Sick of Debt Ceiling Soap Opera? Baseball Playoffs are on TV.

If you’ve had enough of the gut-wrenching drama being played out in Congress, you might want to watch the Major League playoffs tonight instead. You can choose between Fox and TBS; they’re the networks that have exclusive broadcasting rights to the games this year. Fox has the American League and TBS has the National League.

Yes, sadly, Fox is everywhere, but the crew on the network showing the games is not the same as the gang of propagandists who inhabit the cable channel.

To you diehard liberals, there’s a bonus for watching TBS. Keith Olbermann (pictured above with David Letterman) is among the hosts. Remember him? He was one of the most outspoken lefties on cable news until the powers that be shushed him. Now he’s back in his old trade of sportscasting.

The Detroit Tigers do their winter training just a couple of miles down the road from our Lakeland home, so I’ve been watching the games on Fox. (And I am happy to report that – so far – I haven’t heard anyone on our local Fox channel castigating President Obama during the games.)

One reason I chose the American League broadcasts is that ageless Jim Leyland is now coaching Detroit. I watched him lead the Marlins to a World Series championship back in 1997, when Sandra and I were living in Miami. At 69, Jim is just 10 years younger than I,  and I wonder at the way he keeps going strong. It’s an inspiration to us codgers!

The Tigers also have a couple of my ex-Marlins favorites – Anibal Sanchez and Miguel Cabrera. I remember those two when they were unknown rookies, which didn’t last very long. Anibal (I thought the announcer was calling him Annabell) pitched a no-hitter early in his career, and Miguel regularly launched the baseball into the stratosphere.

All of the bright young stars that I watched as a Marlins fan now play for other teams. The avaricious Marlins ownership couldn’t wait to sell them off as soon as they showed some talent. Even Hanley Ramirez (he was the Marlins “franchise, remember?) is gone. I see he is playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

I might look in on him in the Cardinals game tonight. I might be jinxing the Tigers.

They were sailing along Sunday night, one game ahead (thanks to Anibal!) and with a bunch of runs on the board (thanks in part to Miguel!) so I decided to turn off the game after Detroit batted in the eighth and go to sleep. Imagine my shock and awe when Austin at the golf course told me the next day that Detroit had lost.

Incredibly David (Big Papi) Ortiz had blasted a home run with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the game. And, even more incredibly,  Jonny Gomes scored the game-winning run in the ninth to give Boston a 6-5 victory. I  stood there with my mouth open as Austin described the drama with abundant hand waving and sound effects. I suspect he is a Red Sox fan.

You don’t get that kind of excitement from the debt ceiling debate. (I can’t describe in polite company just what it is you get in those debates.)

I was watching the Tigers again last night, when their ace Justin Verlander came up a run shy against relatively unheralded John Lackey. Once again, it was a home run – this time from Mike Napoli that sealed the Tigers’ fate. Jim Leyland might be happy for me to stop cheering for his team.

But I still might take a peek tonight. The Dodgers game starts at 4 p.m. and the Tigers don’t take the field till 8. That might give me time to catch them both.

Click for scores and schedules.

Click for more on watching the games.