They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it; for it is money they have and peace they lack.
  -James Earl Jones "Field of Dreams"
and don't go mistaking paradise for that home across the road
  -Bob Dylan "Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

2009 MLB Division Series

The NLDS/ALDS are now done. There were 13 games played and the teams that I favored won 12 of them. Not too bad.

Dodgers/Cardinals - this one was hard for me. In the other three there were teams I do not like, but I would normally root for both of these. I was a Dodgers fan for a long time, listening to Vin Scully and Ross Porter on the radio long before Arizona had a team. Unlike a lot of people I have no problem with Manny Ramirez, finding him more or less entertaining. On the other hand, we have been Oakland A's fans for as long as we have followed the Dodgers. That allegiance went with Tony Larussa to St. Louis. I didn't know who I would root for until a couple of innings in when I realized I was cheering for the Dodgers. The way that they handled the excellent St. Louis starters was impressive. Meanwhile, I have never much liked Matt Holliday and very much enjoyed his Bill Buckner imitation in Game 2.

Angels/Red Sox - the national press forces you to take sides in the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry and I have always sided with the Yankees. Fond memories of Ted Williams and Carl Yastremski notwithstanding, the Sox in recent years have been populated with character I do not care for (Youkilis, Pedroia, Papelbon, Schilling). I think it all has its roots in my business trips to Boston in the 80s when I was exposed to local sports radios and got a very unflattering opinion of the fans. The Orange County Angels have long been a semi-favorite. We would go to games in Anaheim when we did summer trips to the beach, and their spring training facility became a favorite after Oakland made tickets harder to get in the early 90s. I like Mike Scioscia and have long rooted for Vladimir Guerrero. I really liked the way this series ended, with the Angels coming from behind in Game 3, getting the go-ahead runs off Papelbon and with Pedroia getting the final out.

Yankees/Twins - I hate the Twins. Let me repeat that. I hate the Twins. I hate their hankie-waving fans. I hate it that they abandoned DC after the 1960 season. I hate them for their 1987 championship year when they beat the Tigers 3-2 in the ALCS, winning all of their dome-games and none else. I hated the repeat performance in 1991 with Jack Morris. (Note that due to the rules of the day they had home-dome advantage in all series). I hate it that they won game 163 over the Tigers last week. The Yankees? Sure they spend too much money and have some obnoxious fans (not nearly as bad as the Mets tho). But they have some good players and a nifty logo. Our 2008 trip to Yankee Stadium didn't hurt. I would have rooted for anybody, even the Cubs or Giants, against the Twins, but I kind of like the Yankees.

Phillies/Rockies - I found myself rooting for the Phillies in last year's World Series, my son John lives in NJ and roots for them, and they have some awfully good players. The Rockies are division rivals of the Diamondbacks. I know, the Dodgers are too but they at least have some traditions. I dislike some of the Rockies players (Helton, Tulowitzki, Giambi, Torrealba) nearly as much as I do the Red Sox. End of discussion. Really cool that both games 3 and 4 were 9th inning comebacks for the Phillies. Cooler yet that Tulo got the final out in both games.

As to the Championship Series, hard to pick between 4 teams I like. I suspect I will find myself rooting for the Dodgers and Yankees, which would set up a classic World Series. Dodger/Angels would be cool too, although Fox probably wouldn't like it. Phillies/Yankees would have a certain backyard appeal as well. Phillies/Angles would not appeal to anybody but their own fans I would think.