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October 12, 2004


The Sound and the Fury: Looking at the ALCS
by Sean McNally

Sean and John bicker about minor points relating to the ALCS, even though they agree on most things. They'll be doing this after a couple of the games as they happen.

SJohnny: First of all, worst week ever to quit smoking.
Sean McNally: See John have the DTs at www.softjohnnyquits.com
SJ: I am going through about $40 of nicotine gum a day.
SM: Ha.
SJ: That doesn't seem healthier.
SM: Your lungs thank you (as do the Primates planning to attend this year's World Series Meetup at Founders).
SM: OK, New York hasn't made any changes to its roster, how big a mistake is that?
SJ: It is somewhat of a mistake, but Torre has shown he wasn't going to pinch hit for Cairo. So really, the only mistake is when he pinch runs for Olerud, Clark plays not Giambi.
SM: Right, the core question is this: Is X% of Giambi better than Heredia or Loaiza?
SM: Sub-question: Is the devil we don't know (Halsey) suckier than the the devils we do know, the aforementioned Heredia and Loaiza?
SJ: It would be nice if the postseason had 8 man rosters, I am convinced the Yankees would win in a walk.
SM: The answer to both questions is, of course, yes.
SM: No pitchers? Just tees? How about Javy Vasquez as all-time pitcher?
SJ: Jeter could play short and all three outfield positions, and they could carry 3 pitchers
SM: Ha
SM: The terrible replacement for Mr. Tony on ESPN Radio has taken to playing "Halleujah" music whenever talking about Jeter -- I kind of dig that.I think I shall call him St. Skeets from now on.
SJ: I can't believe you listen to that show.He should just start talking to you directly.
SM: Not my fault, my radio was on it when I got in the car.
SM: Any-hoo, Game One...
SJ: Right, Game One preview, Moose vs. Schilling.
SM: Here's my feeling, if Boston loses, they are cooked. If New York loses, eh, no big deal.
SJ: Really? I don't think Game One means all that much.
SM: Yeah, Boston has so much invested in Schilling (and his ability to make 55,000 people shut up) that if they lose, its all over but the Shaughnessy column.
SJ: Well, it does mean something, but Boston is good enough that they can win behind Pedro or Arroyo.
SJ: I see game one as a rather large victory for Boston, something in the Range of 8-1.
SM: Pedro has nothing for New York, except a Fathers Day card
SM: I think the Series will probably go seven, only because I don't see New York winning Game One.
SJ: So we both have Boston up 1-0?
SM: But, New York's gonna get four wins by five runs and Boston's going to win their three games by about 50 runs, meaning their fans at least will have the Pythagorean World Series to look forward to.
SM: I think New York has a chance, but if I were you (READ: a betting man) I'd take Boston.
SJ: Boston is actually the favorite.
SM: That's insane.
SM: Wait, for this game or the series?
SJ: I don't think the Yankees have been dogs in a playoff series since the 2001 ALCS . . .
SM: And look what happened there.
SJ: For the series.
SM: I say again, that's insane.
SM: Are certain Primates now setting Vegas lines? I thought they worked for pharmacutical companies.
SJ: Yeah but the Seattle overacheieved that year, this Boston squad played 60 games below their expected level
SM: So sayteh Pythagoras.
SJ: WOW
SJ: World Series Odds:
SJ: Boston 2.10!
SJ: Cards 3.25.
SJ: Yankees 4.0.
SJ: Astros 6.5.
SJ: That is crazy. CRAZY!!
SM: Bah! That's just people betting on the Sox for sentimentality, like the guy who bought 20,000 $2 bets on Smarty Jones to win the Belmont.
SJ: As for the series, Boston is 1.61, which is an incredibly heavy favorite.
SM: Same reason.
SM: If you want to make that bet, just come over to my house and I'll light your $20 on fire, it will be just as entertaining.
SJ: I have not made a bet since the Joe Gibbs redskins cut my September profits by two-thirds.
SM: Quitting smoking and betting? Did you secretly get married?
SJ: No, I am focusing my energy on poker.
SJ: I have found it it better to lose all my money in one place, rather than slowly.
SM: Fair enough.
SM: So back to the series, we both agree that the Yanks will win in the end?
SJ: Yeah, seven games
SM: I really think this Game One is the X factor.
SJ: But I think the Red Sox will take the Pythagorean title.
SM: If Boston loses, the Yanks could be setting their World Series rotation by Monday.
SJ: Game Four could be huge. I think, if the Yanks find themselves up 2-1 and El Duque can pitch, that would be HUGE. I think it is a good sign that Duque was not dropped from the postseason roster.
SM: I think if things break exactly right, which they won't under any circumstances Schilling loses Game One, Pedro turns in a non-vintage start in Game Two and then you have Bronson Arroyo alternating between crapping his pants and going to the rosin bag in a virtual elimination game in front of a cranky Fenway crowd. That could be fun for the whole family.
SJ: I think the odds of a sweep are roughly the same as me starting Game Three.
SM: My friend the Red Sox fan told me he was the Yankees' number three starter.
SJ: Your friend is a Red Sox fan?
SM: I have a friend, who despite my better judgement, I allow to be a Red Sox fan.
SM: Anyway, he only said that after I reminded him his team hasn't won a World Series in 86 years.
SJ: Red Sox fans aren't bad people, I have some friends who are Sox fans.
SM: That sounds so condescending
SM: "Some of my best friends are _____________ (fill-in group you were just slagging)"
SJ: I almost wish they could win this year.
SM: Funny, I wish they could almost win this year.
SJ: Yeah, I am probably just saying that.
SM: I know you are, you try to be such a nice guy, but its pretty transparent.
SJ: No actually, my mentor is a Sox fan, and he is not doing so well now. There is a Tuesdays with Morrie kinda thing.
SM: Ahhh, well thanks for taking us the Chick Flick Zone... Larry's two female readers will appreciate that.
SJ: I am sure you are not the only married reader.
SM: Yeah, yeah yeah... Alright, to wrap up we go to the Lightning Round:
SM: More pressure: Schilling or ARod?
SJ: Schilling
SM: Bigger ass: Schilling or Varitek's?
SJ: Schilling
SM: Worse hair: Arroyo or Millar?
SJ: Millar
SM: Word association - Kevin Millar?
SJ: Cowboy
SM: Sorry, scab was the right answer, and you were doing so well.
SJ: I choose to go another direction
SM: Alright Robert Frost, you can choose all you want, but he's still a scab.
SJ: Series MVP?
SM: St. Skeets
SJ: Kevin Brown
SJ: Two wins, including Game Seven.
SM: Wow, that's bold.
SJ: That is a series MVP
SM: Alright, your surpising hero?
SJ: Hmmmm ... Who would suprise you from the yanks if they did well?
SM: Lofton
SJ: Lofton wont get any ABs
SM: An all righty Boston rotation means lots of ABs for Kenny and very little Sierra
SJ: If someone wasn't managing on autopilot maybe
SM: Yeah yeah yeah, speaking of...Player I'm most likely to curse at Joe Torre for using in a key situation?
SJ: Heredia.
SM: Ooooh, close but wrong again.... Wilson.
SJ: Wilson will only get used if he pinch hits for cairo, or if ARod or Jeter gets hurt. Really, the Wilson era is over.
SM: And there was much rejoicing.
SJ: Torre has buried him.
SM: Speaking of 'Holy Grail' references, has anyone ever gone through a "But I'm not dead yet" rejuvenation like Bernie did during the ALDS?
SJ: He has always been streaky, it is just the cold streaks are longer than the hot streaks now.
SM: True. But the hot ones are fun to watch.
SM: So are we done?
SJ: I gotta go to work, but we should wrap it up with final predictions.
SM: OK, in the form of haiku. Go!
SJ: Yankees take it in seven
Brown the MVP
Affleck cries on the TV
SM: Nice one, here's mine:
SM: Yankees swing big bats against Sox
Pedro, Schill not enough
Dan S. recycles column
SM: And there we go.
SJ: Excellent.