Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Before the season, I picked Sox/Braves. That did not work out.
Before the playoffs, I picked Phils/Yanks. That did not work out.
But I thought the third best team in the playoffs was Texas, and regardless of how the deciding Tigers/Yanks game turned out, I was going to move to Texas winning the ALCS. They were a good team in the regular season, and are now a good team playing well; power bats and bullpen is a good formula for post season success, and that's Texas. They're better at every phase than St Louis - better bats, better gloves, better arms. You have to take Texas.
Which doesn't mean they'll win; the Cards have the best bat (Pujols, obviously) and the best arm (Carpenter, whose matchup advantage against Wilson is healthy) and each of the Rangers advantages previously named is slight (except for defense, the Rangers are solidly better with the glove). I haven't looked at the odds, but were the Rangers' price excessive given the relative closeness of the squads that wouldn't surprise.
If you were looking at each game, saying Carpenter's two games are the only ones in which you'd favor St Louis makes sense, and therefore Rangers in 6 makes sense. Texas had a 10 game regular season pythag advantage and the Cards are sub 90; if you're picking, you're picking Texas. I can't think of a rooting side here; I dislike the Rangers BushFamily/Nolan Ryan/Texas sensibility, and like all right thinking baseball fans, I find LaRussa an irritant and generally look to root against the less deserving World Series entrants. As a Giants fan, perhaps a Rangers win adds to our success from last year, given that we would have beaten the team good enough to return and win the following year. That's enough of an argument for me to say I'm for the Rangers.
A Rangers win would rank them as the 56th best World Champion ever, between the Reds team that beat the Black Sox and the Dodgers team that won in the strike shortened year.
Unrelated. I like Carson Palmer; he's the best USC quarterback I've ever seen. But two number ones is absolute madness for a guy on the wrong side of the hill. Matt Hasselbeck was free talent in the offseason; you can't give up two ones for Palmer.
What's the price for Andrew Luck? Let's say its the Colts picking first with a returning Peyton Manning. How many number ones do you need to get that pick?
3? Would three do it? How about two ones and two twos?
Would you rather pay 2 ones for Palmer or 3 ones for Luck? How about 4? Your initial thought is "no one is trading that top pick next year" - and your next thought it "no one is trading four number one draft picks for anyone".
But if you're the Raiders, willing to trade 2 ones for Palmer, you have to be willing to trade 3 ones (and maybe more) for Luck.