The Beatles almost convinced me to avoid picking the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the World Series.
As the deadline neared for this Cactus League special section, I began to consider several teams with legitimate chances to win the title.
In the National League, the contenders, in no particular order, are the Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants and Dodgers.
In the American League, I narrowed the list to the usual suspects: New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, LA Angels and Texas Rangers.
Bear in mind, I probably stand a better chance to pick the World Series finalists by using a dart board.
Instead of that approach, I did my homework, surfed the Internet, studied some baseball annuals and came down to the LA Dodgers over the New York Yankees in the World Series. Lets’s make it six games.
By the time I drove to work on Monday, I had convinced myself they were solid picks and could back them up with typical baseball bluster. You know, bran muffins.
Later that day, as I left work, I turned on the radio. I usually listen to sports talk, but on this day, it was tuned to music.
Lo and behold, what comes on the airwaves but “Can’t Buy Me Love,” a Beatles song released in 1964.
I nearly pulled off the road.
Was this a sign from the baseball gods that I had erred in my pick of the Dodgers?
For the unititiated, the Dodgers are now the biggest spenders in baseball.
Remember the divorce trial of one-time owner Frank McCourt and the team’s subsequent declaration of bankruptcy?
Well, those days are long gone since basketball great Magic Johnson and his new ownership group took over the team.
They now go through money like Taylor Swift goes through boyfriends.
I realize the team with the highest payroll doesn’t necessarily win the championship. But money never hurts.
Need another starting pitcher? How about a six-year, $147 million deal for one-time Cy Young winner Zach Greinke?
When Clayton Kershaw, another Cy Young winner, and Greinke are your top two starters, you’re going to win your share of games.
The Dodgers made a lot of midseason moves last year in an effort to make the playoffs. Those didn’t pan out, but maybe the acquired players needed time to adjust to their new surroundings.
I wasn’t locked into that pick, but somehow used reverse logic to give them the AL title.
This year’s version of the Yankees enters the season with lower expectations than any Bronx club in years.
With a better blend of power and speed on this year’s team, enough starting pitching and the return of Mariano Rivera as closer, I think they might pull a surprise in October.
I finally concluded that Paul McCartney was right: Money can’t buy you love. But it can’t hurt to have some on your way to the baseball promiseland.
Here a full list of my picks:
AL Wild Card: Kansas City over Texas
AL Division Series: LA Angels over Kansas City; New York Yankees over Detroit
AL Championship Series: New York over LA
AL MVP: Robinson Cano of New York Yankees
AL Cy Young winner: Jered Weaver of LA Angels
NL Wild Card: Cincinnati over San Francisco
NL Division Series: LA Dodgers over Cincinnati; Washington over St. Louis
NL Championship Series: LA over Washington
NL MVP: Matt Kemp of the LA Dodgers
NL Cy Young winner: Jordan Zimmermann of Washington
LA Dodgers over New York Yankees in six games