Hello again everybody. It was a short summer and the Mets did practically nothing to make mine exciting. Speaking of baseball, here it is: my predictions for this year’s post-season.
A few thoughts first…
- There are no locks for anything this year. I’d say the Braves and the Reds have no chance, but baseball has a funny way of seeing inferior teams get hot in October and becoming unbeatable. Therefore, no guarantees.
- Nice to see every team in the playoffs have at least 90 wins. It’s the first time we’ve had it since 2004.
- The Phillies certainly look unstoppable, but to win 3 pennants in a row might just be too much. Funny thing is, Gord and I have seen the pennant three-peat happen twice in our lives: the Athletics in 88, 89, and 90; and the Yankees in 98, 99, and 00 (and later 01, but nevermind that now). Could the Phillies make it 08, 09, 10? Is this really something that now happens exactly once every ten years?
- MAN I hope we get to see November baseball in Minnesota! Where would Bud Selig watch from, the 32-degree front row or a heated luxury suite in the magnificent new Target Field–home to a team he wanted to contract 8 years ago? How about a Phillies/Twins Fall Classic? It could be the first time the temperature never rises above 50 in the Series! Hey Bud, thanks for letting TV dictate baseball’s schedule! Really, you’re doing an admirable job.
- Last year I saw the Twins send off the Metrodome the right way, and this year I saw them do a perfect job with Target Field. Because these are 2 things the Mets simply couldn’t do, I adopted the Twins as my AL team out of admiration. So, sorry Twins fans, you’re doomed.
Anyway, onto the predictions:
Cincinatti Reds vs Philadelphia Phillies: Reds finished 20-33 against winning teams and were only 34-34 outside the NL Central. Phillies have Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels. Sorry Cincy. Phillies in 3.
Atlanta Braves vs San Francisco Giants: Braves backed into the playoffs (an alarming trend amongst this year’s “elite”) and simply do not look like the same team they were throughout the summer. The Giants big 3 starters are second only to the Phillies. Giants in 3.
New York Yankees vs Minnesota Twins: Ugh… again? I’ll say that this is the best shot the Twins have ever had to beat the Yankees, and that Target Field could give them a huge boost, but it’s the fucking Yankees. Unfortunately, you just don’t bet against them. I’ve learned that lesson many times. And who cares if the Yankees are playing like garbage, so are the Twins! So were the Cards and Tigers in 2006 and the Yankees in fucking shithead 2000. It means nothing. Yankees in 4.
Texas Rangers vs Tampa Bay Rays: The Rangers are the only team in the AL that didn’t stumble to the finish, but their 44-43 record outside of the West is troubling. Still, in a short series I think they have a great chance at upsetting the Rays. This series above all other could go either way. I’ll go out on a limb and say Rangers in 4.
LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
San Francisco Giants vs Philadelphia Phillies: Pitching fans rejoice–until you remember that the Phils and their Fisher Price ballpark have home field advantage. The Giants starting 3 are fantastic, but I’ll give the Phils’ counterparts the edge due to their experience and ability to pitch well in Philly. Phillies in 5. Oh crap, I see where this is heading…
New York Yankees vs Texas Rangers: As if Twins fans won’t be suffering enough from another loss at the hands of the Yankees, here we go again with the Rangers. The big difference between now and 1996, 1998, and 1999 is that the Rangers finally have pitching, but don’t be shocked if the Yankees rotation miraculously falls in line here and balls start bouncing their way. Yankees in 5.
New York Yankees vs Philadelphia Phillies: AGAIN! Why not? The 2 most disgusting fan bases in baseball for America’s enjoyment. Met fans suffering through another 2 weeks of “who are you rooting for?” (I’m rooting for a stadium collapse, as usual). Me watching the whole series on mute because I can’t stand to hear either fanbase happy (also to save myself from Buck and McCarver, but that’s a given). One year later and the Phillies are a better team, the Yankees a worse one. For this prediction, I revert to history: The Yankees always win championships in bunches. Maybe this is an off year and they’ll pick up a pair in 2011 and 2012, but my gut tells me I’ll be suffering through another Yankees championship and another unfortunate incident of the Wild Card coming out on top. Shout all you want about Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels, but the Braves of the 90s proved that formula doesn’t always work. It would be FANTASTIC if–for the first time ever–the home team loses every World Series game, but I’ll say: Yankees in 6.