Win or go home. That’s the motto from here on out in the baseball season as we’ve hit playoff time with the new wild card games starting tonight before the best-of-five series begin over the weekend. Agree with the new format or not, it’s here and will sure make for some interesting games tonight and it also gives additional MiLB front office staff members some additional hope. Because of the diverse makeup of most minor league staffs, there usually are a few people who have vested interests in the playoffs, which can make for a fun office environment during playoff time.
In our office in particular, we’ve got our head groundskeeper Ben Young pulling for his hometown St. Louis Cardinals tonight, who would go on to play the Washington Nationals if they can squeak by the Braves. However, ticket account manager Steve Yeager, who is a native of Reading, Pa., somehow roots for the Braves. So we have a Young-Yeager matchup going on tonight. As for the rest of the office, GM Rob Egan will be pulling for his hometown Detroit Tigers in their series with the Oakland A’s that begins on Saturday. Leading the contingent of Orioles fans in the office will be Manager of Concessions Glenn McComas and Dir. of Ticketing Chris Keefer, who have both “Buckled” in for the playoff run. I myself will be hoping for a second San Francisco Giants World Series title in the past three seasons as they’ll face off with Dusty Baker’s Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS.
As for predictions, here’s what I’ll go with:
Wild Card Round
Atlanta over St. Louis: I just can’t see the final season in the tremendous career of Chipper Jones coming to an end with a bow out in the first round of the playoffs, especially with Atlanta playing at home for this game tonight in Turner Field. While “The Chop” is one of the most annoying chants in all of professional sports in my opinion, the Braves will Chop the Cards and proceed to face the ‘Nats in the other NLDS matchup. In a promotional note though, the Braves gave away these Glow in the Dark Tomahawks this season, which are pretty darn cool. Making the promotion even cooler was that it was sponsored by Mellow Mushroom, which is a pizza chain that started in Atlanta and has PHENOMENAL, yes, all-caps worthy, pizza and Parmesan pretzels!
Baltimore over Texas: In the other series tonight, I’m taking the O’s because the Rangers are reeling having lost the division on the season’s final day following two straight World Series appearances that resulted in losses.
With those predictions in mind, here’s the rest of the playoffs
San Francisco over Cincinnati: NL MVP candidate and batting champion Buster Posey and the bunch from the City by the Bay will dispatch of the Redlegs in four games with solid outings from Matt Cain and, yes, even Barry Zito. Ryan Vogelsong (Curve, 2002) will be crucial in the run for the Giants if he can retain the form he found over his last three starts (1 ER in his last 17.0 IP).
Washington over Atlanta: The Natitude that carried the Nationals to the best record in baseball will also carry them through the Braves and into the NLCS. It’ll be tough for Stephen Strasburg to watch but he’ll have to do so nonetheless. Nats in four.
Detroit over Oakland: While Oakland is a team possessed, taking the AL West crown on the last day of the season, they haven’t fared well in the playoffs once they get there. I’m biased and going for another Oakland collapse in the playoffs. They’ll go up in the series but eventually fall in five games. Oh, and Detroit has that Triple Crown guy, Cabrera, too.
Baltimore over New York: These two teams split the 18 games they played against one another during the regular season but the O’s have an awesome logo redesign and that will be enough to put them past New York.
Washington over San Francisco: The Nats went 5-1 against the Giants in the small sample size of six games but the Giants pitching staff gave up 45 runs in six games (which is 7.5 runs per game). That’s awful and they did it against the Giants better pitchers in Cain (3 R, 6.2 IP), Bumgarner (8 R, 14.0 IP), Vogelsong (8 R, 2.2 IP) and Lincecum (12 R, 7.1 IP).
Detroit over Baltimore: Baltimore’s magic will run out in the ALCS when they run into Justin Verlander and the Tigers. I bet is a solid series tho, with it going six games. The two teams split six games during the regular season.
Detroit over Washington: At least Strasburg can help the Nats next time they get to the series.
With the first week of October in the books, we look forward to watching a handful of Curve players begin their offseason play in the Arizona Fall League next Tuesday, Oct. 9 with the Scottsdale Scorpions. Vic Black, Brandon Cumpton, Matt Curry, Kyle Kaminska, Adalberto Santos and Tyler Waldron all spent time in Altoona in 2012 and will be participating in the AFL alongside Gift Ngoepe, who was an infielder with Bradenton in 2012 and could find his way to Curve, Pa. in 2013. We’ll try and provide some weekly updates on their progress this offseason. Fans can always visit mlbfallball.com as well for the latest updates with action from the AFL.
A few of those players also are in the twittersphere if you’d like to keep track of them throughout their time in the AFL:
Matt Curry – @MattyCurry17
Vic Black – @Vic_Black_2
Adalberto Santos – @SantosSwag
Tyler Waldron – @Twallywaldron
What We’re Watching This Offseason
With no baseball games, we actually have to figure out how to cook and fill our nights during the long baseball offseason. For some of us here in the office, that means trying out some of the new fall TV lineups. Here’s what some of us have been watching thus far:
Parenthood – We’ve got a pretty good following of people on staff who watch this show (both of the Hoovers, Corey Homan, myself, the Keefers and Elsie Gibney). A solid choice for some good family drama, plus its set in the City by the Bay so it has to be awesome right (biased opinion). Tuesdays, NBC – 10 p.m.
Grey’s Anatomy & Scandal – The Shonda Rhimes back-to-back dramas can be the talk of the office come Friday mornings. Thursdays, ABC – 9 p.m. & 10 p.m.
Revolution – A good chunk of the office staff is still in recovery mode from the loss of LOST a few years back and this J.J. Abrams related show is trying to fill that void this season where Alcatraz last season did not. Mondays, NBC – 10 p.m.
The Walking Dead – Season three premieres October 14th. This one is a favorite among the Curve broadcast team. Sundays, AMC – 9 p.m.
Glee – We’ve got a few Gleeks in the office, one of which is our newest front office member Whitney Jones. Others on the staff also dabble in this show but some just fast-forward to the musical numbers to avoid the rest of the drama. Thursdays, FOX – 9 p.m.
Breaking Bad – Ticket Account Manager Steffan Langguth has been trying to convince me for months that this show is one of the best on television but I can’t ever get through a full episode. Maybe I’ll give it another shot around the holiday season.
What are you Curve fans out there watching? Chime in on the conversation.
Enjoy the weekend and some playoff baseball!