You, too, can be a winner/The Red Line
People expect their sports editor to be able to predict things.
Lord knows I try, and sometimes it works. I seem to have settled into a good groove picking NFL games over the years.
Then again, in a given week, how hard is it going to get? There’s always going to be two or three slam dunks (often involving the Jets or Jaguars) and when in doubt, the home team’s probably going to be a good bet.
It’s about as safe as putting money on snow in February in South Range.
When it comes to postseason baseball, I’ve given up. There’s no reason the 2006 Tigers should have been in the World Series given how they played in the weeks leading up to the postseason and there was no reason they shouldn’t have won it once they got there.
I still can’t quite fathom how the Tigers couldn’t win a single game off the Giants last fall, especially given how that cast of almost the same characters posted a miserable 76-86 record this year.
So, for this reason, I will guarantee myself of being at least partially right by telling you exactly why every team left in the playoffs will win the World Series. So, you can clip out your favorite section and trash the rest.
Of course, the Atlanta Braves will come out on top because they led the National League East for every day but one and are basically automatic protecting leads in the bullpen. As a Tigers fan, I’m not quite sure what that feels like, but I’m sure it’s a good thing.
The Dodgers will win the World Series because they’ve been blazing through the National League over the second half and have, by far, the best pitcher in the game not wearing the Old English D, Clayton Kershaw.
The Cardinals will win the World Series because the Cardinals are really good at winning World Series when you least expect it. Ask Brewers fans (1982), Tigers fans (2006) and the smoking remains of the 2011 Texas Rangers, who may never recover from a World Series in which they were a strike away from winning their first world championship on two separate occasions.
The Pirates will win the World Series because they’re a solid squad with MVP candidate Andrew McCutcheon, a great story and long-suffering fans. Also, as a fellow employee of Robert Nutting, the owner of both the Pirates and this newspaper, I may receive a World Series share if they win. (Not really, but a guy can hope, right?)
In the American League, the Red Sox will win the World Series because they’ve been tested well in the East Division, by far the strongest in the AL. Closer Koji Uehara retired 37 straight hitters earlier this year and there’s nowhere I’d rather go less in need of a big win than Fenway Park.
The Rays are going to be the champs because their manager, Joe Maddon, is brilliant, and given how they’ve dispatched the Rangers and Indians to get to this point, they’re hot and can cool down any team.
Oakland will win it all because …
The A’s are going to be …
I give up being nice. The Tigers are going to win the World Series because I want them to and because I retain the childish belief that by force of good will, things are going to work out.
Not because they have the best starting pitching in the game, not because even if Miguel Cabrera’s playing on one leg, the Tigers have more than enough help around him in the line-up and not because the addition of Jose Iglesias makes their infield defense presentable.
They’re going to win because they are. And if you have a problem with that, well, the next Red Wings game is Friday night.
Brandon Veale can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/redveale.