ESPN’s Jayson Stark did his annual prediction column yesterday, and like most of his stuff, it’s an entertaining read, as he breaks down the contenders and also-rans while eliminating teams from the playoffs à la “Dancing With the Stars.”
It's also worth noting that DWTS airs on ABC, which is owned by Disney, which also owns ESPN - “We call that “synergy,” folks.
And it's worth noting that I like Jayson Stark. He’s a good writer and one of the handful of mainstream guys who seems to utilize a pretty sound sense of logic and reason in making these predictions, most of which are grounded in empirical data and observation and objectivity. (Say, unlike this guy).
Not only that, he's a Philly guy. He was born in Philly, covered the Phillies for the Inky, and wrote a book detailing the Phillies rise to the top of the baseball world in 2008. Ostensibly, he's a Phillies' fan. I like that.
At any rate, Stark breaks down both leagues and whittles his list down to the final eight teams before arriving at the marquee matchup of a Phillies/Red Sox World Series.
But it seems, that's when his loyalty to the Fightin' Nine ends...
[The Red Sox are] better than the Phillies. They're better than the Yankees. They're better than the Rangers. They're better than everyone who has pirouetted across this stage. In the last week of March, anyhow, they're better. And that's all I have to go on.
That hurts, Jayson. Even though I know your journalistic integrity precludes you from outright rooting for the Phillies, you can't throw us a bone, at least a little? I mean, it's March. No one will remember in October what you say in March.
To be fair, and at the risk of committing some sort of blogger sacrilege, it's hard to fault Stark for his pick. Even if it does align with most of his co-workers, it's tough to disagree with his logic that the Red Sox have a really, really good team.
But, all that's on paper, as the saying goes. And until that paper can somehow manifest itself onto the grass, I'm going to kindly ignore all the predictions and wait until the dust settles after 180-some games.