As the tears have dried from many of DC and Baltimorean’s eyes, one cannot look back and think ‘wow, we actually had a chance’ both games went to the decisive game 5 and each were close (somewhat close at the end). I will state that I am a Yankees fan but I was pulling for the Nationals to win, as stated before I had lived in the ‘Lou for six years and did not drink the Red Bird kool-aid. Yet as I was watching the game with some friends, they went nuts as Wainwright got shelled and pulled by Mike Matheny. At that point, I am pretty sure the entire DC area thought it was in the bag and looking forward to a meeting with Lincecum, Big Panda and a guy named Zito.
That was not that case as the Birds chipped away at the lead with timely hits and aggressiveness on the base paths. One could say Davey Johnston could have pulled Drew Storen or say he was left in too long. The fact of the matter is, the Cardinals are pretty resilient and know how to get it done in clutch situations. Of course they don’t have the franchise player Albert Pujols but they have a pretty good core group of guys that could probably take the Tigers in 7. Going forward I believe the Nats have a good shot of winning the NL East barring any major setbacks or if A-Rod decides to take his talents and creeping skills/lush for South Beach Prostitutes to the Miami Marlins for a King’s Ransom. Granted the bandwagon this season was getting a little crowded and like the metro on rush hour, everyone move to the middle please to make room for more. The true test will be will the fans stick around if the going gets tough next year or will they abandon ship and watch from the confines of their own home. Only time will tell, I’ll let you know what the crowd looks likes when I make the trek to the park for a company outing on the hottest day in July and see how many die hards are in the crowd.
As for the Orioles, they had a great year I will not take anything away from them. After 15 years of suffering they finally made it to the post-season and there was more to watch in Baltimore besides the Ravens. The O’s gave it all they had with pitching, hitting and anything else they could throw at the Evil Empire but in the end the Pinstripes somehow squeaked out a ‘W’. I believe the O’s will be back and be just as good if not better next year, they have a solid team right now maybe a couple additions to the bullpen but that would be about the only change. They have developed a pretty good farm system that has helped them in the long run i.e. Manny Machado. The O’s also have a strong skipper in place that has had the team buy into a system and got them a Wild Card hopefully building blocks till they make the World Series.
As watched the Yankees put on a dismal effort in the ALCS and I drank my beer at Buffalo Billiards I could not help but remember the 2007 ALDS in how a squadron midges flew through Progressive field and pestered the Yankees and ultimately ruining their concentration worse than Steve Bartman grabbing a foul ball from Moises Alou. The Yankees looked old, tired and couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn with a telephone pole. Rather than go after the low hanging fruit of A-Rod, the team as a whole did not contribute or show up. Robinson Cano barely broke .090, Nick Swisher was there in spirit and C.C. Sabathia can only throw so many pitches. Of course I cringed when I saw Derek Jeter go down but good teams do not let the loss of one single player be the determining factor for looking like garbage and not being able to hit. To make it to the professional ranks and look worse than the Tallahassee Wharthogs (if anyone can guess which movie and sport that is referenced to, I will gladly buy you one free frosty beverage) then I guess you don’t deserve to wear the pinstripes. It will arguably be a very long off-season for the Bronx Bombers. Almost immediately after the game people probably forgot the Tigers had even won since there was so much emphasize on where A-Rod would go/would he stay, is Brian Cashman out, is Girardi out, are the Yankees too old/too slow? The bottom line is that the Tigers are a strong small market team and have acquired some good players, Prince Fielder, MaxScherzer, Miguel Cabrera, Jhonny Peralta and while they paid a near fortune of debt of Detroit for Prince Fielder they seem to get it down. Their owner lets the players play and coaches coach, Mike Illitch is noted as one of the best owners in sports and players respect him so much they come back to work in the front office.
Photo By David J. Phillip / AP
In closing, I am predicting the Cardinals will wrap it up in San Fran and put Timmy Tim Man Jam can Weed Man Linnicicum to bed. It won’t be pretty but pretty is not the Cardinals style of ball. They grind it out, get clutch hits, make some nice grabs in the outfield and get the most out of their players. While the Cardinals may have the grit, I am going to have to go with the Tigers in 6 to win it all. It will be a hard fought series and most likely every game will be close but the Tigers pitching and power hitters will bring it home to the Motor City.