Just briefly… I hope the Yankees volunteered to fly the Twins in on a private jet for Game One tonight. Detroit would have upset New York, but Ryan Rayburn made absolutely the worst defensive play I’ve ever seen in such a vital game (anybody ever mention anything about keeping the ball in front of you — or if you decide to risk it, about putting the glove down rather than just sliding purposelessly?) and so it is Minnesota. The storybook Twins have been utterly stumped by the Yankees for six years and should remain so.
Instead the Red Sox could knock off the Angels, another team that would handily dispatch New York. And the Yankees continue to match up well against Boston. Thus a team with dubious starting pitching and nightmarish outfield defense is the favorite for the World Series (unless the Angels fend off Boston – I’m not convinced Brian Fuentes will come up big for the Angels, not a guy who once lost a closer’s job to Manny Corpas).
The Dodgers won a bad division badly and Manny Ramirez was, for some unknown reason, just not the same after returning from suspension. The Cardinals might roll right through them, though Joel Pineiro, nearly flawless until September 1, has looked like a tired tanker since. As to the other NL Series, it’s possible neither team (Phillies: no closer; Rockies: no De La Rosa, and Marquis being skipped) will win. Thus are the Phillies favored solely for hosting the 5th Game and the fact that their key lefty sluggers are now facing an all-righty rotation. Either winner of the Cards-Dodgers series will handle either winner of the Phils-Rockies clash.
So the Series looks like the Yankees and the Cardinals, but we’ll get to that if and when any of these predictions accidentally come true.
And, yes, my Dad is, as of tonight, still holding a grudge against the Yanks for trading his favorite player, Steve Souchock, in the off-season of 1948-49. However, he has advised me that the “check, please,” moment was actually the day a year later when they then shipped his next-favorite, second baseman George “Snuffy” Stirnweiss, to the St. Louis Browns. I hadn’t known that. Dad hasn’t forgotten.