The #Postseason is under way, and there is a real possibility of a dream World Series for me. The Red Sox are my No. 1 team and the Braves are my 2 team. I’m rooting for that to happen.
Obviously I spent my childhood being a diehard Red Sox fan. My Dad grew up in Massachusetts. As I grew older and developed an appreciation, I loved Chipper Jones. He played ball with the Durham Bulls right down the road from me, so we all loved him from that area. It’s Braves Country, too, in Carolina.
Either way I would be happy. It wouldn’t be that disappointed, gutted feeling after the World Series, whoever lost. I don’t know. That would be a weird feeling. I’ve never experienced something like that where I’ve rooted for two teams. It would be great for baseball. The old Boston Braves vs. the Boston Red Sox. I’d root for Boston, but I wouldn’t be rooting for them cold-hearted like, “Kill the Braves!” Honestly, the Braves fans have been great to me, and the organization…they’ve probably been the one baseball team that’s just been absolutely great to me, let me kind of hang out there and do stuff with them.
A lot is going to happen along the way, and Friday is the first day of four Postseason games at once this month so here we go with my thoughts:
BRAVES VS. DODGERS
The Braves have a tough draw. To pull the Dodgers in the NLDS, that’s pretty tough. But I think they can do it. Hopefully they didn’t peak in the middle of the season when they went on that long streak. Clayton Kershaw was nuts this year, and he already put the Braves in a hole by winning Game 1 in Atlanta.
I’m hoping Braves. As long as they can get their bats going. I was watching the other night at Turner Field, we were there. The bats weren’t exactly there. We’ll see if they turn it on. Craig Kimbrel is going to be a big thing. Anytime in the postseason, you need a good closer to get you out of games. He had 50 saves this season. We’ll see if he gets over that hump.
It’s tough to call the Braves underdogs. There’s a lot of hype around the Dodgers, you can see that. Yasiel Puig, Kershaw…there’s hype there. But I wouldn’t discount the Braves. Matt Kemp’s out for the Postseason, and that’ll be a tough bat to replace.
CARDINALS VS. PIRATES
I got the chance to see World Series Game 1 a couple years back when they were playing the Rangers in St. Louis, and the fans there are pretty crazy, they are very passionate. I do think Pittsburgh, they’ve got a little fire under them, this being the first time they’ve been there in forever.
It was funny, many would call it a hockey town. And the chants they were doing in the Wild Card Game with Johnny Cueto, the Reds pitcher, those were hockey chants. You could tell they were really getting under his skin. The Cardinals have home field and dominated Game 1 behind Adam Wainwright, but we’ll see if the Pirates can get that edge to them. It won’t be a boring series, that’s for sure.
NL PENNANT WINNER
I’m rooting for the Braves. Baseball is a heartfelt game. It’s a game where the heart plays into it. I’ll pick the Braves with that. They may be the underdogs, which I still hesitate to say. I think they’ve got it in them.
RED SOX VS. RAYS
I see the Sox taking this one. I think the Rays are great. I got a chance to see them in Tampa Bay and they did well. They’ve got good pitching with David Price…Alex Cobb threw a great game at Cleveland. ..and they’ve got Chris Archer, a young guy who’s really great and he’s from my hometown. So they should be good. But I just think the Sox have it in them this year. They’ve got that spark. You kind of see a little magic like you kind of saw in ’04 with the team. I don’t know if that’s just me, but I think they’ve got it in them this year.
They’ve got the pitching, they’ve got an out-of-nowhere who has just been filthy this year. He’s a man. And Big Papi’s swinging the stick, Shane Victorino’s been a huge spark, especially with Jacoby Ellsbury being out for that stretch. We’ve got the guys.
I’ve been asked if I might grow a beard since I’m rooting for the Sox. It might take me a while. That Duck Dynasty type? Jonny Gomes’ beard — that’s what it is. As a matter of fact, I think I saw Jase tweet that it’s hard not to pull for the Red Sox when they’ve got those beards going on. I love it. It’s kind of that same feeling. You had guys like Kevin Millar and the ’04 team like a family. This team with their beards, it’s just a good team, like that one.
ATHLETICS VS. TIGERS
Moneyball system works again. I think I’ve got the A’s. I know the Tigers got to the World Series last year and they won the American League Central again, but Oakland has home-field advantage in this AL Division Series. Justin Verlander, he hasn’t been as hot this year as he has in years past. I just think Oakland has it. I’m not as familiar with either team, but when you hear about the A’s, those are the kinds of teams that will surprise you.
AL PENNANT WINNER
I think Boston is going to the Series this year, I really do. The ALCS always worried me when we played the Yankees. Even though we finally won in ’04, you think about that ’03 ALCS and what could happen. Whoever we play in the ALCS, I think it’ll be a big test.
Another big story recently was Robinson Cano asking for over $300 million from the Yankees, so I’ll add my two cents on that one. If anybody’s going to get that number, I’m glad to see it would be a guy like Cano. As a Red Sox fan, there are obviously guys you hate on the Yankees team. I was never a big A-Rod fan, especially after all that mess he’s been in. I just don’t like it at all. But you’ve got guys like Robinson and Derek Jeter. You have to respect them. Mariano Rivera. You don’t have to root for them, but you have to respect them.