Saturday, October 6, 2012

If I was king of the postseason, 2012 edition

I have this queasy feeling that the Giants are going to win it all this postseason. I don't feel that way because it's the team I'd least like to win (OK, maybe I do). I feel that way because the Giants have this annoying "mark of the chosen one" stamped all over them.

They're one of those teams that you look at and can't figure out how the hell they're winning. Then you look at their second baseman, who somehow is hitting .362 for the Giants, and realize that it's MARCO SCUTARO doing that, and you know, hell, all the other teams might as well give up now. Also, the Giants have used the same starting staff the entire year. Not a single injury among them. That's not only almost unheard of, it's flat-out freaky, and pretty much a sign of destiny.

So, yeah, I'm already ill and the postseason has just begun. People are going to be celebrating a Giants title and not even bothered by the fact that their best player's name is Buster. That alone should make people hate the Giants.

But just to distract myself from the inevitable, I did my usual postseason exercise in which I size up all the possible World Series matchups and offer my take on them.

This year, there are at least three teams that I don't want to win anything. And I don't have very many teams to root for -- so I can practically feel myself switching over to the NFL already. I've already announced that if it's a Yankees-Giants World Series, I will not watch. It will be like 1994 all over again. The postseason never existed.

But I shouldn't be obsessing on worst-case scenarios. Here is a look at all the possible matchups. Two of these teams just might be playing baseball in November (Game 7 is Nov. 1):

1. A's vs. Giants: The "Please, No Earthquakes This Time" Series

What's good about it: Maybe they'll get Jose Canseco to throw out the first ball.

What's bad about it: I barely paid attention to the 1989 World Series because I didn't care. I can feel it happening all over again.

Who I'd want to win: A's

2. Orioles vs. Reds: The Wilson Betemit is No Brooks Robinson Series

What's good about it: It's a 1970s flashback World Series! Two powers of the '70s back at it again! Bring back Elrod and Johnny. Frank and Tony. Boog and Joe. ... OK, don't bring back Joe. I would love it if this was the matchup. Probably my favorite of the bunch.

What's bad about it: I honestly can't think of anything.

Who I'd want to win: Orioles

3. Yankees vs. Cardinals: The Stock Up on Caffeine Series

What's good about it: The Cardinals seem to be an ultra-competitive team, which is the best kind of team to face the Yankees. No pansies. Nobody who will roll over and say, "spank me," just because the Yankees hit back-to-back home runs. As I said last year, I'm rooting for Chris Carpenter to hit Nick Swisher just for the hell of it.

What's bad about it: Again, get ready for the longest World Series games on record. I know Tony La Russa isn't around anymore. But his residue is. I don't expect anyone to stay up beyond the sixth inning. Professionally, this is the worst possible matchup.

Who I'd want to win: Cardinals

4. Tigers vs. Nationals: The Crotchety, Old Managers Series

What's good about it: There should be some really great pitching matchups in this series. Love to watch good pitching in the Series.

What's bad about it: Jim Leyland or Davey Johnson may actually crumble before TV viewers eyes on a trip to the pitching mound. They don't look healthy.

Who I'd want to win: Nationals

5. Orioles vs. Giants: The Halloween Series

What's good about it: It's the Good Orange Team against the Evil Orange Team, battling for Orange supremacy! Free oranges for everyone! Candy corn in the dugouts! Trick-or-treaters in the the aisles! Buck Showalter wearing a scary mask! By the way, Oct. 31 would be Game 6 of the World Series.

What's bad about it: I might get my oranges confused and mistakenly root for the Giants for one, brief, horrifying minute.

Who I'd want to win: Orioles

6. Yankees vs. Nationals: The Blowhard Series

What's good about it: It's one of those strange matchups that is hard to comprehend at first. Like the first time the Yankees and the Expos played in an interleague game. That would keep me amused for a game or two.

What's bad about it: It features the two most self-important cities in the country. There would be politicians all over this Series, placing bets that only they find amusing and pretending to like baseball. Ugh.

Who I'd want to win: Nationals

7. Tigers vs. Cardinals: The We Just Went Through This Series

What's good about it: Two traditional teams that I have a tradition of liking, although I'm not crazy about the Cardinals anymore.

What's bad about it: I just saw this matchup six years ago, and it was a possible matchup last year, too. I'm getting a little sick of these two teams in the postseason.

Who I'd want to win: Tigers

8. A's vs. Reds: The Third Time's The Charm Series

What's good about it: It would be the third separate time that Oakland and Cincinnati have played in the Series (1972, 1990). And it would be the "rubber match" game as the two clubs have split the "World Series series."

What's bad about it: Announcers wouldn't be able to stop saying "rubber match."

Who I'd want to win: Reds

9. Tigers vs. Giants: The Tribute to Latin America Series

What's good about it: You'd see some pretty good Latin American talent. Both teams are filled with south of the border players. It'd be kind of amusing to see them playing in 45-degree weather.

What's bad about it: During the years when Topps would have two teams share the same color scheme on its cards, the Giants and Tigers got paired up a lot, and I'd confuse the two teams' cards. I'm afraid this would happen again watching the Series.

Who I'd want to win: Tigers

10. A's vs. Nationals: The Gio and Kurt Series

What's good about it: The A's traded Gio Gonzalez to the Nationals and now his new team and his old team are in the World Series! Who would have thunk it?? And Kurt Suzuki, too! He used to be an A! Now he's a National! Craziness! The drama! The intrigue! The nonstop love for Gio and Kurt!!!

What's bad about it: Neither team is known for fervent fan bases. There might be empty seats, which is ugly.

Who I'd want to win: Nationals

11. Yankees vs. Reds: The It's 1976 All-Over Again Series

What's good about it: The first World Series I can remember watching is the '76 series between the Yankees and Reds (memories of the '75 series are so muddled I might just be remembering highlights). I was rooting for the Yankees that year. Time for me to make amends.

What's bad about it: I can see this Series lasting a long, long time, too. I do not want to see Joe Girardi and Dusty Baker in a battle of the minds.

Who I'd want to win: Reds

12. Orioles vs. Cardinals: The Matchup Series

What's good about it: Back in the '80s, I thought these two teams would meet in the Series. They always seemed to be in contention. So we'd finally get the matchup I thought we'd see 30 years ago.

What's bad about it: The Orioles are the first team I remember relying heavily on batter-pitcher matchups. The Cardinals are the first team I remember relying heavily on pitcher-batter matchups. I know they're not the same teams now, but we could be in for a Series that stretches until December.

Who I'd want to win: Orioles

13. Tigers vs. Reds: The Old-School Midwest Series

What's good about it: An angst-free series. I basically enjoy and am not bored by these two teams.

What's bad about it: We'd have to listen to Tim McCarver start naming Reds and Tigers players he knew from the '60s and '70s.

Who I'd want to win: Reds

14. A's vs. Cardinals: The Mark McGwire Series

What's good about it: Yoenis vs. Yadier!

What's bad about it: Buck and McCarver would have to give us a remedial on the McGwire trade to St. Louis.

Who I'd want to win: A's

15. Orioles vs. Nationals: The Interstate 295 Series

What's good about it: I think people in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area have been intrigued by this matchup for awhile. And for once, they wouldn't have to settle for lame interleague play.

What's bad about it: I sense a lot of political talk, especially less than two weeks before the election.

Who I'd want to win: Orioles

16. Yankees vs. Giants: The Dear Lord Why Do You Torment Me So Series

What's good about it: Less than nothing.

What's bad about it: I won't be watching the World Series. It takes a lot for me to do that.

Who I'd want to win: Yankees

That's how bad that scenario is.

But the postseason has just begun (yup, that little one-game thing in which second-place teams were whining about their "rights," isn't really the postseason). So anything can happen, right?


Even someone named Buster can win.

Ugh. Enjoy the playoffs. If you can.


  1. If it makes you feel better, the Reds have had their entire starting rotation in tact all year too. They had ONE start made by someone outside of the starting five and that was only because of a doubleheader that day. Maybe that will reverse the curse and the Reds can defeat the Giants and make both of us happy?

  2. "I'm rooting for Chris Carpenter to hit Nick Swisher just for the hell of it."

    Please yes. I'd rather have Chapman hit him, though.

  3. I do not want to see Joe Girardi and Dusty Baker in a battle of the minds.

    LOL. Joe doesn't have a mind. He has a 3 ring binder.

  4. I can enjoy the post season as long as the Orioles are in it. If they get knocked out I'm back to writing my novel.

  5. I hope you are right about the Giants but after Game 1 I don't have a really good feeling.

  6. At least one win (Yay!) for the west coast version of orange and black....was beginning to think that the N.O. had jinxed the team with his playoff predictions!

  7. I don't like saying "I told you so," but ... I TOLD YOU SO.

  8. Thanks for your confidence in the G-men, N.O......obviously (now after NLCS game 6) I choose option #9!