Well baseball fans, it’s that time of the year again… the playoffs!
My Mets kind of collapsed right after the All-Star Break under the management of Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel. Luckily, Mets management has corrected that error, firing both of them and apologizing to their fans. Here’s to a brand new start in 2010!
The Yankees and Rays fought ever-so-hard to lose the AL East pennant… with the Yankees sending out a “We clinched the Wild Card” email after they lost one of their final games to lose the division. Talk about putting a positive spin on things!
The Rangers made the playoffs much more easily by cobbling together players from all over the league, making them a Frankenstein-parts-sewn-together type ballclub that also happens to be bankrupt. I honestly have no idea how the Twins made the playoffs, but it has to have something to do with Joe Mauer.
The Phillies are back to defend their NL Championship from last year after climbing back to first place, moving the Braves out of the way easily. Still can’t stand them and their maroon/baby blue uniforms. The Braves slid into the Wild Card at the last minute, eliminating the Padres from the playoffs, while trying to win it all for retiring All-Star Manager Bobby Cox.
The Reds used their offense from Joey Votto and others to ensure baseball fans could enjoy an Albert Pujols-free postseason, so we can thank them for that. Let’s see what they can do this postseason. The Giants got to the playoffs after the Padres collapsed and they’re bringing Tim Lincecum with them to give them an edge.
Of course, don’t forget to catch all my baseball postseason tweeting on Twitter at @citycynic!
And like every year CityCynic.com has been around, I’m back with my picks. So here we go…
Braves vs. Giants – Giants in 4.
The Braves sure have a lot of motivation this postseason — to win one for outgoing manager Bobby Cox, their first appearance in the playoffs in a while, winning one for their injured face of the team Chipper Jones… It all comes down to how well their batting matches up against SF pitching.
And the Giants have proved they have the pitching to give them an edge in this series. Unless the bats of all-star rookie Heyward, etc can overcome, the Braves won’t make it very far for Bobby Cox’s curtain-call.
Reds vs. Phillies – Phillies in 3.
The Reds have shown they can put together a brilliant offensive team, but its going to take some awesome pitching to get past Rollins, Howard, and Utley on this Phillies team. The Reds will have to be perfect to beat the Phillies this postseason.
The Phillies managed to pick up what seems like the entire league’s best pitchers to compliment their offense, giving them the edge. Look for them to take the series as long as their pitching remains strong.
Rays vs. Rangers – Rangers in 4.
The Rays were certainly on a downtrend at the end of the season, possibly signaling fatigue amongst the team. While the young team has proved to be a contender over the past few seasons (since they dropped the Devil), they’ll have to have their offense come together to score enough runs to surpass the Rangers.
The Rangers have picked up just enough players to patch the holes in their team during the regular season. Making their first postseason birth since 1999, look for the excitement and grit of this team (under the ultimate guidance of Nolan Ryan) to get them through to the ALCS.
Yankees vs. Twins – Yankees in 4.
The Yankees plummeted into the Wild Card after faulty pitching from A.J. Burnett and others and their pitching rotation after the 1-2-3 pitchers is surely in question. Can Andy Pettite come back from injury to contribute to a Yankees success? Can Derek Jeter regain his previous postseason form? If it comes back together for the team, despite not having homefield advantage for the first time in years, then they’ll make it to the ALCS.
The Twins are really a team that has been good all season long, but without Justin Morneau, will Joe Mauer be enough to power through the Evil Empire? Can a small-market club make it past the first round of the playoffs? My guess is no, especially not against the team of a billion dollars, the Yankees.
WHO I’M ROOTING FOR
Like all my fellow Mets fans, I face the challenge of choosing a team or two to root for during this postseason, since the Mets are already off playing golf! I think I’m going to have to go with the Cincinnati Reds, who are definitely an underdog team. In that way, they remind me of the Mets. Plus, that Joey Votto is no joke! Believe me, I know that for the Reds to make it even to the NLCS, its gonna be quite a struggle, but I just CAN’T watch the Phillies make it to the World Series yet again! And I’m definitely no fan of the Giants or Braves, although to a lesser extent.
In the AL, I’m going to be rooting for the Texas Rangers. Besides the fact that they are owned by Nolan Ryan (don’t even get me started), they are operating under a specific strategy of patching up their weaknesses by trading, something I am STILL waiting for my Mets to do. This postseason is the perfect chance to see if their experiment will pay off. Plus, there’s no way I’m cheering on the Yankees to ANOTHER World Series! Especially one coming in as the Wild Card! The Rays don’t particularly inspire me to like them and I haven’t heard much about the Twins since Kirby Puckett.
Now let’s play some baseball!