Who’ve You Got In The Fall Classic ? It’s Anyone’s Series To Win Should They Want It Enough …………
OK so here it is at last the ‘Fall Classic’ and baseball’s playoffs are upon us , the ALDS and NLDS begin. My biggest thought now is this really what the fans will want and appreciate ? That being said it goes without saying that the meltdown by the San Diego Padres and their season coming down to the last few weeks where their play was so inconsistent. One has to ask one’s self how could it all have gone so wrong in such a short period of time ? And then we have the Atlanta Braves who with their esteemed manager Bobby Cox are looking to make his last appearance in the postseason a memorable one . Could we be in with a fairy tale ending after all ? Stranger things are known to have happened and it’s not as if much was actually expected of this Braves’ team much less them making the postseason with a revamped team.
Slide show for your perusal .
Well the usual suspects are there in the guise of the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays. That being said of that triumvirate the most pressure might just be on the Rays and Yankees , given the Rays’ financial situation and that of the Yankees with the loss of their esteemed owner George Steinbrenner. From my own perspective I’m just hoping to see several entertaining series with the best teams prevailing throughout.
In the NL I do feel that the whole playoff scenario is the Phillies to lose ! I doubt that there’s a pitching rotation in the playoffs that is the equal of their starting triumvirate of Roy Halladay , Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt. And while everyone may well point to the Rangers’ starting duo of Cliff Lee and C J Wilson or the Yanees’ CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes . There’s no way in hell that any of the other teams can match that firepower of a starting lineup in terms of a pitching rotation ! However as a precursor , the postseason isn’t simply just about pitching , as offense carries its own weight also in the equation .
The match-ups themselves make for an interesting scenario by way of the pairings as we have the Tampa Bay Rays taking on the Texas Rangers and where the New York Yankees will be taking on the Minnesota Twins. And is anyone certain that we’ll see the Yankees successfully come through the divisional rounds of the playoffs given the woes of their pitching as of late ? The Rays and their series against the Rangers pits a combustible offense in that of the Rangers against that of the Rays and their all round balance and a manager in Joe Maddon who tends to be systematic in his management style . The Rangers will counter that with Ron Washington and a team whose change in ownership wherein Nolan Ryan and Chuck Greenberg are looking to ring in a new era which is totally different from that of the rather dour tenured reign of Tom Hicks and what some might deem was one of the most idiotic reigns ever of a baseball franchise. What Hicks brought to the Rangers was nothing but controversy and a great deal of debt and for those assholes out there who still think of Hicks as being an entrepreneur and consummate businessman. Consider this , Hicks and each of his sporting concerns have been on the brink of bankruptcy over the last five years. And this simply proves that because you have millions or billions as the case maybe it doesn’t automatically make you primed to be the “best owner” of a professional sports franchise.
The NLDS has a quartet of teams each with a storied history and the feelgood story here might just be the fact that Braves’ manager Bobby Cox in his last managerial season could just go out with a bang should the team actually manage to make it to the World Series. Unlikely as this might be there is a feeling given the right set of circumstances and the drive of a young team hoping to send this renowned manager out with a second World Series title. The Braves will take on the San Francisco Giants led by manager Bruce Bochy whose team essentially ended whatever hopes that the San Diego Padres might have had of making the postseason. And as intriguing as this series might appear on paper many feel that the Giants should be able to deal with the Braves with a great deal of ease. I wouldn’t go as far as to suggest that it might be that easy given Cox’s postseason experience. He’ll have his team motivated, primed and ready to play with a great deal of heart and the outcome could be a great deal more interesting than some would hope.
In the other NLDS game we’ll see the Phillies take on the NL Central division winning Cincinnati Reds. And for Reds’ manager Dusty Baker this might well have been a season of redemption after his failures with the Chicago Cubs . This series has everything that a fan of the game could wish for . The Reds have an offense that on its day can be as good as any within baseball (MLB) but there’d be those who’d state otherwise. In this series I do feel that the fans could be primed for a surprise if the Reds play up to their undoubted potential. Scott Rolen , Joey Votto and Johnny Cueto could make this a series to remember for the Cincinnati Reds’ fans. The Phillies on the other hand will be looking not only cement themselves as the ‘class of the National League’ by looking to win their their third consecutive NL pennant should the scenario take them that far. And most definitely for manager Charlie Manuel and GM Rueben Amaro Jr this will go a long way in vindicating the organization when many felt that they’d made a big mistake in letting Cliff Lee go by trading him to the Seattle Mariners.
Now as much as the fans here in the Tampa Bay area are rejoicing with the fact that the Rays won the AL East divisional title . It has to be said all of the excitement in the world won’t be able to hide the fact that should this team not prevail in the postseason then the ramifications will be there for all to see . Stuart Sternbberg and his partners now are in the midst of what might just be the most important year in this ball-club’s existence. Needing to have more than just a successful run throughout the playoffs the ays by my own estimation do need to win the World Series if there’s to be a remote chance of the team remaining intact for next season. We’ve either read or heard about the financial problems that the organization has had. Winning they say is everything and now more than any other time in its history it is incumbent upon the club to have a successful run to the World Series. Though anything short of that might not be viewed as catastrophic within the baseball world or for the fans of the team, although those within the locale might deem it as being something of a disaster. The financial vagaries of the game makes it something of a financial boon for a small market team when they make it to and win the World Series. For the Rays in 2008 it was their moment to shine but unfortunately then for the team , the final outcome wasn’t as envisaged. This time around it’s all or bust for this Rays’ franchise.
As to the reigning World Series champions this is the part of the season where they’re usually expected to shine. The New York Yankees and their series against the Minnesota Twins might not be as clear cut as some may well believe it to be . Anyone who’s seen the Yankees final season regular game series against the Kansas City Royals will know that the team’s pitching isn’t anywhere as feared as many would feel that it will need to be. With the exception of CC Sabathia , Phil Hughes , Kerry Wood and the ever consummate Mariano Rivera ___ there’s been little to suggest that all is right with the Yankees’ pitching. But then to write off the Yankees would be to do so at your peril. The Twins for their part will be without Justin Morneau but there to captain the reins will be Joe Mauer and the guiding hand of their manager Ron Gardenhire. This series could be something where there’ll be either a great deal of intrigue or we could just see one of these teams completely overwhelming the other . It could all come down to not just the play of both but also the managing philosophy of Gardenhire and Joe Girardi and how they’ve prepared their teams for the divisional series’ play.
Picture gallery for your perusal.
If anything do you feel that the postseason will bring about a great deal of excitement and which teams do you foresee making it to the World Series ?
Alan aka tophatal ……………………. 🙂
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New York Yankees vs Minnesota Twins
Tampa Bay Rays vs Texas Rangers
NLDS match-ups Atlanta Braves vs San Francisco Giants
Philadelphia Phillies vs Cincinnati Reds
Texan Tom Hicks whose ownership of the Dallas Stars, Texas Rangers and Liverpool F.C. club has amassed in excess of $2.0 billion worth of debt with little more than $1 billion of assets. Hicks has been able to obtain refinancing for the soccer team in order to stave off financial ruin and the unwanted advances of several potential bidders who were showing interest in the Premiership soccer club. .
Hot Latina Larissa Riquelme a staple of Maxim Magazine .