So even though my beloved Red Sox are sitting at home right now, eating pizza and drinking beer, it's still an exciting day: The baseball playoffs are on.
OK, I admit it: Manny Ramirez is probably smiling and riding a carousel with Enrique Wilson, not at home eating pizza.
But, anyway, we do have three interesting series to watch, along with one that is a serious mismatch (Yanks/Tigers). Three of them begin today. Here are my predictions for the first round. Send me yours.
Yanks vs. Tigers — Yanks in 4
I have a lobster roll riding on tonight's game, so even though I think the Yanks sweep, I hope Detroit pulls out tonight. I think there's a chance Detroit wins, against all odds. Here's my rational: Wang couldn't strike me out, so the free-swinging ways of the Tigers won't hurt them as much. And Robertson's been pitching well lately. Other than tonight, the Tigers stand no chance.
Cardinals vs. Padres — Padres in 3
A rematch of last year which saw the Cards dominate the Padres. That won't happen again. St. Louis looks like crap right now and San Diego has Peavy, Young and Wells, three very good pitchers. Plus, the Pads have a very deep bullpen, thanks to the Red Sox. And they have my man-crush Josh Bard. How can the Cards win?
A's vs. Twins — A's in 5
I know the Twinkies are a fashionable pick, but Oakland can throw Zito today against Santana and then the A's have a huge advantage with the rest of its starters. Nobody has a deeper starting staff than the A's, which will certainly help them beat the Boofs of the world. Neither of these teams have great offenses, so even though the Twins might be a bit better with the bat, I don't think it will matter.
Mets vs. Dodgers — Dodgers in 5
Ah, the series that will depress so many people around here. Listening to the WFAN, you'd think the Mets were the best team that ever lived and that El Duque was still only 45. Unfortunately, the last time El Duque was any good was at the turn of the century, back before he was eligible to collect Social Security. The Mets lineup is still great, but the Dodgers are so much better on the mound. Derek Lowe will win two games in this series, and Mets fans will cry. As much I'll enjoy watching them lose, I have to admit I feel a connection to Mets fans. Why? Because I lived for many years with the same fear as Mets fans: As Pedro goes, so does the season. Without the greatest pitcher to ever pick up a glove, the team's got three 50-year-old starters and not much else.