Stay classy, San Diego. You're going to need to after your Padres get bounced out of the playoffs by the St. Louis Cardinals. That's the only thing that will get you through the next six months. You see, you are about to get bounced by the St. Louis Cardinals, the team that played out the final 10 days of the season as if MLB still played a 154-game schedule.
The Cardinals held a 7½-game lead over the Houston Astros the next-to-last week of the season. Heading into the final weekend, St. Louis was in a virtual tie with the Astros, leading by just a half game. But the Cards did just enough -- in effect, watch Houston lose on television -- to sneak into the playoffs and avoid the Greatest Choke Ever.™ Now the Cards have the worst odds of any of the NL teams for making the World Series. And the Padres are 8:5 favorites to bounce the perennial NL Central champs.
It's not going to happen. While we don't know who will win the World Series, we definitely know who won't. That's the Padres. The GHCS Playoff Formula tells us that.
It's quite simple, actually. Just figure out which team has the most ex-Cleveland ballplayers, and eliminate it. In the case of ties, whichever team has the players who played in Cleveland most recently will lose. And the Padres, with six former Indians, head the list. Any team with that much bad karma simply can't last.
Here's what the GHCS Playoff Formula predicts for the playoffs this year:
NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES
St. Louis Cardinals over San Diego Padres -- Even though they picked up Ronnie Belliard from the Indians at midseason, the Cardinals have just two former Tribesmen. Jose Vizcaino (179 ABs in 1996) is the other. Belliard wasn't quite able to wash the stink of 390 games played for the Indians since 2004, hitting just .237 in 194 ABs for St. Louis.
But Belliard and Vizcaino are trumped by the six Padres who once sported the Chief Wahoo logo: Brian Giles (1995-1998), Rudy Seanez (1989-1991), Josh Bard (2002-2005), Russell Branyan (1998-2002), Alan Embree (1992, 1995-1996), and Dave Roberts (1999-2001). That's 857 games worth of Tribe experience, and that just can't be overcome. The Padres will drown in a sea of Cleveland ineptitude.
Los Angeles Dodgers over New York Mets -- The Dodgers have a huge decision to make. Do they make Einar Diaz (1996-2002) active for the playoffs? If they do, that makes three ex-Indians on the squad, along with Kenny Lofton (1992-1996, 1998-2001) and Jeff Kent (1996). And the Mets would have just two, Guillermo Mota (2006) and Julio Franco (1983-1988!, 1996-1997).
Since Einar only got three ABs for the Dodgers, all in September, odds are he won't make the postseason roster. That's why we're picking L.A. to upend the Mets. If the Dodgers are at all tempted to go with Einar -- say, maybe Russell Martin or Toby Hall were vaporized by invading aliens just before the first game of their series -- they need to realize just how much the decision could cost them. They already made a wise decision months ago by trading Sandy Alomar to the White Sox. Keeping only Lofton and Kent will make them favorites over the Mets, since Mota helped destroy the Tribe bullpen just this year and since Lofton was a pretty darn good Indian.
AMERICAN LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES
Detroit Tigers over New York Yankees -- The toughest call of all. Each team has only one ex-Indian, Sean Casey (1997) for the Tigers and Jaret Wright (1997-2002) for the Yankees. Since Wright had a much longer tenure and may very well have the Yankees' playoff fate in his hands by starting the fourth game of this series, that's bad news for New York fans. Casey's 10 at-bats with the Tribe at the beginning of his career don't bring the taint with it that could cost a team a playoff series.
Minnesota Twins over Oakland Athletics -- Not only do the A's have Scott Sauerbeck (2005-2006), who played in Cleveland this year before hiding in some bushes in the suburbs, they have former Indians hothead Milton Bradley (2001-2003). Two infamous ex-Tribesmen easily trump Twins reliever Matt Guerrier, who was only born in Cleveland and never played here. Billy Beane's shit don't work in the playoffs when he's using ex-Indians!
NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Los Angeles Dodgers over St. Louis Cardinals -- They're tied 2-2 in ex-Indians. But the GHCS Playoff Formula tiebreaker says Dodgers win, since Ronnie Belliard was trying to fasten a few buttons over his belly in Cleveland earlier this year.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Detroit Tigers over Minnesota Twins -- It's about as Tribe-free a series as you can get, since the Twins have no ex-Indians and Sean Casey had just 10 ABs with the Tribe. But unless the Twins drop Cleveland native Matt Guerrier before the ALCS, they're done. Born in Cleveland trumps playing for five minutes in Cleveland.
Detroit Tigers over Los Angeles Dodgers -- The Tigers have constructed a darn good roster. Only one player with any Indians experience, and it was just six games nearly a decade ago! That's good enough to please God and good enough to beat the Dodgers. Give Jim Leyland another ring, and give the title to a team that hasn't had a winning season since the last time the Tribe sucked!