Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Playoff Time!

Back from Montreal, just in time for the MLB playoffs!

This is my favorite time of the sports year. There's nothing quite like the tension of playoff baseball. Many bloggers would give you prognostications at this point, but I'm not going to, because there's no reason to look foolish.

The playoffs are a crapshoot. Baseball Between the Numbers showed pretty convincingly that the outcome of any series is 85% luck. With those odds, why bother with predictions. Still, I thought I'd tell you who I'm rooting for, and why.

In all of the big-time team sports, when I don't have a particular interest in any of the teams, I root for the team that hasn't won it all in the longest time. There are other factors, but I won't bore you with them here. So without further ado, here's my order of preference for the World Series champion, which is an opinion that of course you should embrace too.
  1. Padres (1968) - They've never won it all, and entered the league in 1969. So count their last win as 1968, blowing everyone else away. I also have liked this team for quite some time for no good reason.
  2. Cardinals (1982) - This team is not only long-starved, but has great fans and is nearing the end of their success cycle. If they don't win now, it may be a loooong time, given the age and glaring weaknesses in the organization.
  3. Tigers (1984) - The feel-good story of the year; it would be great if they could cap it off with a win.
  4. Athletics (1989) - I'm a big fan of Billie Beane, and am tired of people using playoff failure, which is essentially bad luck, to attack an intelligent approach to the game.
  5. Twins (1991) - Another small market team, another slap in the face to the Yankees.
  6. Dodgers (1988) - I like Nomar, but the As and Twins are only slightly less starved, and have better small-market credentials.
  7. Mets (1986) - The idea of a subway series makes me nauseous, but much better the Mets than the...
  8. Yankees (2000) - Not only are the most recent winners, but they also have a shot every year, so there's no hurry. Add to that the fact that they have every unearned advantage imaginable, and my history of rooting for the Orioles, Red Sox, and Mariners at different times, and this would by far be the most undesirable outcome.
I love the West Coast. Games start at 10AM!


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