So Long Baseball (For My Teams), Why Hello There Hockey Season!

The playoff race for my first tier teams, the Giants, A's and O's, was over a couple of weeks ago or substantially earlier in the O's case and the regular season drew to a close this weekend.

There were an awful lot of really great things that happened this baseball season, not the least of which was the chance to see Barry Bonds get some game time and creep ever closer to Aaron and Ruth's home run records. And Giants fans were massively treated to Randy Winn's amazing finish to the season since he was acquired from Seattle. A truly astonishing run he had for the last two months of the season and was a large part of the reason the Giants were so close to being in it at the end. There were also the amazing defensive plays turned in with far too much regularity from Omar Vizquel at shortstop and Ray Durham had a great, great run towards the end as well swinging like an all-star and showing some of that old-school scoot he used to be known for. And Moises Alou put up some pretty excellent numbers despite his injuries and despite not having the most fearsome bat in the league batting ahead of him. And you've gotta love it when the catcher leads the team in doubles as Mike Matheny did, by the way, thanks to the Cards for letting us have him, he's a stud, a leader and really an all around excellent human being aside from being a great catcher.

So who's gone, or who should go before next season? Sorry Pedro (Feliz) but you're just not making it and you ground out, strike out and fly out with far too much regularity and don't seem to give a damn about it at all. Edgardo Alfonozo is on the bubble as far as I'm concerned. He came in to this season in excellent shape and was smacking the ball and playing great defense but he slumped towards the second half of the season. Schmidty, the dead arm thing has gotten old, you've lost confidence in your overpowering fast ball and have descended into medicrity. Ray Durham's absolute money when he's healthy

Now I get to cheer for friend's teams and cheering against teams that I can't stand (umm, Yankees? Oh yeah! Go Angels! Smite them Damn Yankees!). So let's take a looksee at the playoff picture.

American League's got: Yankees, White Sox and Angels as division winners and the Red Sox as the wild card selection.

National League's got: Braves, Cards (most deservedly so) and the Padres (who will almost certainly get bounced in the first round) and the Astros sliding in for the wild card spot.

My prediction or hope? I hope the Angels sweep the Yankees in three though since they already lost game one that's not gonna happen now, okay then Angels in four. The Red Sox take the White Sox in three as well which is also not going to happen since they got pounded or rather since Matt Clement kept underhanding the ball to them and they kept crushing it (die AJ, die!). The Cards pound the snot out of the Padres in 3 and the games aren't close. The Braves will edge the Astros in four.

League Championships: Angels lose to the Red Sox in five games to win the American League. The Cards will end up beating the Braves in five or six. And then the Red Sox take the series in maybe five but probably six.

And that would be just fine by me (and with my east coast family who's living and dying with each pitch right now, come on Boomer, dominate today, DO-MIN-ATE!. Though I'd bet Easy would rather a different conclusion.
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