It’s time to look forward to the postseason. The Mets certainly are, judging from their perfomance since clinching. Guys, would it kill you to mix in a win now and then?
But I digress. Things in the AL are pretty settled, though the Cardinals are doing their best to make the NL season count right down to the last day.
So let’s take a look at all the scenarios, weighing the pros and cons of facing each of these guys.
Possible Division or League Championship Series opponents
St. Louis Cardinals
Pros: The Cards are like mortally wounded animals, staggering in a circle before finally collasping dead.
Cons: If they survive the Astros, I don’t think they’ll never make it out of the Division Series. But in a five-game series anything can happen. Albert Pujols could go nuts and they could gimp through. A hazard then is that I have a lot of friends who are Cardinal fans, and I’d do a bad job feigning sympathy if we send them packing like we did in 2000.
Pros: This is assuming the Cardinals replace the 1964 Phillies as the poster children for last-minute chokes. The Astros will be tired from just getting to the dance.
Cons: Bat-chucker. Not that I fear him. These days Dude goes five innings, walks out to the mound to start the sixth then walks off to A) cheers in the Juice Box b) jeers at Shea, then watches his bully wipe out any lead he built up. No, I fear the endless Fox hype and Clemens worship. And I don’t want to watch those Astros fans show their appreciation to Beltran for 2004 by booing his butt the whole time.
San Diego Padres
Pros: The Padres are everybody’s favorite postseason opponent, at least now that the Braves are out of it. They’re the closest thing that baseball has to a bye week I think they have won a grand total of one game in two World Series appearances, and got swept in the Division Series last year. And they gave Kaz Matsui and inside-the-park home run. Plus, only the Blue Jays have uglier uniforms.
Cons: Mikey’s gotta realize that he tributes are over and he won’t be getting served any more fat ones to give the Shea faithful one last thrill. The danger is that he might remember what a kick-ass player he was and do some real damage.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Pros: Met-killer Mike Scioscia is now managing down the street, Kirk Gibson and his stolen MVP are long retired and fired as a Tigers coach and Orel is making Steve Phillips look goofy on ESPN. And if we win in their yard, none of their fans will be around to watch it.
Cons: We know about the Wilpons’ love for all things Booklyn Dodgers. I just fear that these guys are going to get confused and start rooting for the wrong team.
Pros: Traveling sure wouldn’t be a problem. In fact, most of the Cit will be filled with Mets fans making a road trip. It’s almost like playing all the games at Shea, but with better cheesestakes. Plus, the Phils gave their best player to the Yankees in July.
Cons: Pat Bleeping Burrell tends to play dead all season, except when the Mets are in the opposing dugout. That Howard kid has a little power.
Possible World Series opponents
Pros: They can’t pitch Johan Santana every game.
Cons: In a World Series, they just might try to pitch Johan Santana every game. Well, at least three times. And since we never know if Trachsel will convert into Shrapnel, I can see them stealing a game pitched by someone else, especially in that dome. If Lastings makes the postseason roster, I don’t want to see him trying to pick a fly ball out of that Teflon roof.
Pros: Vengeance for treating us like second-class citizens for all these years would be sweet. Watching DF Jeter weeping in the dugout -- "These tears sponsored by Nike" -- as we celebrate on their field would be wonderful. Watching everyone on the Yanks blame Alex Rodriguez for their loss would be a hoot. We tend to have no problem slapping Randy Johnson around -- even our scrub relievers!
Cons: They’re evil. Let’s get that one out of the way. But more importantly, if we play them, we become guest stars in our own World Series, because Fox and the Yankee-hacks launch right into Subway Series mode. It becomes a story about the mighty Yankees attempting to vanquish the cross-town step brothers who should be happy to be here after years at the bottom. Plus, we’ve been here before and it’s not a pretty place. Playing the Yankees is like my crush on Rachel Ray -- it’s just not going to end well for anyone.
Pros: I like Frank Thomas! And the people on my Mets listserv will finally shut up about losing Marco Scutaro if they see that he’s just not that good.
Cons: That stadium is horrible. I don’t like the idea of the West Coast time zones messing with their body rhythms. Plus, I’d have flashbacks to 1973 with Reggie going deep in Game Seven and Bud Harrelson beating the tag and forever getting called out by Augie Donatelli despite Willie Mays pleading on his knees.
Pros: After seeing Detroit, every single Mets player, coach and staff member will run off the team bus and kiss the Unisphere, vowing to never say a bad thing about Queens again.
This team is hungry but inexperienced, played over its head all season and limped through September.
And, on a personal note, a series would be close enough for me to at least hang around the outside of the stadium snagging all sorts of cool World Series souvenirs.
Cons: None, other than the chance that someone might get hurt running for the Unisphere. Let Pedro off first and give him an unobstructed path. We want to play the Tigers.
Jeter hype alert!
ESPN asked two writers to debate who is more valueable, Derek F. Jeter or Jose Reyes. You can read it
here. But let me break it down. Jayson Stark basically says, "Don't look at the stats, Jeter is great because we say he is."