Forgive me, Giants, for I have strayed, but it’s only a fling
I have a confession to make. I’m a cheater. I have strayed from my true love of 20-plus years.I hate to admit it, but it’s true.My mistress: the Colorado Rockies.And quite the affair it has been.Just look at what these exciting Rockies have offered us down the stretch.A wild, wild, wild-card tiebreaker win over the Pads. Eleven straight victories during the most critical stretch of the season. The league’s best defensive team. Legitimate Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player candidates in Troy Tulowitzki and Matt Holliday. Gutsy young pitchers (Franklin Morales, Ubaldo Jimenez) stepping up in big games. Supposedly washed-up veteran pitchers (Mark Redman) stepping up in big games.The Rockies have easily been the marvel of MLB’s second half and, taking the diamond with a cast of unknowns, have done these amazing things virtually unnoticed by the baseball world outside Denver. Until only very recently, anyway. How this team strung together an 11-game win streak and received almost no national press in return is beyond me. Perhaps the Rocky Mountains cast too large a shadow on Coors Field? I really don’t know.I do know they managed to catch my wandering eye, not a tough task with my primary baseball love confined to the National League West cellar. Sorry, San Francisco Giants, for trading you in for something a little younger and more exciting. It’s merely a fling, I swear. I apologize for my infidelity and promise to return to you – if you’ll take me back – in spring of 2008. Oh, and thanks for shedding the deadweight known as Barry Bonds.Now, on to my Division Series predictions (not that anyone asked for them):
Rockies over Phillies in fiveThe Colorado Rockies are clearly the poster boys of resilience, so why can’t they go a round or two in the playoffs, if not farther. If the Florida Marlins of 2003 and 1997 or the Anaheim Angels of 2002 taught us anything, it’s that the hottest team in baseball down the stretch is capable of just about anything in the playoffs.The only thing complicating matters is that the Phillies were probably the second-hottest team in baseball during the September pennant chase.Diamondbacks over Cubs in fiveIt could be over quicker. I’m only predicting a five-game series because it’d be true Cub fashion to take the Snakes to a fifth game and lose. That’s just how they roll. Why get swept when you have a tortured fan base to, well, torture with a slow death?And please, all in attendance at Wrigley during the 2007 playoffs, keep your hands to yourselves and away from flying balls.
Angels over Red Sox in fourBoth teams have been here plenty of times before, and I think Boston’s second-half meltdown in the regular season was a harbinger of what lies ahead. Or maybe I’m just hoping so. I do know I’m sick of Red Sox Nation. It was cute back in 2004 with the bloody sock and the whole World Series thing, but I never knew back then Boston’s curse exorcism would spawn one of the most obnoxious bandwagon “fan” bases in the history of sports. I swear I’m gonna torch the next pink Red Sox hat I see.Indians over Yankees in fiveIndians, Indians, Indians. Go Indians. Please win this, Cleveland. A nation of Yankee haters have got your back. Seriously, though, the Indians have to have the pitching edge in this one. I’d take my chances with C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona – both 19-game winners – as Game 1 and Game 2 starters. Contact Jeff Caspersen: 384-9123 firstname.lastname@example.org
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