asses kicked. The Phillies - while they didn't have much - still had more than the Rockies, and couldn't win a game. And the young Indians currently have the series advantage over a Yankees team that hasn't missed the playoffs since 1993. (The Red Sox and Angels are both frequent postseason visitors, so there's nothing to be gleaned from their "showdown".)

Look at some of the guys who excelled over the past week. Manny Corpas. Fausto Carmona. Jon Papelbon. Jose Valverde. Brandon Webb. Rafael Perez. Jeff Francis. Kaz Matsui. Stephen Drew. Chris Young. Matt Holliday. Brian Fuentes. Ryan Garko. Travis Hafner. Victor Martinez. Hideki Okajima. None of these guys had ever seen the playoffs before, and here they are tearing it up. Hell, 21 year old Phil Hughes saved the Yankees today in relief of Roger Clemens, whose 196.2 innings of prior October experience were of little help.

I know I'm preaching to the choir, here, but what matters in the playoffs more than anything else - just like during the regular season - is ability. Veteran players don't rise to the occasion, and young players don't fold under pressure. Any team-building philosophy that prioritizes experience is an inherently flawed approach, and those organizations deserve to be passed up by their younger, more talented competition.