Playoff Predictorama! 2011

Well folks, as the walrus said, the time has come. The MLB postseason kicks off today, which here at The FBB means it is once again Predictorama! time (playoff style.) It is hard to imagine that this year’s postseason could possibly be as awesome as the final days of the regular season, but you never know. That’s why they play the games, and that’s why we watch them.

And now, for the all-important prediculations!

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ALDS

Tigers vs. Yankees: Wait, the Tigers are in these playoffs? When and where did that happen and how did I miss it? I assume that Detroit will be relying heavily on the Justin Verlander magic in this series. I think (and certainly hope) that we will see some heroics from Mr. Verlander, but I don’t think it’ll be enough to save the Tigers. I predict that the Yankees will take the series, and Justin’s (well-deserved) Cy Young award will be Detroit’s consolation prize.

Rays vs. Rangers: I guess I don’t have to go out on a limb to say that one of the two teams I favor the most will be eliminated in the first round, seeing as they’re playing each other. T’isn’t fair, I say. We will soon find out whether or not Tampa used up all their fairy dust in September. I think they’ll have just enough left to take this series from the 2010 AL pennant winners. I say they win it in 5 games and the series clincher comes on an uber-dramatic walk-off suicide squeeze in the bottom of the 14th inning of game #5. I also predict that Sam Fuld will sparkle and that Ian Kinsler will somehow be the goat of this series.

NLDS

Phillies vs. Cardinals: Blech. If there is one series with not a shred of interestingness and with no possible happy outcome, this is it. The Phillies will win it. They will probably sweep it, if I had to guess (which I do.) And it will be super boring, unless Roy Halladay decided to whirl another no-hitter. Even that would be kind of “meh.” Just wake me up when this one is over.

Diamondbacks vs. Brewers: If I know anything about NL Central contenders (and I think I do), Milwaukee doesn’t stand a chance. If history is any indicator, look for another sweep. Of course, I don’t think anyone would be surprised to know that I am backing Arizona all the way on the NL side. If the Brewers did somehow pull it out, I’d throw a hissy fit. Get it? *Nudge* *Nudge*

ALCS

Yankees vs. Rays: A nation will collectively curse beneath it’s breath when the Yankees take it in 5 games, ending the Rays fairy tale run. Yes, that’s right. Unless it’s wrong, which it could be.

NLCS

Phillies vs. Diamondbacks: Since I based my choice for the ALCS on cold, hard reality, I’ll base this one on wishful thinking. I don’t honestly expect the Diamondbacks to win. The Phillies will probably clinch it without breaking a sweat. But since I don’t want that to happen, and because that is what everyone is probably going to say, I’m calling the Diamondbacks in six. There’s a good chance I turn out to be wrong, but if I’m not, how cool am I going to look?

World Series

Yankees vs. Diamondbacks: Oooh, you guys! De ja vu! De ja vu! It’s 2001 again! Only… it isn’t. I don’t think that Mariano Rivera really needs to redeem himself from that Game 7 blown save 10 years ago, but he will do it anyway. I’m givin’ it to the Yankees. In six games. Take that as you will.

Baby sloth: too sweet to pick favorites.

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Predictorama! 2011: Grand Central

It is time for Part II of Predictorama! 2011, which by now you have probably realized is little more than a mish-mash of nonsense, bias, and brain burps. Of course, 98.7% of this entire blog consists of little more than nonsense, bias, and brain burps.

Anyway, today I present you with my nonsense, bias, and brain burps (in future tense!) as the relate to the NL and AL Central divisions. I have excluded the Cubs, as I hope to churn out a Predictorama piece dedicated to them entirely before the season starts.

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AL Central:

Kansas City journeyman Bruce Chen will take a no-hitter into the ninth inning. I’ll giggle.

Justin Morneau will return from his concussed 2010 season with a secret super power (unfortunately, it’s x-ray vision, which doesn’t really help him in baseball at all.)

I don’t have any predictions  for Detroit. I just want to point out that they have got lead the majors in players native to Virginia.  VA PRIDE!

AL Comeback Player of the Year: Grady Sizemore. Unless he keeps being hurt.

First place: Minnesota Twins

Last place: Cleveland Indians

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NL Central:

Adam Wainwright is totally getting Wally Pipped by Cotton Dickson.

While on an early evening pleasure cruise in the Goodyear Blimp, Prince Fielder suddenly and inexplicably falls from the craft. Fortunately, he is wearing his game jersey, which acts as a parachute and he is able to float safely down to the ground.

Hunter Pence and Ryan Braun will meet and engage in a staring contest. It ends in a draw after 13 hours.

First Place: Because the Cubs aren’t a clever choice, I refuse to pick anyone. I’m bitter like that.

Last Place: Sorry, Pittsburgh, I really am. Well… not really, but sort of.

“While you’re at it, why don’t you give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it?”

Curtis Granderson is about to be a Yankee. I must vent! A trade hasn’t made me this cranky in years. Really, it makes me sick. It’s like the Pillsbury Doughboy joined the mafia.

I suppose I could choose to take the view that the Yanks, having acquired this lovable man, have become more lovable themselves. But, no… instead I have the feeling that the evil empire just snatched an innocent soul as another part of their nefarious plan to take over the world. Ptui. I’m not merely jealous, I promise.

Don’t suggest Melky Cabrera’s possible availability to the Cubs as a consolation prize, either! Why not just tell me I have snail fever then offer me a lollipop?

Hot Soup Report: “Beautiful soup so rich and green- Waiting in a hot tureen!”

I’m calling my take on hot stove stuff the “Hot Soup Report.” For this feature, I will be taking some offerings from MLB’s hot stove and preparing them into a delicious soup for the (hopeful) enjoyment of all.

I have also created the “Soup Scale” to rate the interestingness/validity of each report. A One is canned tomato (boring.) A Two is Broccoli Cheddar (predictable yet enticing.) A Three is Crab Bisque (mmm.) A Four would be Dunkard Soup (off the charts.)

In baseball’s off-season, fans such as myself (read: not inclined toward the NFL or NBA) are obliged to take an interet in hot stove reports. There are a lot of silly rumors involved, and 98.7% of them come to nothing. Evidence of this can be easily obtained by browsing the Chicago Cubs roster, where you will not find the names of either Brian Roberts or Jake Peavy. The hot stove is still on preheat at this point, but it already looks like we have a likely heir to the Roberts/Peavy throne for the 2010 season in Curtis Granderson.

As a huge fan of Mr. Granderson (he and Tampa Bay’s Carlos Peña are my favorite non-Cub, non-Rebel players in the majors,) I was excited by these initial reports. The Cubs need someone who can hit, someone who can run and someone to play center field. Curtis fits all the qualifications, on top of which he is a Chicago native and a fantastic team guy with a reasonable contract. The fuddyduddies of the internet have been quick to point out his flaws. He strikes out too much, can’t hit southpaws, etc., Duly noted facts, fuddyduddies. It seems clear that if, in fact, Curtis Granderson is an option, he is the best possible option for the Cubs. I don’t doubt that Jim Hendry and Dave Dombrowski will be discussing the matter as the winter progresses.

There are two or three sticky matters that are keeping me grounded in light of these rumors (by grounded, I mean keeping me from literally shouting with joy and dancing jigs at the very possibility of Curtis Granderson in a Cubs’ uniform.)

The first and stickiest of the sticky matters is Milton Bradley. Mr. Hendry has himself in a tight spot with this one and I don’t envy him a winkling. I’ll forgo much further comment on Milton to avoid deviation from the topic at hand. It would seem that Mr. Hendry’s hands will be tied until he is able to complete the Milton Bradley relocation project (no small challenge.)

Second, we have the reality that the Cubbies could be facing some rigid competition. Both the Angels and Yankees are believed to be interested in Mr. Granderson. Both those parties can probably offer some fairly nice packages to the Tigers, besides which it just always seems like the Yankees get whatever they want. They’re basically like the spoiled rich kid in the neighborhood. You know, the one with a pony. I have no especial hatred for the Bronx Bombers, but Curtis Granderson in a Yankee uniform would not make me a happy camper.

Third is the question of whether the Cubs have the players it would take to get a deal done. Or rather, are the Cubs willing to part with the players it would take to get a deal done. Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune recommended simply telling Detroit to name their price. While I wholeheartedly believe that Curtis Granderson is worth a good bit, Mr. Rogers’ suggestion is pretty rash. In my opinion, trading 19-yr.-old super prospect/supposed sweetheart Starlin Castro at this point would be very rash indeed. Castro and Carlos Marmol were the names dropped by Mr. Rogers. He didn’t propose who the closer should then be…

Just in case I haven’t been clear up to this point as to how I feel about Mr. Granderson, I LOVE HIM. He is worth a good bit, but not worth selling the farm for.

The fellow over at the blog Desipio panned Phil Rogers article, proposing instead that the Cubbies ship fan-favorite Ryan Theriot to Detroit. I don’t know who he thinks would play shortstop until Castro is ready, but I do know that this guy found the most creatively vile things to say about every person he mentions. So don’t go read that, because it really isn’t nice.

My working knowledge of these sorts of dealings is not great, so I don’t have some perfect offer imagined up. If I had to make a suggestion, it would be a fair one. A couple of good prospects along with a bench-type player and a reliever or two. Give or take (probably give.) Should the Tigers accept, wonderful! I’ll be turning cartwheels in the backyard. If not, so be it. Move on.

I’ve run away with myself a bit, so lets wrap it up. Where does this hot-stove product rate on the Soup Scale? I give it a Broccoli Cheddar. It’s a tasty tidbit, but I definitely get the feeling we’re looking at Brian Roberts/Jake Peavy part trois.