Friday, September 30, 2011

If I was king of the postseason

All right, the postseason is beginning tonight and I'll be hard at work with little time to jeer who I need to jeer. Yes, it's going to be another one of THOSE postseasons again.

But before I get into the teams involved, first a little thanks for who is not in the postseason.



The good thing about my new little work schedule is that I'm off on the weekend and Saturday -- glorious Saturday -- there are four games on tap. Four wonderful games to view. There's no "well, I guess I could watch college football." It'll be baseball all day and all night.

At this time of year, I like to go over in my mind all of the possible World Series matchups involving the eight postseason teams. It's a fun little exercise, although it always uncovers some horrifying pairings.

So, let's see the possibilities this postseason:

1. Tigers vs. Cardinals: The rematch, five years later.

Best thing about it: Two teams that, at their core, I like. Sure, I've gone sour on the Cardinals lately, but I basically enjoy their history -- excluding a huge gap in the mid-80s. This would be a matchup of best-bud managers Jim Leyland and Tony La Russa, which TV would beat to death. But at least it would be interesting initially.

Worst thing about it: TV wouldn't stop talking about the managers and ignore the game.

Who I'd want to win: Tigers.

2. Rangers vs. Phillies: The Most Likely Scenario.

Best thing about it: The Rangers are the team -- excluding that team that I hate -- that has the best chance of beating the Phillies. While it won't kill me if the Phillies win the Series, the Phillies are a "stack the deck" team and I have a difficult time rooting for teams like that.

Worst thing about it: I'd have to watch Shane Victorino.

Who I'd want to win: Rangers

3. Rays vs. Diamondbacks: The 1998 Expansion Teams Series.

Best thing about it: Fox might abandon broadcasting the World Series after seeing the ratings for this one.

Worst thing about it: Aside from having to read the apocalyptic news accounts of the TV ratings, I wouldn't enjoy watching a Series in these two stadiums. Two of the least pleasant stadiums to see on television. I might actually fall asleep. Or worse, turn to Dancing With the Stars.

Who I'd want to win: Rays

4. Yankees vs. Brewers: Hey, Milwaukee, Pretend Like It's 1982.

Best thing about it: Anytime the Yankees are in the World Series, I hope it's against a team they've never played before in the Series (aside from the Dodgers, of course). The Yankees are in it so much, it just gets boring unless there's a different team on the other side.

Worst thing about it: The Brewers strike me as the team most likely to fall apart in a World Series. Picture Joaquin Andujar in 1985. I don't think they'd fair well against the Yankees. Although I'm sure that's just my impression from afar.

Who I'd want to win: Brewers

5. Tigers vs. Phillies: How is it possible that these two teams
haven't played each other in the Series before?

Best thing about it: It's Placido Polanco against his old team! The drama! The intrigue! The pathos! They could spend three games alone talking about it!

OK, I'm kidding. I don't have much problem with this series. Hope it lasts seven games.

Worst thing about it: Jim Leyland and Charlie Manuel are not the most captivating people.

Who I'd want to win: Tigers

6. Rangers vs. Diamondbacks: Southwest Showdown.

Best thing about it: This is the matchup that includes the team I'd most like to win from the A.L. against the team I'd least like to win from the N.L. It's clear cut. No waffling. I know exactly where I stand on this one. Good vs. Evil. Stomp the Snakes.

Worst thing about it: It's probably going to be HOT down there. The Fall Classic is meant to be played in crisp, autumn air.

Who I want to win: Rangers

7. Rays vs. Brewers: Teams That Used To Wear
Green? I got nothing.

Best thing about it: Again, this will probably be another ratings dud for Fox, which always makes me happy. Put it on the MLB Network! Otherwise, I don't have a lot to say.

Worst thing about it: I just don't like watching games in Tampa Bay's stadium. It's like the '80s/early '90s when we had to watch games in that blasted Metrodome.

Who I'd want to win: Brewers. But just barely.

8. Yankees vs. Cardinals: The Prepare
To Call Into Work Late Series

What's good about it: Two teams with long, proud traditions. The possibility that La Russa might drive the Yankees batty, which is always a good thing. Maybe Chris Carpenter will hit Nick Swisher just because. That'd be fun.

What's bad about it: Six-hour games. The games may kill everyone working in newspaper sports departments across the country (well, except for West Coast guys who have it easy). La Russa and Girardi will use 10 pitchers a game and nothing will finish before midnight.

Who I want to win: Cardinals

9. Rangers vs. Cardinals: The Midwest Series.

What's good about it: I like baseball in the Midwest. The fans seem happy. They seem like they want to be there. They don't seem like they're there for other reasons. They don't have attitude. It'd be a happy Series. And how can you argue with seeing a Series that includes Hamilton and Pujols?

What's bad about it: I think these games will be a little long, too (heck, they're all going to be long).

Who I'd want to win: Rangers

10. Tigers vs. Diamondbacks: The Revenge of Scherzer.

The best thing about it: Justin Verlander against Ian Kennedy. Also, not only did the Tigers and Diamondbacks trade recently, but there are some prominent ex-Yankees on these two teams. So I could laugh, and laugh, and laugh about who didn't get to the Series.

The worst thing about it: I really, really, REALLY, REALLY don't want the Diamondbacks to win.

Who I want to win: Tigers

11. Yankees vs. Phillies: Oh No, Not Again.

The best thing about it: The Phillies have the best chance among N.L. teams to neutralize the Yankees offense. They could also get revenge for 2009.

The worst thing about it: It'd fulfill the prediction that many people had at the beginning of the season about who would be in the World Series. I'm not a huge parity person, but the Series matchup shouldn't be able to be decided in April.

Who I want to win: Phillies

12. Rays vs. Cardinals: The Air and Sea Series.

The best thing about it: Christmas Colors! Green and Red! Santa in the bleachers and Christmas trees in the luxury boxes! ... Oh, wait, the Rays don't wear green anymore. ... OK, I've got nothing.

The worst thing about it: It's just one of those meh Series. I'd watch it. But I really wouldn't care in the end.

Who I'd want to win: Rays

13. Rangers vs. Brewers: The "There Sure Is a Lot
of Good Food at These Two Ballparks" Series

The best thing about it: They might show the food on TV.

The worst thing about it: They might show the food on TV, and then I'll look in my refrigerator and it won't be pleasant.

Who I want to win: Rangers

14. Tigers vs. Brewers: It's guaranteed to be a cold one.

The best thing about it: I might see a lot of home runs. That's not a bad thing when it's a Series in which I have little invested.

The worst thing about it: Isn't this an American League East regular-season series from 1979?

Who I want to win: Toss-up of all toss-ups, but I'll say Brewers.

15. Rays vs. Phillies: The Second-Chance Series.

The best thing about it: Roy Halladay has a shot at another no-hitter.

The worst thing about it: We just saw this matchup three years ago, and as someone who wasn't a Phillies fan, it really wasn't the best series. No more of those weird rain delays, please.

Who I want to win: Rays

16. Yankees vs. Diamondbacks: Ten Years Later.

What's good about it: Ian Kennedy faces the team that scrapped him. Let's hope Kennedy knows how to deliver the "See What You Missed" performance to perfection.

What's bad about it: My two least favorite teams out of all of the postseason contestants. I don't want either team to win ANYTHING. EVER.

Who I want to win: I rooted for the Yankees in 2001, but there were major extenuating circumstances.

Go D'backs!

I haven't had much luck in the postseason the last two years, so I am bracing for a Yankees vs. Diamondbacks Series.

But that's why they play the game. Maybe we'll get the Rays and Brewers and after the ratings come out, I'll never have to hear Buck and McCarver again.

Hey, I can dream.


  1. I've checked and re-checked doesn't look like you picked the Yankees to win in any of the possible match-ups. Hmmm.

    I'll check again.

    Enjoy your Baseball Saturday!


  2. Nice breakdown man, I'm thinking Rays-Brewers with the Brewers winning it all. Of course I'm no fan of the Yankees and, to a lesser extent, the Phillies, so I'm rooting against the favorites from the get-go.

  3. I'm torn about Saturday. One of my wife's co-workers gave her his tickets for the OU-Ball State football game. I always enjoy going to a football game, but:

    1. The second half overlaps with the start of Game 2 between Detroit and New York.

    2. It's Ball State. Not like I don't know what the outcome will be.

  4. I knew you were a closet Rangers fan. Except for that 5 year Spanish when Will Clark was here.

  5. Once I realized that the Braves were doomed, I had decided to jump on the Brew Crew bandwagon. Then the Rays went Super Saiyan and now I've defected to Tampa. A Brewers/Rays Series would make all the collapse pain go away.

    (so bet on a Yankees/Phillies series. BLECCH)

  6. Sorry to burst your bubble but the Giants weren't a one year wonder. Minus a couple key injuries you would be praying for them to lose so they wouldn't repeat. 2 out of 3 years will still work for me.

  7. FYI... I went to game 160 and 162 here in AZ. (vs the Dodgers) They left the dome closed with the air on all day long and opened it up at game time. It was a perfect 80 degrees. If they make it to the series at the end of the month it will be even cooler which blows your to hot for postseason play up. Texas will still probably be hot though.

    Also Mat Kemp gave my son a ball. Carroll gave my daughter a ball and autoed it. Kershaw spent the entire batting practice shagging flies and caught more balls than anyone else. He ran hard for any ball that he thought he could get to. Never saw a pitcher practice that hard before.

  8. arpsmith ~

    I'm calling the Giants a one-year wonder until they prove me wrong. It's not 2012 yet.

    Adam E ~

    I'm jealous. Also, I'm from the Northeast, so I guarantee whatever the temperature there in Arizona during the fall, it'll be too hot for me.