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October Ball October 3, 2007

Posted by Jim Berkin in Baseball.
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Here’s what 162 (or perhaps 163) games come down to – who can do the best in a succession of short series in October?

The LA Daily News is picking the Red Sox in 5 over the Angels. I’ll make the wishful prediction that the Yankees beat the Indians in 4, and then face the Sox for a 7 game classic grudge match to see who gets to beat any of the weaker NL teams in the series. I guess it’s also wishful on my part that the BoSox take the Angels out of it, since the Angels always find a way to beat the Yankees.

Even if the Yankees have the wonderful history recounted here, every year is different. And every postseason depends more on how teams play at those moments than how they’ve played during the year or during their careers. A hot team with only a couple of reliable pitchers can often win the whole thing, i.e. the 2001 Diamondbacks behind Johnson & Schilling.

Usually the teams that perform the best in October are the ones that enter the post-season playing the hottest, which would mean that the Colorado-Philadelphia matchup in the first round over in, as Phil Rizzuto used to say “your league, White,” will be a real bang-up match. I haven’t paid much attention to either Arizona or the Cubbies this year, and while Chicago might be everyone’s sentimental favorite (and I’m sure the Fox network boys are salivating over the ratings brought in by the Cubs playing further on), I have NO idea as to how to predict who will come out on top in the NL. I’m not saying my AL predictions are things to bet the house on either – if I was psychic I’d be off buying lotto tickets instead of writing this.

But here goes: In the AL: Sox over Angels in 5, Yankees over Cleveland in 4, Yankees over Sox in 7. (Like I said, I make wishful predictions).

In the NL: Philly over Colorado in 4, Cubs over Arizona in 5, Philly over the Cubs in 6. (Talk about random guesses).

World Series: Yankees over Phillies in 5. Drown your sorrows in Geno’s steaks, Philadelphia.

As much as I’d love to be accurate about all this, the bottom line for me in October is always the same: I want to see great baseball played & I want to see the Yankees win. Though if I am totally accurate, it might be time for another Vegas trip to the sports book…

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