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The Playoffs

Monday, October 4, 2004

Well, the season ended yesterday, disappointingly. But today's post brings us the final installment of an on-going update:

The Season Ended (yester)Today: drumroll please:

National League

  • NL Central Division Champions: St. Louis Cardinals 105-57 *best record in baseball.
  • NL Eastern Division Champions: Atlanta Braves 96 - 66 *13th consecutive title
  • NL Western Division Champions: Los Angeles Dodgers 93-69
  • NL Wild-Card Winner: Houston Astros 92-70

American League

  • AL Eastern Division Champions: New York Yankees 101 - 61 *7th consecutive title
  • AL Wild-Card Winner: Boston Red Sox 98-64
  • AL Western Division Champions: Anaheim Angels 92 - 70
  • AL Central Division Champions: Minnesota Twins 92 - 70 *3rd consecutive title

The Matchups

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers: This LDS will feature a team which clinched its playoff spot on the next to last day of the season (LA) with one that was assured of going to the playoffs in early August. While the Cardinals have been repeatedly attacked (by myself and others) for having weak pitching... so do the Dodgers.
Prognostication: Cardinals in 4.
My Rooting Interest: I am actually cheering for the Cardinals. I am cheering for them to win the World Series... I feel bad for disrespecting this team.

Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros: This LDS will feature the most dominant regular season dynasty of all time pitted against a team which made the playoffs on the last day of the season. Interestingly enough, the Braves were left for dead at the beginning of the season (by myself and others), while the Astros were presumed dead midway through this year. Both teams overcame significant obstacles, and little media coverage to claim their spot in the post-season.
Prognostication: Astros in 5. This team is incredibly hot and reminds me a lot of the 2004 Marlins.
My Rooting Interest: Go Braves! I started rooting for the Braves in the post-season when they got Maddux... and now is no time to start. Plus, I hate the Astros more than I hate the Cardinals.

New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins: The Twins and the Yankees will meet for the second straight season in the LDS. Last year, the evil empire won in 4, on their way to yet another World Series appearance. For the Twinkies, this division title is especially sweet because they had to let some key components of their '02 and '03 teams go. Making the playoffs again this year is further proof that low budget teams still have a fighting chance in baseball... an uphill climb, but a fighting chance nonetheless (provided you are not in the AL East... in which case you have no chance. Its time to start writing about the St. Pete curse.
Prognostication: Twins in 4. This is like the 15-2 upset in the NCAA final four. One happens each year, and this time its the Twins turn.
My Rooting Interest: I don't like the Yankees, and I don't want to watch them in another World Series. Plus, I think the Twins are due this year.

Anaheim Angels vs. Boston Red Sox: The Reds return to the post-season for the second straight year (and 4 out of 7). The Angels return two years after winning the Series. Both teams spent mega-bucks to get to the playoffs, and they both have fantastic star qualities. While I like the Angels players (and Manager) better than those of the Red Sox, I feel a special kindred with Red Sox fans... except they are all petty %$^&* (meanies). It will take me a long time to forgive the fans, media, & management of Boston for the hack job they did on Nomar on his way out the door. Still, I genuinely believe that if the Red Sox could win the World Series... then we could too.
Prognostication: Angels in 5.
My Rooting Interest: Red Sox... if they can do it, so can we.

If I were King: (Line stolen from John Williams WGN Radio)

The Cardinals beat the Dodgers... what a fantastic matchup by the way. The Braves beat the 'stros. Then the Cards defeat the Braves, where they meet...

The Twinkies vanquish the evil empire... maybe Torii Hunter can run over Jorge Posada and start: "The Hunter's Curse" prohibiting the Yankees from ever reaching the series again. Then, the Red Sox defeat the Angels, believing they finally have a clear path to the World Series... no Yankees and all.

In the ALCS, the Twins put the smack down on the Red Sox... maybe a lost flyball in the Twinkie-dome ceiling can take its place with the Buckner incident (just as long as its not "unfrozen caveman baseball player Johnny Damon" who is immortalized as a goat... and you thought I had forgiven you Boston... smite Boston :)

The Twins and the Cardinals then square off in the "middle-America series" where the Cards win in 7.

Happy playoffs everyone.

Cubs News: Chip Caray is leaving for Atlanta, Steve Stone's future is in doubt, and Nomar will consider staying in Chicago.

Game # 162: Cubs 10, Braves 8. Meaningless.

Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!
Posted by Byron at October 4, 2004 3:08 PM | Bookmark and Share | BallHype: hype it up!
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