Best umpire ever.
I know it's the hip thing to do, offering your opinions on the baseball playoffs and what not, so who am I to refuse? I guess like most writing though, my timing sucks, and as a result I've missed the actual start of most of the series. Therefore, I'll give my picks, and acknowledge the margin at the time of this posting.
- Red Sox vs. Angels: Red Sox in five.
This probably isn't that surprising of a pick, since I am a Red Sox fan. However, the margin - five games - might surprise some. There is enough inconsistency among the Red Sox pitching lately that it worries me. Beckett struggled for parts of September, and while I have faith in Lester, Buchholz and Dice-K seem like a toss-up to me. This is also overlooking the bullpen: Papelbon is good, as are Okajima and Wagner, but Ramon Ramirez, Saito and others leave me feeling uneasy.
That being said, it's not like the Angels are going gangbusters either. Their pitching has the same questions the Red Sox does without a track record of success. Lackey, Saunders, Santana and Kazmir are like a lower-peak version of the Sox rotation. While I liked the Angels' gamble on taking Kazmir, it hasn't exactly paid dividends yet. And if we're evaluating the Red Sox lineup vs. the Angels, then I'm going to take the Red Sox, who seem to rely less on batting average and more on power, and because the Sox are generally younger.
Yankees vs. Twins: Twins in five
Hey, it's my friggin' blog, okay? And I'm writing this even after the Twins got pasted 7-2 Wednesday afternoon. Of course, there are the mitigating circumstances that they had played less than 24 hours earlier and were going up against a well-rested Yankees' team, but I think this plays less of a role than the analysts attributed to it last night. The Yankees are clearly the better team to me.
So why am I picking the Twins anyway? Well, for one, spite. I am a Red Sox fan, and I simply can't, in good faith, pick the Yankees. I just can't do it. It's bad enough that I managed to have Mariano Rivera on my fantasy team this year, so I had to root for him most of the season. I simply can't stomach offering any more support to the Yankees, in the form of being proven right. Except at catcher, I think it would be hard to point to any area the Twins are better than the Yankees in, but hey, you never know. In a short series, anything can happen.
Dodgers vs. Cardinals: Cardinals in five
I don't feel that strongly about this series. On one hand, the few Cardinals fans I know are a bit weird toward Boston; I think they hold a grudge against us for sweeping them in 2004, in what was probably the most anti-climatic World Series of all-time. On the other hand, the Dodgers have Manny Ramirez, who I never minded when he was in Boston, but he's a guy a ton of Boston fans (have always) love to hate.
Therefore, I have to decide this series solely on baseball merits, which kind of stinks. I think the Cardinals are the slight favorite because their best players - Pujols, Holliday, Wainwright and Carpenter - compensate for the Dodgers' overall better team. If they don't win, then I blame LaRussa.
Phillies vs. Rockies: Phillies in five
Although the Phillies lost today, and even though their bullpen is in shambles, I just like what mean bastards their fans are. I think a Philadelphia vs. Boston World Series would be great from an obnoxious fan standpoint, even if it might make the rest of the country recoil in terror.
I lifted the Naked Gun picture from here, even if the blog is run by a Yankees' fan. That's how I roll!