The playoffs

As far as baseball in concerned, to true fans of the game, this is the best time of year.  The playoffs tend to give us some of the best baseball and the most interesting games of the year.  This time we have some perennial powerhouses (St. Louis, Atlanta), a recently-developed powerhouse (Los Angeles), sentimental favorites (the two traumatized cities of terrorized Boston and bankrupt Detroit), a constant contender (Tampa Bay), and appealing underdogs (Pittsburgh, Oakland).

I am pulling for the Cardinals.  They are consistently outstanding year after year after year.  They seldom make mistakes, come through in the clutch, and keep coming back.  At least they have always been that way when I would watch them torment the teams I have followed lately (the Milwaukee Brewers, the Washington Nationals).

On the other hand, I would really like to see a World Series with the Dodgers, with the best team money can buy, and the Athletics, with the cheapest bargain-basement team assembled according to sophisticated statistics.  Such a matchup could settle once and for all the controversy between the conventional wisdom in building up a team (assemble all of the stars you can afford) and the analytical strategy pioneered by Oakland general manager Billy Beane as chronicled in the book and movie Moneyball.  (The book is better.)

So what are your predictions?  Who will be in the World Series?  What themes, storylines, and dramas do you see in the playoffs?

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