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MLB playoffs thread - no biz talk please


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#1 of 21 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted September 26 2002 - 02:15 PM

As requested, let's keep this thread 100% free of the money/payroll talks and the "I hate baseball, they almost went on strike" talk. I'm not saying that I don't get in there and mix it up as much as anyone on the money debates, but I just want someplace where I can pleasantly talk BASEBALL as a sport.

The players are where they are, let's not spend this thread discussing how they got there. Instead, let's talk about the rosters that will be playing in the postseason, what their chances are, what stories are intriguing, etc.


Right now we have many good stories.

NYY - Rivera coming back. Will he really be "back" or is he hiding an injury. Plus, one of the best stories of the year, Soriano. He's tailed off a bit down the stretch but still seems strong.

MIN - of all the feel goods, the most feel good. Still, they didn't look so hot against the A's this year, and that is almost certainly their first round matchup. Uh oh...

But Torii already showed us his flair for the dramatic on the big stage and Milton looked good the other day. However, Milton appears to still be on tap for the final day start, so he might not even get to pitch against the A's if it goes 3. I assume they would fit him in game 3 no matter what however.

But then again, they look to have it setup as Reed, Radke and Mays right now, and a case could be made for Lohse getting the 3rd start. Reed, Radke and Mays all had good outings against the A's, but the bullpen was horrible against them.


OAK - the monsters of the AL without a doubt to me. This was the best team last season and got knocked out by a Yankee team with a touch of luck and maybe just enough experience. I sincerely thought they were the better team and considered the Yanks win to be an upset.

No Giambi, sure. But with that rotation in the post-season and a first round match-up against the Twins, that puts them in a 7 game series with the Yanks instead of the 5 like the last 2 years.

WS favs by far to me at this point.

ANA - no chumps but the pitching seems iffy. Washburn is a solid ace however and Appier has turned back the clock (like Benes in StL).

I LOVE Garret Anderson. I think he is a great player and I always draft him to my fantasy teams because he just quietly gets it done (56 2Bs!!). Salmon has been great too. This team has a ton of solid offense, maybe more than the Yanks currently have (better AVR at least). Right now they might end up with 4 guys with 100 Runs Scored (which would tie the Yanks who have already reached that point).

That Yanks/Angels series could have a lot of fireworks from the bats. Should be a fun contrast to the A's/Twins series.


ATL - very intriguing team actually, partially because they have done it so much that most people set them aside as "yeah, so what", including their own fans this season. But you have Smolts closing and Shef hitting. Plus Millwood just cranking it way up in the 2nd half. Glavine, Maddux, Millwood - Remlinger, Smoltz. You have to respect that.

StL - well, if the Twins aren't the feel-good team then it has to be the Cards. Remember when the Kile death was going to destroy this team? Instead they got twice as tough. Joe Buck and all must be looking down from above leading this team along it's way or something.

Benes has been solid the last 2 months or so, and Morris is a top notch SP. Finley has also gone a bit under the radar despite being really tough since coming to the NL. Will Williams be healthy for the first round? Will Edmonds hold up?

It's hard for me to tell what the Cards post-season rotation plans are. They bumped out the starts of Finley and Benes with Wright and Stephanson so that Finley and Benes are scheduled for SAT and SUN. Right now it looks to be Morris, Simontacchi, Finley, Benes, and who knows how Williams will fit into that situation.

The Cards need a 9 games series more than anyone, with double headers every day. Posted Image

D'Backs - well, no Gonzo is not good no matter how well this team rebounds from it. Schill had 2 of his worst outings in a long time back to back, and even Randy has been a tad off lately. Remember how the "other 3" had to get it going for them to win and for quite awhile they had...well, that hasn't been the case lately. Batista, Helling and Anderson don't look so good right now.

Looks like their rotation will be Schill and Randy on long rests (could be good for them at this point), but then who? They've only played the Cards 6 times at this point and only Patterson's start the other day has been really solid (Randy was good, but not typical Randy).

This team looks to be running right into a wolf's den of trouble.

Giants - I assume LA is done now. They had their chance straight up against SF and couldn't take advantage.

The Giants are another team that gets overlooked because they always get there (so it seems) and go nowhere. They don't have the top 2 SPs that ARZ does but Schmidt has been a strong power pitcher down the stretch, Ortiz and Reuter have been solid the whole year. Felix Rodriguez has that 2nd half WHIP of .87 as your setup for Nen. That's a tough staff.


Anyway, this post season feels even more interesting than normal to me. There are so many good matchups to watch, and of course the solid pennant races in the West have made things even more exciting going into the post-season.

It looked like A's/D'backs until the other day. Now it's so hard to say. I like the A's of course, but you never can count out the Yanks in the post-season, especially with those bats and potentially solid SPs. I don't think the Angels are that far off the pace. The Twins might not quite have enough to do it.

In the NL, Bonds and Kent right now make SF an instant contender, but Bonds hasn't ever gotten over that hump. ATL and ARZ are both like the Yanks I think, you can't count them out because they have so many weapons and so much experience. But there is something about the way it's coming together for St. Louis right now. Feels like destiny a bit.

So maybe A'/Cards. That would be quite a WS.


What playoff stories intrigue you the most?

#2 of 21 OFFLINE   Clinton McClure

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Posted September 26 2002 - 02:29 PM

Been an Oakland fan since the early days of Rickey Henderson. I hope they go all the way this year.

#3 of 21 OFFLINE   Dave E H

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Posted September 26 2002 - 02:54 PM

Cards/A's would rock.

Quote:
Morris, Simontacchi, Finley,


Looks like it is all but announced that it will be Morris & Finley for the first two, and then its between Simontacchi & Benes for the third. I kinda doubt williams will be able to go for the first round.

Cards have tons of momentum. I think they will tie Arizona (regular season record) and will get home field. I'd argue they have the best lineup in the entire league right now.

#4 of 21 OFFLINE   John Thomas

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Posted September 26 2002 - 03:00 PM

Traditionally, I'm a Cardinals fan. The Whitey Herzog years are when I first started watching baseball. So obviously, I'm pulling for St.Louis to take it this year.

The other teams all have earned their spots in the playoffs, unlike basketball post-season. The NL breaks down thusly:

Atlanta - a quiet team, with not much attention drawn to them the entire year, except for the phenomenal relief pitching of Smoltz. Glavine and Maddux had average years for them, though Glavine started out like a hoss. Batting is better than average with Andruw Jones being the lynchpin in that offense; the Sheffield trade looks like a stroke of genius now, doesn't it?

St.Louis - Ok, I can be the most critical since I'm a fan; Tony Larussa needs to adopt a different strategy for his ptiching staff. He wears down pitchers. Period. It was the case in Oakland and is the same in St.Louis. Anyhow, pitching...what can I say? Despite their losses/setbacks, they've managed to piece together enough pitchers to get them through. Morris hasn't looked the same after Kile's death, and is the biggest question mark on that staff. Looks like Isringhausen is going to be available regularly now; Edmonds' durability is questionable (as is JD Drew); with tablesetters like Vina and Renteria, there should be enough offense for whoever (mainly Pujols) to bring 'em home.

Arizona - two best pitchers in the league to have in this situation; the supporting staff will have to weave a game or two together so Schill and RJ can rest a little bit. The bullpen shouldn't blow up however. Their offense is under extreme pressure with Gonzo gone; Durazo will have to step up as will Finley. I hate to bet against such a formidable one-two puch however.

San Fran - yeah, they've earned it. They put the pedal to the metal and zoomed past LA and aren't looking in the rear view. The offense isn't a big question; they automatically get a baserunner on every 3 innings but Santiago will be the man to look for to come through in the clutch. Pitching is not terrible and their bullpen is solid. I just can't see them overcoming any of the division winners however.


(Disclaimer: I'm a baseball fan; however, I mainly watch NL games - no DH - so I won't go into much detail about the AL teams)

NY Yanks - Experience. That's the only way I see them not being swept by any of the other teams. Offense is very very good but their pitching really isn't that impressive. Of course I am terribly biased against them so take that with a grain of salt.

Minnesota - man, I hate to see these kinds of situations develop. Underdog teams just crushes and stands out as a great team; then playoffs come and they get booted out, probably in a sweep. I just have that feeling...like their pitching has been good to get them thorugh the year but the playoffs come up and the wheels fall off. But what can I say - you've got at least respect them for what they've already accomplished.

Oakland - Wow.

Anaheim - Wow.

The AL West race has been the most entertaining competition I've seen this year. Oakland's pitching vs Anaheim's hitting is where it's at for me. If it comes down to a series between those two, I'll definitely be glued to the set. For what it's worth, I've become a fan of both of these teams this year.


#5 of 21 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted September 26 2002 - 03:19 PM

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of ATL, Cards, or D'backs, but I do enjoy the Giants. However, I respect those teams and the talent.

But in the AL, despite being a Yanks fan, I've always like OAK (thanks to Billy Martin) and because of who they have I like the Angels. I even like the M's (I admit, I had Ichy fever from day 1 last year and had him on both my fantasy teams last season and this one), but because of how "expected" they were to win it all or something, I love what OAK/ANA have done.

However, we don't really have any of the neatest stadiums in post season. Don't get me wrong, Yankee Stdm is tradition, Busch is too. Turner Field is nice and shiney, and Edison has the rocks. But none are my favorites to watch a game on TV at (or attend for some of those).

At least we have 2 chances in the NL for the ball to get wet, which is cool (ARZ pool, SF cove).


Side note - A's magic number to clinch West is 1 game now.

#6 of 21 OFFLINE   Dave Ringkor

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Posted September 27 2002 - 02:20 AM

Just wanted to point out that Joe Buck is very much alive and broadcasting. It's his father, Jack, who must be looking down from above and leading the Cardinals.

#7 of 21 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted September 27 2002 - 02:41 AM

This could be a pretty interesting postseason. In the AL, I see the A's and Yankees making it past the first round - I can't get the idea that Anaheim is having one of the all-time great fluke years (when almost the exact same team goes from worst-to-first, their talent level's probably somewhere in the middle), and Minnesota really isn't that good - they're not bad, but they racked their record up in a division with inept teams like KC and Detroit on one hand and teams that just gave up like Chicago and Cleveland on the other.

This, of course, leads to one of the most satisfying baseball moments in recent memory - when, at the end of the ALCS, Fox swivels the camera that it normally has pointed at Derek Jeter at all times to capture the stunned and confused look on Jason Giambi's face as his old team heads to the World Series without him.
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#8 of 21 OFFLINE   Brian Perry

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Posted September 27 2002 - 02:43 AM

As a Cubs fan, I'm supposed to hate the Cardinals, but I have to give them credit for this year's performance in the face of tragedy. It's so nice to see a team pull together instead of fall apart (like the Minnesota Vi-Queens).

I think it will be Atlanta or St. Louis against the Yankees in the World Series.

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#9 of 21 OFFLINE   Marvin

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Posted September 27 2002 - 02:51 AM

Quote:
This, of course, leads to one of the most satisfying baseball moments in recent memory - when, at the end of the ALCS, Fox swivels the camera that it normally has pointed at Derek Jeter at all times to capture the stunned and confused look on Jason Giambi's face as his old team heads to the World Series without him.
Certainly a possibility, but I would find it much more satisfying if you substitute "David Justice" (or "Ted Lilly") for "Jason Giambi".

I'd like to see a Yanks-Cardinals series, mainly to see the ovation that Tino gets when introduced prior to game 1 (they start in the AL park this year).

#10 of 21 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted September 27 2002 - 03:57 AM

Quote:
Certainly a possibility, but I would find it much more satisfying if you substitute "David Justice" (or "Ted Lilly") for "Jason Giambi".
Yeah, but you probably root for the Empire in Star Wars. Posted Image The one good thing about a Yankee dynasty is how satisfying it is to see it brought down and humbled.

Besides, Justice & Lilly were traded away; I know I'm skirting the "no business talk" rule here, but seeing Giambi sign with the Yankees while the A's get rings without him is a much better story.
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#11 of 21 OFFLINE   Evan S

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Posted September 27 2002 - 04:42 AM

Big A's fan here...since the days of McCatty, Langford, Norris and Keough...Billy Ball. However, after two straight seasons living in the heart of "yankeeland" and having to deal with all these bandwagon fans here (where were all you guys in the 80's and early 90's?), I must say that it's a "I'll believe it when I see it" scenerio. I like Oakland's chances in a 7 game series, especially if we get home field, however, I cannot shake the feeling that something will go wrong again...somebody won't slide, Jeter will make some superhuman play, Jermaine Dye will break his leg on a foul ball (still haven't seen it happen either before or after again...has to be bad karma).

If the Yankees lose to Anaheim, I'll be a happy camper, but if the Yankees aren't in the world series again, I'd be very, very surprised.

searching for that elusive, "perfect" sound.

#12 of 21 OFFLINE   JoshF

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Posted September 27 2002 - 05:03 AM

Of course this would turn into a Yankee bashing threat. *sigh*

Anyway, I'm looking forward to this post-season. I think the Yankees will win the AL title again. The Angels will give them the most trouble. The A's are irrelevant in post-season history when going against the Yankees.
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#13 of 21 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted September 27 2002 - 05:56 AM

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Of course this would turn into a Yankee bashing threat. *sigh*
But they're so loathable! Posted Image
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#14 of 21 OFFLINE   David King

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Posted September 27 2002 - 09:19 AM

NL
ATL-Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image (homefield advantage)
StL-Posted Image (Cub fan with no heart)
D'Backs-Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image (Wins first, Stats second)
Giants-Posted ImagePosted Image (Worst Team, I just hate the Cards more)

AL
NYY-Posted Image (been there done that)
MIN-Posted Image (lacking in what the team above has)
OAK-Posted Image (Who knows?, will take some brass to beat the yanks)
ANA-Posted Image (I didn't even know Anaheim had a team)
Are they even playing baseball over there in the AL yet?

#15 of 21 OFFLINE   Dave E H

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Posted September 27 2002 - 09:22 AM

Quote:
ATL- (homefield advantage)


Homefield advantage has proven not to mean a whole lot in
the past few years. I think only twice since 95 have both teams with te best records in their league have made it to the World Series.

#16 of 21 OFFLINE   David King

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Posted September 27 2002 - 09:33 AM

That was the best thing I could think of to say about the braves. The playoffs just look a little boring to me this year.

The race for last place and top round draft picks looks more exciting. The Cubs are doing their best, but those Brewers just keep losing.

#17 of 21 OFFLINE   Bruce Berti

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Posted September 27 2002 - 09:48 AM

I'm a huge Yankee fan but I don't think they will win it all this year, due to age & inconsistency of their pitching staff. They obviously have the best hitting team they have had in years but pitching & defense will get you the ring.
Being from Massachusetts its almost satisfying enough to hear my coworkers groan about their beloved, perpetual losing Red Sox.
I think Oakland will take the series mainly because of their great pitching & Tejada.

#18 of 21 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted October 01 2002 - 02:29 PM

Quote:
Just wanted to point out that Joe Buck is very much alive and broadcasting.

Oh, did I say that? :b whoa, I'm getting too old I guess.


Anyway, since this thread was already going and I assume Patrick's new ones are just for predictions (rather than stepping on my toes in creating this one Posted Image ), I'll continue the discussion of today's action here.


How about the Twins win. That was something else. I really like the A's, but the Twins are a likeable group too. Here I was feeling a bit sorry for the Twins, big mistake on my part. Exciting game too.


The Yanks game is still going but it's another doozy. Those preseason pickups paid off tonight with HRs, but the Angels came right back on them. Even as a Yankee fan it's impossible for me not to like the Angels. I love the makeup of their team, the types of players they have at each position, how they win, etc. Erstad, Eckstein, Anderson are very likeable players, and I think Salmon and Glaus are fun to watch as well. Just a good group of players.

In fact, I find it easier to cheer for most of the Angels than I do for Clemens (I still hate him being a Yankee). Also, I miss Tino and Pauly quite a bit. I'll be much more fired up for Wells and Pettite starts to be honest.

So far we've had some terrific baseball.

#19 of 21 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted October 01 2002 - 02:33 PM

Quote:
stunned and confused look on Jason Giambi's face as his old team heads to the World Series without him

Jason, as a Yankee, A's, and Giambi (pre-FA) fan, I would still agree with this sentiment.

I always thought he was a fool to come to NY in terms of having a chance to win it all. Why leave a team that is younger, has better pitching, and is just coming into its own. I've said that from day one and I fully expected the A's to be right where they are from opening day.

The Angels most remind me as a team of destiny to be honest, along with the Cards in the NL of course.

#20 of 21 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted October 01 2002 - 02:36 PM

Quote:
brought down and humbled

Dude, too late for humbled. The boys already ran off 4 in 5 years and 3 in a row, along with a 6th appearance last year. You can't take that away from them no matter how far they fall.

Trust me as a Pacer fan, there is little release in beating the current Bulls either. Posted Image


Quote:
McCatty, Langford, Norris and Keough

Man, does that take me back. I loved that A's team too, as I think I mentioned earlier in this thread (or somewhere around here). Again, even as a Yankee fan (or because of it thanks to Billy, plus the Reggie/Hunter connection).


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