Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Even The Mets Get To Play October Baseball

Ah, October. The leaves are changing color, the temperatures are dropping, college football provides endless entertainment, political races obscure our sense of reality with an endless stream of TV ads and baseball reaches its climax: The postseason.

Now, some of you may be scoffing at my acknowledgment that the Mets are playing baseball in October, because, you know, they aren't playing baseball anymore.

Oh, but God Bless the schedule makers who decided to start baseball season a week late this year. Because of that peculiar delay, the Mets -- and the rest of the Major Leagues -- didn't play their last game until October 3, which, it should be noted, was the 12th anniversary of my Bar Mitzvah, a Bar Mitzvah-versary if you will. And so, because of that scheduling quirk, Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel will always be able to tell people that they took the Mets into October in their last year with the organization. Then again, considering Minaya's legacy it's probably better to have that as his final act than some other instances. As for Manuel, he's probably going to be remembered best for somehow assuming he wasn't going to get fired because he hadn't been told it yet, even though everyone seemed to know it was coming and Joe Torre had already publicly campaigned for his job. That may not be the wisest decision for Torre of course. He should already know what he'd have coming for him in Queens.

Wait, what's that? You don't care and want to hear about the teams that are actually playing?

Ugh. Fine.

So, if you've been paying close attention, there are actually eight other teams in the Major Leagues that matter. Sort of. And they'll be starting play in MLB's annual postseason playoff tournament Wednesday at 1:37 p.m., when Cliff Lee and David Price take the mound in a humdinger of a series opener between the Rangers and Rays at Tropicana Field. Now, I don't want to alarm all of you, but if the Rays wind up winning the World Series it may be less than legitimate. A woman in Florida appears to have cracked the code and blown the doors open on a vast Zionist conspiracy that is causing the Rays to start James Shields in Game 2 Thursday because he's Jewish. Why would this matter? Well, the team's ownership is Jewish and we bastards band together of course. Just listen to the kindly Floridian who's uncovered the scandal. She sounds very sure of herself.

First CNN and now this.

As a Jewish person, I am going to recuse myself from commenting on the nature of our vast conspiracy to get only Jewish pitchers on the mound, but I do think the radio host makes a valid point in that Gabe Kapler is nowhere to be found in tomorrow's starting lineup. Of course, it should be noted that there is also a question as to whether or not Shields is even Jewish, though he certainly fights like one. If he isn't, clearly we Jews aren't as smart as we think when it comes to these conspiracies. It's kind of like how we still claim Sage Rosenfels even though he's raising his kids to be Christian. Essentially what all of this boils down to is that our presumed Jewish conspiracy has officially supplanted what I thought was the most embarrassing thing I had seen this week.

The only thing more embarrassing that you might see this October? Probably how badly my picks fare over the next four weeks. Nonetheless, here we go. If you're impatient, I say Tampa Bay finally wipes the stink of Jose Canseco from its franchise highlights.

(1) Tampa Bay over (3) Texas in four games
(2) Minnesota over (4) NY Yankees in five games

(1) Philadelphia over (3) Cincinnati in three games
(2) San Francisco over (4) Atlanta in four games

(1) Tampa Bay over (2) Minnesota in six games

(2) San Francisco over (1) Philadelphia in seven games

2010 World Series
(1) Tampa Bay over (2) San Francisco in six games

I know, it seems peculiar, but for some reason I've got a hunch the Giants could pull off the upset as the only team in the NL with pitching that comes close to matching Philadelphia's. It may just be wishful thinking on my part, but if there's any chance for someone to stop the Phillies from taking a third straight National league Pennant, this would be it. As for the American League, Minnesota has been on fire for the second half despite not having Justin Morneau around. Morneau is out for the postseason, and the Twins have slowed down in the last two weeks, but so have the Yankees, whose pitching seems to be discombobulated. Not that it'll matter, because for the Rays, this is their time. They are talented offensively and in the rotation, have a sharp manager in Joe Maddon and have one last shot to go for it all with Carl Crawford in tow, which means, to me, that all signs point to the Rays winning their first-ever World Championship in front of all 38 of their fans.

It's probably a Jewish conspiracy. We won't know for sure until the franchise moves to Tel Aviv.

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