World Series Prediction

Ah, post-season baseball as it should be:  Dominating starting pitching rules the day; teams without starting pitching rue the day.  May the better pitching win the World Series.  The question is:  Who has the better pitching?  Well, on paper, SF has the better 1-2-3 starting pitching punch, beginning with 2-time Cy Young Tim Lincecum (who outdueled No-Hitter Halladay), followed by Matt Cain, who has yet to give up an earned run in the post-season, then two lefties (Texas hits lefties worse than righties).  So SF wins, right?  Maybe, but not so fast.

Cliff Lee’s post-season left-handed pitching has been downright Koufaxian, no, Ruthian.  So, although Lincecum could win Game 1 by outdueling Lee (like he did Halladay), changing the World Series calculus, it’s more likely that Cliff Lee is done losing for the season, in which case, Texas looks to become world champions.

SF has enough pitching, starting pitching anyway, to send the World Series to 6 or 7 games, but in the end, it looks to be better to have one all-time-great post-season stud, 2-3 other good starters, and a powerful lineup, than to have a great 1-2-3 punch, but with a mostly punchless offense.

SF may well be title contenders again next year, as they have the best young starting pitching in basball, but this year it’s the Lee-Hamilton show.  While Texas still has them anyway.

And, we’re talking history folks.  Never before or since will the World Series and Super Bowl be hosted in Texas in the same year. 

PS: Although Roysaidit had SF losing to Philly, note this comment: “This series could go long as both teams have terrific starting pitching.”

PS2: At least the Texas over Yankees prediction was correct.

PS3: How about Bengie Molina getting a World Series ring no matter who wins, as he was traded from SF to Texas. Talk about destiny!

Afternoon Joe

So there I was, Saturday afternoon, helping my daughter put her shoes on after gymnastics class and I overhear one parent say to another: “Good luck tonight.”  I look up, and guess who’s there picking up his daughter? Yankee Manager Joe Girardi.   Now I’m a Mets fan of course, but it is pretty cool that, on the afternoon of a playoff game day no less, Girardi is picking up his daughter from class.  Good for you Joe!

Second Round MLB Baseball Predictions

Philly over SF

First game matchup between Roy Halladay (first round: no-hitter) and Tim Lincecum (first round: two-hitter, with 14 Ks) could be one for the ages.  But Halladay gets to face a much weaker lineup.   This series could go long as both teams have terrific starting pitching. 

Texas over Yankees.

Let’s say Texas splits the first two, Cliff Lee continues being Cliff Lee, then Texas splits the next two and, voila, Cliff Lee can wrap it up in Game 6.  But if Yanks win any game Lee starts, that’s all folks. 

Updated World Series Prediction:  Philly v. Texas

Winner:  Still Philadelphia (although it would be hard to bet against Cliff Lee).

MLB Post-season Predictions

Philly over Cincy

Cincy may soon be what Philly is.  But not yet.

SF over Braves

This should be a close, highly contested series. Both teams have the starting pitching to go far in the post-season, but SF’s is younger and has home field.  And shouldn’t it burn Mets fans that their own closer, Francisco Rodriguez, is at home with a self-inflicted wounded pitching hand from punching the grandfather of his kids, while their former closer, Billy Wagner, had a great year closing for the Braves and is now in the playoffs.

Tampa Bay over Texas

The winner here may well go to the World Series.   Texas has the better offense, but Tampa literally runs deeper.   And good for former Met Jeff Francoeur, getting to play for a winner.

Minnesota over Yankees

I will defer to the reasoning set forth here by David Lariviere: http://blogs.forbes.com/sportsmoney/2010/10/04/yanks-division-apathy-likely-to-be-costly-in-playoffs/

World Series:  Philly v. T.B.

Winner:  Philadelphia, a franchise run as well as any in baseball, in contrast to the Mets, who should also take note from Atlanta.

Yankee Strategy Questioned

http://blogs.forbes.com/sportsmoney/2010/10/04/yanks-division-apathy-likely-to-be-costly-in-playoffs/

On Being a Mets Fan (with apologies to U2…and the rest of you)

To paraphrase those lyrical poets of the 80s, U2, on rooting for the Mets:

I have climbed the Flushing fences, I have run through the Shea and Citi Fields
Only to be with the Mets, only to be with the Mets
I have run with Jose Reyes, I have crawled with Timo Perez
I have scaled those Shea Walls (with Endy), now these Citi walls
Only to be with the Mets
But I still haven’t found 1986.
But I still haven’t found 1969.

It couldn’t get worse for the Mets, or could it?

If you are one of us Mets fans, you know the answer.

I wish I could say that I were making it up that the Mets’ (former?) closer Francisco Rodriguez (whose nickname K-Rod has nothing to do with what I am about to tell you) now appears to be out for the rest of the year due to injuries he sustained beating up the grandfather of his children.

Yes, you read that right.  Rodriguez now appears to require season-ending surgery to repair thumb ligaments he injured by repeatedly punching his children’s grandfather in the head and face.  The obligatory adjective “alleged” is barely appropriate here, given that the many stated witnesses to the attack included the wives and children of Mets players.

The “good news” (at least for the Wilpons, for whom the season has become an indictment of the damage they have let GM Omar Minaya do to the team over the last half decade) is that Rodriguez’s “non-baseball-activity” injuries may enable the Mets to void the remainder of Rodriguez’s contract, perhaps preventing him from poisoining the Mets current crop of young players who, we hope, might usher in a vastly more professional (and more talented) era than the current culture of which Rodriguez’s showboat antics and off-the-field troubles have become an symptomatic.

A hopeful good riddance to the classlessness exhibited by Rodriguez since his arrival.

Mets Mess

Met closer Francisco Rodriguez was arrested and jailed for allegedly throwing his girlfriend’s father, Carlos Pena, against a wall and, until being pulled away by security, pummeling him with enough punches to bruise his face and send him to the hospital.  All of this occurred at Citi Field in full view of other Met players’ wives and children.   Met ownership expressed their “disappointment” in Rodriguez’s “inappropriate” behavior.  Inappropriate?  Really?  Met Manager Jerry Manuel said “We’ve had a lot of things go on here and there.”  “Maybe it’s a distraction we need,” Met Outfielder Jeff Francoeur said. “Not to say it’s a good thing. But maybe at the end of the day we can turn it into a positive. I know for him, it’s between him and his family.”

Where is the outrage for the Mets’ $12-million-dollar-a-year closer beating up his relative in front of players’ wives and children at the ballpark?  How about “unacceptable”?  How about “intolerable”?  How about suspending him for the rest of the year?  How about Mets management finally holding someone accountable for the inmates running the Met asylum?  Met fans have long given up the mantra of “meaningful games” in September, but is it too much to ask for condemnation when their players are arrested for assaulting family members in front of other players’ children?

The Mets entered the summer vying for a playoff spot…

… Then from the end of June until the beginning of August, as the Phillies and Braves added key pieces to make their playoff runs, the Mets made no moves and now have the worst record in baseball during that time.  Yet owner Fred Wilpon has just given GM Omar Minaya a vote of confidence for 2011.  Confidence in what?

Congrats to Rays Matt Garza for Pitching a No-Hitter. What about the Mets?

Every major league franchise has pitched a no-hitter, except two:  the San Diego Padres, and, of course, the Mets, who have not managed a no-hitter in their almost-50-year existence, despite having some of baseball’s best pitchers over that period.  Ex-Mets who went on to pitch no-hitters elsewhere include Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, David Cone, Dwight Gooden, Mike Scott, Hideo Nomo.

And 10 Pitchers pitched no-hitters BEFORE they joined the Mets.

Bonus trivia:  Hideo Nomo pitched no-hitters both before he pitched for the Mets, and after.

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