Looking Forward to the Playoffs
Well sports fans it is October and with the exception of the 163d game in the AL Central between the Twinkies and the Pussy Cats we are ready for the playoffs to begin. Tomorrow’s one game playoff in the soon to be history Hubert H Humphrey Metrosexual Dome should be a pretty good game that hopefully will go longer than the 2005 NL Divisional series game between the Braves and Astros that lasted 18 inning. If it goes that long the winner will be the Yankees. Wait, that’s when they play whoever wins between the Twins and the Tigers. My guess on this is that the Twins take them down hard in the inhospitable confines of the Metro Dome and go on to the playoffs where they will lose to the Yankees in 4.
With that in mind let’s take a look at the divisional series. First the National League:
Cardinals vs. Dodgers: Cardinals in 4
The Evil LA Dodger’s (95-67) have the best record in the National League backed into the playoffs after starting like they owned the world. Manny has been cold as a Boston night and the starting pitching has been suspect. I like St Joe Torre but I don’t think that the Evil Dodgers have the Schlitz this year. They will be playing the St Louis Cardinals (91-71) skippered by St Anthony La Russa who have some awesome hitting with Matt Halliday and Albert Pujols. The Cards are stacked with great pitching and I think that they will take the Dodgers in 4. Now to be fair under St Thomas of Lasorda the Dodgers pulled off some pretty amazing playoff wins, however I don’t think this is the year for that. If it happens I owe my nephew Joe the Dodgers fan dinner next time I’m in San Diego.
Phillies v. Rockies: Phillies in 5
The Rockies (92-70) had an amazing season, going from worst to almost first in the National League West and taking the Wild Card berth. Everything has been working for them and Manager Jim Tracy is attempting to become St James of Denver. They could potentially win this series but I am going to go with the Phillies (93-69) because I like their offense. When the series moves to Coors Light Field I think that Ryan Howard’s wrecking crew’s bats light up the cool Rocky Mountain High nights when they get out there. The Phillies pitching has not been as good in the past few weeks and closer Brad Lidge is seeking redemption after a miserable season which followed last year’s phenomenal performance. As for the Rockies I think that Cinderella departs from the ball early.
The American League looks like a whole lot of the same with the exception of the Central. What I would do to see the Orioles and the A’s back in the series like in the 1970s and 1980s. The teams in the American League playoffs, at least the ones currently in and not the Central Division Champs regardless of who that is, are outstanding teams all with a decent shot of advancing to the ALCS. First I’ll look out to Anaheim.
Angels vs. Red Sox: Angels in 5
Most experts are picking the Red Sox to once again knock the Angels out in the first round. The “Wild Card” Red Sox (95-67) have owned the Angels every year in recent memory that they have matched up in the ALDS. However that being said this year’s team is not the Red Sox we have known the past few years. They still have a lot of good players but they are showing signs of age and just don’t seem to have the same ability they did in past years despite their great record. They were eaten up by the Yankees in their last two series with them and took a while to secure the Wild Card. The Angels (97-65) played in a weaker division but still have done very well. Unfortunately with the exception of 2002 they have regularly choked in the playoffs. This year there seems to be something different about the Halo’s and I think it is related to the commitment of the team and dedication of the season to rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart who was killed by a drunk driver after pitching his first Major League start. I think it will be a tight series but the Angles end the Red Sox dominance of this series. I go Angels in 5.
Yankees vs. Central Division Champs: Yankees in 4 (Twins) or 3 (Tigers)
The Yankees (103-59) are my odds on pick to win it all. This team is deep at every level and playing with an attitude after missing the playoffs for the first time since 1995. They will face either the Twins or the Tigers either of which will be 87-76 when they win Tuesday night. The Twins are the hotter of the two teams and their playoff run has been outstanding but helped by the ineptitude of the Tigers. However I do not think that either does well against the Yankees who seem to be healthy and hitting on all cylinders. Yankee haters may not like it but the Yankees are a solid team and a middle relief corps that is home grown and not bought. I think the Twins might steal one game but expect that the Tigers should they win Tuesday will go down faster than Apollo Creed in Rocky 4.
So we’ll see how I do as compared to guys who make a living at this.
Odds and Ends
A couple of notes on the personal side my job focus is shifting more to our Pastoral Care Residency program and out of the ICU. I will be functioning in some manner like an attending pnhysician for our residents on all of their wards. Likewise I will be working more on training for the entire department and more work with the ethics committee and the Special Psychiatric Response Intervention Team (SPRINT). I will be moving my office back to the main pastoral care department offices this week. I still have the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
I started the preparations for my comprehensive exams for my Military History Masters at American Military University. It is an eight week course which is finished off with the actual exam. I want to finish with the highest marks on the exam “Passed with Distinction” to cap my perfect record in my classes.
I had the undead tooth show its ugly face again. Well not the tooth itself, it is dead but it still haunts me. I was notified on Friday that I was on what we call a “Dink” list for Dental. This is not good, the Naval Dental Corps is like the Gestapo in tracking down Sailors and Marines who miss appointments or regular screenings. When you get “dink’d” you are skylined, an open target with you name hanging out for the command to see. You don’t want to be a “dink.” Those who have been reading this website since the summer know all about The Undead Tooth of Terror. See my post Killing off the Undead Tooth of Terror https://padresteve.wordpress.com/2009/07/16/killing-off-the-undead-tooth/
As a result of the Undead Tooth of Terror I spent much of the summer in the Dental Department or with the Oral Surgeons who I get to see again tomorrow. I was told that I needed to take care of the problem with personnel. After several perplexed looks by disbelieving personnel specialists I was directed to a back office and the young corpsman there looked me up and was able to tell me that I was “dink’d” but couldn’t say why. So I went to Dental after another meeting where a young corpsman and I think that they are all young assisted me. He told me that the computer said that I was delinquent on a root canal. Well, not only had I had the root canal, but when it failed I lost the tooth as well. Informing the polite young man that said tooth was no longer in my head he looked for an explanation. When I mentioned that I was being evaluated for an implant he told me that he would be right back. He came back quickly with my record which had never been returned to records and was sitting on the Oral Surgeon’s desk. He removed the “dink” from my records and the world is right again.
Tomorrow I have a couple of ideas as I have been working on an article about the first US Navy Aircraft Carriers, one on the Congregation of the Church of Baseball at Harbor Park and some reflections on the 2009 baseball season.