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There are only two kinds of playoffs in this world

They had a dream season. But sometimes dreams are actually nightmares. Because that's a stark contrast with dramatic appeal.

Joe Robbins - Getty Images

As the Cold War taught us, a binary world is so much easier to comprehend. Not to mention, breaking things into two diametrically opposed categories is something we love to do. This is more true in sports that most other areas of human endeavor.

Here are the only ways the Reds' playoffs can unfold:

Scenario 1

The Reds lose tonight and head West to play the San Francisco Giants. The Bay Area brings cleansing, peace and centeredness. After a painstaking reenactment of the Full House intro sequence upon arrival, the team does some mindfulness meditation in Golden Gate Park. The Embarcadero, which is in San Francisco, is also involved. Giants fans are totally laid-back and down for whatever punishment our team is about to dole out.

Johnny Cueto induces a seemingly endless series weak grounders equitably around the and some fly balls into the shallow outfield. Everyone feels good about themselves for participating. The Game 1 victory keys the rest of the series and the Reds are able to complete the sweep at home on the strength of a Giant-killing Mat Latos outing.

Buoyed by a relaxing, but productive, NLDS, the Reds then sweep the Cardinals and - by an obscure, midnight rule change made by Selig - the Phillies also.

The World Series provides the drama missing from the previous two rounds. The Reds defeat the Yankees 3 games to 2. Thanks to a poorly-written contract, Curtis Granderson's contract is voided and he takes refuge on the Reds.

Playoff shares are extended to all bloggers. Open container laws are suspended for the World Series celebration, but City Council forgets to reinstate them.

Scenario 2

The Reds win tonight, the Nationals lose, and the Reds secure the top seed in the Central. The Cardinals beat the Braves in their play-in game, setting up the first two games of the NLDS back at Busch Stadium.

Due to scheduling chaos, the Reds neglect to book a hotel in St. Louis, end up sleeping outside and all catch pneumonia. They are summarily swept by the Cardinals in two games, with the Reds being forced to forfeit and forgo the only home game of the series due to a team epidemic of respiratory illness.

Under Canada's shame-based moral code, Joey Votto is then obliged to join the Cardinals for the remainder of his career. Red Reporter loses all remaining credibility after telling everyone to chill out for the playoffs and his absorbed by ClearChannel.