Archive for September 30th, 2011

The Captain Dream Matchup Is Finally A Reality

With apologies to any of my readers who are not baseball fans, today’s Friday 5 pretty much had to be about baseball after this amazing week.  So without further ado.

Top 5 Thoughts Heading Into The 2011 Playoffs

1.  Wednesday was an amazing nite for Major League Baseball

After the Cardinals’ come from behind victory on Tuesday nite, I knew that Wednesday’s end of the season game was shaping up to be something special.  I was itching to watch the game with a group of guys, and luckily Dan Fjord found a group over at Miami Wallace’s house.  With my man Carpenter on the mound I had the feeling we were poised to win the game and put the pressure on Atlanta.  After the Cardinals scored five runs in the top of the 1st inning, the game seemed over before it even started.  Carpenter went on to pitch a 2 hit shutout, which would’ve been way more exciting if not for the other games on at the same time.  By the 6th inning, Miami Wallace was regularly flipping over to the Phillies-Braves game on ESPN and eventually we just stayed.  When the Phillies tied the game in the top of the 9th the whole room started cheering for the Phillies.  I loved it!!!

When the Phils eventually won the game and our group was celebrating along with the Cardinals, we eventually turned our attention over to the Tampa-New York and Baltimore-Boston games.  These proved to be even more thrilling.  I cheered the loudest when the Red Sox were booted from the Wild Card on two games that were won on the final pitch.  It was an amazing nite of baseball, as shown by the total saturation of media coverage over the past two days.  Glad I was positioned perfectly to catch the whole show.  Congrats Cardinals and Rays!

2.  My favorite teams made the playoff, my hated teams epically choked

As everyone knows, I’m a huge Cardinals and Phillies fan.  And I’m also a notorious Braves hater.  So it was amazing that the Cardinals were able to win the Wild Card in a large part because the Phillies came to Atlanta and swept the braves.   To me this

Is just as satisfying as this

And on top of that, my favorite American League team snatched the Wild Card away from my most hated AL team.  Watching the Tampa Bay Rays come back to score 8 runs after the 7th inning to defeat the Yankees was awesome, but watching the Red Sox piss away their whole season was priceless.  All sports media can talk about today is what a bunch of overpaid choke artists the Red Sox turned out to be, and I love it!  Suck it Boston!
Red Sox Sell Out Of Commemorative “Collapse 2011” Hats, T-Shirts

3.  A historic matchup

But by far the most exciting part of the end of the regular season is a historic first for me.  As a lifelong fan of both the Cardinals and the Phillies, I’ve never had to choose between the two in any real setting.  In my lifetime, they’ve never both had a good team at the same time.  While both have been great at different points, they were always staggered so I never had to choose.  When I was a kid, the Cardinals had some great teams in the 1980s, going to the World Series in ’82, ’85 & ’87.  The Phillies went to the World Series in ’80 & ’93.  There was never a conflict between the two.

And even with both teams recent success in the past decade, it was never at the same time.  Amazingly, the Cardinals went to the final round of the Playoffs 4 out of 5 years between 2002 and 2006, and the Phillies went to the final round of the Playoffs 3 out of 4 years between 2007.  The only time both teams made the Playoffs was in 2009, and the Cardinals lost the first round.  So it has finally come to be that my favorite two teams will play each other for the first time in my life.

4.  My allegiances will be tested

Since I never shut up about the Cardinals and Phillies, over the past two days people have constantly been asking me where my allegiances lie.  And my answer has been “I’m cheering for the winner!” because I honestly don’t have a good answer.  I just don’t know!  I usually cheer for the Cardinals when they’re playing the Phillies, but I’ve been known to wear a Phillies shirt to a Cardinals game from time to time.  This year I went to both Phillies series at Busch Stadium; I wore a Cards shirt to the May game and a Phils shirt to the June game and I picked the winner both times.

On paper, it looks like the Phillies are going to steam roll the Cardinals.  They have a much better pitching staff and enough offense to get the job done.  But the Cardinals are one of two teams to beat the Phillies consistently in 2011.  The Cards won 3 of 4 two weekends ago, and Game 1 starter Kyle Lohse actually beat rival Game 1 started Roy Halladay during that series.  It kind of feels like I’m a Gotham City resident going to watch a fight between Batman and Superman.  As a Gotham resident I should be cheering the hometown Team Batman.  But Team Superman is much stronger and looks pretty hard to beat.  The question then is does St. Louis have any spare Kryptonite?  I’m about to find out over the next week, and I’m THRILLED!  So at this point, the best I can say is I’m cheering for the Red team…

5.  Please don’t let either team sweep

I’m really hoping that neither team is swept because I really want both teams to play well in the series.  But mostly I just want it because I have 2 tickets to Game 4 that I can only use if neither team is swept!  I was able to pick up a couple of standing room only tickets yesterday, which works out well since my partner in crime and I enjoy seat hopping.  Although I don’t think we’ll be able to swipe as good of seats as we did last week…


More than anything I’m hoping that one team will win the series at my game on Wednesday so I can celebrate either way.  As such, I’m planning on wearing a Cardinals jersey over a Phillies shirt so I can hedge my bets.  Though no matter what happens, it looks to be a historic week of baseball for me and I couldn’t be happier.  So let’s go Cardinals Phillies Cardinals Winners!


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