The baseball playoffs begin today. Since we're on the baseball blog, I can safely admit that I'm a lot more excited about MLB right now than anything happening in the NFL (even the Moss trade). My son is an even bigger baseball fan than me at this point. The Yankees and Giants are his favorite teams. He loves Tim Lincecum and Alex Rodriguez. So we're going to settle in on Thursday night for the Yanks and Giants games.
It would be great for the kid if the Yanks and Giants had a reprise of 1962. I think that was the Series when Tony Kubek took a bad hop off his throat and the Series ended with Willie McCovey lining out to second base. But I see a repeat of the Ray and Phillies in the World Series. I don't think the good people of the Tampa area deserve it, but the Rays are the best all-around team in the AL right now. They'll be very tough, especially if some of their offensive players who underachieved this season (Ben Zobrist, Carlos Pena) show up in October.
I can't see the Phils losing if Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels continue to pitch this way. I love the Reds. In fact, when you hear anyone say "No one saw them coming", remind them that I did pick the Reds to win the NL Central in the News last April. I think I picked the Giants, too, though I haven't checked lately. The Reds' starting pitching simply doesn't measure up.
The Giants have great pitching, too. But they hit .197 against the Braves this year, and they have to do better to get past the Braves. I think Pablo Sandoval and Freddie Sanchez will have big series and the Giants will get past Atlanta in Bobby Cox's final postseason loss.
The Yankees should get past the Twins. I can't see a team with Carl Pavano as the No. 2 starter winning a playoff series. One of my smarter baseball emailers points out that Francisco Liriano's numbers measure up quite well to Cliff Lee's. But I still think the Yankees are better off playing Minnesota because Texas' No. 2 starter, C.J. Wilson, is much better than Pavano. I see the Rangers giving the Rays a tussle but losing in five.
--- Jerry Sullivan