With the world series ending last night, I felt like I should share some pictures of the fall classic and ensuing celebration.
So congratulations to the Yankees…I promise I’m not bitter.
If you do only one thing today, read this inspiring piece about a Red Sox fan battling ALS. I have always admired people who, when dealt terrible cards, find a way to keep their chin up and make the best of their situation. Paul Szantyr has found a way to continue to live a positive life even as ALS takes over his body and there are so many lessons to be learned from him. One of my best friends lost her father to ALS and, in him, I saw the same determination to make the best of it and not lose his life before he actually stopped breathing. I hope Paul’s book is published – I want to buy it and read it!
Well after 162 games + 12 very exciting innings, the playoffs are here. Each of the 8 teams have some real strengths and some glaring questions. October is always unpredictable and, with such parity among the teams, this October will not disappoint. Now, without any further ado, let’s look at the teams:
Yankees vs. Twins:
What a run the Twins (and the city of Minnesota) have been on since the beginning of September. The fact that they even made the playoffs is a victory. I hope they enjoy it because they have very little chance against NY in the most lopsided first-round series. I think some combination of Yankee in-fighting (why oh why you would start Molina ahead of Posada in two of the games is beyond me…Molina’s bat makes Tek look like a batting champion) and plain old momentum will allow the Twins to steal a game. But only one.
Yankees in 4
Red Sox vs. Angels
Well this looks familiar. Is this the year when the Angels finally rise to the occasion and beat the Red Sox? Nope. Late-season struggles aside, Lester and Beckett will both pitch well and I am confident about getting 2 wins out of them and then one from either Clay or Dice-K. In some ways, however, this series might turn on which big bat (Papi or Vlad) can be more consistent…I think Papi. Besides, does anyone really think that the ALCS won’t be Red Sox – Yankees? Just has to happen based on all that has gone on this season. Of course if Beckett or Lester are not fully healthy and can’t pitch to their ability, then the Sox are in a lot of trouble. Red Sox in 5
Dodgers vs. Cardinals
Without a doubt, this is the first round series I am the most excited about. Any time you are have two of the best managers in baseball history (Torre and La Russa) matching wits, you know it will be good. As a fun side-note, this series also features the two best pure hitters in the game today (Manny and Pujols) and two nearly stastically identical pitching staffs. If this series was played with pre-July 31st rosters, LA would win. But St. Louis did a better job at the deadline and those new additions will tip the scales in their favor. Cardinals in 5 (note: I have absolutly no faith in this prediction and, if Manny gets really hot, I think LA might win. Either way, it is going to be fun!)
Phillies vs. Rockies
Another series that could go either way. On paper the Phillies have the advantage since they have three elite LHP and most of the best hitters Colorado has are lefty. However, the Phillies bullpen is in terrible shape and their closer, Brad Lidge, has been nothing short of awful in the second half of the season. If he isn’t the guy, then the bullpen options for Charlie Manuel are even more limited and, as the series goes on, it will make for some difficult decisions. By contrast the Rockies have a very solid pen and that will serve them quite well. Rockies in 5
I want to give you my quick predictions for the other series now. However, I will revise and comment on the matchups as they become known
Yankees over Red Sox in 7 😦
Cardinals over Rockies in 6
Cardinals over Yankees in 7
Well this season keeps getting better and better. Nothing like a one-game playoff to decide the final postseason birth. This blog has a great preview of the game (and has a bunch of other really fun entries). I think the Minnesota winning streak continues and the Twins prevail 4-2. On a related note, can we stop pretending that the Yankees might pick the series that starts on Thursday. There is no way they are going to give their opponent that extra day off before the series starts. They want them to fly from the Twin Cities right to New York and have to play tomorrow. No question about it.