BEISBOL!!

I know how much you all love it when I talk about baseball. I take some abuse, especially for being a Yankee fan, but hey, that's life. I grew up a half hour or so from Yankee Stadium, so that's my excuse.

Boilerdowd is on vacation this week at some all-male, nudist retreat somewhere in the Carolinas, but he took the time to say, "J, you have to do a post about the baseball playoffs."

"Fine, fine," I consented. "I'll do it. And stop pointing at my over this skype connection."

So let's get to it... how's it gonna go? Here's what I think.

New York Yankees versus Minnesota Twins

I know the Twins really played well this year. I know they play great in their new ballpark. I know the Yankees played like poop down the stretch and let Tampa back into the division when they should have closed them out. But I also know the Twins are 2-9 in their three ALDS series against the Yankees. And I know the Twinkie Dome was supposed to be this huuuuuge advantage where it was, like, sooo loud you couldn't hear yourself think. The Yankees may not have been able to think, but they were able to win, going 6-0 in the Metrodome in the playoffs. Would I be shocked in the Twins pulled it off this year? No, I guess not, but I just don't see things suddenly changing. Yankees in 4.

Texas Rangers versus Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays are really good. Like, kind of scary good. I've felt this way all season and was pleasantly surprised the Yankees held first place as long as they did. The Rays have offense, defense, speed, pitching and good managing. They've got some youth in some key spots, but most of this team also played in their deep postseason run two years ago, so I don't put much stock in the youth factor as a wide-eyed negative thing. I know the Rangers have Cliff Lee, but they then rely on CJ Wilson next. And the Rangers have never won a playoff series. I'm pretty sure they're the only MLB team that has never won a playoff series. Sure, that doesn't mean anything, really, but it's fun anyhow. I think they're just happy to be there and whenever you have two talented teams like this, I'd go with the manager who looks like he has frosted tips over the guy who looks like a crackhead. Rays in 4.

Cincinnati Reds versus Philadelphia Phillies

The Reds won their division because the Cardinals crapped the bed. Cinci is a nice story but can you name more than Joey Votto in their starting lineup? Sure, they have a guy who has touched 104 MPH on the gun. Can he pitch 40 innings this series? I doubt it. The Phils, on the other hand, are freaking loaded... and talk about a scary team. Offensively, they're stout, but pitching-wise, they're freaky. Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels, all pitching like machines. Thanks for stopping by, Cincinnati. Phillies in 3.

Atlanta Braves versus San Francisco Giants

Is it me, or do most of the NL teams seem like they're there because somebody else couldn't seal the deal? Both Atlanta and SF got in because San Diego spent September falling down the stairs and collapsing in a heap at the bottom. SF got the division away from them and Atlanta clung on to the Wild Card. I look at Atlanta and have a hard time seeing them as a playoff team. San Francisco was destined to get back to the playoffs with their pitching, but I think most people thought they might be another year or so away. Regardless, I don't think Atlanta has the horses to keep up with SF's impressive pitching staff. Giants in 4.

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