Is it really October already? Has the 2007 regular season come and gone, or was what we witnessed just a dream, an opium hallucination of baseball euphoria? While it may have been a pleasant trip into the ether or a nightmare spawned from the Prince of Darkness himself, depending on which team you root for, the baseball fan in you has to admit that this may have been the greatest regular season ever played.
And tomorrow, we head into the playoffs, where none of what happened between April and September matters. Where anybody can be a hero or a goat, where the work of 162 games pays off or dries up, where you go home happy or you just go home.
With that, it’s time to make some picks, which I’m notoriously bad at.
Chicago and Arizona: Coming from the National League "Comedy Central," the Cubs didn’t have to be great to get here. Sure, their offense has been spectacular these last few months, but it’s going to have to be better to get through Brandon Webb and the Diamondbacks. Only thing working against Arizona is the youth; if they fold under the pressure of the playoffs, Chicago will roll over them. Prediction: Arizona in 4
New York and Cleveland: I don’t see why this one is such a toss-up. The Yankees have been the hottest team in baseball since June, and while the Indians are a really good team, they just can’t out-muscle the Yanks. Provided the pitching doesn’t implode or the starting rotation in particular succumb to the early stages of Alzheimer’s, the Yankees should make quick work of the Indians. Prediction: New York in 3 What I’d like to see: The Yankees sweep Cleveland, with A-Rod going 15-for-15 with 15 home runs. Then the Yankees facing the Angels in the ALCS, where they get swept, but A-Rod goes 20-for-20 with 20 home runs. Then he opts out, and gives the finger to those who booed him in the Bronx last year.
Philadelphia and Colorado: Get a coin. Flip it. Heads, the Rockies win in 5. Tails, the Phillies win in 5. That’s the best you can do to predict this one. Both teams are running on adrenaline as well as talent, and both have earned their place in October because of outstanding Septembers. Trying to predict a series that is fueled 90% by emotion is futile. Might as well try to predict the winner of every NCAA football rivalry this year. Yeah, I’d have taken USC over UCLA last year, too. Result of Coin Flip: Phillies in 5
Anaheim and Boston: Yes, I said Anaheim. Get over it. No, I don’t have a problem with "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim." If Arte Moreno wants to call them the "Tokyo Angels of London by way of direct flight from Beijing with a stopover in Moscow" that’s his choice, so long as it helps sell merchandise and brings more money into the club and puts a better team on the field. Yeah, I’m stalling. I really don’t want to make this pick. Boston is the better team, no doubt. But since when does that matter? Boston is also tired, having had to push their way through September, while the Angels have coasted through the last few weeks of the season, resting up. But everybody else sais "Boston in 4," and I want to be one of the cool kids, too! Prediction: Angels in 4. There, I said it. Get over yourself, Red Sox Nation. Your team is not the greatest thing to ever happen to America. In fact, lose that Red Sox Nation ****. You stole it from the Raiders, and their fans will snap your necks and eat your children.
OK, folks, here it is, my pathetic attempt at prognostication of the MLB postseason. Be sure to stop by here next week to laugh at me.
Yeah, I know I haven’t been around much lately. Family crises will do that to you. But, starting now, I should be back to my old blogging ways!
To keep you occupied, here’s a cool video:
I bet the Mariners wish they had one!
So, to take advantage of this relaxing day off, please enjoy a small clip from the greatest television show ever created:
Ever since the wonderful season that was 2002, I can’t go to a game without running into half a stadium full of fans like Homer! I’m sure anybody who has ever loved a crappy team that becomes successful experiences the exact same thing.
At the game I went to against the Yankees, there was a fan there, all decked out in Angels gear, arguing with Yankees fans about how the Halos kicked butt in last year’s playoffs. Only problem was, the Angels missed the playoffs by four games last year.
And not a "homer" like Hudler and Physioc!
"Centerfield" by John Fogarty
Great song + amazing baseball footage = classic music video!
The baseball fan in me makes it absolutely impossible to ever get tired of this song!
"Willie, Mickey, and The Duke (Talkin’ Baseball)" by Terry Cashman
Quite possibly the only song to give "Centerfield" a run for its money in popularity. The great thing about Terry Cashman is that he writes songs almost exclusively about baseball, and has done a version of "Talkin’ Baseball" for every MLB team. His albums can be ordered online, and as a plus to us Halo fans, the Angels version of "Talkin’ Baseball" is available as a free download!
And, of course, how can you hear "Talkin’ Baseball" without thinking of good old "Home Run" Homer?
Quite possibly the greatest episode of "The Simpsons," and DEFINITELY in my Top 10!
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OK, so in case you haven’t figured it out now, I tend to make posts like these when I don’t feel like posting about more important things. Like, oh, the fact that the Seattle Mariners have closed the gap in the AL West to ONE GAME.
Maybe after tonight’s game I’ll be happy and have reason to blog about an actual baseball game.
After Chris’s Blue Jays made my Angels look like amateurs last night, I found myself in need of some entertainment. I’m not sure how I ever lived without Youtube, but thankfully we now have this endless tub of time wasting video, and thankfully a few people put decent stuff up there.
So, keeping with the need for baseball entertainment, I give you two versions of Ernest Thayer’s classic "Casey at the Bat."
First, the original Disney cartoon from 1946:
And, of course, I would be doing the world a disservice were I not to post the sequel, "Casey Bats Again":
Though it’s hard to argue with the quality of the Disney production (particularly as it was made well before Disney became an Evil Empire), I find this one far more charming: