Lost in the shuffle of last night's scintillating play-in game was this little nugget. I haven't seen anything about it yet today so it may get glossed over, but if you were paying attention, you heard it.
In the bottom of the 10th inning, the Twins had runners on 1st and 3rd with 1 out. Nick Punto was at the plate, and battling hard against Fernando Rodney, when he hit a flare to left, which easily held up for the left fielder, Ryan Raburn. However, the TV call was something like this: "LINE DRIVE BASE HIT! CAUGHT OUT THERE!" Raburn not only made an easy catch, but he subsequently threw out the runner trying to score from 3rd base.
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Postseason. Where the announcers are handsome and clueless. You've already heard me sound off several times on Joe Buck, but I think Chip Caray is probably the worst announcer on the national stage. Seriously. These guys are only in the position they're in because they are the offspring of legendary announcers who knew what they were doing (and for what it's worth, even Jack Buck and Harry Caray had their limitations). And yet, here they are, painting a paltry word picture for the postseason. Chip Caray, if you recall, is the same announcer who did the 2007 Indians/Yankees ALDS. With two out and nobody on in the bottom of the 8th inning of the 4th game, with the Yankees trailing by 3 runs, someone on the Yankees got a hit. This was punctuated by Chip Caray screaming, "HERE COME THE YANKEES!" Of course, the next hitter made an out and the Yankees were subsequently eliminated that night. But, hey, if one hit is all they need, then "HERE COME THE YANKEES!" indeed.
That said, how about some Division Series matchups.
I'll start with the National league since I don't like any of the teams that are playing and I refuse to root for any of them. Except maybe the Rockies.
Colorado Rockies (92-70) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (93-69)
This looks somewhat familiar. But since that matchup 2 years ago, a lot has happened. It seems like a different lifetime. Since then, the Phillies went on to become World Series Champions while the Rockies slogged through a middling 2008. I figured you could forget all about them, but here they are again, two years later, facing the Phillies yet again. Conventional wisdom probably favors the Phillies in this series, but as you all know, I cannot in good conscience pick the Phillies to win anything, especially since they went through the regular season mostly unchallenged and won the NL East by default. It helps when you play the Washington Nationals 44 times in one season, or at least that's what it seemed like. This in spite of a horrendous bullpen that continually submarined them at some bad moments. It's a bunch that can't be trusted, and given the crucible that is Postseason Baseball, it's something that will haunt this team in the end.
My Pick: Rockies in 4. Philly wins one at home but cannot win once the series moves to Colorado. Lidge will blow Game 3.
St. Louis Cardinals (91-71) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (95-67)
I don't like either of these teams and it's almost enough for me to not want to pay any attention to this series. They are both incredibly boring teams that each have one superstar and a solid group of role players. So let them beat each other up and whoever wins, wins. I don't care. However, given that I have to make a pick, I'll say this. The Game 1 matchup is Chris Carpenter for the Cardinals and Wolfie for the Dodgers. That should say it all right there.
My pick: Cardinals in 5.
Boston Red Sox (95-67) vs. Anaheim Angels (97-65)
What's a postseason without a Red Sox/Angels ALDS? I suppose it's the Yankee fan's dream that these two teams beat each other up and the winner is too exhausted to continue on in the ALCS. But they both have their strong points. Oh, who am I kidding. I barely pay attention to the AL. I just know that these two teams are matching up, and the Red Sox usually win when these two teams play, so I'm going to pick them.
My pick: Red Sox in 4.
Minnesota Twins (87-76) vs. New York Yankees (134-28)
Complete and total mismatch. I don't care who's catching for the Yankees, they will flatten the Twins. In fact, I don't think the Twins should even bother showing up. Why subject themselves to the embarrassment? We all know what will happen. CC Sabathia is going to throw a 2-hit shutout in Game 1, Burnett will win game 2 and that'll be that. I predict big things from all the big guys, Jeter, Tex, even A-Rod. They'll show Joe Mauer who the MVP really is. Just remember, Chip Caray deemed it so. HERE COME THE YANKEES!
My pick: Yankees in 2.
So, there we have it. If you can tolerate Baseball at this point, these should be some good series. Otherwise, the Rangers are off to a 2-0 start!