Monday, October 02, 2006

MLB Division Series Preview

American League
Detroit at New York Yankees
Jim Leyland should get manager of the decade for the job he’s done with this previously moribund franchise, but they’ve been running on fumes for more than a month now. It took everything they had just to hold on to their playoff spot, and they ended up dropping the division title in the end. Detroit has youth and talent, but the Yankees have veteran experience, and that counts for so much more in the playoffs than the regular season.
Yankees in four games

Oakland at Minnesota
I know Minnesota’s got Johann Santana and have been on an epic tear, but I have to think that Oakland has been lurking under the radar and will give the Twins more than they can handle. However, I have to stop short of picking the A’s to win the series because of Santana and the Twins’ pernicious (and stupid) home field advantage. I hate the freaking Metrodome as both a Vikings fan (1998 NFC Championship) and a Twins hater (1987 World Series).
Twins in five games

National League
Los Angeles Dodgers at New York Mets
I like the Dodgers in this series because the Mets remind me of the Cardinals of the past two years—clinched early, didn’t do much the last few weeks, short on starting pitching and relying on hitters who may or may not come through. I like the Dodgers’ pitching much better, and I like their veteran leadership better than the Mets youngsters.
Dodgers in four games

St. Louis at San Diego
Okay, so the Cardinals squeaked in; at least they got in. But it would be foolish to think they are going to get on a roll now when they haven’t been on any sort of roll since before the All-Star break. Can the Cards steal this series? It is possible, but only if Chris Carpenter wins both his starts and Albert hits like Babe Ruth while getting some timely support from Edmonds and Rolen. The Cardinals have had good luck against San Diego in past playoffs, but I can’t believe that the Birds have anything to offer after the last horrendous month. On the other hand, since the “experts” at the Eastcoast Sports Promotion Network don’t even think the Cardinals deserve to be here, there’s nothing I’d like to see more than a Redbird upset…but I’m not predicting it here.
Padres in four games


TUCK! said...

Yikes, where to begin?

1) NEVER. Pick. The. Arizona NFL Franchise (Cardinals play baseball). Again. Ever. You'll thank me in January.

2) You know, I'd hate Payton Manning less if he weren't on every commercial during games. Yeah, every one (I have it on good authority it's him in the Geico Gekko suit. For real.)

3) Wow, that Ravens team is AWESOME with the last place schedule, aren't they?

4) Your Yankees/Tigers pick is great except for one thing: the managerial matchup. And Leyland v. Torre is a lot like locking a rabid ferret in a closet with a hampster dipped in bacon grease. (Yes, Jimmy L is the ferret. And, yes, believe it or not, I come up with this stuff off the top of my head. I am not a well man.)

5) Oquendo for Manager? Speaking of ill men...what in the hell did you guys do for your anniversary, anyway?? (Speaking of which: Happy Anniversary.)

Sandman said...

1) From now on, whenever someone uses the term "buyers remorse," they have to display a photo of Denny Green on the Arizona sideline.

2) Peyton's like Bill Clinton in that he has an almost pathological need to be liked by everybody, and this earnestness often comes off as insincerity. But you have to admit the "Sportscenter" ad where Peyton and Eli are bugging each other while Archie gives them the "wait till we get home" stink-eye is a hoot.

3) How in the WORLD does the SD defense let 147-year-old QB Steve McNair drive down the field for the winning TD? What? Who? Oh, Marty Schottenheimer. Right, okay.

4) I don't even think Torre really manages that team. I think when he's sitting in the dugout, he's reviewing the menu from a local Italian restaurant and deciding what to have after the game.

5) LaRussa's probably saved his job for at least another year if he wants it since they did at least make it to the playoffs; thanks for the Anniversary wishes--we went out for dinner (which seems like a big deal when you have six kids!).

TUCK! said...

Only in St. Louis can a guy win his freaking division three years in a row and be told that, well, it's just over. I think a guy that gets this pitching staff to the playoffs gets Manager of the Year, not "well, they're in the weakest division..."

(And not for nuthin', but after watching today's playoff game, I'm going out, pricing Belliard jerseys...Who? Reggie Sanders? Who??)