There are plenty of blog, sports sites, radio shows, and tv programs that will dedicate time and space to previews of the Cardinals/Pirates series. Some will give you fancy charts, high definition video clips, expert analysis, and a multitude of reasons why each team will win. Others will hedge their bets and provide mind-numbingly neutral-sounding rationale backed by a plethora of statistics about how each team can win/lose each game based on game conditions, time of day, and the middle name of the home plate umpire. Finally, there will a few big budget operations that give you all the aforementioned plus a pretty face and/or former major league glory hound to spew adjective upon adjective about the importance of this series.
I am not those people.
I’m here to bring the fun, because baseball is supposed to be fun. Being a baseball fan is supposed to be fun. All the fancy charts, pretty faces, and statistics won’t tell you who is going to win. That’s why they play the games. However, the inability to tell the future has never stopped some people from trying. So, I’m going to give it my best shot, too.
- The Cardinals may or may not win 1 or more games in this series against the Pirates. If the Cardinals win a game, it will likely be due to being credited with more runs than the Pirates are credited with during a given game. I predict that if the Cardinals outscore the Pirates in a game, the Cardinals will win that game. I’m almost like 97% sure of this. Maybe more like 95%.
- The starting pitchers in this series may not be the deciding factors, because the combined heights of the 2 sets of 3 is approximately the same (~18′ 10″). Since neither team has a clear advantage in this category, I must use the next predictive analysis category…..number of times arrested for impersonating a television actor while filming a stunt involving a golf cart and a pigeon for a YouTube video. I believe the score is still tied at zero, but some more checking must be done on Charlie Morton.
- The words “temperature”, “heat”, and “factor” will collectively be used over 1,000 times during each broadcast to give the viewers an impression of how difficult the weather conditions are. That means that I’ll be ignoring the words “temperature”, “heat”, and “factor” collectively over 1,000 times during each broadcast from the comfort of my couch. It’s not that I don’t believe that it will be hot during the game, it’s just that I don’t care that it’s hot for the players or the broadcasters. They don’t have to be there. They can go get other jobs. Plenty of other people work outside every single day in the heat for a lot less money than these guys make. I have zero sympathy, and them “suffering” through a baseball game isn’t quite the same as doing a roofing job or lawn care job during the summer. Hike up your khaki manpants and call the game.
- The “Player of the Game” will somehow be chosen prior to the conclusion of the game, because the end of the game doesn’t actually count. Well, the end of the game doesn’t actually count in terms of the all-important “Player of the Game” award which is some marketing gimmick associated with the player named Pujols, Holliday, or Berkman who had the best 8-inning game. It’s possible for other players to win, but a 4-4 by Jon Jay or a 5-rbi day by Rasmus is automatically trumped by a solo blast by Pujols in the 8th inning of 10-2 nail biter. I kid of course, because a 5-rbi day by Raz would earn him a share of the award that day with Albert.
- Ricky Horton will attempt to hug every single person in Busch Stadium at least twice, and he’ll claim that as many as 400 players were deserving of an All-Star selection this season. He’ll also inform us during the
former player self-deprecation” segment that he once surrendered base hits to over half the currently surviving ex-Pirate players, 2 ex-Presidents, and the mother-in-law of a member of Seal Team 6.
- Fans will be lectured/reminded/informed that it’s a horrible idea to even consider trading Colby Rasmus, and then we’ll be given 3-5 potential trade scenarios that make sense only in the minds of Al Hrabosky and Mr. Dan. Naturally, we’re all dumb enough to think it’s a good idea to give up Rasmus for a double-A pitcher, some box wine, and a basket weaving lesson, so it’s a good thing Al and Mr. Dan are there to help us along.
- Oh, I almost forgot to mention that this is the most important series of the season (until the next most important series). Yes, that means that the Cardinals should really try hard to win this one. Right, because they don’t try really hard to win the others? Maybe they should just play like it is a normal series. Well that won’t work, because it’s only the most important series of the season. Actually it’s just another 3 game set, and the teams meet 10 more times after this weekend, so it’s really not any more important than any other series. Now that series against the Royals in May, THAT was important!!! Okay, it was also just another series. The reality is that a 162 games is a lot of games, and judging the importance of each series is an exercise in ambiguous relativity. It’s really difficult in real-time to determine just how important a particular game or series is. The real prediction here is that people will lose sight of that and simply declare this one incredibly important by default. Yay for the most important series of the season (until the next most important series)!
Maybe this series is really important in the grand scheme of things, and maybe the relative importance will be primarily a function of the game outcomes. If the Cardinals can sweep the 3, you can bet this will become a series of critical importance.
TIDBIT: I was ambivalent about the Pirates this season until this morning. Then I realized that with the Pirates being competitive, they are unlikely to be “sellers” leading up to the trading deadline. That’s potentially good news for other teams in my opinion.
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