Breaking Ball’s playoff preview: Top chefs in the playoff kitchen
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Well, that sure was one heck of a playoff race, huh? Though nothing will top last year’s drama, this year we were given a little extra adventure with the addition of one more wild card team in each league.
I’m not sure I totally agree with this new system. I’m somewhere in between “This is an awesome new playoff system!” and “Get off my lawn!” With each league’s two wild card teams going up against each other Friday in a single-elimination game to find out who is the wildest card of them all, some of what I’m writing might already be inaccurate by the time you are reading this. Because while you are reading this right now, the right now in which I am writing this has already passed.
And even the “right now” I mentioned previously for me is considered “then.” If you have any idea what I’m talking about please comment below and explain it to me because I am lost.
The end of the season means the start of the playoffs for only 10 teams. For the other 20 it is a time of reflection and whole lot of woulda shoulda coulda. However, Boston fans are already offseason winners with the firing of Bobby Valentine. Don’t worry, Rockies and Pirates, your incompetent managers will soon be joining Bobby V on the scrap heap.
It’s time to look at these playoff teams and divine who will end up on top of the baseball mountain covered in a downpour of celebratory champagne and/or sparkling apple cider.
In the playoffs, it doesn’t really matter who the best team is. There’s a lot of random chance involved when teams match up for a series. Last year’s St. Louis Cardinals are a great example. They barely squeaked into the playoffs because the Braves fell apart and then they went on to the World Series where, as luck would have it, they went up against a superior team that just happened to be managed by the semi-incompetent Ron Washington.
So, what I’m really going to do here is just try to make some educated guesses as to how this will all turn out. This year, like last year, there is no one team that really stands out as the one. But you know me, I can’t just write a column and give my opinions. I need something to tie it all together. Last year, I compared every team to separate contestants on Dancing with the Stars.
This year, I’m not watching DWTS, but I’ll tell you what I have been watching: lots and lots of cooking shows. Food Network, Cooking Channel, Bravo – Top Chef, Iron Chef America, Chopped!, Restaurant Impossible. I am eating them up! Get it? Eating! Shut up.
I am going to compare each team to one the world’s most famous chefs, but don’t ask me how because I have not thought this out very much, and anything that you read from here on that seems clever or insightful is entirely an accident.
Let’s do this.
New York Yankees (East Division champs). Well, the Yankees are in the playoffs – again. You’d think some of these guys would start to show signs of aging, but they must be “clean” since none have tested positive for PEDs. Yet. Of all the playoff teams, they are the ones that seem most like Chef Wolfgang Puck. He’s the brand name that everyone recognizes, and he’s widely regarded as one of the most successful chefs in the history of the world. He’s also like the Yankees in that he’s getting on in years and the name doesn’t mean quite what it used to mean.
Detroit Tigers (Central Division champs). This year’s Tigers team is worse than last year’s team. But they’ve got the league’s best pitcher in Justin Verlander and they’ve got Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder – two of the best and heaviest hitters in the league. Speaking of people who like butter, Chef Paula Deen fits in here nicely. Like the Tigers, she’s not really going to win anything against the rest of these chefs, but she’s got a fanatic fan base who will stand by her no matter how unhealthy it may be.
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