Friday, October 01, 2004

 

Rocketing past the competition

So I was watching ESPN's cold pizza this morning, and I heard something stupid out of the mouth of Woody Paige (which shouldn't surprise anyone), but what frightened me was hearing something intelligble out of the mouth of Skip Bayliss. Woody, ever the bandwagoner, the ultimate die hard for pointless causes, picked the Cubs to win the NL wild card. By this point I was already mid coronary and screaming at the tv at the top of my lungs, when the somber, couldn't make you like me if I sent you milk and cookies Skip Bayliss spoke "Woody, you're a moron, the Astros are going to take the wild card." When the awe of Skip Bayliss saying that finished setting in, I sat down to write this(4 hours later).

So basically, this is my NL Wild Card debate, with just the weekend series remaining for all teams, here's how I see it, from worst to first-
Worst: The Chicago Cubs- First off, I'd like to disqualify any team managed by Dusty Baker when it comes down to the weekend before playoffs, where coaching moves make or break entire seasons. Although Dusty has his big guns this weekend, their tired, their overworked, and his bullpen (J.C. Romero will be joining Bartman in recent Cubbie infamy) are tired, and on the downfall. The Cubs are 1 game back of the Giants and Astros right now, and their playing 3 in Atlanta. Atlanta is still playing for homefield advantage throughout, so they're not going to just be giving games away. The Cubs have suffered heart breaking losses this week, can have next to no confidence, and their going into Turner Field where the Braves are clicking on all cylinders vying for homefield. Sorry Dusty, one of your starters is going to have his arm fly off with his fastball on the way to home plate, and there's just no way your sweeping the Braves at home, sorry. Look on the bright side, you have an entire offseason to mismanage your team and prepare to overwork your starters (hears cheers and expectations of World Series 05' for the Cubs already).
The next loser: Maybe I'm just picking with my heart here, maybe I'm not, but I'm putting the Giants here. There going into Dodgers stadium, with insane expectations, hopes of stealing the division, and no one on their team producing not named Barry Bonds (although, with all due respect to Barry he does count for 3 people). I refuse to acknowledge J.T. Snow as being productive, because I, like many of the sports writers of America, are just waiting for the alien, symbiot, disease, that has possessed him to leave him (also a running theory that he is from an alternate reality, and his stats have only become inflated due to Scott Bakula being an incredible baseball player, QUANTUM LEAP!). I just don't see the Giants taking any more than one game this weekend in Los Angeles, not with how shaky their starters have been. Yes, I know Gagne is tired, but I think this Dodgers team is going to be playing to prove something, that they aren't just in first because of Gagne (which they aren't, thank Adrian Beltre also finding his own symbiot). I am well aware that Bonds' home away from home is Dodger stadium, but I'm going with my guy, and making my prediction based on a very similar circumstance as I did above. Last week of the regular season is a time where great managers win games, and even better managers, like Felipe Alou, lose them (sarcasm inserted here). Rest assured Felipe, I hear Dusty is holding a camp for coaches who can't coach, Mike Martz guest speaker!

2nd Best: Because they have the all time greatest winner of the Brian Giles award for unheralded greatness, Mr. Brian Stephen Giles (thanks Eric Neel)! In all seriousness, Padres have their 3 best pitchers going this weekend, and their playing with purpose for the first time in ages. Who can remember the last time the Padres were a real contender? This is a team finally coming of age, a pitching staff grabbing its footing, and David Wells being a perfect leader for that. The young hitters have been phenomenal, Khalil Greene is arguably the rookie of the year, and Mark Loretta is playing beyond phenomenally. Did I mention Mr. Brian Stephen Giles, I think I did? However, those aren't the reason I have the Padres above the Giants. Simply put, they're playing the Diamondbacks. Peavy is going to smoke the DBacks tonight, and there's a 50/50 chance of taking the Saturday game where Johnson pithces (because Randy can't win every game alone, just most). Look for David Wells to finish strong on Sunday, and for the Padres to put up a strong finish. As for next year, all I can say is be afraid, be VERY afraid.

The NL Wild Card Winning: Houston Astros! Roger Clemens, rocketing past the competition, it's a play on words! Not enough can be said about the Astros late season surge. These guys are playing great fundamental baseball, and the chemistry is just amazing. This may be the final year of Bagwell, Biggio, and maybe even Clemens. How much would it mean to Houston to send Jeff Bagwell off with a championship- Hell, how much would it mean for Jeff Bagwell, who has worn his heart on his sleeve for the better part of a decade for Houston, to bring a championship to Houston. Bagwell retires a World Series Champion, as does Clemens, and they both ride off into the sunset of Cooperstown. Did I mention Carlos Beltran, Jeff Kent, and Lance Berkman? Oh, and that Brad Lidge guy with the unhittable slider, and Roy Oswalt? I could go on, but I think I hear Dusty Baker crying, and Nomar demanding a trade to the Yankees, where he agrees to play second base. The real reason I picked the Astros- They're playing Colorado, at home, in front of a sold out crowd. Sorry, advantage Astros.

Bias aside, GO PADRES GO!




Comments:
I didn't realize Dusty Baker's influence over relievers extended to the Minnesota Twins reliever J.C. Romero...I think I need to hear more about that :)
 
hey kizner i though the cubs were playing the braves in atlanta? the cubs are at home for their last series of the year...get your information striaght
 
No idea why I was thinking Romero, and I misread espn.com on the matchup :)
 
You picked 'em. Good job

BDT
 
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