Category: Dailies

Playoff Preview

The San Diego Padres will win the World Series.

There, I said it. Do I believe it? Not really, but I actually think they have a pretty decent shot. If I had to put money on things, I’d (obviously) take the Yankees and their $150 Million lineup that more-or-less discredits the fairness of Major League Baseball, but hey, (word that rhymes with "sit") happens.

As for an actual preview…

ALDS

1. Yankees vs. Tigers

This series *could* be a lot closer than people think. The Tigers are the type of team that gives the Yankees trouble. Like the ’02 and ’05 Angels and the ’03 Marlins, the Tigers have a deep rotation, decent bullpen, and a lineup that can get hot at any time. Of course any team that enters the playoffs 19-31 of late, has a five-game losing streak, and just lost three in a row at home to the Royals doesn’t really seem like they have much of a shot. If they manage to steal game one tonight, it’ll be a series. If the Yankees win 13-4, as they likely will, then forget it.

2. Twins vs. A’s

In a seven game series vs. the Yankees, the A’s have a much better shot than the Twins. Of course they have to get by Johan Santana twice to do do. Can they? Of course. Will they? I dunno. I can see Frank Thomas and (welcome to the Big Stage) Milton Bradley carrying them, but it might be too hard of a task. Of course now that I’ve been caught up in my real job for a few hours, the A’s are up on Santana 2-0 in the 6th inning. Hmmm…

NLDS

1. Mets vs. Dodgers

El Duque is going to be much better than anyone realizes. The Dodgers are incredibly streaky, but I can’t really see their lineup (Marlon Anderson, anyone?) stacking up against the Mets. It’ll be a good series, but the Mets should win.

2. Padres vs. Cardinals

The Cardinals are fielding their worst team in years and are running on fumes. The Padres wil have a tough time facing Chris Carpenter (possibly twice), but St. Louis doesn’t have any other arms of note. Two words: walk Pujols. Two more: Pods win.

ALCS

It’ll probably be Twins-Yankees and it probably won’t be a very good series. In fact, I bet Johan Santana wins game 5 vs. the A’s and the Twins will head back to Minnesota down 0-2 after dropping a pair in New York. The Twins will win a pair of games at home — where they’re a much better team, and where the elderly Yankees will struggle in the field — but the Yanks are too much for them. Should the A’s  make it, they’ll give the Yanks a tougher time. Frank Thomas is determined to get a ring for being on the field instead of off it, and I really think Milton Bradley needs a big stage to be the All-Star he’s always threatening to be. But do I trust the A’s bullpen to come through against the Yanks? Not really, no.

NLCS

The Mets have been slumping at the plate recently, and if they face a team that can run out any one of five ENTIRELY different starters in Jake Peavy, Chris Young, David Wells, Clay Hensley and Woody Williams, it won’t be pretty. The Padres are harly the ’27 (or 2006) Yankees, but they have enough firepower to get by the likes of John Maine, Steve Traschel and a pair of 40-year-olds. Plus, it doesn’t get much more "Mets" than losing an already-punched ticket to the World Series to a team with the franchise player they kicked to the curb. Call it Piazza’s revenge. The Padres stay in New York.

World Series

Can the Padres beat the Yankees? Absolutely. Will they? That’s another story. They’ve got the best pitching, and nice defense, but I can’t see a team that’s almost useless on offense beating the Yankees in the World Series. Having Mike Piazza DH for four games will be a big help, but probably not enough. If the Mets make it to the World Series, they’ll give the Yanks a good fight — and might actually win — but I’m just not sure they can top the Padres to get there.

Whatever. I just hope the playoffs are fun. And that the Yankees don’t win.

Final writings

Here are the last couple of things I wrote this season…

1. Great Debate: 2007 Preseason Fantasy Team

Is what it is.

2. The final roundtable: Fantasy awards!

This one was kinda fun, though I really didn’t have much time to give it proper thought. My votes were…

Fantasy MVP: Albert Pujols
Most people chose Soriano, which probably would have made sense. Oops.

Fantasy Cy Young: Johan Santana
Nobody voted for anyone else. Yup, he’s that good.

Rookie of the Year: Jonathan Papelbon
Simply a monster year. Lirano was great, but only mattered for half a season. No need to vote for him.

Disappointment: Morgan Ensberg
I voted for Jorge Cantu, mainly because I rode Ensberg’s hot streak and then traded him, which I didn’t find very disappointing at all.

Draft-day steal: Justin Morneau
’bout time.

Waiver-wire Pickup: J.J Putz
Hee hee. I said Putz.

Comeback: Frank Thomas
Nobody else deserved a vote.

Utilityman: Bill Hall
Freddy Sanchez won a batting title, but Hall had over 30 homers. I’ll take the dingers, thanks.

Inconsistent: Dontrelle Willis
You never knew what you’d get. Francoeur makes sense as well though.

Biggest Fizzle: Chris Shelton
Obvious choice.

Best moustache: Burt Reynolds and Dave Bush
Neither got a mention. What can you do.

Recent stuff…

1. Last week’s Great Debate: Which baseball players would make great fantasy football players.

Don’t ask. Just read.

2. This week’s roundtable: Which great rookie won’t be so great in 2007.

Nine writers. Everyone chose Dan Uggla or Jonathan Papelbon except for me (Cole Hamels) and Tim (no relation to Mel) Ott, who chose Josh Barfield. Can’t say I agree with the Barfield thing, as he’s supposed to be a decent player for a long, long time, but Papelbon and Uggla? Will Big Pap have an ERA under 1.00? Of course not, but he’ll be a fine starter or reliever. He’s hardly a one-hit wonder. As for Uggla, it’s not CLEAR to me why he’s doing so well. This sudden (h)GROWTH(h) in his stats does make you think. I just didn’t write about him because I knew everyone else would, and I gave him some love in my football column the week before.

3. The previous roundtable: Which "big name" should you cut ties with.

This turned out to be an interesting topic, as everyone chose a different player. No need to go into all of them, but I chose Mike Piazza, who promptly homered in back-to-back games as soon as the column was posted. BUT, he was playing in Cincinnatti, where some dude named David Ross has been blasting homers left and right all season. Since leaving Cincy, Piazza is 1-for-11. I feel justified.

Are you ready for some National Football League?

So football starts this Sunday. Actually, it started last night, but there’s something kind of lame about football starting on a Thursday, so let’s pretend it starts on Sunday.

Earlier this year I made the executive decision to not have a fantasy football team for the first time this century, and I’m 180% happy with my decision. Fantasy football drives me nuts. Every year one team is done because one of the 15 "best" players inevitably suffers a season-ending injury in week one. In fantasy baseball, at least you have a 24 man team to make up for the loss of a big gun. In fantasy football you’re pretty much screwed.

There’s also the fact that in 2004 I had the best team BY FAR in my league and then in week one of the playoffs Shaun Alexander had his worst game of the year and Terrell Owens broke his leg. Not that I’m still bitter or anything. Or am I bitter that the following week my team scored more points than any other team all season. Hooray for fantasy football!

I am doing an NFL "Pick ’em" pool at work, which will give me reason to spend Sundays yelling at the TV like every other American this fall. So at least I’ve got that going for me. But those games I’ll take week-by-week. Other than that, I’ve done precious little preparing for the season. No NFL Live, no football reading…I just haven’t wanted to care.

With that said, it’s time for me to make some BOLD predictions about the season. Considering I know nothing about the league, who cares if I’m wrong? And if I’m right? How ’bout that…

AFC EAST

1. Patriots
Not because they’re so great anymore, but because the competition doesn’t seem that stiff.

2. Bills
It’s cold up there!

3. Dolphins
Speaking of stiff, did you watch Culpepper’s debut last night?

4. Jets
Another reason I hated fantasy football? 55-year-old Curtis Martin ALWAYS came up huge against me, costing me 4-5 wins the last few years.

AFC North

1. Steelers
Why pick against the champs?

2. Bengals
Why pick against the (former) chumps?

3. Ravens
Real men do NOT wear purple.

4. Browns
Browns? Reds? Why aren’t Ohioans more creative?

AFC South

1. Jaguars
Always liked the cars.

2. Colts
Blah, blah, blah.

3. Titans
I really, really, really don’t like college football, but Vince Young’s performance in the Rose Bowl was one of the best things I’ve ever seen.

4. Texans
Blah, blah, blah.

AFC West

1. Chiefs
I feel like they go 10-6 or 9-7 every year.

2. Chargers
You stay classy San Diego.

3. Broncos
You stay bearded Jake Plummer.

4. Raiders
Though I feel like the super-quiet Randy Moss will have a 2,000 yard season.

NFC East

1. Cowboys
You might not want to invite him over for tea, but Terrell Owens is pretty good…

2. Eagles
…and the Cowboys will only win if Owens makes it out of Philly alive this season.

3. Giants
I don’t know football, but I know baseball. And Tom Coughlin seems to be football’s Buck Showalter. That works almost never.

4. Redskins
Not without Coach Janky Spanky at 100%.

NFC North

1. Lions
It’s about time, isn’t it?

2. Bears
They’ll probably finish in first, but in case the Lions are good, I wanted to say "I told you so, even though I know very little about football."

3. Vikings
Third place? You betcha.

4. Packers
Just retire, Brett. Please. You and Clemens need to leave us alone.

NFC South

1. Panthers
As far as I know they’re the only professional sports franchise whose name in Spanish can double for a heavy metal band.

2. Falcons
One of these years it will be their year.

3. Bucs
Third place doesn’t sound great, but on the bright side, it’s higher than the Devil Rays will ever finish.

4. Saints
Would love to pick them to finish higher, but barring an injury to Cadillac Williams or Michael Vick, it won’t happen.

NFC West

1. Seahawks
Though their QB’s sister-in-law needs to shut the uck-fay up.

2. Cardinals
Sure, why not.

3. Rams
A city not know for a plethora of Rams. But then again, neither was Los Angeles.

4. 49ers
I can name two people on the team. And I’m pretty sure they’re tight end’s name is Brent, but then again whose isn’t?

AFC Title Game: Cheifs over Steelers
NFC Title Game: Panthers over Cowboys
Super Bowl: Panthers over Chiefs

And if that’s not remotely correct, just remember: I have no idea what we’re yelling about.

Get Wired

Ep05_omar_walk_streetWent to the premiere of season four of The Wire last night. It might be a tad hard to follow if you haven’t watched the other seasons, but it’s far beyond watching. Just an excellent, excellent show.

Do yourself a favor and watch. It’s not like you’ve got anything better to do on Sunday Nights. Who do you think you are, John Madden?