October 03, 2006

Fred's Playoff Preview Version 4.0: Mother Knows Best

Once again, it's time to dust off that Mediocre Fred tradition, the Gala Playoff Preview. (For easy ridicule, check out my picks from 2003, 2004, and 2005. Usually in this space, I take a couple paragraphs to hype my clairvoyance, moan and whine about the fact that my favorite team(s) missed the playoffs yet again, and lay out in excruciating detail the reasons that, no matter who I pick, I will offend and alienate someone I care about.

Not this year, though. This year, I'm doing something different.

For the last couple years, I let my mom pick one series, which she did using the highly professional and sophisticated method of deciding which team's uniform she liked better. Naturally, she has never been wrong. I, of course, have. Last year, after my mom's pick, I wrote (rather snidely): "Mom has spoken. Next year, I think I'm going to let her make all the picks." A couple readers, noting Mom's unbroken accuracy streak, suggested I actually follow through with this plan.

Well, this year, I'm going to do just that. I'm letting Mom run the show.

What follows is a transcript of my discussions with my mother, in which I showed her pictures of each team's home and road unis, and asked for her pick. She only picks winners, and not series lengths. ("The shorter, the better, as far as I'm concerned. Your father spends too much time in front of the television as it is.")

For comparison purposes, I'm inserting my picks in parentheses after hers. If we disagree, bear in mind that I am almost certainly wrong. (At least that's what Mom says.)


Mediocre Fred's (and Mom's) Exclusive Guide to the Playoffs 2006


St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Diego Padres

Mom picked this very series last year. I showed her the transcript:

MF: So, Mom, who do you pick?
MOM: Definitely the ones in red. The dark blue ones are too subdued. Red is a power color.
MF: All right, thanks.
MOM: (pointing at picture of Padres' road unis) Something's wrong with your printer, honey. The gray on this one looks weird.
MF: That's not gray, mom. That's the actual color.
MOM: You mean they look that way on purpose?
MF: Yes, Mom. They call it "sand."
MOM: Looks to me like the forgot to wash them for a couple weeks. Put me down for the red ones, definitely.
MF: Okay, we're going with the Cardinals.
MOM: Speaking of cardinals, they've been hogging the bird feeder again. They're so obnoxious, always crowding out the other birds.
MF: Well, gee, look at the time! Thanks, Mom, but I have to-
MOM: They're almost as bad as the starlings. I hate starlings! They look like little flying oil slicks. They're ugly, and they always-

I asked if she agreed with her previous pick.

MOM: Oh, yes, definitely still the Cardinals.
MF: Okay.
MOM: I still think something's wrong with your printer, though. I don't believe the Padres' uniforms are really that color.
MF: They are.
MOM: Really?
MF: Really.
MOM: Who okayed that? It looks terrible.
MF: I don't know. But are you sure you want to pick the Cardinals? I mean, they backed into the playoffs with-
MOM: (rolling eyes) I don't care about that. All I know is, when the Padres have to come out in those ugly uniforms, they'll probably give up out of embarrassment.
MF: I don't think they-
MOM: By the way, the starlings are bothering the bird feeder again.
MF: Really?
MOM: You know who's worse, though? The blue jays. They come in and chirp their little heads off and chase off all the other birds. They're so annoying. There aren't any teams called the Blue Jays in the playoffs, are there?
MF: No, they didn't make it.
MOM: Good. Because if they did, I'd definitely pick them to lose big time.
MF: I'm sure you would.

MOM'S PICK: Cardinals (Fred's pick: Padres in 4)

New York Mets vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

MF: Okay. Mets vs. Dodgers. Here you go.
MOM: Oooooh, I like the blue ones. They're very handsome.
MF: They're both blue.
MOM: I meant the ones over here. (pointing at Dodgers uniforms) The other ones aren't blue, they're black.
MF: Well, they have blue on them too.
MOM: They're black and blue? That's dumb.
MF: I agree. So you're picking the Dodgers.
MOM: Yeah. Hey, didn't you play for the Dodgers in Little League?
MF: Yes.
MOM: Oh, then definitely the Dodgers. You looked so cute in your little uniform.
MF: Okay, Mom-
MOM: I think I have some pictures of it around here somewhere.
MF: I was hoping we could move on.
MOM: It won't take me a minute. It's probably in one of the books on this shelf.
MF: Oh, brother.
MOM: Don't talk back to me, now. I'm still your mother.
MF: Yes, ma'am.

MOM'S PICK: Dodgers (Fred's pick: Dodgers in 5)


Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees

MOM: Oh, no, not the Yankees. Definitely the other team.
MF: But you didn't even look at-
MOM: I don't care. The Yankees have to lose. Otherwise, your father will spend the entire month in front of the stupid television, watching his Yankees.
MF: But the Tigers are-
MOM: I don't care. The Yankees must be stopped. He won't shut up when they're on.
MF: But Detroit's pitching staff is-
MOM: He even talks to me about it, as if I have any idea what he's talking about.
MF: But the Tigers don't have-
MOM: He's always whining. "Ohhh, A-Rod's a choke artist. Ohhh, the players are so old. Ohhh, the team is terrible." If they're so terrible, why are they in the playoffs all the time?
MF: Well, good point.
MOM: Enough is enough. Definitely not the Yankees.
MF: You're making that pick with your heart, not your head.
MOM: Who cares? It's my decision. I'll pick whoever I want.
MF: But you didn't even look at the uniforms! That's how you always make your picks.
MOM: (sigh) All right. (looks at uniforms) Well, the Yankee uniforms do look a little better.
MF: So, does that mean you're picking the Yankees?
MOM: No.
MF: But-
MOM: Hey, I'm the one who has to live with your father.
MF: Point taken.

MOM'S PICK: Tigers (Fred's pick: Yankees in 3)

Minnesota Twins vs. Oakland A's

MF: Okay, Twins vs. A's. What's your pick?
MOM: Oooohhh, the Twins! Kirby Puckett played for them! (Editor's name: Kirby Puckett is Mom's all-time favorite player, solely because she likes his name.)
MF: So, are you taking the Twins?
MOM: Well, I don't know. Their uniforms are kind of ugly. I like the green and gold ones.
MF: The A's. But the A's haven't won any playoff series in years, you know.
MOM: Then they're due.
MF: Okay. You know, almost every expert is picking the Twins.
MOM: Oh? How many of them have a perfect picking record?
MF: Touche.

MOM'S PICK: A's (Fred's pick: A's in 5. What the hell. Mom convinced me.)


St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (or Padres vs. Dodgers)

MF: Cardinals vs. Dodgers. Your pick.
MOM: It's got to be the Cardinals. That red is really attractive.
MF: Wait. You're picking the... Cardinals... to go to the World Series?
MOM: Sure. Why not?
MF: Mom, they made the playoffs by the skin of their teeth. How can you pick them?
MOM: Muscular men look good in red.
MF: Ohhh-kayyy... If you're right this time, I will worship you as a god.
MOM: Goddess.
MF: Yes, goddess.
MOM: Well, you should worship me anyway. I am your mother.
MF: Yes, ma'am.

MOM'S PICK: Cardinals (Fred's pick: Dodgers in 6)


Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland A's (or Yankees vs. A's)

MF: All right, Tigers vs. A's.
MOM: Hmmm. It's close. They both have nice-looking uniforms. I think I'll pick the A's. That green is very attractive.
MF: So you're picking a Cardinals-A's World Series.
MOM: I suppose I am.
MF: I'm certain that you are the only person in the country making that pick.
MOM: Well, I'm one of a kind.
MF: Boy, are you ever.
MOM: What's that?
MF: Nothing.
MOM: As long as it's not the Yankees. Your father and those Yankees games. I swear-
MF: Yes, Mom, I get it. He gets a little crazy.
MOM: A little?
MF: Point taken.

MOM'S PICK: A's (Fred's pick: Yankees in 5)


St. Louis Cardinals vs. Oakland A's (or Dodgers vs. Yankees)

MF: Okay, here we go. (snicker) Cardinals vs. (giggle) A's.
MOM: Enough of your mockery. Have I picked wrong? Ever?
MF: Well, not yet. Technically.
MOM: That's what I thought.
MF: So, what's your pick, O Wise One?
MOM: Cardinals. I love that red!
MF: (laughing)
MOM: You wait and see. We'll see if you're still chuckling when the Cardinals win the World Series.
MF: That will be the day?
MOM: Do you doubt your mother?
MF: Honestly? Yes. Yes, I do.
MOM: The mother who fed you and dressed you throughout your childhood?
MF: That's the one.
MOM: The one who changed your diapers?
MF: I don't think that-
MOM: Those diapers weren't going to change themselves, you know.
MF: Mom-
MOM: And, boy, could you load them up, too.
MF: Mom!
MOM: Sorry.
MF: Okay, Cardinals it is. I'll tell you, if they win this thing, I'll clean your basement.
MOM: I'm going to hold you to that.
MF: (chuckling) Okay.
MOM: Don't forget the cobwebs in the corner of the laundry room.
MF: Yes, ma'am.
MOM: Oh, by the way, do you remember Jill Carliotti?
MF: From elementary school? Sure.
MOM: I ran into her mother the other day. Did you know she lives in Minnesota now? She's got a Ph.D. in child development.
MF: That's interesting.
MOM: She was a nice girl. You should have married her.
MF: Mom! We haven't seen each other since the sixth grade.
MOM: But she was nice. And she's got a nice steady career going.
MF: Sixth grade, mother.
MOM: When are you going to get married, anyhow? I'm sure you've met plenty of nice girls. You should find a good wife.
MF: Wow, look at the time! Bye, Mom.
MOM: Go Cardinals!

MOM'S PICK: Cardinals (Fred's Pick: Dodgers in 7)

So, there you haven't. Mom's really gone out on a limb this time. She couldn't possibly be right. Um, could she?

Posted by Mediocre Fred at October 3, 2006 12:51 PM | TrackBack

Sadly, the only time I'd heard of Kirby Puckett before he died was in a Chris Rock routine, and it wasn't complimentary. I think the first remark was that the only black people in Minnesota are Prince and Kirby Puckett, and the second was that Puckett was joining the women-beaters club.

Also, unless you are looking to be found the next time Jill Googles herself, you may want to change the name slightly :-)

Posted by: PG at October 5, 2006 10:21 PM

Personally, I want the Tigers to win it all, just so that Jim Leyland can win another World Series and start his next cycle of chain smoking and debauchery. Also, seeing the Yankees go down in flames in the LDS would be pretty sweet.

Posted by: PapaShaft at October 6, 2006 07:45 AM

PG, thanks for the tip... didn't even think of that. Name changed. :-)

Posted by: Mediocre Fred at October 7, 2006 07:23 AM

Wow, she really is good, isn't she? And I don't think she should be penalized for thinking the A's would beat the Tigers -- when a friend who grew up in Michigan heard that the Tigers were going to the World Series, he started keeping an eye out for the Four Horsemen.

Posted by: PG at October 19, 2006 08:54 PM