Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 21, 2006
BASEBALL: All Quiet on the Queens Front

So the World Series is just beginning, and the Mets are at home watching on TV with the rest of us. I'll be taking at least tonight off from live-blogging, and I'll play it day to day during the Series; it takes a little time to get back into the swing of this after such an abrupt and painful defeat.

The bitter irony of the NLCS is that the Mets were defeated not by their weaknesses (besides Trachsel, the starting pitching held up better than could have been hoped, and Cliff Floyd was more than adequately replaced by Chavez) and the Cardinals' strengths (Pujols did much damages but ultimately had only one RBI - six fewer than a game this season against the Mets, which the Mets won, and Carpenter was ineffective), but rather by their strengths (offense and bullpen) and the Cardinals' weaknesses (Taguchi, Molina, Suppan, Weaver).

There is no point in making predictions for this World Series. The Tigers are heavy favorites, and deservedly so. As we saw in 1988, of course, that's no guarantee that a team that spilled a far superior team can't do it again. But these Cards are so much less compelling than past Cinderellas - this isn't like the Hershiser of 1988 imposing his will on the postseason single-handed, nor is this a young team on the way up. The Cards are an old team on the way down from their 2004 peak that ended in getting swept.

In truth, this doesn't feel so much like 1988 as like 1999, when the Braves beat the Mets in a tenaciously contested NLCS, and then gave no sign of even wanting to win the World Series, rolling over and playing dead for the Hated Yankees. I have never wanted to watch a series less than that one.

In a short series, anything can happen. So who knows? But I can't pull for the Cards the way the NLCS played out. Go Tigers.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:13 PM | Baseball 2006 | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

First everyone wrote the Tigers off because they stumbled so badly in September and were facing the Yankees.
Then everyone jumped on the Tigers bandwagon as they became a Team Of Destiny by beating the Yankees and the A's.
Nobody thought they had a chance against the Yanks and they won.
Everyone thinks they'll kill the Cardinals, and (at least in Game 1), they are playing like they did against the Royals in September.

The only sure thing is that the conventional wisdom (as best expressed by the idiot Russo of the Mike & the Mad Dog show) is going to be wrong.

Posted by: howie at October 21, 2006 10:37 PM

As a fan of the Hated Yankees, I know how you feel. If you're going to lose a series, at least do it on your weaknesses. The Yankees "Line-up for the ages" sucked. It wasn't pitching that killed them, it was offense. If you were told that the yankees would be shutout for, what 20 innings, I would have thought you were on crack.

To help you move into next season, a Mets fan of mine mentioned that these Mets look a lot like the Mets of 1985. So there's good news for next year. Perez looks liek the real deal, good for you.

It's also nice to have a somewaht Mets/Yankees rivalry after 20 years. I have to pull out my old shirt, though it won't fit:
"My favorite two teams are the Yankees and who's ever playing the Mets"

Posted by: Dark Knight at October 21, 2006 10:43 PM

It looks like experience will be the determining factor in this year's World Series. The Cardinals have been there, done that in recent years and will win the series. Sir Albert will prevail. While the Tigers are a great team, there are too few players with experience at this point in a season. The Cardinals have many veterans of post season play. Cardinals in 6.

Posted by: Gingerguy at October 22, 2006 8:32 AM

I don't like the 1988 comparison (unless you are talking about the NL playoffs.) I lived in Oakland in that year but I grew up a Dodgers fan, and I remember the local press selling it as a wipeout. I even remember the absurd argument that the A's had the better pitching staff. You can do any analysis you want, but Leary had been good that year, Belcher was terrific in August and September, and Hershiser was otherworldly. No team with pitching like that should be considered a tremendous underdog.

I think 1990 was more shocking, when Billy Hatcher and Rijo and the Reds swept the A's.

Posted by: David Whitehead at October 22, 2006 1:44 PM

Reading your post over, I guess you more or less made my point about Hershiser anyway. I read it too quickly.

Posted by: David Whitehead at October 22, 2006 1:47 PM

Well the New York fans are crying again. Why don't they resign from MLB and start their our league with just the two New York teams. I do like the Met better than that other team. Yes, I'm a Cards fan, but there are a lot of good team out there. Cubs, Royals, Boston, Houston and Dodgers. If that other NY team ever won another game that would be to soon!!!!

Posted by: FRANK at October 25, 2006 10:57 PM
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