PLAYOFFS!!   1 comment

the regular season is over and now is the exciting part … the playoffs! let’s take a quick (and i do mean quick) look at the playoff teams and i’ll toss out my predictions.

the tampa bay rays will be taking on the texas rangers:
every time i look at the Rays, i just hate the idea of pro baseball in florida (yes, that goes for the marlins, too). the only pro baseball in florida is supposed to be spring training. dang, i’m so old school. guess i have become an old man who’s stuck in the past because i also think there should just be 24 major league teams, but that’s another subject for another time.

tampa has a young, talented core of players.  they’ve shown their grit and determination.  in 2008 i thought they played over their heads.  but then they continued to play above their heads and at some point you have to look at them and say, “hey, they’re really good”.  they’ve done a great job with their minor league development and it’s paying off. texas has done a 180 in the last two years thanks in part to the new direction president/owner nolan ryan has brought to the club.  he’s determined to make pitchers look at the game and their performances from an old school mentality.  i love that.  they, too, have poured money into their farm system and have turned their abysmal minor league system to one of the best out of all the major league teams.  they’ve got lots of solid pitching including in their bullpen.  josh hamilton, vlad the impaler, and michael young help anchor the young hitters.

rays in 5 games due to their previous playoff exposure alone.  watch for the rangers to give them a tough go in each of the contests.  rangers will be a team to contend with NEXT year.  the playoffs are a learning experience for them this year.

the yankees take on the twins
the yankees did what it took all year long to get the wins.  they fell short on the last day to the rays for the division crown.  but this is a team that is old, brittle, and fading. while i don’t think the twins have the starting pitching to compete, i do think they have the mojo in their new stadium.  as a die-hard yankee fan, but trying to be realistic about things, i will be surprised if the yankees come out of this series on top.

i’m predicting the twins in 4.

twins face the rays for the AL title
even with justin mourneau out for the season, i expect the mojo to continue.  i think the rays will be WAY out of their element when playing in minnesota and the twinkies have just enough to make it to the world series.  their motto will be:  Surprise!  We’re Here!

side note: will any of the tampa bay home games have more than 20,000 fans?  another reason to hate florida baseball.

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braves battle the giants
bobby cox has done a tremendous job with the braves this year (and the last 16 for that matter).  he’s taken a team that many thought would miss the playoffs and pushed them.  he’s done a great job with a pitching staff that has a mix of young and old.  he’s helped guide heyward to a successful rookie campaign without getting pulled under the bus as many highly touted rookies of his caliber do.  cox is one of the best managers of all time.  all that said, this series will be his last in the major leagues unless he un-retires.

the giants have too many horses, too many weapons, and their all clicking at the right time of the year.  pitching will be the series changer for the giants.  lincecum, sanchez, cain will all have their way with the braves hitters.  giants in four.

reds versus phillies
everyone looks at the phillies as the beasts from the east.  sure they’ve got halladay, oswalt, and hamels.  sure they’ve got big bopper, ryan howard at first and players like utley, ibanez, werth, and victorino.  let’s not forget jimmy “dynomite” rollins.  they seem to have everything that is needed to walk away with this series in three games.

but let’s not overlook those pesky reds.  they’ve got young fireballers, volquez and cueto.  they’ve got a hodge-podge of relief, including young cuban phenom, aroldis chapman.  votto, stubbs, bruce will all provide offensive fire power.  dusty baker uses his full bench and has the ability to get the most of his players.  do they have enough?  no.

while i want the reds to win, it will be the phillies in 5 which makes everyone wonder if the phillies are as good as they originally appeared.

giants battle the phillies for the NL title
it’s going to be a doozy.  personally, i think this will be the best series of the fall.  if you watch ANY playoff baseball, these will be the games to watch.  pitching will be at it’s best for both teams.  they’ll make the hitters look foolish.  unbelievably great defensive plays from both teams.  in the end, experience will … lose out.  giants in 7.

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twins to take on the giants for the 2010 world series championship
mojo versus lincecum.  well, it’s not just those two.  mlb will try to hype this as a best world series possibility ever though it will just be PR.  and in the end the world series will be shorter and less interesting than anyone thought it would be.  giants in 5.

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now before you go blasting me, i’ve been known to be wrong on every single pick before.  i have a tendency to choose wrong all the time.  my preference for the post season would be yankees all the way.  i prefer not to see a replay of last year’s world series and would rather see my yankees face the giants (an old new york rivalry before the giants bolted for the west).

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Posted 10/05/2010 by rick in Baseball

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One response to “PLAYOFFS!!

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  1. Great post man! I am a big believer in the fact that you need a very good rotation to be able to win in the playoffs, and right now the Yankees don’t have that. It’s so difficult to outscore teams in the playoffs, that goes for any sport, because you have to face each teams best pitcher’s night in and night out. Scoring is at a premium in any sport when post-season time rolls around. Burnett, Hughes, Vazquez…who do you start? Tough call, no clear-cut answer and even though they have gone with Hughes only time will tell if it is the right decision.

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