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 Post subject: Let's hear your predictions
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 7:18 pm 
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Location: New Jersey
Here are mine. Obviously I hope to be wrong about the first one.

Quote:
Division Series:

Angels over Yankees
Red Sox over White Sox
Cardinals over Padres
Braves over Astros

League Championship Series:

Angels over Red Sox
Cardinals over Braves

World Series:

Cardinals over Angels


Of course, thanks to Bud, the first round of the playoffs is a best-of-5 crapshoot, and aside from being fairly confident that San Diego hasn't a chance against St. Louis, I can't do more than guess. I'll never be happy that a team can be ousted by losing just three games in October. That's a weekend series, not a playoff round.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 8:51 pm 
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Location: The Empire State
Division Series:

Yankees over Angels*
Red Sox over White Sox
Cardinals over Padres
Astros over Braves

Championship Series:

Yankees over Red Sox
Cardinals over Astros

World Series:

Yankees over Cardinals

*This is almost too close to call, and while I'm tempted to agree with Matthew, and I know the Angels give the Yankees fits, this is probably a better Yankee team than the one that lost to the Angels in 2002. (Granted, though, the Angels are better than they were in '02 as well.) But this Yankee team has deeper starting pitching (believe it or not, over a staff that had Mussina, Pettitte and Wells in '02) and more thumpers in its lineup. Its defense, especially at first base when Giambi is there and at second base with Cano prone to rookie mistakes at crucial times, is suspect (and it cost the Yankees the win Friday night at Fenway, for instance), and its middle relievers are atrocious. But its back end of the bullpen is at least an equal to Anaheim's, if not superior, given how wild K-Rod can be. And Rivera and Gordon have had a fair amount of rest in the past week.

I'm going to predict that the Yanks and Angels will split in Anaheim and in New York. Then the Yanks will win the fifth game in Anaheim Sunday, with a possible Iron Horse-like weekend on tap for Randy Johnson in which he wins Game 3 Friday night and comes out of the bullpen to shut down the Angels in Game 5 Sunday.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 9:44 pm 
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Nice to see you both think Boston will beat Chicago.
I'm worried. Red Sox pitching awfully shaky right now.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 10:48 pm 
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jmcg wrote:
Nice to see you both think Boston will beat Chicago.
I'm worried. Red Sox pitching awfully shaky right now.


It may be, but it's hard to see how the Red Sox won't bludgeon Chicago's pitchers to death.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:30 pm 
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Agreed. As someone said to me recently in a PM, the Red Sox have been beating the Yankees by becoming the Yankees. There is no relief in that lineup. Chicago hasn't had to face much offense like that this year.

In fact, I think Chicago is the weakest AL playoff team notwithstanding their record. They played against the light-hitting AL Central, and ran up their win total in interleague play against the miserable NL West. They also got very lucky winning a disproportionate number of one-run games early in the season. As I said earlier, anything can happen in a five-game series, but I think Boston is easily a better baseball club. So, for that matter, were the Cleveland Indians, who were as unlucky in one-run games as the White Sox were lucky.

I am not, for the record, a believer in the maxim that "good teams win close games." By and large, lucky teams win close games. Good teams win routs.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:45 pm 
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Just after my last post, I stumbled upon this note in the Indians-White Sox optional:

The AP wrote:
With 36 one-run losses, the Indians are the first team to drop more than 50 percent of their losses by one run since 1971, when the Houston Astros went 79-83, losing 43 by a run.


Wow. I had noticed they had an awful record in close games, but I had not absorbed the gravity of it. That a team could lose 36 games by one run and still win 93 games is a pretty impressive feat in itself.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's hear your predictions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:01 am 
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My two cents:

Division Series
Angels over Yankees
Red Sox over White Sox
Cardinals over Padres
Braves over Astros

League Championship Series
Red Sox over Angels
Cardinals over Braves*

World Series
Cardinals over Red Sox

* I don't want to have to play the Astros or Braves in the playoffs, really (and thanks to the Cubs, we have to play one or the other). It took a grand slam from David Eckstein of all people to give us a series win against the Braves the last time they were in town, and that was during a bottom-of-the-ninth rally. In the other series in April, we were manhandled for two of three. I really don't want to have to face Clemens, Pettitte and Oswalt back-to-back-to-back, either, especially with Lidge closing (although, as the hapless Cubbies proved, he can be beaten). It looks like Marquis is going to bullpen duty, and Matt Morris has always been iffy against these teams. The Astros took us to seven games last year, and we were backed into a corner for the last two (one of the more memorable highlights from Busch for me was Jimmy Edmonds' home run in the bottom of the 15th in Game 6 last year -- but I'm probably the only one who remembers that since it happened in the National League).

Once the Cardinals make the World Series, however, a rematch with the Red Sox will not go their way. We've played them several times in interleague this year (one game of which I had the pleasure to watch at Busch, complete with eight-run second inning). As the saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's hear your predictions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:34 am 
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Matthew Grieco wrote:
Of course, thanks to Bud, the first round of the playoffs is a best-of-5 crapshoot, and aside from being fairly confident that San Diego hasn't a chance against St. Louis, I can't do more than guess. I'll never be happy that a team can be ousted by losing just three games in October. That's a weekend series, not a playoff round.


As someone who still flinches at the memory of the 1984 Cubs, I say if you can't do it in 5 games, you don't deserve the chance to win the pennant.

And as someone who watched parts of 3 or 4 games all season, I like the White Sox, Angels, Cards and Braves, with the Cards over the Angels.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 8:18 am 
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There's a huge difference between 7 and 5. If you lose the first game of a 5-game series, you're immediately in a state of emergency knowing that one more loss puts you on the brink. That's far too early in the playoffs for that. It's also rotten that a market may see its team reach the playoffs and then get to see only one home game in the postseason.

Most important, however, is that baseball is about success over the long haul, and three-game sweeps are significantly more common than four-game sweeps. The short series makes it less likely that the better team will win. Imagine if last year's ALCS had been a best-of-5? We'd never have seen the greatest comeback ever (and remember, I'm a Yankees fan).

The 5-game series is bad, bad baseball.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 11:41 am 
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I might buy your argument if there weren't three tiers of playoffs, Matthew.

In '84, as I mentioned, it was one 5-game series to decide the pennant (just 2 divisions, no wild card), and I didn't have a problem with it. You either do it or you don't. The WS used to be 9 games. Was that fairer? Or was it a bore?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:51 pm 
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>>And as someone who watched parts of 3 or 4 games all season <<

JJ, not that I want the job, but I must ask, How is it that you want to be the moderator of the Baseball section of TCE?

Does it pay well?

(Yanks, RedSox, Cards, Astros; Yanks, Cards; Cards)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 1:33 pm 
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"Moderator" is a position that cannot be sought, much like a MacArthur Fellowship.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 5:02 pm 
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Here's what they're saying over at ESPN.

Interestingly enough, a third of their panel, including Peter Gammons, is going with Astros to win it all.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 9:29 pm 
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If Lyndon Johnson knew he had effectively lost the support of the country (and, concurrently, all hopes of being re-elected in 1968) when Walter Cronkite, then Oracle of Journalism, started questioning LBJ's Vietnam policies, should Yankee fans despair over their team's apparently having lost the confidence of Peter Gammons, Oracle of Baseball?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 6:44 pm 
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I wrote:
I think Chicago is the weakest AL playoff team . . .


Move along, move along. Show's over, folks, nothing to see here.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's hear your predictions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 7:27 pm 
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jjmoney62 wrote:
And as someone who watched parts of 3 or 4 games all season, I like the White Sox, Angels, Cards and Braves, with the Cards over the Angels.


And are we done questioning the qualifications of the moderator?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 9:01 pm 
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By Philip Hersh
Tribune staff reporter

How sweep it is.
(Chicago Tribune)

***Jesus.***

Image


***Original.***


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 11:11 am 
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I'm shocked that the Red Sox' offense didn't produce more. And I didn't think the White Sox' pitching would hold up under the postseason pressure.

We could be looking at a White Sox-Angels ALCS. Good luck to the Fox boys with the ratings on that baby.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:36 pm 
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wordygurdy wrote:
We could be looking at a White Sox-Angels ALCS. Good luck to the Fox boys with the ratings on that baby.


Yeah, I'm sure a battle between the second and third largest media markets in the country will be a loser.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 5:44 pm 
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Quote:
Yeah, I'm sure a battle between the second and third largest media markets in the country will be a loser.


The only compelling player on either of those two teams is Vladimir Guerrero.

Arguments against?

Contrast that with an entire roster of compelling players on the Red Sox and nearly an entire roster of compelling players on the Yankees.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 6:03 pm 
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It's a big world outside of the 5 burroughs, Wordy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 6:19 pm 
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jjmoney62 wrote:
It's a big world outside of the 5 burroughs, Wordy.


Hey, I'm willing to be convinced!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 7:49 pm 
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jjmoney62 wrote:
It's a big world outside of the 5 burroughs, Wordy.


A point millions of Midwesterners have been trying to get across to Fox, ESPN and others.

And, since we all know Fox loves these cursed teams, they still have the Cinderella White Sox.

Personally, I was the least interested in the World Series in 2002 and 2003, the ones I like to call The Battle of California and Such Potential, respectively. While I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to the 2002 Series (other than to actively root against the Giants, whom the Cardinals lost to in the 2002 NLCS), I really didn't care much for the 2003 Series, which could have been a match between two cursed teams, with a big winner no matter what the outcome (obviously, if the Series had been Cubs-Red Sox, I would have pulled for the Sox).


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 8:27 pm 
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The 2002 World Series was one of the least-watched ever, which is a damned shame, because judged purely on the quality of the games and the tightness of the contest, it was one of the greatest in years. I've got no interest in either the Giants or the Angels, but that series really held my interest as a fan of the game.

Though I certainly am a Yankees fan, I tend to watch all of the playoffs every year even if they don't make it. I just like the game. The only exception was last year's World Series, which was too much to face (and it would frankly go down as one of the dullest Series of all time if not for who won it).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 11:13 pm 
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Matthew, with all due respect: The quality of the games?

You mean the quality of the games in which neither team had any pitching whatsoever, thus rendering said games unwatchable? Is that the quality to which you refer?

You should go back and look at some of those box scores. Giants' collective Series ERA: 5.55. Angels' collective Series ERA: 5.75.

Giants-Angels was a lowest-common-denominator World Series not worthy of the title. Both teams were wild cards, and both played like it.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 2:00 am 
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It was a 7-game series. By definition, that's a good World Series.

It was a 7-game series with lots of lead changes in the final games. That's a great World Series.

Good pitching is not inherently "better" than good hitting. In this series you had on one side the Barry Bonds-driven lineup, and on the other you had the aggressive, free-swinging, base-stealing Angels. A very offensive series is just as good as a well-pitched series (some would say better) if there's a lot of back-and-forth (which there was). Let's not forget that at one point the Giants appeared to have it sewn up. Four of the games were decided by one run, and Game 6 was a true beauty.

I'm not really a fan of the wildcard, but I really enjoyed watching that series, even as one who is decidedly an anti-fan of both the Giants and the Angels.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's hear your predictions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 9:04 am 
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jjmoney62 wrote:
jjmoney62 wrote:
And as someone who watched parts of 3 or 4 games all season, I like the White Sox, Angels, Cards and Braves, with the Cards over the Angels.


And are we done questioning the qualifications of the moderator?


Oh, no, no. I wasn't questioning your qualifications. From your picks it's obvious you know a lot about baseball.

I was just wondering, with your obvious interest in the game, how you only watched parts of 3 or 4 games all season. Are things that busy?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 11:14 pm 
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Well, I batted .500 in the first round. But my World Series prediction remains viable. Of course, I think that's going to be wrong too, because Chicago holds all the aces in the AL, and the Astros just seem to have a "this is our season" vibe about them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 2:28 am 
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Matthew Grieco wrote:
... and the Astros just seem to have a "this is our season" vibe about them.


So do the Cardinals.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 8:12 am 
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Agreed. But without expressing a preference for either team, I feel it more strongly from the Astros. The Cardinals promise to be a dominant organization in the NL for some time, whereas Houston has a number of players who won't be around much longer. I'm also more impressed with the Astros after watching the Division Series.

The series is an absolute toss-up (unlike the ALCS, which I think could be over in 5 games). But I have to feel like Houston has a slight edge right now.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 4:45 pm 
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Matthew Grieco wrote:
The series is an absolute toss-up (unlike the ALCS, which I think could be over in 5 games). But I have to feel like Houston has a slight edge right now.


Well, I see your point, and that's OK — I like being the underdog.

While I'm at it, I'd just like to take this opportunity about an hour before the ALCS is due to begin to remind everyone that, contrary to what some who watched the playoffs last year thought, there is, in fact, a National League, and we have our own share of pretty good Championship Series.


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