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Batter Up!

October 1, 2008

So, today, baseball starts its "second season", or what I like to call, "the only part I really give a damn about and which will probably cause me to curse a lot...more". Everyone--and I mean, everyone--seems to think that the Scrubs can shuffle off 100 Years of Infortitude and bring the World Series trophy back to Macondo Wrigley. Despite the well-worn Die-Hard Cubs Fan card in my wallet, I ain't drinking the Blue Kool-Aid served up by Sweet Lou just yet.

That being said, let me offer up my prognostications--the way I'd like to see it happen, and the way I think it will happen. First, let's trip delightfully off to that fantasy world I like to visit every once in a while. We'll call it Matt Land.

In Matt Land, this is how I see things working out:

NLDS:
Cubs over Dodgers in four
Phillies sweep Brewers

ALDS:
Angels beat Red Sox in four
White Sox over Rays in five

NLCS:
Cubs beat Phillies in six

ALCS:
White Sox beat Angels in six

World Series:
Cubs sweep Sox, I dance naked somewhere

Now, I'm going to set the crack pipe down and tell you how it's really going to happen:

NLDS:
Phillies beat Brewers in four
Dodgers beat Cubs in four

ALDS:
Angels beat Red Sox in four
Rays beat White Sox in four

NLCS:
Dodgers over Phillies in six

ALDS:
Angels over Rays in five

World Series:
Angels over Dodgers in seven

I'm not one to believe in curses, but I know the Cubs' faithful do. It's not that I don't think the team is talented, it's just that I think the grind of the long season is beginning to wear on the Cubs, especially their starting pitchers. If the Cubs lose today, it's over. They'll start to panic because there's all this pressure put up on them, and then they'll pop under it. I hope I'm wrong; I'd love to be wrong. I just can't see it.

I think the Brewers expended too much energy to get to the playoffs and will be rolled under the Phillies. The Brew-crew has no pitching outside of some portly future Yankee named Sabathia as Sheets has been less than remarkable in the past couple of weeks of the season--an injured arm might have something to do with that.

The Dodgers, I think, are built for the post season, and Joe Torre has experience and a sort of post-season magic about him. The Dodgers are in the playoffs, and the Yankees aren't. Coincidence? Probably not. The late-season acquisition of Manny might have helped. The Phils, I think, are a bit underwhelming, as well--they finished just a couple of games ahead of the Brewers, and the Brewers are the Wild Card winner.

In the AL, sorry Sox fans, but the Red version has some issues with Beckett not being 100%. Yeah, you have some quality pitchers not named Beckett, but at the same time, those guys are well-worn. Also, you're missing a big bat in the middle of the line-up, which means Ortiz isn't going to see a decent pitch during a clutch situation. The White version has had to play three different teams in three different days in order to get into the playoffs. Fatigue will wear them down, and the Rays are still riding their feel-good high into the first round. Not to mention, Bud Selig and the World Wide Leader both hate Ozzie Guillen, so they're going to make sure that the Sox don't get far while he's still at the helm. I said I don't believe in curses; conspiracies involving Bud Selig and the World Wide Leader, I'm all aboard on those.

This will all be undone by the Angels, who are a quality team. Scioscia has the team playing like a team, and, sure, they didn't have much of a threat from the AL West--the ACC football conference of MLB--but they've been on cruise control for a long time. Oh, yeah, and they have a solid bullpen.

As for the Scrubs...yeah...everyone has a bad century every once in a while. Prepare to enter your second.

15 comments:

Jidai said...

Wow... you think the Dodgers will really beat the Phillies, that's quite a call. Granted the Phillies haven't played against Manny yet...

Your playoff picks interest me greatly... hmm yes... *strokes beard*

Dr Zibbs said...

Sweet. Phillies start at 3:00 and it's all anyone is talking about around here.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Yeah, I think the Phillies might be suffering a bit under the "we fought with two other teams just to get here" syndrome, even though they'll probably roll the Brewers.

I'm guessing that the Dodgers wanted the Mets to win the Wild Card so they wouldn't have to face the Cubs in the opening round, as the Cubs offer them the biggest match-up issues. With Furcal coming back, if he can be a pest at the top of the order, then there's trouble for the other three teams. Veteran players and a manager who knows what he is doing is a good formula for post-season success.

Jon said...

I think you have a typo in there. It should say Angels lose to Red Sox in four.

red said...

If both LA teams make it to the World Series, I'm jumping off a building.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Sorry Jon, without Beckett being 100%, I think your boys are going to have a problem.

The Rally Monkey will be there to catch you, Red.

Rider said...

I'd be more interested in baseball if the players all looked like the individuals in your pictures here. Still...go White Sox.

Will Shannon said...

Yeah, the Crew is really tired. They went through a lot and they are entering the playoffs with what is in effect a temporary manager.

As for the White Sox, I agree that Selig and the MSSM really hate Ozzie Guillen...that's probably why I happen to love that vulgar fucker.

The White Sox have had no luck with any of the teams they have to potentially face. I will be interested to see what OG does with the line-ups.

As for the Crew, well, all we can do is hope. Seriously, do you want to hear Bob Uecker cry? I sure as fuck don't.

Gwen said...

I got lost after I turned the corner into Matt Land but the pictures were nice!

Alaina said...

Hey I'm just excited that we got free subs at work today because the Brewers got into the play-offs for the first time in 26 years.

Yeah subs... wait... Yeah brewers!

Frank said...

Can't we all just dance naked anyway? That'd make me feel a lot better, especially since I haven't sat through an entire baseball game since 1996.

Lisa-tastrophies said...

Love the poster. Where can I get one?

Chemgeek said...

Ummm, Where are the Twins? My beloved Twins are in the playoffs right???
They got one more win against the Royals.... RIGHT???? No no no the Tigers didn't roll over and die... NO!!! They didn't!!! THE TWINS DIDN'T CHOKE!!! THEY DIDN'T!!! PUT THEM IN YOUR PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS!!!1 PUT THEM INNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN


dammit!

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Will...didn't Bob Uecker cry when they canceled "Mr. Belvedere"?

@ Rider: I'm not sure whose the bigger cocktease here, Next Door Nikki or the Cubs and their playoff futility.

@ gwen: You're always welcome in Matt Land. I'll draw you a map around the sports ravings into the pure, unmitigated insanity hidden within.

@ Alaina: They didn't give you beer? You know...Brewers? They brew. Beer.

@ Frank: Feel free. But when the cops show up, I know nussink!

@ Lisa: Which poster? The Goat anally violating a Cub? Do you really want that? And, given my comments here, I'm sure to get plenty of good hits in web searches now. Whee!!!

@ Chemgeek: You, my friend, are bordering on my frustrations. You just put it more elegantly and with fewer swear words.

Chemgeek said...

I guess you forgot that the MLB playoffs are still a year away.

They don't start until 2009

An understandable mistake.