Thoughts about the other three LDSes, in which your humble correspondent, Tessie’s Dad, offers his preferences and the (often tenuous) rationale behind them:
NLDS-A, Phillies vs. Brewers. Nothing against the Phillies, but I want to see C.C. Sabathia go as far as possible. Why? Because the Brewers keep using him on short rest, and the accumulating wear and tear on his arm means there’s a chance that, when the Yankees offer him a massive free-agent contract this winter, the last thing he’ll do with that arm of his is sign that contract. He may then watch in horror as it drops off his shoulder, twitches a few times, and dies, leaving the Yankees stuck with the next Carl Pavano. I am given pause by the presence of Eric Gagne on their roster, but I can get past that.
NLDS-B, Cubs vs. Dodgers. Massive conflict here. I’m a Red Sox fan since birth, but I’ve also been a Dodger fan since 1981. I won the first sports bet I ever placed when they beat the Yankees in the World Series that year, and they’ve got some guys on their team that I’d like to see do well, Derek Lowe and Nomar Garciaparra among them. But then there’s that left fielder of theirs, for whom I can no longer cheer in good conscience. The Cubs, on the other hand, are staring down the barrel of an entire century of futility, and, as a Red Sox fan, it’s hard not to sympathize. It pains me to turn my back on the Dodgers, but I have to side with the Cubs. Either way, it will be entertaining to watch the duel between Joe Torre and Lou Piniella, both Yankees managerial cast-offs, while Joe Girardi sits at home.
ALDS-A, White Sox vs. Rays. Another difficult choice here, because I don’t want either team to advance. I respect Joe Maddon as a manager far more than I could possibly respect Ozzie Guillen as a human being, but both teams have players that make me cringe; A.J. Pierzynski & Jonny Gomes are especially hard to cheer for. What tips me toward the White Sox, hard as that is to write, is the Trop. It is simply not a suitable place in which to play baseball, and having to watch postseason broadcasts live from what amounts to a dark, damp cave in Florida while listening to Tim McCarver explaining the “catwalk rules” is too unpleasant to contemplate. We should all be grateful that the White Sox beat the Twins for the AL Central, or this series would be a Tale of Two Domes. Yuck.
So there it is: Brewers, Cubs, White Sox. Mind you, these aren’t necessarily who I believe the winners of these series are going to be; just who I’d like to see win. Anyone want to try and change my mind?