Part 4 of The Octopus Hamstring’s 2011 MLB Season Wrap-Up – The Finale: Playoff & World Series Predictions or “Outlander! Outlander! We have your woman!”

Seattle Mariners 1, LA Angels of Anaheim 5, May 29 2010 aka Black Saturday

Welcome to Part 4, the Finale of The Octopus Hamstring’s first annual MLB Season Wrap-Up! In case you missed Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, click the hotlinks.
I’d like to start things off by referring to a classic quote from modern cinema:
“Don’t you realize? The next time you see sky, it’ll be over another town. The next time you take a test, it’ll be in some other school. Our parents, they want the best of stuff for us. But right now, they got to do what’s right for them. Because it’s their time. Their time! Up there! Down here, it’s our time. It’s our time down here. That’s all over the second we ride up Troy’s bucket.”
 -Mikey Walsh, The Goonies (1985)

The photo of Kendrys Morales writhing in agony following his Shakespeareanly tragic accident is relevant here. After a long and grueling 10-inning game (Parts 1, 2 & 3 of this series), I’m hoping that Part 4 (the grand finale, you warped urchin-snouted apple-johns!) is my walk-off hit, my moment in the Sun. Unlike Kendrys Morales, however, I’ll be going back to the hotel afterward to blow lines off hookers’ asses instead of getting airlifted to the hospital.

Actually there won’t be any line-blowing, hookers or hotel rooms. I’ll be perfectly content to sit on my throne (couch) at Castle Apathy and attempt to negotiate sex with the CDO. Maybe I can ask Scott Boras if he ever takes any domestic cases…

Speaking of getting old, I was talking with Tyler earlier. I swear on Satan’s name that he’s a real person and not someone made up so I don’t feel like a loser. He’s just been busy….yeah…..that’s it. Busy. He told me about a pretty funny picture he found online. I Googled it and found it easily.

We’re thinking this would make a pretty great Octopus Hamstring t-shirt. Seriously, how much of an overgrown child is Henry Rollins. Sure, the guy’s smart and reads a lot, blah blah blah, but he’s pretty much become a stereotype, a caricature of himself. I got no beef, with Ian MacKaye (we’re still cool, right man?), but Henry’s schtick is wearing pretty thin. I have nothing but respect for what Hank did with Black Flag and his part in making them something greater than they had been. I also have tons of respect for anyone that could put up with Greg Ginn’s megalomania routine for 6 years, but c’mon man. Lollapalooza brand funk-metal and appearing as a celebrity-judge on RuPaul’s reality series, Drag Race? Ummmmm…No. (actually…maybe the RuPaul show is kind of cool…)

I’ve seen Henry Rollins do live spoken-word three separate occasions. The first two were actually pretty good…then again, I was also pretty drunk, as well as a lot younger. Either way, I remembered him being better. He wasn’t overly twitchy. He was still politically and socially driven, but still very entertaining. 3rd time I saw him not so much. Not long after I started dating the CDO, I told her I wanted to take her to go see him (2007 tour), she said “Cool” and I got us tix. She’s not into Flag or washed-up punk rockers (but she married one??? huh???), but she’s adventurous and open-minded, so I figured she’d enjoy the experience.

We saw him at the Silent Movie Theatre off Fairfax & Melrose in West Hollywood. Dude was bitter, patronizing and unfun (100 punk points if you catch that last reference). Holy shit. I was literally embarrassed because this shit was on me. We actually left early.

I guess, in a roundabout way, the point that I’m reaching for is I’m a very sweet guy for taking my future-wife out to Hollywood on a date.

Without further adieu! The PREDICTIONS!!!

"Oh yeah Mike? Really? Or are you going to start rambling on about bullshit nobody cares about again, like in Part 3?"

Pipe down, Gyllenhaal. Do you even work? Shouldn’t you be getting into character for your next “emotionally demanding” role? I’m sure America is all pins-and-needles in anticipation, waiting for your next Prince of Persia pile of shit. I know Roger Ebert is.

 “The two leads are not inspired. Jake Gyllenhaal could make the cover of a muscle mag, but he plays Dastan as if harboring Spider-Man’s doubts and insecurities.”
Roger Ebert on Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), Chicago Sun Times

"That computer-voiced Stephen Hawking clone is nothing but a hack, what the fuck do I care? You know what you are, Man? You're nobody. You're just a no-name, wannabe writer who'd be willing to suck dicks for an 1/8th of what I got."

Oh yeah? Well at least I don’t look like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


"Man, I can't even keep a straight face...HAHAHA!!! Great one, Mike. Yeah, and you look like Kim Jong Il! Oh wow...funny stuff. You're alright, Buddy."

Ha! You know I love you man. Burritos later? I’ll shoot you a text when I’m done doing this post…

Here it is, with out any interruptions this time. Yaaaaaaay!!!

The Octopus Hamstring presents, straight to your computer, Mike Apathy’s 2011 AL & NL Playoff and World Series Predictions!!!

(Like my intro? Yeah you did.)

2011 ALDS: Detroit Tigers (95-67) vs. New York Yankees (97-65)

Yankees in 5.

Plain and simple, the Yankees have too many weapons. With Sabathia pitching game 2 or game 3, I don’t see Detroit having what it takes. Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera only have “so many” at-bats per-game. If Detroit can get a lead and hold it into the 9th, Valverde’s a bad motherfucker and they could conceivably take one, maybe two games. Bottom line, the Bombers have the bats. A-Rod is your team’s 4th-most-feared hitter (1. Cano, 2. Teixeira and 3. Granderson) and Home Field Advantage on top of it? Yeah. Sorry Detroit.

2011 ALDS (Wild Card Series): Tampa Bay Rays (91-71) vs. Texas Rangers (96-66)

The Rays in 5.

2011 Tampa Bay Rays:

  1. Late-season rally to secure the Wild Card? Check.
  2. Power-hitting 3rd Baseman who has WS MVP written all over him? Check. (Evan Longoria)
  3. Solid young pitching? Check. (Matt Moore, David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, etc.)
  4. Us against the world mentality? Check. (early season Manny drama, B.J. Upton’s inferiority complex about his brother, Justin, etc.)
  5. Quality veteran guys? Check. (Johnny Damon, Kyle Farnsworth, Casey Kotchman, James Shields, etc.)
  6. Ungrateful, turned his back on his roots, jerk Intelligent and respected “Player’s” manager? Check. (Joe Maddon)

World Series Champion 2002 Anaheim Angels:

  1. Late-season rally to secure the Wild Card? Check.
  2. Power-hitting 3rd Baseman who has WS MVP written all over him? Check. (eventual WS MVP Troy Glaus)
  3. Solid young pitching? Check. (Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez, rookie-John Lackey, Jarrod Washburn, Scott Schoeneweiss, etc.)
  4. Us against the world mentality? Check. (Example: David Eckstein was starting SS)
  5. Quality veteran guys? Check. (Tim Salmon, Troy Percival, Garrett Anderson, Darin Erstad, etc.)
  6. Intelligent and respected “Player’s” manager? Check. (Mike Scoscia)

I’m picking the feel-good underdog story. Plus, fuck Mike Napoli the Texas Rangers.

2011 NLDS: Arizona Diamondbacks (94-68) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (96-66)

Brewers in 3.

Is Prince Fielder worth $160 million-plus? Is this Ryan Braun’s chance to advance from All-Star Talent to Pujols/Mauer, Household-Name Status? Can Busch Stadium really stockpile enough beer and brats to satiate their fans’ insatiable appetites?

The D-Backs are nice, and Kirk Gibson’s future is SUPER bright, but much like the Tigers (who are right back in it, btw, series is tied now at 1-1), I don’t feel like they’re there yet. Ian Kennedy’s a total stud, as is legit 2011 MVP candidate Justin Upton. This team is still climbing the mountain. They’re at least one year removed from being a serious contender. Matter of fact, I’m not convinced they’re even the best team in their own division! If the Giants add a bat or two, have a healthy Buster Posey and get more of the same Lincecum, Cain and Wilson, they’re right back in it. Don’t count the Dodgers out either. Next year’s NL West is gonna be a dogfight and I can’t wait.

The Brewers however, need to win this now and they know it. Prince “I’d love to go back for seconds!” Fielder is out next year. He’s chasing the money and he knows that World Series MVP on his resume raises his asking price by $25 million. $25 million buys a lot of BBQ.

I have a feeling Ryan Braun’s gonna have a MONSTER series, though. He’s sick of the Prince talk. Get ready, the dude’s about to break out, I can feel it. Prepare for Zack Greinke to remind everyone how badass he is, too.

Quick note on the ’11 Brewers: I Love Nyjer Morgan. He seems like a genuinely good guy, who just loves to play. I want to have him over for dinner, so he can hang out on the couch and tell jokes.

This team’s time is now. The Crew hasn’t been to the big show since 1982, when the Cardinals beat them in 7 games, in one of the most evenly played World Series of the last half-decade. They’re gonna be tough this year. I’m not sleeping on them.

2011 NLDS (Wild Card Series): St. Louis Cardinals (90-72) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (102-60, tops in MLB)

Phillies in 4.

Who wants to see a Brewers/Phillies NLCS?! This guy, that’s who. I don’t think the Phil’s are going to roll over on St. Louis as easily as people think, though. St. Louis has been there before, too. They got bats. They got pitching. Their manager might be a mob-enforcer. Plus, there’s the Pujols Factor. Buuuuuuuuut…

That’s not going to be enough. Lets take a look of the stats of Philadelphia’s top starting pitchers this season. It’s practically a future HOF roll-call.

Combined 2011 season stats for Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Vance Worley and Roy Oswalt (if applicable, individual averages in parenthesis next to stat):

  • Wins – 70, (14)
  • Losses- 36 (7.2)
  • Innings – 942.4 (188.48)
  • Strikeouts – 855 (171)
  • Earned Runs – 263 (52.6)
  • Aggregate ERA – 2.84
  • Aggregate WHIP – 1.12
  • Aggregate Opponent Bat. Avg. – .239

Postseason Glory is achieved through pitching and defense. Their pitching should be able to compensate for lacking in other categories. This will be a good, hard-fought series, but the Phil’s should make it the next round.

2011 ALCS: Tampa Bay Rays over New York Yankees, Rays in 7

2011 NLCS: Milwaukee Brewers over Philadelphia Phillies, Brewers in 6

2011 MLB Word Series: Tampa Bay Rays over Milwaukee Brewers, Rays in 6

What? I said Philly was a lock for the Fall Classic in Part 1, in the NL MVP part??? HA!

Yep, that’s right. I’m betting the CDO’s pink-slip, the one they gave me when I finally paid her all off, that Tampa’s got this one. Lets take a look at why:

  1. They have ridiculous momentum right now
  2. They’re scrappy and won’t give up if backed into a corner
  3. Joe Maddon is gonna manage the shit out of these bastards
  4. They crave redemption for 2008
  5. Karma could fuck Prince Fielder in the ass. The Gypsy that lives out on my patio foresees a Mo Vaughn-type situation where he slips on a banana peel, walking down the dugout steps and snaps his ankle.

Seriously, it’s all about the momentum. It’s bigger in this sport than in any other. Tampa Bay stamped their ticket with Longoria’s walk-off on the last day of the season. Don’t bet against them. I talk a lot of shit about teams of destiny. The Rays are as close to that as you’re going to get this year. I think they have it in them just like the 2002 Angels and the 2004 Red Sox did. I’m going to end this article with the same quote from little asthmatic Mikey Walsh, that I started it with…gonna tweak it a little, though…

“Don’t you realize? The next time you put on a uniform, it’ll be for a different club. The next time you cheat on your wife with a questionably young-looking girl in the equipment closet, it’ll be in some other team’s equipment closet. Our fans, they want the best of stuff for us. But right now, they got to do what’s right for them. Because it’s their time. Their time! In the stands! Down here, it’s our time. It’s our time down here. That’s all over the second we get to the offseason and the Yankees sign Evan away from us. You know the season isn’t over yet, right Evan? It’s tradition to wait until AFTER.”
 -Joe Maddon, Manager
Tampa Bay Rays (2011)

For Tyler, the Head and your 2011 World Series Champion Rays,

This is Mike Apathy singing off.