The playoff race is tight, tight, tight this year. Alas, no Mets or Orioles excitement but there are still plenty of great races going on. My take on the postseason worthy teams of 2005.
Boston - Sorry Weasel and Apes, but this team just isn't quite as romantic now that they are World Champions. That doesn't mean that I'm rooting for them to lose to the Yankees but it just isn't the same. Still, I would like to see them win two World Series in a row if no for other reason to continue to shut the Yankees' fans up. Ortiz is truly a beast but can they win with an iffy Schilling and Timlin as their closer? It is always nice to watch a game from Fenway so I always root hard for the Sox to advance far.
New York - I'm so sick of watching this team in October. That being said, if they can make it to the playoffs and have guys like Aaron Small and Shawn Chacon lead them, this will easily be the most interesting Yankees team since '96.
Chicago - I don't know why I can't get behind this team. They haven't won a World Series since 1917 yet you don't hear them bitching all the time about it. They play on the unglamorous South Side and when they win, all the stinking Wrigley yuppies get upset. So why am I so ambivalent? Their asshole owner? Their boring stadium? Ozzie Guillen? I don't know but this team always has kind of bored me and even when they are really good, they don't seem very scary. Apes predicted in May that this team wouldn't even make the playoffs. Even though, they have lost eleven and a half games off of their lead since 8/1, it would take an absolutely monumental collapse over the remaining two weeks to entirely miss out on the postseason.
Although if Cleveland overtakes them, I will be wrong by chiding Apes that they would never be able to catch the Chisox. Although, he did say that the Tigers would possibly catch them as well so I don't know how much credit I can give him on this one.
Cleveland - I am so in love with this team. I knew that this team was getting better and expected a contender by next year. But 2005? They are unstoppable right now! I love Sabathia and the way he wears his cap. He's a big mofo who is afraid of muggers and as far as I know still lives with Mommy. They have some great young players and some grizzly old fuckers like Bob Wickman. The Indians haven't won a World Series since '48 and I'm pulling for some big things to happen.
LA of Anaheim - Dumb team name, dumb city, and as Dave pointed out they have an annoying habit of Anglicizing Latin player's names, i.e. Francisco Rodriguez = Frankie Rodriguez. They've already recently won a championship and I'm rooting against this team making the playoffs.
Oakland - Another AL team that I can fully support. Billy Beane is a genius. I'm so sick of the Joe Morgans and Chris Russos of the world deriding Beane because of the book Moneyball. How many times have I had to hear "I'd make the playoffs if I had Zito, Hudson, and Mulder?" Nevermind the fact that Beane doesn't even get any credit for drafting those guys. He is smart enough to draft those guys but then gets penalized in the court of ignorant baseball opinion for having them on his team? And like the genius that he is, he decided to jettison Mulder and Hudson this offseason a year before they both could leave. Funny how I haven't heard Joe Morgan intone, "I could make the playoffs if I had Joe Blanton, Zito, and Dan Haren" much this year. This team is likable, plucky, and always underappreciated. What these fuckhead baseball people fail to understand is that Beane never said he had invented a new way to win -- he is just saying that a team in his market has to find value in areas that are undervalued. And they haven't embarked on the Daric Barton era yet.
Atlanta - I used to really really really hate this team. But now that the Mets haven't been good in awhile and two of my least favorite Braves have left the team - one even found his way to the Mets, I don't hate them nearly as much. Granted, the Tomahawk Chop still is awful. And their fans are possibly the worst in baseball. The fans are spoiled from all the winning? Boo fucking hoo. What a crock of shit! What this organziation has done since 1991 is truly astounding. Because they have only one World Series championship during this remarkable run, they don't get nearly enough credit. I still won't root for this team in the playoffs but my hatred has diminished. I wonder how much John Smoltz will have left in October after already throwing more innings than any year since 1997.
Philadelphia - I can't believe this team is actually winning. I can't see them doing anything in the postseason if they make it that far but I would have no problem rooting for them. In fact, if they are the Wild Card team, they will be the team I will be pulling for the most. I'd love to see Ryan Howard jack a few homers off of LaRussa's bitches in the first round.
Florida- Yes, they've already won twice in the past ten years but I wouldn't be that upset seeing this team in the playoffs for two reasons - Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. Maybe Beckett will get hot at the right time again and if so, this team will be quite formidable. I'm quite surprised that Mckeon hasn't been playing hot shot callup Jeremy Hermida more.
Washington - This past weekend might have been the final nail. How do you blow a 5-0 9th inning lead with 2 outs? Ouch. Frank Robinson is a crusty old bastard and I love it. I love that he pulls starting pitchers in the 2nd inning because he doesn't like what he sees, not because of game results. I love the fact that he'll put in a pinchrunner on a 2-0 count. Ah Frank. How is this team still in the race when they seemed like they were finished? If this team makes the playoffs and you don't root for them, you are a Communist.
St. Louis - Three words: Peaked too early
Houston - Even though this team has never even been to a World Series, I can't get behind them. First of all, they play in Texas. Secondly, Roger Clemens. That's enough, isn't it? However, a healthy Clemens, Pettitte, and Oswalt will be quite formidable in a short series and I could see this team winning the pennant.
San Diego - They have a good shot of cruising to the postseason with a record under .500. The '87 Twins only won 85 games and the '73 Mets only won 82. If you make the playoffs, that is all that is needed. With a great bullpen, Jake Peavy, and some solid hitters, this team could surprise in the postseason. With the likes of St. Louis, Houston, and Atlanta likely mucking up the NL playoffs, I'll be rooting hard for the Padres.
Phillies 9 Mets 4
1 week ago