A quick congrats to the San Francisco Giants. An improbable run that lead to the their second World Series title in three years. What I didn’t expect was a sweep. Until next season Detroit.
On my journey around the World Wide Web this morning I came across an interesting article on ESPN. Due to the Cardinals run in the Post Season, the City of St. Louis is able to avoid furloughs for city employees. This is both good and bad.
The good is baseball is generating revenue and keeping people working. Let’s not forget those who sell the hot dogs and beer are making some extra money as well. The sports bars, restaurants, hotels, and retail outlets are making profits. The sports media and to a large extent, fans, forget the teams employee more than just players. Many employees in the front offices and those working the concession stands and the gates do not make several million dollars a year. So the longer a team is playing, the longer these individuals keep working.
The bad, if true and not just a political angle, is the City of St. Louis got lucky in avoiding furloughs.
The World Series tends to produce many storylines, both on and off the field. This article brings to light not just a city’s financial troubles, but demonstrates how the business of baseball impacts real people. While you’re watching the Texas Rangers play the Cardinals in this series, remember there is more to a baseball organization than the guys wearing the uniforms. To many, this game is real work.
The St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers begin the World Series tonight. Apologies to fans in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. Once again a team from the AL East isn’t representing the American League. The all dominant, pitching superstar-laden Phillies aren’t representing the National League. This is good for baseball. Yes, it is good for baseball.
Unfortunately many fans of the game tune out when the Yankees are in the World Series. The age-old “hatred” of the Yankees keeps fans away. The Phillies and the Red Sox, unless playing each other, evoke similar feelings past Ohio and south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Small market teams, and non-East Coast natives just get tired of the post season dominance of East Coast teams. This season however, a different story has emerged. The Rangers repeated as American League Champions. They are on a mission to douse Josh Hamilton in ginger ale once more in 2011. The Cardinals are the kids who got lucky and now find themselves competing for a World Series ring. This lack of East Coast baseball is good for Major League Baseball. Having teams from the Mid-West especially keeps the game fresh. The Yankees and Red Sox bring history to the World Series. So do the Cardinals. The Rangers bring excitement.
Both St. Louis and Texas bring one more thing to the World Series: annual payroll’s under $100 million. Once again the game of baseball proves players are paid what their agents can negotiate; not what the player is worth. Payroll doesn’t guarantee championships. Some teams will never learn.
Regardless, congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers. Good luck to both.
The New York Yankees and Philadephia Phillies will meet in the World Series. Philadelphia is the dominant team in the National League playoffs. While the Phillie offense isn’t the most potent, the Phillies have what every team strives for….pitching.
The Phillie rotation is strong and reliable. The Phillies rotation is, arguably, the best in the playoffs right now. This is true for either league. It is for this reason, and this reason alone, I predict the Phillies will beat the Yankees and win the World Series. New York will bring the lumber. Granderson, Cano, and Teixeira will be swinging. The problem lies with Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Fans must remember 2010 and the ALCS. Lee had the Yankees number. He was as close to un-hittable as any pitcher can be.
Halladay is phenomenal and will be problematic for Yankee hitters. The flip side, Sabathia will do well. Ivan Nova is proving to be worth more than his $432,000 salary. From my perspective however, that’s about as good as it gets for the Yankees rotation. AJ Burnett‘s inconsistency makes him unreliable. We don’t know which Burnett will show in Game 4 of the ALDS let alone in subsequent series.
The Yankees can’t rely solely on offensive output. Not to mention, I think the Phillies will have an easier run through the NLDS and NLCS than the Yanks’ in the American League. Simply put, the Yankees will be tired. Detroit will play tough. Regardless if the Rangers or Rays make the ALCS, either team is capable of giving the Yankees a rough ride. In the end the Yankees will make it there, but not without a few bumps.
As a Yankee fan it is difficult to make this prediction. As an objective blogger, I have to do what I have to do.
Prediction: Phillies win in 6, (I hope I’m wrong).
The epic final games of the regular season prove how great of a game baseball is. Regardless of what team is your favorite, no one can deny how exciting and entertaining the end of the 2011 regular season was. Sorry Boston fans, maybe next year. Please don’t blame the Yankees for your self-destruction in September. While everyone is talking about the Red Sox collapse, and Atlanta’s implosion, how about we talk about something more important…the playoffs.
The odds are on the Phillies to win the World Series with New York right behind Philadelphia. My prediction: Yankees and Phillies in the World Series. A World Series Champion prediction will come later. Let’s take a quick look at the divisional series matchups.
New York vs. Detroit: The ALDS will be a challenge for the Yanks. Sabathia, Nova, and Garcia are set. Sending Burnett to the bullpen is the smart move as his unpredictability is simply too much of a risk for the playoffs. Game 1 Friday night will truly set the tone of this series. Justin Verlander has the stuff to shutdown the Yankee lineup. New York will need to give Sabathia tremendous run support. Game 1 can go either way.
Series prediction: Yankees in five.
Tampa Bay vs. Texas: C.J. Wilson is about to become a truly household name. Tampa Bay’s pitching is the key to staying in the hunt. The Rays are rolling and will bring their surprise offense. In the end however, Texas sees a return trip to the ALCS. The Rangers high-powered offense ultimately wins the day.
Series prediction: Rangers win in four.
St. Louis vs. Philadelphia: There is not much to say with this series. The Cards are in really for the same reason Atlanta is out: the Braves blew it. The Phillies are carrying, arguably, one of the top rotations in baseball history. Halladay is contending for the NL Cy Young and Cliff Lee will be Cliff Lee. The Phillies offense isn’t as threatening as past seasons. However, a solid lineup behind this rotation is simply too dominant.
Series prediction: Phillies win in four.
Milwaukee vs. Arizona: The Brewers clinched home field advantage and as such, will clinch the NLDS. The combination of Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, along with a solid lineup will win the series. The Diamondbacks have Upton offensively and seem to be placing all their eggs in one basket with Ian Kennedy. There’s something brewing in Milwaukee and the Diamondbacks won’t keep pace.
Series prediction: Brewers win in four.
Of course, I could be completely wrong. I once predicted Boston to win the East, Minnesota in the Central and a team from Colorado to take the NL West. In the end, what truly matters is October baseball is here. If the end of the season is any indication of what’s to come, we are all in a for a treat.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think!