While the child in me wants to believe no ballplayer wants anything but a championship, the adult realizes ultimately this is the players’ careers. With that in mind, contract negotiations are just a few weeks away. It would be only human nature for some players to look at the playoffs as an opportunity to increase their stock, as Beltran did last year. That can change the nature of the game, and a series. Some players perform better with additional pressure. It makes them focus. Others perform worse, crumbling under the weight of their own expectations. Tough to say who will do what, but that’s one of the fascinations of the playoffs. Read John Donovan’s Inside the Hot Stove with this in mind.