Monday, October 11, 2010

Farewells to the Four Eliminated Playoff Baseball Teams

Minnesota Twins
You guys are like the easy girl in High School who just gets the train run on them by the starting five on the varsity BB team. It used to be "oh look at this scrappy, low-payroll team making a go against the Yankees." That got you out of the ALDS in four games usually. So this year you decided to spend some money (Capps, Fuentes, Mauer, Thome) and got swept for the second straight year. Basically you're the new A's but not as competitive and you spend more money. Morneau was hurt, but he wasn't going to go out and shut down the Yankee sluggers. Get a real ace and some reliable rotation guys to fall in behind him, then come talk to me.

Cincinnati Reds
Awww cute. You guys had a nice season, leading the NL in runs and defense. You even had a great story in Joey Votto (a Canadian by the way) having a break out year and catapulting to the top of the MVP race. It was an absolute crime he had to wait till the last ballot to make the All-Star Game. The least likely team that made the playoffs, considering your outlook in April, it really is impressive you held off the Cardinals all year. However, as evidenced by your 20-33 (now 20-36) record vs. teams with a winning record, you really aren't ready to play with the big boys once the weather gets cold. You had the first 45 minutes of the hour, but now it's time for the adults to swim, so thanks for getting out of the pool in time. It was nice of you to not even splash the parents on your way out. I can't remember a team being more overmatched in my baseball watching history.

Atlanta Braves
How does Bobby Cox get over getting kicked out of the playoffs in the first round? He punches his wife. The exact same way he celebrates an NL pennant, or winning the World Series, or missing the playoffs altogether. He's nothing if not consistent (and abusive). But seriously, way to have Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Steve Avery, John Smoltz, Kevin Millwood, Tim Hudson, Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones, David Justice, Terry Pendleton, Fred McGriff, Javy Lopez, Marquis Grissom, Andres Galarraga, Brian Jordan, Gary Sheffield, Vinny Castilla, Ron Gant and Otis Nixon at one point or another and win one World Series (against the Indians). Really though, this team becomes a lot more likable next year with Hanson, Heyward and McCann leading a crop of young, fun-to-watch guys. Just keep Brooks Conrad off the field.

Tampa Bay Rays
Say goodbye to Carl Crawford and Rafael Soriano. Wherever CC goes (Boston, NYC, LA), he'll finally get the chance to play in front of fans who care and become the superstar he should be. Oh wait, this is supposed to be a Dear John Letter to the team... Maybe you guys should have went for the Wild Card since you clearly can't do squat at home. David Price had a phenomenal season and should finish in the top five for Cy Young votes, but this is the playoffs. He'll be great for years, just not ready to be a true ace for a playoff team yet. Also, try getting people to come to the stadium before your players whine about having to play during the day when the Yankees play at night in the playoffs even though you won the AL East. Clearly you can't win at night, either. And good luck getting fans to come to the park next year without two stars and when people actually showed up you got outscored 16-2.

Bonus Goodbye
Bud Selig and the MLB Schedule-makers. Are you guys serious with TWO DAYS OF NO BASEBALL!? "We want to start the World Series on a Wednesday so we can have two weekend games and go against College Football and the NFL." Awesome idea guys, really sharp stuff. I can't wait till you're gone Selig. See, there's this crazy idea that the playoffs should be sort of similar to the regular season. You know the six previous months that you played to get to this point. But nahhh, that's dumb. Since the regular season ended, the Yankees will have played THREE GAMES in ELEVEN DAYS before they take the field in Texas. Compare that to the second half of the season when the club played 74 games in 80 days since the All-Star Break. Awesome. Sure the Yankees swept, but the Rangers will have played just five games in 11 days since they finished the season. Dumb.


Through the Divisional Series, here's a recap of my picks (correct team, correct number of games):

Yankees over Twins in 4
Rays over Rangers in 5
Phillies over Reds in 3
Giants over Braves in 3

Not bad, three out of four teams correct. Compared to ESPN's team of experts, only four of 27 got all four. Speaking of 27, that's how many championships the Yankees have right now, but not for much longer...

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