Baseball's postseason

So I’m late on my postseason baseball predictions, but after the events of last week I’m hoping you’ll forgive me.

Saturday night I watched the Yankees sweep the Twins. … Disappointing is the only word I can come with. Had you asked me a few weeks ago about the Twin chances I would have expected a little more fight. One win at least. But their power struggles continued. I blame the Sports Illustrated cover jinx -- even if it was one of the most beautiful covers ever. Too bad, I was sort of hoping to see Jim Thome back in a World Series.

Sunday night I watched the Phillies complete their sweep of the Reds. No contest. No surprise. For my prediction I would have guessed the Phillies in three games. In fact -- there’s no working around it -- the Phillies are my pick to win it all. They have been since August when they were sitting in second place in the NL East.

Monday night I watched the Giant finish off the Braves three games to one in a thriller down to the last out. … It’s too bad for the Braves. I was rooting for them and thinking they’d will themselves to the National League Championship Series, at least, for Bobby Cox’s last hurrah. For my prediction, I would’ve guessed the Braves in four or five. Wrong.
Last night, though, was the ultimate. Rangers-Rays in a game five. I admire the scrappy Rays, and I would have loved to see them finish what they couldn’t in 2008. … But again I’m sticking with what I wrote in August. I like the Rangers for the team they’ve assembled, for what they’ve accomplished this season and for what they're trying to build.

Do I think the Rangers can hold off the Yankees in the ALCS? Probably not. But I’ll be cheering for them anyway. I predict Yankees in six games.

In the NLCS, I still think the Phillies have the upper hand, although the Giants’ play against the Braves has me second-guessing. Then again -- Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels. It doesn’t get better than that. I say Phillies in five games.

Which means we’ll get a rematch of the Phillies and the Yankees in the World Series. This year I think the Phils and their pitching gets the better of New York. I say Philadelphia in six games.

While I'm catching up on baseball predictions, I figured I'd clean off my desktop, too. Here's some good baseball reads I've caught during the last few weeks ...

Philadelphia Phillies
a Hamels shuts out memories of '09 postseason blues
a In midst of first playoff run, Mike Sweeney still thinks of KC
a With the sweep, the Phillies now wait; that's good and bad

Tampa Bay Rays
a Dome-Field Disadvantage Disappears With New Ground Rules

Minnesota Twins
a In Fact and Song, Fiendish Yankees

New York Yankees
a It's Jeter's time ... to step up in playoffs, earn another big payday
a Mariano Rivera, King of the Closers
a Are the Yankees Truly the Most-Despised Ballclub?
a Hug Won’t Unite Torre and Cashman

Boston Red Sox
a It wasn’t just the injuries that hurt
a No time to lose
a Near Fenway, no magic numbers

San Diego Padres
a A Voice Embraces the Echoes of His Past ... Good story about Dick Enberg. "I’m thinking: ‘How lucky am I? I’m going to see a ballgame.’ " I think that every time, too.

Chicago Cubs
a Breaking up with the Cubs
a Joyless Seasons for White Sox and Cubs
a Girardi too good for Cubs to let go
a Could unsung Quade win Cubs managerial sweepstakes?
a Sandberg's dues paid in full
a Hall of Famer’s Slow Road to a Major League Bench
a Plenty of blame as Cubs close out 'Year One' ... Two words: The Noodle. Ugh.

Kansas City Royals
a What comes next for Royals?

a In Bing Crosby’s Wine Cellar, Vintage Baseball
a Power Pitchers Emerge, Shifting Focus of the Game
a Baseball cards: a childhood hapily wasted
a What Do You Think of Ted Williams Now?
a Pujols, Musial & the Splendid Splinter Scale
a Blown calls in baseball playoffs put umpires under a microscope and renew calls for replay
a The Wildest Fastball Ever
a The Pirates' great uniform revolution
a Burning question: Where are the nation's best wiffle ball fields?
a For Baseball Archivists, a Tag Ends Every Play
aTeams Win, but Fans Stay Home
aJose Bautista and the Big 5-0

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