Thursday, October 3, 2013

If I was king of the postseason, 2013 edition

This is the third time I've sized up all the potential World Series matchups among the final eight postseason teams and declared the proper winner in each case.

It's the first time, though, that the Dodgers have been involved.

This means I've swung all the way over to the other side of the spectrum. Whereas the last two postseasons have been all about sitting in front of my TV sending hateful thoughts in an attempt to derail some odious team (usually Giants or Yankees) from a horrifying outcome (hasn't worked very well lately), this postseason will be much different.

Starting tonight, I will be sitting in front of my TV saying this over and over: "I know they're going to lose, I know they're going to lose, I know they're going to lose, Mattingly get a clue, I know they're going to lose."

It's a tried-and-true noneffective strategy that ensures that I enjoy nothing about what should be wonderful experience for my team.

There are actually people predicting the Dodgers to win it all and I can't see it. I have no confidence. The Dodgers are injured. Their hitting is sluggish. Their bullpen members are suspect. My fellow Dodger fans would be slapping me in the back of the head if they were sitting with me at the game, but that's just how I'm made.

But one positive thing is the Dodgers make it easy when picking who I want to win for most of the following matchups!


1. Dodgers vs. Rays: "The 'Hiya, Trade Pardner Series"

What's good about it: This is the most pleasing matchup for me. I like both teams.

What's bad about it: The Dodgers and Rays have traded with each other a lot in recent years and it always seems like the Rays get the better end of the deal. I'm sure they'd be able to hoodwink the Dodgers' manager easily.

Who I'd want to win: Dodgers

2. Cardinals vs. A's: The Tony LaRussa Memorial Series

What's good about it: For the second year in a row I get to root for a potential Yadier vs. Yoenis Series.

What's bad about it: Former Cardinals and A's manager LaRussa gets invited to throw out the first ball and in his honor both teams use 9 pitchers and the game lasts until 2:17 a.m.

Who I'd want to win: A's

3. Pirates vs. Tigers: The Wagner vs. Cobb Series

What's good about it: This has such an old-timey feel. The last time the two played in the Series was 1909. Each team should wear uniforms from that time. And maybe a player can punch out an umpire just for old time's sake.

What's bad about it: Did you know that Jim Leyland used to manage the Pirates? Did you? How about now? Did you know now? What about now? ... This is about how it would go on Fox.

Who I'd want to win: Pirates

4. Braves vs. Red Sox: The "Interleague rivals" Series

What's good about it: Honestly, I don't really see anyone beating the Red Sox. And I don't want the Braves to win. So instant success here.

What's bad about it: Remember when it was cool because the Series matched up teams who had never played before except maybe in spring training when you weren't paying attention? Thanks to MLB's matching up the Braves and Red Sox repeatedly as "rivals," that bit of intrigue is over.

Who I'd want to win: Red Sox

5. Cardinals vs. Rays: The Happy Fans Series

What's good about it: I don't know if there are two more happier fans groups than the Cardinals and the Rays. ... Well, maybe the Cubs, but they're drunk so that doesn't count. And I know the Rays don't draw anybody, but the people who are there sure seem happy.

What's bad about it: These two teams like the "game inside the game" to an obsessive degree. Expect to look at your watch a lot.

Who I want to win: Rays

6. Pirates vs. A's: The True Fans Series

What's good about it: This is a series only a real baseball fan -- not one of those towel-waving sheep that appears only in the postseason -- can enjoy. I actually look forward to this matchup, and if the Dodgers can't be in it, I hope this is the outcome.

What's bad about it: Nobody would see it, because Fox would pre-empt the Series for old Tracy Ullman Show episodes for fear of all-time record low ratings.

Who I'd want to win: Pirates

7. Braves vs. Tigers: The Darrell Evans Tribute Series

What's good about it: We get to acknowledge two of Darrell Evans' non-Giants teams! As you can see, this matchup bores me.

What's bad about it: Zzzzzzzzz.

Who I'd want to win: Tigers

8. Dodgers vs. Red Sox: The "What Were They Thinking" Series

What's good about it: Nothing better than getting a lot of crap for taking on a bunch of superstars in a trade with another team and then playing that team in the Series next year! Screw your fiscal data. The Dodgers are in the Series!

What's bad about it: This is a matchup between my favorite team and my brother's favorite team. There would be bets involved. And mocking. That's good if, you know, you're not the mockee.

Who I'd want to win: Dodgers

9. Cardinals vs. Tigers: The "How Many Times Are We Going To Play Each Other" Series

What's good about it: Jim Leyland's Revenge. REVENGE!

What's bad about it: This would be, I believe, the fourth time the Cardinals and Tigers played in the World Series. And judging by the last time, in 2006, they were really bored by each other. OK, maybe it was just me that was bored.

Who I'd want to win: Tigers

10. The Braves vs. Rays: The Dirty South Series

What's good about it: Low travel costs means extra savings? I got nothing.

What's bad about it: Fox trying valiantly not to show empty seats.

Who I'd want win: Rays

11. Dodgers vs. Tigers: The "You Called It" Series

What's good about it: I've seen this matchup predicted more than any other. I don't know why because I think the Red Sox can handle the Tigers and you already know my insecurities about the Dodgers. But everyone is expecting a good battle between the two and I can see that.

What's bad about it: My Dodgers would have to pitch on that mound with the stripe that goes from home to the plate. Why don't more people complain about that thing?

Who I'd want to win: Dodgers

12. Pirates vs. Red Sox: The Rematch, 110 Years Later Series

What's good about it: The first World Series was between these two clubs. Somebody call Ken Burns

What's bad about it: Nothing really. Except I think it'd be a short series.

Who I'd want to win: Pirates

13. Braves vs. A's: The Crickets Series

What's good about it: Freddie Freeman and Mike Minor vs. Coco Crisp and Seth Smith. Yay, alliteration!

What's bad about it: Not the most inspiring fan bases. Or stadiums. Or anything, really.

Who I'd want to win: A's

14. Cardinals vs. Red Sox: The "It's Not 2004 Anymore" Series

What's good about it: I think this would be a knockdown, drag-out, seven-game affair. That always creates interest even if you're not really interested in the teams.

What's bad about it: In 2004, we had "Just A Bunch Of Idiots." Now we have a bunch of beards and two teams that many fans don't want to see in the Series anymore.

Who I'd want to win: Red Sox

15. Pirates vs. Rays: The "Former Dodgers Make Good" Series

What's good about it: I may have had some less-enthusiastic things to say about Russell Martin and James Loney in the recent past. But, truthfully, I like both players and it's good to see them achieve the postseason outside of Dodger uniforms. It'd be a little sad if they had advanced this far but the Dodgers hadn't, but that's the nature of the postseason.

What's bad about it: The Dodgers should have been here!

Who I'd want to win: Pirates

16. Dodgers vs. A's: The "25 Years Later" Series

What's good about it: This actually would be the third time that the two teams played each other in my lifetime, the other being the All-California Series of 1974. But all anyone would talk about is 1988 and I'd get to see those highlights all over again. Go Gibby and Orel!

What's bad about it: Eckersley's Revenge would be a bad, bad thing.

Who I'd want to win: Dodgers

And that's all the matchups.

As you can see, the Cardinals and Braves never showed up as a team I'd want to win because, basically, that would be a failure outcome if either were to walk away with the trophy. Not as dire as what happened last year (stupid Tigers), but not a satisfying finish. And I can see a Cardinal victory making Tim McCarver's farewell Series that much more insufferable.

But I did scan their cards. I'm not an animal. See?

Ugh. I've got to look at this guy's face for 3-5 games.

So, anyway, enjoy the Real Postseason. For as long as it lasts. Because it's all we have until March.

If you need me, I'll be over in the corner, in the fetal position.

Go Dodgers.


  1. As much as it pains me to say this, I can't see anyone beating the Red Sox. They absolutely owned the Yankees this year. New York lost a lot of games and more than their fair share of series, but no one dominated them like Boston did.

  2. I would probably most want to see a LA/Oakland world series. The SoCal/Norcal rivalry matters so much in California. I would also be very tempted to take a trip up north for a game in enemy turf.

  3. Freeman look evil on that photo!