Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Playoff Time

Is it too late to make public my '06 playoff predictions? I say no. It may seem like cheating since the playoffs began on Tuesday, but you just gotta trust me that I'm telling the truth here. It's not like these picks are rocket science you can refer to my pre-season picks to see where I stand on the A's.

NLDS: Mets over Dodgers, Cardinals over Padres

Why? I know the Mets starting pitching is a concern, but they can still hit the hell out of the ball. The Cardinals aren't world beaters, but they are just good enough to get by the Pads.

ALDS: A's over Twins, Yankees over Tigers

Why? The A's were my preseason pick to win it all and I'm sticking with 'em. The Yankees have the best 1-9 batting lineup of any team in my lifetime.

I realize it is highly suspicious that all of the teams I picked already have the lead in their respective series, but it is what it is.

If the playoffs aren't interesting enough for you without the Phillies being involved, fear not - the Inquirer has the complete list of ex-Phillies in the playoffs []:

Oakland A's: None

Minnesota Twins: Nick Punto and Carlos Silva

Detroit Tigers: Todd Jones and Placido Polanco; coach Andy Van Slyke

New York Yankees: Bobby Abreu, Sal Fasano and Cory Lidle; coaches Larry Bowa and Joe Kerrigan

San Diego Padres: Coach Darrel Akerfelds

St. Louis Cardinals: Gary Bennett and Scott Rolen

Los Angeles Dodgers: Marlon Anderson, Kenny Lofton and Ramon Martinez; coaches Mariano Duncan and Dan Warthen

New York Mets: Endy Chavez, Julio Franco, Roberto Hernandez, Michael Tucker and Billy Wagner

So out of these groups of players, can we determine what team ought to be the favorite of Phillies fans? The Mets are clearly out for many reasons: 1. Billy Wagner, 2. Roberto Horrendous, 3. Endy Chavez (I hate that he is doing well this year), 4. They are the Mets. The Cardinals are out...that goes without saying (and yet I said it anyway...go figure). The Tigers have Todd Jones on their team - he may actually be my least favorite Phillie of all-time.

The teams that deserve a little love are few and far between...the Marlon Anderson/Mariano Duncan duo is impressive, but it's hard to root for a team that beat the Phils out of a playoff spot - I'm a sad, bitter man. Minnesota has a decent argument - I can't say I have anything against Nicky Punto or Carlos Silva. The Yankees have some guy named Abreu (I can't believe he only had 4 RBI in Game One...he is so "unclutch") and I'll root for him as much as I would if he were still a Phillie, but in the end my dislike of the Yankees wins out. Plus, it makes me happy to know that Jason Giambi still hasn't won a ring...

This leaves us with two teams that have little (San Diego) to no (Oakland) connections to the Phillies. Sure, the Padres have a coach who is an ex-Phillie, but who really cares? Plus they are like the Dodgers in that they beat out the Phils for a playoff spot...not cool, Pads, not cool. So we are left with Oakland...a team with no ex-Phillies, but a team that is ex-Philly. The Philadelphia Athletics connection, the great Billy Beane running the show, Frank Thomas showing that he is a first ballot HOFer, Rich Harden's intriguing storyline of returning from injury...the choice is clear - it's time to adopt Oakland for the '06 playoffs.


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