October Baseball is Here!

October 20, 2010

Well, that was an interesting final weekend, wasn’t it? On Friday we thought all the play-off spots would be decided early, but we had to wait til a west-coast game finished on late Sunday afternoon to see if we would have one (or even two) tie-breaker games.  However, thanks to SFO’s stellar pitching staff (and Billy Wagner striking out the side in the 9th to save the Braves from a humiliating collapse), we have all the spots filled after the 162 game schedule. Sorry, Padres fans, the glass slipper did not quite fit.

So, now we once again turn to those persistent questions of baseball lore (let me know if I have left any out):

– Was last year a fluke and is A. Rod really still Mr. May?

– Can Joe Girardi really manage or was Kate Hudson responsible for last year’s 27th Yankees’ title (and A Rod’s HR’s)?

– Will Bobby Cox be ejected for the 5,000 (and last) time during Game 7 of the World Series?

– Can Tampa Bay sell-out a World Series game?

– Can a pitcher nick-named “The Freak” bring the first ever World Series title to the SF Giants (52 years and counting, half-way to the Cubs’ record for futility)

– Can the Rangers actually win a play-off series? (will Nolan Ryan, the Ranger’s new president/owner, pay Robin Ventura to let him punch him out again to inspire the team to be tough?)

So, while you ponder those questions and prepare for post-season play, here are the current standings in our competition.

It’s close.  Everyone except Steve and Pete have both WS teams alive.  Everyone picked either NYY (Steve, Jed, Tom, Eric, Pete), PHI (Rocky, Tony, Marc) or TBR (me) to win it all, which all appear to be solid picks.  We’ll see.

Calling Kate Hudson!

October 20, 2010

Ok, I have overcome my disappointment at both of my Series picks losing in the Divisional play-off round.  Who could have guessed that the Rangers would trade for Cliff Lee or that the Braves would have to play with a minor league infield? (of course, I should have been allowed to change my pick of the Rays as the WS champs as soon as I heard that Sports Illustrated had made the same call – the curse of SI lives on).

Anyway, we have learned the answers to several of the questions I posed at the beginning of the playoffs:

1) yes, A-Rod (2 for 16) does need to get back together with Kate Hudson if he wants to act like Mr. October (he’ll never BE Mr. October).

2) no, Joe Girardi can’t manage.  And to think you Yankees fans complained about the way Torre used his bullpen!  Note to Joe:  Einstein said that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”  Don’t count on Robertson, Chamberlain, Logan, Mitre and of course,  A.J. Burnett.

3) Bobby Cox was ejected from a game for the last time. Unfortunately for him it was  divisional play-off game, not the WS.

4) Tampa can sell-out a play-off game at the Trop, even the obstructed-view seats.  Unfortunately for the fans and the Rays’ hitters, that obstructed view was of Cliff Lee.  Not a pretty picture unless you’re a Rangers’ fan or a baseball purist who loves perfection of the art of pitching.  If Lee was pitching for NYY, I’d swear he’s made a deal with the Devil. I guess we’ll have to wait for the free agent signing period to see about that.

Although not yet certain, we are close to learning a few other things:

5) A kid nicknamed The Freak just might bring the SF Giants their first WS title, with the help of a Cain and a Sanchez (not to mention an erstwhile rodeo clown named Cody Ross),

6) And finally, we are seeing that these are not the Old Texas Rangers.   They are Nolan’s BIG TEXas Rangers: tough, resilient, talented and loose.  Can they really win the pennant by crushing the Yankees?  Can they go from the Bankruptcy Courthouse to MLB’s penthouse?

Stay tuned.