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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

October 12, 2009 at 2:44 PM

Worst. Prediction. Ever.

dodgerceleb.jpg

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That’s Joe Torre celebrating the utter fail of my prediction last week that the St. Louis Cardinals would win the World Series. And below that, Ryan Ludwick and Brendan Ryan contemplate the shame they have brought upon me.

Forget about the World Series — how about winning ONE STINKING GAME!!! Albert Pujols had to choose this week to become a singles hitter? Matt Holliday had to start taking defensive tips from Glenallen Hill? Joel Pineiro had to remember that he was Joel Pineiro? And whisper that same secret to Ryan Franklin?

The headline in today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch should be “La Russa’s dilemma: Carpy or Wainwright in Game1?” Instead, it’s “Cards set to probe reasons for failure.” Never a good sign.

Bitter? Nah, not me.

As long as we’re in full shame mode, I also picked the Red Sox to handle the Angels in five games. Uh, not so fast there. Way to go all Lidge on us in the ninth, Papelblown. Perhaps I was just ahead of my time last year when I predicted a Dodger-Angel World Series.

Yeah, I did hit on the Yankees dispatching the Twins, but that doesn’t exactly make me Nostradamus. The only people who thought the Twins had a chance were relatives of Ron Gardenhire, and they didn’t really believe it, either. The Rockies are still technically alive against the Phillies, but it’s going to be an uphill battle.

Those three sweeps so far, by the way, are part of an alarming trend in the postseason. Since 2004, there have been 38 postseason series, and 16 of them have been sweeps (including the World Series in 2004, 2005, and 2007).

Another 13 series have been one shy of a sweep — four games in five-game series, five games in a seven-game series.

That’s 29 anti-climactic series (for all but fans of the victorious team, I suppose — as well as the 2004 Red Sox, whose sweep was still compelling for viewers because it ended the “curse.”)

Yet what really gets people excited about the playoffs is exciting maximum-length series, and there have been just seven out of 38 over the past five years (three of them coming in 2004) — the 2004 Division Series (Astros over Braves), the 2004 ALCS (Red Sox over Yankees, an epic series), the 2004 NLCS (Cardinals over Astros) the 2005 Division Series (Angels over Yankees), the 2006 NLCS (Cardinals over Mets), the 2007 ALCS (Red Sox over Indians), and the 2008 ALCS (Rays over Red Sox).

Here’s hoping for three legendary seven-game series this postseason. Just don’t ask me who’s going to win.

(Dodgers photo by Associated Press; Cardinals photo by McClatchy Newspapers)

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