Thursday, October 29, 2009

Three Baseball Guys: World Series

You'll have to take my word for this: Tom and I got our picks in before the Series started on Wednesday. I never had time to post them while at work and it was pollo asado taco night at Stately Bootleg Manor when I got home. Two beers, a belly full of Mexican food and almost four hours of FOX's meandering American League-ization of the World Series' first game and, well…here we are. Belatedly. Seriously, though, check my Twitter account. I was on record. This lightly-read blog will maintain its integrity…at least until my next batch of football picks.

No sign of Eugene, so m'man Tom and I will go it alone…

Aaron: I'm going to invoke the spirit of Bill Simmons here and retroactively call my LCS picks (Dodgers, Angels) an intentional reverse-jinx. Eat it, Orange AND Los Angeles Counties! Balance has been restored to the baseball universe. There are way too many pundits telling me that this will be a "classic" World Series. The four biggest storylines of this postseason are, in no particular order: the terrible umpiring, the terrible defense, the terrible baserunning and Joe Girardi's binder. Not sure why two or three of those trends won't continue in the Arctic (to me, anyway) East Coast conditions. The Yankees are the better team, while the Phillies are the better team, I guess. Good enough for me. Pick: Phillies in 7

Tom: In fairness, when I picked the Angels I was unaware they all apparently had pressing matters elsewhere in early November. The Yankees fans are surprisingly dismissive of the May Interleague series in which the Phillies would have swept if not for a blown save by Brad Lidge. They argue that the Yankees aren't the same team as they were then... but the Phillies are? Even though they added an A+ starter and Brad Lidge looks to be no longer blowing saves? Interesting. Even though this is the worst possible World Series for my soul, I'm happy that, for the first time in recent memory, the clear-cut best two teams in baseball have made it all the way. These two teams are about as evenly matched as possible. The Phillies are better at catcher and the left side of the infield. The Yankees are better on the right side of the infield. The Phillies are probably a little better in the outfield. Most interesting questions in order: Will Joe Girardi play Hideki Matsui and the ghost of his knees in left field when they get to Philly as his best NL line-up has Damon and Matsui in the field and Swisher, Hinske, Molina, and Gardiner on the bench?

Will Charlie Manuel's decision to pitch Pedro Martinez in Yankee Stadium come back to haunt him when J.A. Happ pitched a 6-inning, 2-run gem there in May? Is Lidge back? Will I get my wish of a 6-hour, 9-inning, 25-22 baseball game with 30 total home runs? Will Joe Girardi's bizarre decisions like removing the best player in baseball for a pinch runner and leaving his 4/5 hitters as Freddy Guzman and Brett Gardiner or sacrificing his DH get him fired if they lose? How many different words will Buck and McCarver use other than "boneheaded" to describe those moves? On a side note, remember this series as the time you officially started getting sick of Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' "Empire State Of Mind". Then strap-in and realize you'll be hearing it any time New York is involved in a sporting event for the next 25 years. You had a good run, Frank. Pick: Phillies in 7


Eugene Tierney said...

My pick would have been Phillies in 6. The way my picks have gone, the Yankees will end up winning.

Tom said...

I find your choice of paragraph break..... curious. :)

SHough610 said...

Not to nit-pick Tom but I think you meant the right side of the infield being better for the Phillies? I think A-Rod is better on offense than Pedro Feliz.

Something that I haven't heard mentioned much is that the Yankees only have six players with any WS experience (Jeter, Pettite, Matsui, Rivera, Posada, and Johnny Damon) while all but 3 of the Phillies (IbaƱez, Ben Francisco, and Cliff Lee) have been here before. Considering A-Rod, Texiera, and Sabathia haven't proven to be clutch (in Texiera's and Sabathia's defense they haven't had much chance, and I hate the Yankees) this could be big.

I think the Series is a toss-up, I love the Phillies but think this comes down to pitching. If Pedro comes thru and Cole Hamels wins a game I think the Phillies do it. But the Yankees are a very, very good team.

Tom said...

You are correct, sir. I blame my editor.