The American league is basically set...the Twins have clinched the Central, the Yankees have basically clinched the East, and whomever doesn't get the division in the West will get the Wild Card. That leads to a first round matchup of...
New York vs. Wild Card Minnesota vs. AL West Champ
I think the damn Yankees win if they play Anaheim, but they'll lose if they play Oakland; this year the A's are going to take them down. The Twins are losing in the first round anyway.
My pick for AL Pennant winner: Oakland
The National League is a bit more fun, since the Dodgers and the Giants are making the wild card a race. But the first round will still look like...
Atlanta vs. Wild Card team (LA or San Fran) Arizona vs. St. Louis
Since no team in the world can beat Schilling and Johnson in a best-of-five series, I'm taking Arizona. I think it'll come down to Atlanta/Arizona in the NLCS, and man that could be a series. Atlanta is the better team on paper, but it's so damn hard to pick against Schilling and Johnson. If anyone can neutralize those big two, however, it's Maddux and Glavine. And the rest of Atlanta's staff is a lot better than the D-Backs staff.
My (very tentative) pick for NL Pennant winner: Atlanta
World Series pick: Atlanta...they're due
But as long as NY doesn't win, I'll be happy.
I was born in a manger, like that other guy. You know, he wore a hat?
No team in this world can beat Arizona in a 5 game series? Unless my memory is really faulty, didn't Arizona need a game 5 comeback to survive round 1 last season. Get into the bullpen late in game 1 or 2 and Arizona can get beat in a best of 5.
Thank you Mr. Wanz for the check, now you get an AWA World Title Reign. But be careful, my boy Greg is a heat machine.
I'm going with Oakland in the AL West and San Fran in the wild card race.
That leaves us with:
New York vs. Anaheim Minnesota vs. Oakland
Atlanta vs. San Fran Arizona vs. St. Louis
I'll take New York and Minnesota in the upset. The Yankees win the AL pennant (again). I'll take San Francisco in the upset with Arizona going over St. Louis. D-Backs win and set up World Series rematch. This time, the Yankees win.
"You're always 17 in your hometown." - Cross Canadian Ragweed
Originally posted by redsoxnationNo team in this world can beat Arizona in a 5 game series? Unless my memory is really faulty, didn't Arizona need a game 5 comeback to survive round 1 last season. Get into the bullpen late in game 1 or 2 and Arizona can get beat in a best of 5.
I think Koplove can hold the fort for AZ's bullpen. I hope Batista gets out of his slump though.
I don't know if St. Louis's "do it for DK" thing can sustain them...
Yanks are definitely more hittable, but they're also a much bigger offensive threat this year...
I won't go as far as to pick Mound City to win it, but don't count the Cards out; no, they don't have a one-two punch like the D-Backs' 600K Club, but a rotation of Morris, Williams and Finley is nothing to sneeze at, especially with Simontachhi and Stephenson able to do loooong relief. And now Andy Benes is having a rebirth...sort of.
ARI/STL: 'Zona, for now, but closer than most think. Yes, the Birds came damn close to winning game five last year, and they're a better team in '02.
ATL/SFG: Bonds (not wearing Yellow and Black) in the LCS: Riiiiiight. Braves.
ARI/ATL: Braves. Their pitching certainly does matchup.
--- The AL's hard to seed since the West is so close, but the Yanks and Twins are gone like old moldy bread. ANA/OAK LCS, with Art Howe managing the AL Champions.
OAK/ATL: My old adage (taken from the '91 Twins) is 13 game winning streak = world title. 20 games is good as well.
Originally posted by PeterStorkbut the Yanks and Twins are gone like old moldy bread.
Hmm. AL Champs 4 years running gone like moldy bread. That is kinda funny, especially since the Yanks beat the A's 5 out of 9 this season. If the A's are worried about facing the Yanks in the first round (Rocket, 1 win in 1 start vs OAK, Pettitte, OAK hasn't faced him this year, and he is the hottest Yankee pitcher, and El Duque, 1 win in 2 starts, the second being a 1-inning outing), then they should be. The Yanks have beaten Hudson once, killed Zito twice, Mulder once, and Lidle once. Zito beat them once, Hiljus beat them once, and Lidle shut them out once. I am not trying to tell you that I wouldn't be worried, as a Yankee fan, to face the A's in the first round, but I would be confident that the Yanks will win.
Also, the Yanks have beaten the Angels 4 of 7, the Twins 6 of 6, the JohnsonSchillings 2 of 3, and the Giants 2 of 3.
Personally, I would like to see the Yanks beat any of the other three AL teams and face the Dodgers or Cards in the Series.
(edited by jfkfc on 17.9.02 1627) "You know Monsoon, I am impressed, and I don't impress easy" -Jesse "The Body" Ventura
Originally posted by jfkfcPersonally, I would like to see the Yanks beat any of the other three AL teams and face the Dodgers or Cards in the Series.
As a St. Louisan I'm biased, but I've been waiting for that Cards/Yanks series since 1996 when it should have happened had the Birds not folded after having a 3-1 lead. It's a shame the dominant teams in each league's history haven't met in the Series since '64.
New York vs. A's - After faltering somewhat during the stretch, the A's make their move but come up*just* short. next year, armed with an improved CBA so they can actually keep this team together, youth will be served. Yanks win.
Minnesota vs. Angels - The hardluck Angels have often received some unfair shakes when it comes to the post season. hardluck won't do them in this time though. Plain and simple, the twins have something to prove, and they'll be proving it. Twins win.
ALCS: Yanks vs Twins - The Twins take that mythical time machiene back to when Kirby was swatting the balls out and pull out a victory. The media cries "upset!. Reality says the Twins are for real.
Atlanta vs. Wild Card team (LA or San Fran) - Doesn't matter who it is. In a five game series you got to face Atlanta who when healthy has an obscene pitching staff. That is all. Braves win.
Arizona vs. St. Louis - Will the memory of Kile help the Cards? I don't know. That's some potent motivation....plus they have a talented team. In a five game series the Big two can only pitch a total of three times roughly....will it be enough? I don't think so. The Cards win the series for their late teammate, prove that the Big Two are human.
NLSC: Braves vs Cards - A nail biter that sees the Braves barely coming out on top.
World Series: Twins vs Braves. The stage is set, and midnight won't be striking until spring training next year....because it'll take THAT long for people to find out that yes, the Twins are for real. Twins take it all in what will be an exciting series.
Habs: 0-0-0-0 (Camp has started!) Renegades: 3-9-0: Last place in the CFL East (Beat the Stamps on Saturday) Man of the Week: Saku Koivu for being cancer free. Goat of the Week: Richard Zednik for not showing up to camp.
Actually, the new CBA will HURT the A's. One of Beane's absolutely brilliant strategies has been to trade off minor league non-prospects or lower tier prospects for someone who can help in the stretch run and then be gone at the end of the season to free agency (for example, this year's trade for Ray Durham). The reason why that has kept the A's going so well for years now is that they got compensation draft choices for those "rent-a-players." With compensation draft picks eliminated, the A's can't restock their farm system, and even with the new form of revenue sharing and the luxury tax, Oakland still can't afford to pay their stars what they could get in St. Louis, New York, LA, or (salt in the wound) across the bay in San Francisco.
Anyway, digression over. My picks:
ALDS: AL West v. AL Central The Angels will win the West and face off with the Twinkies. Since the A's lack left-handed starting pitching (lefties just MURDER the Twins, while the Twins in turn destroy righties), the Twinkies will win in a mild upset in 5.
ALDS: AL East v. Wild Card This year, the A's WILL finally beat the Yankees in a playoff series in 5.
ALCS: A's v. Twins Mulder and Zito are not just lefties, but AWESOME lefties... A's in 5.
NLDS: NL East v. Wild Card LA is fading fast, so they're the wild card. Backing into the playoffs is always a bad thing (unless you're the Yankees or the '90 Reds). Backing into Maddux and Glavine is even worse, so I've gotta pick the hated Braves in a three-game sweep.
NLDS: NL West v. NL Central Oy vey, this is so tough to call. Schilling and Johnson against Larusa's managerial brilliance and awesome lineup. I think I'll stick to the old saw, though, and say that great pitching beats great hitting. DBacks in 5 and probably the best series of the post-season.
NLCS: DBacks v. Braves Pitching is fairly equal, and Atlanta has a huge edge in defense. Looking to the offenses, Chipper, Andruw, Sheffield, and Furcal more than trump Gonzalez, Williams, Durazo, Spivey, and Finley. Braves in 5 or 6.
World Series: A's vs. Braves It will come down to experience, and the Braves have far more guys with post-season and World Series... er... seasoning. Also, I think Sheffield and Andruw will be the answer to the A's vaunted lefties. It'll be a good series, but Braves in 6.
Originally posted by Zaphod NLCS: DBacks v. Braves Pitching is fairly equal, and Atlanta has a huge edge in defense. Looking to the offenses, Chipper, Andruw, Sheffield, and Furcal more than trump Gonzalez, Williams, Durazo, Spivey, and Finley. Braves in 5 or 6.
Maddux and Glavine aren't lasting as long and the D'backs owned Maddux in the NLCS last year. Their bullpen is insane though. Sheff didn't do too well against Unit and Schill in LA IIRC. Andruw's gotten cocky when catching fly balls, as last night showed. What hurts Az is that Counsell's out;
May I play party-pooper? Thank you. Ahem. I would like to invoke the spirit of the 1978 Boston Red Sox and say that no lead, no matter how large, is safe in any way until it has been 100% mathematically CLINCHED. Through 9-17, the Yankees magic number was 4. Class, is that clinched? Didn't think so. So, with that in mind, here are MY playoff predictions. First of all, David Eckstein's stupid bat thingy finally hurts someone, as he flings it into the dugout, killing whoever the manager is. The Angels are so distraught that they lose the remainder of their games. In a shocking move, Mariano Rivera is on the DL AGAIN and this time the Yankee bullpen can't hold the fort. They win 3 games the rest of the way. The Red Sox win every one of their remaining games, giving them the AL East by 1 game, and the Yankees the Wild Card by a lot. The Sox ride Pedro, Derek and Tim 1-2-3 and sweep the A's. The Yankees just barely squeak by the Twins in a long 5-game series with each game going into extras. Once again, the Sox send out Pedro, Derek and Tim to take the first three from New York. Casey Fossum pitches a simply fantastic Game 4, and the Sox sweep the Yankees. In the NL, the worst-case scenario happens for the Giants. They lead the NL Wild Card by 1/2 a game over Los Angeles, so they have to go to Atlanta for a make-up game. They lose this game, so the next day they play the Dodgers in San Francisco for the Wild Card. They win a shot at...the Braves. They lose quite easily. Maddux, Glavine, some other guy. Substitute Johnson and Schilling for Maddux and Glavine and you get the Backs and Birds series. The two teams then meet in the NLCS, with the total runs scored in the 7-game set being 10. D-Backs win Game 1 2-1, Braves win Game 2 2-0, and they trade 1-0 wins and kill everybody's arms. In Game 7, nobody has any strength left, so John Smoltz comes out in an incredibly schmaltzy moment and pitches a Jack Schmidt-esque gem, sending the Braves in to face the Red Sox with absolutely nobody left. Pedro, Derek and Tim, this time the Braves have no resistance, the Sox are up 3-0. Finally Maddux is ready to go against Fossum in Game 4, and the Braves take that one and Game 5. With just a tinge of fear, the Sox send out Derek for Game 6, thinking of saving Pedro for a bullpen appearance in Game 7, scheduled to be started by Tim. However, Derek hurts himself ala Dustin Hermanson, and Tim has to pitch Game 6. A close game, but the Sox ultimately go down. Now desperation is in full swing, and Pedro is sent out with instructions to just win. Unfortunately, by now Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz are ready to go. Pedro and Maddux start, and it is the ultimate pitchers duel. Think Louisville versus place in Texas in the LLWS. There. Dueling perfect games. Finally, after 11 innings and a combined 300 pitches, both managers start the pens. Tim, having said that he's fine, starts to throw in the Sox pen, while Glsvine gets the call from Bobby Cox. After a hanging-by-a-thread-and-praying-for-no-longballs twelfth, the fresh arms are in. They each go 7 innings, before Wakefield finally has to stop. Glavine's gonna go two more, but Grady needs a bullpen guy. Bingo! Alan Embree! He throws two innings, and is then replaced by Fossum. So now we are into the 21st inning, with Casey Fossum on the hill for the Sox and Mike Remlinger in for Atlanta. After two more innings, Cox wants to pull Remlinger for Smoltz. Mike argues, saying that John's the closer and they need him. Bobby gives in, but saus that if Remlinger gets into any trouble at all, he's out. Now in the top of the 24th, Grady Little has Ugie warming up in the bullpen. After getting Shea Hillenbrand and Nomar Garciaparra, Remlinger hangs an 0-2 curve to Manny Ramirez. Let's be nice to poor old Mike and just say that Manny didn't miss it. He then gets out of the inning with no further damage, but Cox is infuriated. Ugie comes in to pitch the bottom of the 24th, and looks to be doing well. However, after a two-out Andruw Jones single and steal, Sox fans are getting nervous. When Chipper hits a single to right, they start to curse. Jones, however, trips as he is rounding third base and cannot score. Sox fans start to think like it's 1954 all over again. Then it hits them. The Impossible Dream. Who thought they'd be here? Bucky Dent. How many times have the Sox been laughed at for blowing that huge lead? That guy who tripped. All of the Red Sox curses were turning around on the other guys, like the WWF contingent on Y2J and Kane. Ugie now goes face-to-face with pinch hitter Darren Bragg. Why don't we get guys like that? Ball low and away. Strike, got him chasing the high heat. Oh, nasty slider on the outside corner, got him fishing. 1-2 count. Varitek calls for the heat, Ugie shakes him off. Wants a pitch-out, again no sale. Now he calls for the hard slider in the dirt. Uggs nods approvingly and comes set. He kicks and fires, and bounces the ball past Varitek. Uh-oh, looks like we forgot one of those curses. Jones scores easily, with Jones going to second. Ain't that fun? Then, on the very next pitch, Bragg hits a high chopper towards Tony Clark at first. It bounces once, bounces twice, bounces one more time, and...............lands softly in Tony's glove. He steps to his left and tags first base for the out ending the inning. Now, to the twenty-fifth! No drama in the top. Lou Merloni leads off with a pinch-hit homer. He was batting for Ugie. Nobody, however, is throwing in the Sox pen. After some random guy who replaced Remlinger gets the next three guys 1-2-3, Lou actually comes out to pitch in the bootom of the 25th. Then, after he finishes warming up, Grady Little comes out to the mound. He takes the ball from Lou, patts his butt, and sends him to the showers. Then Grady looks out to the bullpen. He shakes his head. He slowly turns to the dugout and points at Derek Lowe. Yes, the same Derek Lowe who "sprained" his ankle last night and has been limping around all day. "Who, me?" he mouths, pointing to himself. Grady simply nods and drops the ball on the mound. Derek, apparantly oblivious to Grady's plan, gets up and grabs his glove. Then he carefully takes the steps one-at-a-time going onto the field, and JOGS to the mound. That's all the drama I can think of. 1-2-3 in a row, have him K the side if you want. Sox win, Sox win, et cetera.
Now look at my sig as the guy who posted after me is now happy that I swept the Yankees. I didn't know you could write a Major League Baseball fanfic.
(edited by gugs on 18.9.02 2226) The Red Sox bandwagon is mighty empty, these days. Plenty of room for me to stretch out, I guess.
Dude, when writing a fanfic like that, at least have the BoSox sweep the ALCS. I understand the World Series going seven for the DRAMA~!, but if you're going to fantasy pummel the Yanks, at least take them in four, that way the rest of us can take some joy in your scenario rather than muttering to ourselves, "...goddamn spiny assed Sox fan with an AL bias not giving the Cardinals any love, now where's my pudding..."
(EDIT) Much better! Now the Yankees die quick and we all revel in the wonderful death of the Bronx Bombers! For it to just come true...*tears up*
Originally posted by gugs while smoking some primo doobageIn a shocking move, Mariano Rivera is on the DL AGAIN and this time the Yankee bullpen can't hold the fort. They win 3 games the rest of the way.
Hmm...Magic number is two....maybe you should edit it again saying that the Yanks win only 1 more game and the Sox win out.
"You know Monsoon, I am impressed, and I don't impress easy" -Jesse "The Body" Ventura
Originally posted by darkdragoon Maddux and Glavine aren't lasting as long and the D'backs owned Maddux in the NLCS last year. Their bullpen is insane though. Sheff didn't do too well against Unit and Schill in LA IIRC. Andruw's gotten cocky when catching fly balls, as last night showed. What hurts Az is that Counsell's out;
While everything you say is true, especially about Counsell, I'm still picking the Braves (not out of any kind of love, I assure you). I think Maddux will rebound from last year's rough outings against the DBacks in the postseason, though. Also, with the Braves' bullpen, they only need their starters to go six, at most seven, innings. Hell, with the added depth the 'pen will get because of the shortened rotation, Maddux, Glavine, and Millwood might only need to go five each time out.
And I doubt Andruw's newfound cockiness in the outfield is going to last into the post-season. Think about it. What do they really have left to play hard for?
Unless Thurman Munson is chartering the Yankee's plane this weekend, even I doubt the Red Sox can catch the Yankees. Remember this one very important thing about the national league wild card: Which Atlanta team shows up to play S.F. in the make up game the day after the season ends. Should S.F. be 1/2 up, do the Braves try to win, thus forcing S.F. across country for a one game playoff the next day, with the winner to fly cross country to face the Braves the day after that? Or if the Giants are 1/2 back, do the Braves play dead so that S.F. has to go through the above scenario.
Thank you Mr. Wanz for the check, now you get an AWA World Title Reign. But be careful, my boy Greg is a heat machine.
Well, 'tis always good to hope, n'est-ce pas? (Dig the very subtle shameless plug) As for the magic # thing, I think I had a date in there. And I think that, should the Giants need to play that game, it would be better that they be up by half a game. Bobby'll probably still have them try, but he won't send out Maddux or Glavine, even if it is their turn in the rotation. It's called half-assing it. You kinda try, but it's no big deal if you lose.
The Red Sox bandwagon is mighty empty, these days. Plenty of room for me to stretch out, I guess.
BucsFan, no, my point is not that money wins titles in baseball--my point is, it's an advantage. You still have to make good decisions, and you still have to get breaks, but money gives you more margin for error.