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The Baseball Prospectus staff is divided in their World Series
predictions. The only consensus is–and we’re not guaranteeing this,
Lou–that the series will stretch into next weekend.

Jeff Bower:: Nobody has ever gotten rich picking against the Yankees
in the World Series.

The advent of the wild card and the expanded postseason means that even the
best playoff teams face at least five-to-one odds to win the Series. The
probability of the Yankees doing it three years in a row are on the order of
125 to 1. They’ve already shredded those odds.

Maybe it’s that the Yankees pitching is better molded for a short series, in
that its talent is top-heavy. Heck, I’m to the point of buying into the
Yankees’ mystique, The Curse of the Balboni, or even that Don Zimmer is a
gnome. We are witnessing something very unique here, something that we may
not see again in our lifetimes unless Bud Selig ultimately plans to contract
baseball back to 16 teams and have them all travel by railroad.

Additionally, the baseball gods won’t allow a team with purple in its color
scheme to wear the crown. Canary yellow (1979), powder blue (1985), even
teal (1997), but not purple.

Following deep sabermetric analysis (not shown), Yankees in seven.

Jeff Hildebrand: There should be a lot of low-scoring games here,
which probably means a defensive gaffe or a weird bounce could play an
absurdly huge role. As a result, predictions are even more dicey than usual.

Push comes to shove, I’ll pick the Diamondbacks in seven, riding the
arms of Curt Schilling, Randy Johnson, and, to a much lesser
extent, Miguel Batista. However, about the only result that would
surprise me is a D’backs sweep.

Gary Huckabay: Yankees in seven. It’s not like Mike
Mussina
,Roger Clemens, and Andy Pettitte can’t
pitch, and we need to remember that the A’s were beaten because they were
flat-out outcoached. I think the same thing could happen here, even before
remembering what I read in David Halberstam’s The Tactical Mind: Bob
Brenly
.

Rany Jazayerli: Yankees in six. Mussina beats Schilling at
least once, Pettitte beats Johnson at least once, and the Yankees clean up in
Games Three and Four.

Chris Kahrl: Yankees in six. Tony Womack? Luis
Gonzalez
gets into the spirit of the season and goes pumpkin. Between
the bottom of the Snakes’ rotation costing them a game, and their bullpen
likely to blow another, and the Snakes not having Tony LaRussa to give them
a big assist, it may take a while, but a predictable willingness to use the
three relievers to best advantage should be the difference. Again.

Keith Law: Diamondbacks in six, but I could easily see Yankees
in six or seven. If it goes seven, the Yanks will win. If Brenly puts
Schilling 1-4-7, Snakes could sneak it in five.

What a weird series this will be.

Dave Pease: D’backs in six. Schilling and Johnson win all four
games they start, allowing seven runs and finishing with 55 strikeouts.
Steve Finley saves a game with his glove and hits two bombs for the
Diamondbacks.

Yes, this is some serious wishcasting on my part.

Joe Sheehan: Yankees in seven. Schilling and Johnson are
awesome, but not invincible, and the Yankees are in good shape in the three
games those two don’t start. If Brenly shifts gears and uses Schilling three
times, all bets are off.

Greg Spira: I pick, um, uh…. did I mention how much I hate making
postseason predictions? I still believe that the results of postseason
series are pretty much random, regardless of the Yankees’ abnormal success
the last few years. That the results are random is not at odds with the idea
that the best postseason team is not necessarily the best regular-season
team as a result of the different schedule, strategy, etc.

Having provided a massive cop-out, I pick Arizona in six, winning all
four games started by the big two and losing the others.

Michael Wolverton: Yankees in six. I admit I haven’t looked at
the numbers on this, but it seems like the NL’s best hurlers of recent years
(Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Kevin Brown, Al
Leiter
, et al) haven’t been as invincible when they go up against AL
hitters. That, plus the Yankees having a fine pitching staff themselves,
means I don’t buy the "Schilling and Johnson will win the Series by
themselves" argument.

Derek Zumsteg: Yankees in seven. I don’t think anything can
stop the Yankees. They’ve acquired the power of the glow, and are now
invincible.

I think we’ll also see the Yankees molded as a sort of national-spirit
avatar, to the point that their performance will be become, like foreign
policy, beyond criticism by patriotic Americans. Yankee fans will continue
to make fools of themselves during games by chanting pro-Satan chants when
Randy Johnson is pitching, but be heralded as hardy souls deserving of the
healing powers of winning. The Diamondbacks will have to use this week to
seek out wizened martial arts teachers (possibly fortune-cookie writers) who
can help them to find their inner power and battle the Yankees, save Harlem,
and win the heart of the girl.

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