This season, everyone will get to play in October. The bad news for 18 teams is that the first day of the month most associated with the baseball postseason also happens to be last day of the 2023 regular season. For those teams, that's all the October baseball they're going to get.
For the delighted dozen, it's time for the crucible of playoff baseball. For everyone else, the focus shifts to 2024 and beyond. The quest: more October baseball in the seasons to come. Every quest begins with a first step, and we have some thoughts about that.
Here is the key question each non-playoff team will be asking -- or at least should be asking -- in the days to come. Now that the postseason field is set, we'll cover each team that won't be playing playoff baseball this October.
Boston Red Sox: Who will be calling the shots?
We can debate all day about the decision to part ways with GM Chaim Bloom. Most everyone agrees Bloom did a solid job in building up the Red Sox's prospect base and that it was perhaps overly calculated patience with the big league roster that got him in the end. It goes to follow that the mandate for Boston's next baseball boss will be to replicate what the 2013 and 2016 Red Sox managed to do: go from worst to first. It's a challenge but there are worse situations for an enterprising executive.