Quondam Dreams

Monday, October 24, 2005

World Series Predictions

Scenario #1:

Houston wins in 6.

Series MVP Roger Clemens instinctively thanks George Steinbrenner for bringing Roy Oswalt into the Yankee fold.

All hell breaks loose.

In the ensuing chaos, the trophy disappears.

In his next column for El Portal, Ozzie Guillen admits to swiping, though he's not sure why he did it. He offers to give it back, but the Astros who can read Spanish all tell him that the essay's so beautifully written that it deserves a trophy. (Seriously, if you have any level of comprehension of written Spanish, you've got to check out his weekly essay. Links to the originals with selected paragraphs in translation at Slate.)

And so, the World Series trophy's location remains a mystery to the non-Spanish-speaking world until next spring, when it mysteriously shows up behind the bar at Cubby Bear.

Scenario #2:

Roger Clemens is still down for the count, and the Astros are lost without him. The Sox win in 5. After the games that the Sox lose, a journalist notes that the team didn't try very hard, but draws short of invoking the Black Sox for one simple reason: If Clemens can't pitch game 5 then it'll probably go to Wandy Rodriguez. And if there's one guy who won't mind being the one who loses the World Series, it's the guy who's gone through life being called "Wandy".

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Playoff picks update

First of all, how 'bout those divisional series results? I don't mean the actual games -- I mean that I picked three out of four, and that fourth one was only off by one game and a Rally Monkey incident.

I'm still picking Chicago to win the ALCS in 6 or so, for three reasons:

1. Statistically, they're playing much better. Sox post-season OPS: .781; Angels: .694. Sox post-season ERA: 2.60; Angels: 3.06.

2. The Angels are doing this without Bartolo Colon -- who, besides being the Angels' best pitcher, has a name that's really fun to say. Try it: Bartoooooloooooo Colooooon. The only other name that comes close is Kelvim Escobar, and he's no Bartolo Colon.

3. Evidently, the umps have money on the Sox.

Actually, that last consideration does make it harder to make this pick with anything approaching confidence. Still, I'm going with the Sox over the Angels.

Too bad it doesn't really matter who wins the ALCS, 'cause St. Louis is going to crush them anyway. If they don't, then I'm blaming the officials. Someone has to take the fall for the dumbest-ass (dumb-assiest?) call since the Anaheim Angels were renamed the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I mean, really.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Playoff picks

Banged these out a couple of days ago, but haven't had a chance to post them until now. Please note the following:

I estimate that coming up with these took about one-twentieth the time that it took any of the actual professional sportswriters to come up with theirs. The results are pretty much the same as those of the people who get paid for this sort of thing. I'm so in the wrong line of work.

Predictions are based largely on a combination of team OPSes (look it up) and ERAs -- oh, and the fact that I don't really care.


Divisional series:

Chicago vs. Boston (or: How many times do you have to reach into a drawer to get a matching pair of sox?):

In Boston's favor: Significantly better OPS

In Chicago's favor: Better pitching staff; won last 5 games of season;
with my brother's relocation to L.A., I know more people in Chicago
than in Boston; white socks go with more things than red socks.

Pick: Chicago in... I don't know, let's say 5.

Yankees vs. Angels:

In the Angels' favor: Better pitchng staff; won last 4 games of season.
Against the Angels: Dumb-ass new name.

In the Yankees' favor: Better OPS; more experienced team (average 11 yrs to Angels' 6.2 yrs; average age 33.3 to Angels' 29.6); entire population of Bronx will be out for blood if they lose.
Against the Yankees: Karma.

Pick: The fifth game will go to the 14th inning, at which point the Yankees will petition to have the Rally Monkey registered as an instrument of torture. Yankees win, but only after five games of neither team seeming like they really want to win.

ALCS: Statistically, a Yankees - White Sox matchup looks much like the Yankees-Angels matchups, so see above. White Sox win in 6 because the Yankees are just plain tuckered out after the Angels series.


Divisional Series:

San Diego vs. St. Louis (or: two saints walk into a bar):

In St. Louis' favor: Better OPS and ERA; won last 3 games of their season; still pissed about last year.
Against St. Louis: Announcers will quickly tire of Grudzielanek and Isringhausen.

In San Diego's favor: Um... they managed to finish over .500?
Against San Diego: Lucky to be in the suckiest division in all of baseball; carrying Chan Ho Park.

Pick: Cardinals in 3. Really, it'll all be over by halfway through game 2, but there are tv contracts to consider.

Houston vs. Atlanta

In Houston's favor: Better pitching. Much better pitching. Hey, did I mention how much better their pitching is?
Against Houston: Roger Clemens lives in his own little world; starting rotation includes a guy called Wandy.

In Atlanta's favor: Better OPS; habit.
Against Atlanta: Lost last 4 games of its season; Tomahawk Chop has gone from grating to just plain annoying.

Pick: Houston in 4, thanks to their dominant pitching. (But if you ask Andy Pettit, it'll be because he prayed for it.)

NCLS: St. Louis in 6, because pitching can only take Houston so far.

World Series: St. Louis in 5. You can go on and on about this being Chicago's year, but the Cardinals are simply a better, more experienced team. I think having the cutest uniform in the league builds character.