Sunday, September 28, 2003

Welcome to the post-season. The Major League Baseball regular season ends today, and 22 of the 30 teams go home for the winter, not to be seen again until they arrive in Florida and Arizona in February of 2004. Even the World Champion Anaheim Angels will be denied the chance to defend their championship, finishing well under .500 and will likely end the day 19 games behind the division winning Oakland A's (neither teams game had finished as of the time I write this). The only good news for the teams going home is that the Detroit Tigers managed to beat the AL Central winning Twins today, finishing the year at 43-119, one game better than the 1962 New York Mets.

So, the post-season starts on Tuesday with three games; Yankees-Twins at 1, Giants-Marlins at 4 and Cubs-Braves at 8. The Sox don't get started until Wednesday night at the unbelievable hour of 10 PM Eastern time. There are going to be a lot of bleary eyed members of the Nation come Thursday morning (including me). If it wasn't the end of the quarter at work, I'd seriously consider taking Thursday off so I could watch the game, sleep in and then catch game 2 at 4:00. However, duty calls.

Here are my picks for the results of the post-season. Check back in about three weeks and see how I did.

Division Series:
Cubs over Braves in 5 games
Giants over Marlins in 4 games
Yankees over Twins in 4 games
Red Sox over A's in 4 games

League Championship Series:
Cubs over Giants in 7 games
Red Sox over Yankees in 7 games

World Series:
Red Sox over Cubs in 7 games

OK, so how do I justify picking the most unlikely World Series pairing in baseball history?

I look at it this way - there is no overwhelming favorite in the playoffs this year. There's no '76 Reds or '84 Tigers or '98 Yankees. The teams are all good, but they all have flaws. The Red Sox and Cubs are not significantly better or worse than any of the other teams playing. I'm figuring that Kismet owes both teams a few, so why not have it happen this year?

And wouldn't a Red Sox-Cubs World Series be great? Interest in baseball would explode. Casual fans, and even non-fans, would be fascinated by the fact that a winner would have to be crowned from these two teams. A great series between the Sox and Cubs would be as big as McGwire-Sosa in renewing interest in the game.

Regardless of who wins, enjoy October.


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