Tuesday, October 7, 2008

2008 Division Series postmortem

• I had picked them to win the National League pennant, but I need to start this post by saying that like so many people in North America, I was suckered onto the Cubs bandwagon like an unwitting rube at a bad carnival attraction. Regardless of what the carny said, the Cubs suck.

• Vladimir Guerrero has become the new Alex Rodriguez: a tremendous talent who becomes an impotent non-entity when it matters in October.

• After further review, the play stands, and the Cubs still suck.

• Manny remains Manny. When he feels like paying attention, he IS the most lethal offensive force in the game, and nobody can stop him.

• Jon Lester is the 2008 version of Josh Beckett. Put him on the mound, and he’s automatic. Just imagine if 2007 vintage Beckett shows up against Tampa Bay…

• I don’t believe the Phillies can stand up to Manny and the DodgerTones.

• Kudos to the Milwaukee Brewers and their fans. Though this wasn’t their year, they were great fun to watch while it lasted.

• Seriously, there’s no two ways around it. The Cubs flat out suck.

• Those remarkable Tampa Bay Rays are for real. They’re not just a cute, cuddly, freak occurrence. They’re a dangerous bunch.

• Terry Francona, Theo Epstein and the entire Red Sox organization have created an environment where everyone plays hard all the time, nobody hangs their head, and as long as the game isn’t over, it’s never over. That’s why Jason Bay and Mark Kotsay were great pickups, why the Red Sox are in the ALCS, and why the Angels are flying home to Anaheim for the winter. The Red Sox no longer try not to lose. In the new millennium, they play to win.

• The White Sox were lucky just to be in the ALDS, and were completely outclassed by Tampa Bay. Count on heads rolling on the south side of Chicago. Could be worse, though. At least they’ve won the World Series recently, unlike the Cubs, who suck.

• Thanks in large part to Epstein’s organizational philosophies, the Red Sox homegrown youth movement will continue to yield dividends for years to come. Ellsbury, Youkilis, Pedroia, Lowrie, Lester, Masterson, Delcarmen and Papelbon are all critical parts of the machine, all are on the 2008 postseason roster, and none are over 29 years old. Best of all, there’s more talent on the way. This is a very good time to be a Red Sox fan.

• It was a treat to listen to Don Orsillo do the play by play for the White Sox-Rays series on TBS. The guy’s good. Could you imagine him trading off innings in the World Series with the legendary Vin Scully? How cool would that be?

• Alfonso Soriano, Kosuke Fukodome, Ryan Theriot and the rest of the pathetic, choking, infuriating Cubs completely, totally suck. I’m not buying into their “we’re due! It’s finally our year!” bullshit ever again. As far as I’m concerned, they can rot for another hundred years. Hey, eventually we figured out how to win, and then did it again. Count on three immutable truths: death, taxes and the certainty that the Cubs are going to suck.

• If anyone is interested in buying a slightly used Cubs cap and windbreaker, let me know.

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