My Division Series predictions

Posada set to catch in ’09
Joba: Seriously, I'm fine

Now that the regular season finally ended last night, I’m really starting to feel the emptiness of a fall without Yankee baseball. We’ve been spoiled in New York; the last time the Yanks weren’t in the playoffs was 1994, and, outside of its movies, can any of us really remember 1994?

So in the spirit of October — and I hear there’s only one of those — allow me to present my postseason picks with a tinge of sentimentality. These aren’t the teams I think will win, necessarily, but rather the teams I want to win. We start in the American League.

ALDS 1: Angels vs. Red Sox
No self-respecting Yankee fan would ever root for the Red Sox to win a playoff series. Of course, on the flip side of that is the reality that no self-respecting Yankee fan would root for the Angels either. In thise case, though, I’m erring on the side of anti-Red Sox Nation. I’ll watch this series disinterestedly. Last year, the Red Sox ran roughshod over a weak Angels team; this year, the Red Sox are facing off against the team that’s not only the best in the AL but enjoyed a 17-9 September. It shouldn’t be close. (Realistic Pick: Angels in 4)

ALDS 2: White Sox vs. Rays
I’m finding it hard to root against the White Sox. As I’ll get to in a few paragraphs, I’m pulling for the Cubbies in the NL, and I’d love to see an “L” Series in Chicago. Ken Griffey and Jim Thome also deserve the World Series rings that have eluded them throughout their storied careers. But that means I’m rooting against the Cinderella story of the year. So be it, Tampa. I’m pulling for the White Sox, my thoughts on Ozzie Guillen notwithstanding. (Realistic Pick: Rays in 4)

NLDS 1: Phillies vs. Brewers
I spent four years in college a short drive away from first Veterans Stadium and later Citizens Bank Park, and I grew to love the Phillies. Their fans are ridiculous; their teams always manage to lose in spectacular fashion; and it’s really hard to root against them. With Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Shane Victorino at the top of the lineup, and Pat Burrell and Ryan Howard, one of the best pure sluggers around, in the middle, the team is fun to watch. Plus, Mike Mussina drew all of his inspiration this year from one Jamie Moyer, Phillies starter extraordinaire. Sorry, CC, but I’m going with Philadelphia. (Realistic Pick: Phillies in 4)

NLDS 2: Cubs vs. Dodgers
This one’s the tough one. I’d really like to root for the Dodgers. While I believe his time was up in New York, I have always loved Joe Torre, and it would be quite the story to see him bring a World Championship to Los Angeles in his first year there. A win would certainly cement his status as a Hall of Fame manager. Furthemore, now that he’s off the Red Sox, Manny Ramirez is actually fun to watch. But the Dodgers would be a World Series winner less deserving than the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals. They finished five games worse than the Yankees.

Anyway, I have to pull for the Cubs here. I know too many long-suffering fans, and for the sake of baseball history, I would like to see the Cubs win a World Series at some point in my lifetime. There’s a boatload of symmetry in the fact that it’s been 100 years since the team’s last title, and the field is level enough for them to pull it off this year. In this round, at least, I’m cheering on the Cubbies. (Realistic Pick: Cubs in 3)

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Posada set to catch in ’09
Joba: Seriously, I'm fine
  • dan

    ive heard that sentiment about manny from several yankee fans recently. While i hated him as a member of the sox, i always had tremendous respect for his ability at the plate. After Pujols, there is not a single guy in baseball i want up there in a key spot over Manny. Any possibility he takes a 4-year deal, plays LF for 2 and DHs for the last 2? He is a tremendous pure hitter, and i could definitely see him playing in the bronx.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      I’ve always secretly enjoyed watching Manny, but I feel much better about rooting for him now that he won’t be doing his damage against the Yanks.

      As for his contract demands, I think the Dodgers, in a way, have to bid on him. He’s as responsible for their making the playoffs as anyone else, and ownership knows what that means for the team. I think he’ll get four years, but whether or not he can produce for four years at an acceptable level and avoid his old Manny Being Manny routine is another question entirely.

    • dan

      can you capitalize your “D” in “dan” to differentiate between us?

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        Wait, you’re not … and he’s not … I’m confused.

      • steve

        i hear ya on that … there are like 4 steves that post here but i was the first !

        booosh !

        • FL Yank

          Lol awesome…a frisky dingo reference.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        There was a kid in my elementary school with the same name as me but fortunately I haven’t run into that problem here.

  • E-ROC

    You know, I could really see a White Sox-Cubs World Series this year. Those teams probably won’t make, but it sure would be fun to watch. I’m going to say the Angels-Phillies in the World Series. The Cubs will probably make, but man, the Phillies have enough of everything to get it done.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      If the Brewers win Game 1, which will be tough with Hamels pitching but certainly not impossible, then I think they’ll win. That’s the most critical Game 1 to me. If Gallardo keeps them in the game and they squeeze it out, then you know who’s going to pitch 2 of the remaining 4 games. The Phillies are tough, but there’s no beating CC right now. Dude’s on a whole other level.

      I wonder if they’d use Sheets out of the pen. That would be interesting.

  • http://phillysucks.com Reef

    “Their fans are ridiculous; their teams always manage to lose in spectacular fashion; and it’s really hard to root against them.”

    are you serious??? the only thing youre right about there is the fact that they always manage to lose in spectacular fashion. i went to school for four years in pennsylvania and i came away hating everything that has to do with philadelphia sports. philadelphia fans are completely obnoxious, moronic and unreasonable… i mean they booed santa for the love of god. i will always love chanting “1983”… the last time any major philadelphia sports team won a championship… in any philadelphia fan’s face… i promise you that is the only way you’ll be able to get someone from philly to shut up.

    i cannot wait for them to get swept.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      “philadelphia fans are completely obnoxious, moronic and unreasonable”

      So in other words, they’re ridiculous.

      • http://phillysucks.com Reef

        touche… theyre ridiculous… but my main point was that it is incredibly EASY to root against them.

  • http://mvn.com/milb-yankees Eric

    The Red Sox have a lot of health question marks with Beckett, Lowell, and Drew all coming off injuries. If all 3 of those guys are healthy, I would slightly favor the Sox. However, since I don’t think all 3 of them will be at 100%, Angels it is.

    • Steve

      Yeah, looks like they’re breaking down at exactly the wrong time. Plus the Angels owned them all year.

      Angels-Cubbies for me.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Dude, the Rays are going to roll right over the ChiSox. It’ll be like a bug hitting the windshield. Rays in 3, and I bet they outscore them by more than 10 runs over the course of the series.

    • RustyJohn

      I’m curious how many snapped hammies or shot knees there will be in the Sox dugout after their 912 year old outfielders play possibly three games on the lush turf that is Tropicana Field. I call Griffey popping an Achilles running out of the box in Game 2.

      How is Jermaine Dye only 34? It seems like he’s been playing for 20 years. The same with Orlando Cabrera. And what kind of a crack smoker decided to give him a contract at 10 million a year?

      The White Sox should lose just because Ozzie Guillen is a prick and Kenny WIlliams sucks.

      Who would win a Death Match? Guillen or Maddon?

  • yankees=warriors

    Despite the fact that I like Torre and that there’s a Taiwanese player on the Dodger team, I’m rooting for the Cubs.
    They’re overdue!

    Plus…did anyone watch the show on MLB.com the day before yesterday? They showed fragments of the Dodgers’ celebration ceremony (for their playoff berth), and their owner (or whoever that host was) more than once tried to make fun of the Yanks for not being in the playoffs.
    He came close to flat out saying the Yankees suck, but checked himself in time, after, I supposed, realizing the Yankees actually have a better record than the Dodgers…

  • dan

    “NLDS 1: Phillies vs. Brewers” should read “NLDS 1: Phillies vs. CC Sabathia”

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      CC Sabathia = Bugs Bunny.

  • Simon B.

    I’m rooting against teams more than rooting for them this year.

    Rooting against (in order of hate):
    Red Sox
    Cubs (Their fans are the worst in the world, and I never forgave what they did to Bartman. Let them rot for another century.)
    Angels
    Rays
    Dodgers

    Rooting for:
    Phillies
    Brewers (Too bad the top two are facing against each other in the first series, so Phils trump them for the ALDS at least.)
    White Sox

  • RustyJohn

    I don’t know what to do this October- there is nothing to occupy my mind now that the Yankees are gone and I sit watching the financial meltdown- this has caused much chain smoking and drinking. At least Dunhill and Bushmill’s will not suffer during the depression, not if I can help it.

    Anyhow, predictions- Philly beats Milwaukee- they just can’t pitch CC every day and the Phillies have the powerhouse that is Jamie Moyer. Philly in 4.

    Cubs defeat the Dodgers in three.

    Philly then beats the Cubs in 7 games. What basis do I have for this prediction? None whatsoever.

    Rays defeat the Sox in 4 games. Hopefully there is some sort of tragic accident where Ozzie Guillen dies and finally shuts the hell up.

    Angels whoop on the Red Sox in three. Then, Rays defeat the Angels and Joe Maddon kicks Mike Sciosica in the balls just to show his team how to be tough and not take any shit from nobody.

    In an exciting World Series, the Rays beat Philly in seven games, game seven being watched by a crowd of 14,000 octogenarians at Tropicana Field- half of whom are Philly fans, the other half who are so senile they think they are watching Don Hoak play third base instead of Longoria.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Rays -Brewers would be even better than Rays-Phillies. Philly fans are more affluent and willing to travel to Tampa… Brewers fans won’t.

      In this scenario, we can literally listen to all seven conversations happening in the stands amongst the 26 people in attendance at the Trop during the Fox broadcast. That’d be awesome.

      btw, Dunhill and Bushmills? What’s your full name, RustyJohn Seamus O’Flaherty?

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        Real Irishmen drink Jameson. Wanna be Englishmen drink Bushmills.

        • Jamie

          Agreed. Long live Jimmy McNulty

        • RustyJohn

          Englishmen drink Johnny Walker- Protestant Irishmen drink Bushmills. Or, in this case, so do Americans of Italian and Lithuanian roots.

          Dear Diary time…my brother is a cameraman and one of his friends does a lot of movie work (my brother does mostly tv). His friend is an Irishman- Catholic- and he worked on the film, “Mars Attacks!”.

          Jack Nicholson comes up to him on St Paddy’s Day and says, “I’ve got a present for you…” and he pulls out a bottle of Bushmills. The Irish guy looks Jack right in the eye and says, “There’s no way in hell I’m drinking that fucking Protestant piss water!”

          A few hours later Jack comes up to him again and says, “I’ve got you another present…” and pulls out a bottle of Jamesons. So he and Jack imbibe on some Catholic whiskey…

          If you watch the movie “As Good as It Gets”, there is a scene towards the end where Jack is in a restaurant/bar drinking Jamesons- and that is the reason why he specifically asks the bartender for it- to placate the mad Irishman.

          • Andy in Sunny Daytona

            I’m not a very good man of Irish descent, I like a cold Zima with a shot of Cointreau mixed in it for color and flavoring.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

              Zima? I know we’re talking about 1994 here, but….

              • Andy in Sunny Daytona

                It’s delish. haha

  • pat

    rays angels would be a heck of an alcs

  • robert skollar

    A.B.B.

    Anybody But Boston!

    My heart’s with the Cubs…

  • Brett

    Wow, other than Gump, those movies were pretty terrible.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Seriously? The list, top-to-bottom, may not be all that impressive. But… Pulp Fiction!? Also – Clear and Present Danger was fine, and Dumb and Dumber was pretty amazing when it came out.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

        Objectively, The Lion King was good too. But then again, I was 11 when that came out.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Yeah I just didn’t mention the ones I figured I just liked because I was younger (Lion King, True Lies, etc.).

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

            It’s really sad though to see The Santa Clause and that terrible live-action Flintstones movie on the list. Horrendous pop culture choices.

            1994 was also the year that terrible Cotton-Eye Joe was released. If only we could turn back the clock on that one…

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

            I believe The Flintstones with John Goodman and Rosie O’Donnell won multiple Oscars, as well.

            • Andy in Sunny Daytona

              Best Live Action Adaptation Of An Animation Program, Based On The Honeymooners.

    • radnom

      What?!

      Any year that Pulp Fiction doesn’t win best picture is a good year for movies.

  • Steve

    I cant root for ANYONE in the AL this year. I can’t root for the Red Sox for obvious reasons, I still despise the Rays after what they did to Cervelli in Spring Training, the Angels own the Yanks and the White Sox are managed by a jerk.

    In the NL you have the Phillies, who like some recent Yankee teams are all hitting and not enough pitching. I cant root for the Dodgers because the Torre backers in this town (and on his staff) will rub it in the Yanks noses for letting him go. I want to Brewers to get eliminated immediately if for no other reason to save CC’s arm.

    I guess its Sweet Lou and the Cubbies all the way for me.

  • Nickel

    While I like Joe Torre, I shudder to think of the field day the media will have coming up with stories about the huge mistake it was for the Yankees to let him go. The Cubs darn well better eliminate them quickly.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Don’t worry, the hacks at the Post, DN, the Fan and 1050 already wrote those stories months ago. They’re just waiting on the final result to determine how big to go with the money shot, but even if the Dodgers had missed the playoffs by a game or two, they’d still write/say the same shit.

  • AndrewYF

    The Red Sox are to the Angels what the Angels are to the Yankees. No way the Red Sox don’t advance to the ALCS. And with how things are going recently, they’ll beat up a tired-out White Sox team, and sweep the red-hot then ice-cold Brewers in four games, giving CC Sabathia elbow pain in the process when he tries to pitch Game 4.

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

    Ah yes, 1994… I remember it like it was yesterday. Well, I’ll never forget it because that was the year that I lost my virginity to Miss Stafford, the voluptuous homeroom teacher…

  • Mike44

    Where’d you go to school in Philly?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      I went to Swarthmore.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        What color were the buildings?

        • RustyJohn

          Lol…is this “Ronin”? What’s the color of the boathouse at Hereford?

          I just ambushed you with a cup of coffee!

          • Andy in Sunny Daytona

            No, they were swarthy.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

              Just like Michael Dukakis.