The official Sully Baseball World Series prediction…

This is my official World Series prediction.
Don’t confuse this with my dreadful prediction made on the eve of the playoffs!
I had neither the Rangers nor the Cardinals making it through the Division Series.

Can you imagine if I went back in time and said after a few innings of Game 2 of the Cardinals – Phillies series and of the Rays – Rangers series that the World Series would be St. Louis vs. Texas?

Both the Phillies and Rays looked like they were a lock to go up 2-0 with early leads.

Now here we are with an all middle of the country World Series!

I’ve underestimated the Cardinals all post season.
Then again I’ve also underestimated the Rangers (I picked the Tigers to win the ALCS.)

In other words I’ve been as wrong as you can get.

So my instinct says “Pick the Rangers to win in 6.”
And I can’t.

I am going against my gut and as my picture might indicate to you… I’m smiling next to Ozzie Smith.

So here we go.


So if you are a betting man, you might put all your money on the Rangers.
Except remember that my INSTINCTS said to pick the Rangers. So either way you are screwed.

Now I am ROOTING for the Rangers, but these Cardinals have nothing to lose. So I am predicting that all logic and reason will fly out of the window and the Cardinals will be World Champs.

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10 Reasons why the Texas Rangers winning the 2011 World Series would be good for baseball

The fall of the Red Sox made me kind of in a daze at the end of the season. I was going to have the Sox be the LAST of the Why Each Team’s Potential World Championship Would Be Good For The Game series.

Not sure if you heard… the Sox aren’t winning the 2011 World Series.
Probably won’t win the 2012 nor 2013 either.

So in that post collapse confusion, I realized that I NEVER did one for the Rangers.
That would the BACK TO BACK AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPION RANGERS whom I gave virtually no respect to.

I didn’t pick them to win the Division… I picked the Angels.
I didn’t pick them in the Division Series… I picked the Rays.
I didn’t pick them in the ALCS… I picked the Tigers.

So maybe I have learned my lesson.

They are back in the World Series.
Would seeing them WIN the World Series be good for the game?

Let me count the ways…

10 Reasons why the
Texas Rangers
winning the 2011 World Series
would be good for baseball

1. The celebration of Ron Washington would be complete

Washington has had a remarkable 2 seasons. He overcame the drug problem to become the first AL manager since Joe Torre to win back to back pennants. And he did it with a fun likable, running in place in the dugout, windmilling style.

Oh yeah, he was portraying in Moneyball by the great “that guy” Brent Jennings. (He played Harrison Ford’s ill fated partner in Witness.) The difference between Washington’s Rangers and Beane’s A’s? The Rangers actually went to the World Series. But how cool would it be to win a World Series and be a character in what will certainly be an Oscar nominated movie?

2. Nolan Ryan and his influence could finally put an end to pitch count nonsense.

The Rangers lost Cliff Lee and somehow their pitching staff got DEEPER.

C. J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Alexi Ogando, Neftali Feliz, Scott Feldman and Mike Adams might not be as sexy as the Phillies staff. But Texas has played in the last 2 World Series and not Philadelphia. You weren’t supposed to be able to put a strong staff together in Texas. But magically that went out the window when Nolan Ryan took over the team.

Pitch counts were flushed down the toilet. Pitchers were allowed to get out of their jams. And guess what? As the Joba rules and babying of pitchers have left a wake of broken down pitchers, Nolan Ryan’s method has made the Rangers a pitcher team.

Gee whiz, I wonder which school of thought should be adopted by more teams!

3. Josh Hamilton… An American Bad Ass needs to be a Champion.

The ultimate Roy Hobbs story needs its grand climax. He’s already battled his demons. He’s already reemerged in Cincinnati and then in Texas. He already beat drugs to become the MVP and slay the Yankees. He’s already asked the Rays for forgiveness.

He’s a great American story of wasted and found abilities. Put a ring on that finger and roll credits!

4. The final haunting of Nelson Cruz

Cruz is on a home run tear. Tonight he became the first person ever to hit 6 homers in a single post season series. I may have calculated his career ALCS OPS wrong, but my math has it coming out to 5 bazillion.

If this run goes into the World Series, this slugger will shine on the biggest stage and torment the Mets, A’s and Brewers… all teams that had him and dealt him away.

5. It would be a celebration of the Rangers star studded but pennantless past.

When the Wild Card era began and media attention was placed solely on the Yankees and Red Sox, how many MVPs played in the Bronx?

Alex Rodriguez who won the award twice.
How many in Boston? That would be 2, Mo Vaughn and Dustin Pedroia.

How many in Texas? Juan Gonzalez won it twice. Pudge Rodriguez won it once. A-Rod picked up one in Arlington as did Josh Hamilton. That’s more than Boston and New York combined in that same stretch.

Jeff Burroughs won it before. Ruben Sierra and Rafael Palmeiro could have won it. Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins, Bert Blyleven and of course Nolan Ryan logged great years in Arlington. As did the Richie Zisks, Oddibe McDowells, Julio Francos and all the other players in the Rangers colorful past.

For all the Geno Petrallis out there, a Rangers title will be for you!

6. A pro like Darren Oliver deserves a ring.

Did you know Darren Oliver was part of the first ever Rangers playoff team in 1996? In fact as a starter he pitched with a lead into the 9th inning of Game 3 of the Division Series against the Yankees. New York came back to win that game, but if Oliver and the pen held on, they might have won the Series.

That was a long time ago. Jeter was a rookie then.

Did you know that Darren Oliver has appeared in every post season since 2006? This is his 6th October in a row. He’s logged in 17+ years in the big leagues and has no World Series ring to show for his troubles.

That should change.

7. Endy Chavez deserved a ring when he made that catch in 2006!

Endy Chavez’s place in baseball history was ruined by events he had no control over. If Carlos Beltran clears the bases in the bottom of the 9th in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS, Chavez’s catch, robbing Scott Rolen over a tie breaking homer, would be remembered as one of the great moments in recent baseball history.

He would be a New York icon, along the lines of Dave Roberts in Boston.

Instead his catch is remembered fondly and included in highlight reels, but not an all time moment. How could it be? The Mets didn’t win the game.

An overdue World Series ring would be a nice consolation prize for not becoming an immortal.

8. Michael Young would be rewarded for staying.

Michael Young was good as gone this past off season. There was no room for him in the crowded infield and a deal with a team like Colorado looked inevitable. In March, I made the case for the Rangers to keep him. He responded with 213 hits, best in the AL, a .338 average, 106 RBI and 299 total bases. And after 11 full seasons in Texas (after being dealt as a minor league for Esteban Loaiza) he has played more games for the Rangers than anyone else in history, had the most at bats, scored the most runs, compiled the most hits, doubles and triples.

With 2061 hits and a few 200 hit seasons left in him, is 3,000 out of reach? He’s an all time Ranger. People who are so great for one team for so long should win a title with that team.

How much would he HATE being in Denver now?

9. The Cowboys would have the longest title drought in Dallas!

The Mavericks won this year… the Stars won the Stanley Cup in 1999. The Cowboys haven’t won the Super Bowl since January of 1996 when they beat the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX. Between December 1996 and now, they’ve won one playoff GAME.

For fans in Dallas, they have had time to embrace more than football. And for the rest of the country who hates the Cowboys, there must be some delicious joy in knowing that the Cowboys are 4 Rangers wins away from being the symbol of Dallas sports futility.

(I wonder if Dallas fans would trade the Stanley Cup, NBA title and World Series ring for a few more Cowboy playoff wins.)

10. Could Texas become the next superpower franchise?

I keep hearing about how the Northeastern franchises have a stranglehold on big name players and media attention.

Well isn’t everything bigger in Texas? At least the World Series has been going through Texas more often than New York, Philadelphia and Boston these days. (Or Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta for that matter.)

But why talk about the Rangers like they are some small market team? Dallas is the 4th biggest metropolitan area in the country. You are a big market, Texas. Start acting Texan!

Spend big and intelligently and the Rangers could be in the playoffs every year and make a few more trips to the World Series. And if the Red Sox are in flux and the Cubs, Dodgers and Mets are a mess and the Phillies get older, then guess what? There could be a period where Texas embraces the Rangers and they can become a national brand like never before.

A title will give them substance. Why not have them be an answer to big Northeast baseball. Have it become a regional rival. Hell, if Dallas and Pittsburgh could become football rivals, why can’t Texas and New York in baseball?

Superpowers spread throughout the country is how baseball will improve its popularity. Might as well do it in the heart of football country!

Now Atlanta fans don’t have the best reputation in the country. They seemed to be jaded by the 14 consecutive post seasons as good seats were available for playoff games!

So there you have it. The Rangers are in and just ask the Tigers, they mean to win.
The National League champ should be put on notice. There could be a NEW America’s team in the Dallas area.

And that might not be so bad.

If you liked this then go ahead and read the entries for the other teams.


What do I want for the playoffs? 40 GAMES!

Last night’s victory by the Cardinals was the 29th playoff game played this year. Between the 4 Division Series, the ALCS and the NLCS, the tally so far has been 29 games.

And both LCS are still up in the air. The Tigers can win today and the Brewers could win tomorrow and we’d have a pair of 7th games.

Now keep this in mind. In 2007, between the 4 Division Series, ALCS, NLCS and World Series, only 28 games were played… total.

Three of the Division Series were sweeps. The NLCS and the World Series were both sweeps.
Only the Indians 4 game victory over the Yankees and the Red Sox 7 game ALCS clinching kept the post season from being the minimum. (I could be generous and say there were 29 post season games by including the Padres and Rockies one game playoff.)

The MAXIMUM number of possible post season games is 41.
That’s if all Division Series, the ALCS, NLCS and World Series all go the distance.

That’s impossible this year because the Rays and Rangers series went 4 and not 5 games.
But the other three Division Series went the full 5 and there is the possibility of both LCS going all 7.

The maximum number of games that can be played this post season is 40.
And THAT’S what I am rooting for.
Two LCS being decided by one game and the World Series going 7.

Now, because I wonder about things like this, I tried to see how many games each post season went since the Wild Card was introduced.

2007 was the quickest post season with 28.
The longest? That would be 2003 when 2 Division Series and both LCS went the distance.

In 1998 and 2009, not a single post season series had a winner take all deciding game.

Here are how the post seasons unfolded.

1995 31 games. 1 Division Series went the distance.
1996 32 games. NLCS went the distance.
1997 34 games. 1 Division Series and World Series went the distance.
1998 30 games. No series went the distance.
1999 31 games. 1 Division Series went the distance.
2000 31 games. 1 Division Series went the distance.
2001 35 games. 3 Division Series and the World Series went the distance.
2002 34 games. 2 Division Series and the World Series went the distance.
2003 38 games. 2 Division Series, the NLCS and ALCS went the distance.
2004 34 games. 1 Division Series, the NLCS and ALCS went the distance.
2005 30 games. 1 Division Series went the distance.
2006 30 games. NLCS went the distance.
2007 28 games. ALCS went the distance.
2008 32 games. ALCS went the distance.
2009 30 games. No series went the distance.
2010 32 games. 1 Division Series went the distance.

So unless you are from Texas or St. Louis or have a friend or family member on the Rangers or Cardinals, root for the Tigers and Brewers in Game 6. Let’s have some 7 game series.

It’s been 9 years since a World Series went 7 games. It’s been 3 years since the ALCS went 7 and 5 years since the NLCS had 7.

Let’s have 40 post season games for the first time ever.
Trust me, it will be fun.

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