Allen’s 2011 Post-Partisan Playoff Preview
Continuing a long-standing tradition here at this nearly four-year old blog, I wanted to take this opportunity to weigh in on both the MLB playoffs and the Republican primary race in a familiar format. I had a couple thoughts about how to approach this and I really wanted to go with the early front-runner, comparing the Republican candidates to different pizza chains. It kind of made sense with Herman Cain in the race and fittingly enough the Godfather’s Pizza of the race as well (i.e. what the hell is Godfather’s Pizza/Herman Cain). It also allowed for the Jon Huntsman-Chicago Pizza Kitchen analogy with both being the best possible option but too few people having heard of either.
C’est la vie.
The pizza analogy had to go away, though, because just as there are only four teams left in the playoffs, there are only four candidates with the possibility of becoming the Republican nominee and that lines up much more neatly.
On one side we have the two front-runners, the American League of the nominees. The Rangers play the role of Romney, denied their glory the last time out and hell-bent to make up for it this time around. They’re strong fundamentally but they just can’t seem to put it together. Sure, they shut down Rays in the first round but even though they look good, you just can’t be sure they’ll hold on through the end.
Meanwhile, the Tigers bear more than a passing resemblance to Rick Perry. They were quiet for the first half of the season but when they finally decided to get in the race, they did it with a bang. At one point, riding a 12-win streak, they seemed nearly invincible. The bang has gone away, though, and now they more just seem banged up with injuries taking a toll. They could both pull it out and they both have something to prove but the goal seems a little more elusive than it did just a few weeks ago.
Over on the National League side, we have the “non-traditional” candidates. For instance, the Cardinals, just like Herman Cain, came out of nowhere and now are turning heads. Tell me the truth, at the beginning of September would you have given either the Cards or Cain a snowball’s chance in hell? But here we are in mid-October and both are not only making waves but also making people think they’re for real.
The Brewers? Well, you just never know what you’re going to get with the Brewers. One day they’re Ron Paul, the next they’re Michele Bachmann, then they look like Newt Gingrich, and…..well, you get the idea. The Brewers have a serious multiple personality disorder. They looked fabulous against the Diamondbacks and then dropped two straight. They mopped up the field with the Cards in game 1 of the NLCS then looked like amateurs in game 2.
So where does that leave us? Well, here are my predictions. I think the Rangers and Romney roll the Tigers/Perry duo to face the Cards and Cain in a winner-take-all final. But the Republicans are the party of tradition and waiting your turn. They nominated McCain the last time around after he finished second to GB Jr. and this time it’s all about the man McCain vanquished. You read it here first. Romney gets the nod. Just make sure you check back in a year when the next edition of Allen’s Post-Partisan Playoff Preview picks the winners and losers in both the playoffs and the Presidential Election.