Four days remain in the regular season and several postseason spots remain up for the grabs. The American League wild-card race in particular is wide open, and the possibility of four teams tying for two spots (or three teams tying for one spot) exists. I think we'd all enjoy some tiebreaker chaos this year.
Throughout the season the CBS Sports MLB scribes will bring you a weekly roundtable breaking down, well, pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. Last week we debated Walker Buehler vs. Max Scherzer for Wild Card Game starter. Let's get to this week's question.
What was your favorite moment of the 2021 MLB season?
R.J. Anderson: I think Trey Mancini playing at all, let alone at a respectable level, is the best story of the season. For the best moment, I'm going to give in to recency bias and go with one of Mancini's teammates: Cedric Mullins, who recently recorded the first 30-30 season in franchise history. This is someone who was on the bubble to make possibly the worst team in baseball entering the spring. For him to author this season is impressive and deserves the spotlight. That's why I quite enjoyed the Orioles allowing him to take the field on his own, giving him his moment (and a lasting image) in the process.
Matt Snyder: I'm gonna go full homer in this. As a known lifelong, die-hard Cubs fan, the most soul-crushing moment of the season was seeing Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javier Báez traded within 24 hours. Then to see them all homer in their first games with their new teams was the perfect parting shot. It was such a nice, "let go and move on" moment for many of us. I guess it's more three moments than one -- especially since it was three consecutive days instead of on the same day -- but I think it works.
Dayn Perry: This is very easy to answer. My favorite moment was when Francisco Lindor tried to explain away a clubhouse tunnel confrontation with Jeff McNeil by saying they were arguing over whether they had just seen a raccoon or a rat. Let's repeat that for proper emphasis: When confronted with having to explain a heated argument/possible fistfight with a teammate, Lindor -- to his eternal credit -- told the media that they were arguing over the taxonomy of a rodent. All your uplifting and dramatic on-field moments of 2021 can find their seat behind this.
Mike Axisa: I'm going off the board with Daniel Camarena's grand slam. I'm a sucker for "player spends 10 years in the minors, finally gets called up, then has a signature moment" stories. Camarena, a lefty pitcher, was drafted in 2011, got called up for one day by the Yankees in 2019 but did not pitch, then got another shot with his hometown Padres this year. And, in his second MLB game, he hit a grand slam (against Max Scherzer!) with his family in the stands. How cool is that?
Honorable mention goes to Mancini's return, Báez's walk-off base-running following the silly thumbs down controversy, Tim Anderson's Field of Dreams Game walk-off homer, and Juan Soto going on a second-half rampage after saying he hopes the Home Run Derby fixes his swing.