5. Gotta admit I'm pulling for the Twins - and not just because their manager, Ron Gardenhire, is an actual human being. (Unlike Tom Kelly, the royal rectum I had to cover during my years at AP in Minneapolis.)
No, I'd like the Twins to still be playing in November just so I can see Bud Selig shivering in a box seat as he dodges snowflakes and pretends to enjoy himself at Target Field. I know ... I'm a little warped.
Now, reality: It's hard to envision the Twins getting past the Yankees. For all of their talent, these Yankees are not invincible, mostly because of suspect starting pitching. If the Twins were healthy - if Justin Morneau were available to launch a couple of HRs at Yankee Stadium - I might go with the Twins. But he's not, so he won't.
Yankees in 4.
4. It's Rays vs. Rangers in the Who Cares Series. Not even Tampa/St. Pete fans really care, though I suspect they'll pretend they do and show up just because it's the postseason.
Although the Rangers can flat-out mash and Cliff Lee gives them a legitimate horse, the Rays simply are better. Better rotation, better bullpen, better direction, better fundamentals, better speed, better defense.
Rays in 4.
3. The Reds are a pretty cool story and I really enjoyed covering Dusty Baker during his time in Cubbieland. Still, for everything Cinci has, the Phillies have more.
Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels? That's almost unfair. Not to mention all of that recent postseason experience - and history of postseason success - to carry them if things get a little dicey. (Though I'm saying it won't.)
Phillies in 3.
2. The Phillies don't even have the most feared arms in the playoffs. The Giants do.
Healthy, maybe the Braves steal a couple of games. Banged-up as they are, it's hard to envision them giving Bobby Cox a very satisfying sendoff.
Giants in 4.
1. As for the World Series ...
I'm saying Rays over Phils in a flip-flop of '08.
Yep, it'll be really something when tens of fans show up for the ticker-tape parade through downtown St. Pete.