Just Like a Collector Vehicle, Every MLB Playoff Team Has a Personality

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American Collectors Insurance Matches Up This Year’s Playoff Teams

October baseball is one of the most exciting times of the year. As the 2011 MLB playoffs are fiercely underway, American Collectors Insurance, provider of affordable agreed value insurance for collector vehicles and collectibles, believes that just like a collector vehicle, every team has its own personality. So what cool ride best describes each of the 8 teams in the playoffs? Glad you asked. Here’s what we at American Collectors Insurance think.

Team: Arizona Diamondbacks
This team seemed to have everything going against them to start the year, including how they ended the previous season at 32 games UNDER .500. And don’t forget the defending World Series champs are in their division. Yet, an old school manager in Kirk Gibson, a roster filled with youth and surprising pitching (if you predicted Ian Kennedy would win over 20 games, your name is probably Ian Kennedy), have all combined perfectly down the home stretch. Regardless of their postseason outcome, this season has been one magical ride.

The Cool Ride: 2008 Challenger SRT8
The Diamondbacks come in as the challenger on all fronts. We believe the description “strong, youthful and on a promising run for the future” depict the re-launch of both the Diamondbacks and the Challenger. That classic HEMI V8 performance accompanied by modern amenities reminds us a lot of this team with a competitive coach and a young exterior. Will the 2011 version of Arizona be a special edition like the SRT8 though?

Team: Detroit Tigers
All year this team has quietly flown under the radar. Talk of the best teams before and during the season centered on the Phillies, Yankees and Red Sox. But the Tigers were the first team to clinch their division and have been sensational almost all year. Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander are putting together monster numbers. We may all wind up looking back and having more admiration for this team years down the road with or without October success.

Cool Ride: 1957 Chevy Bel Air
When the ’57 came out of Detroit, no one realized it would become the iconic car it is today. However it went on to have a historical impact in the racing world and the hot rod scene while becoming embedded in American culture. Now when anyone even mentions the year 1957, we instantly have this classic car in our head. A World Series win could be what it takes for many fans to appreciate the historical numbers and top notch baseball coming from the Motor City.

Team: Milwaukee Brewers
The Brew Crew is a team filled with talented veterans in the prime of their careers from hitting to pitching. Let’s face it though, when you think of this team the big offensive weapons come instantly to mind, well that and Nyjer Morgan’s alter ego. It seems like their pitching woes of the past are no longer a huge issue, especially when they get a lead. John Axford has been dominating as the closer, and K-Rod has a 2.00 ERA as a Brewer. Wisconsin could possibly experience another major championship in the same year if this keeps up.

The Cool Ride: 1969 Plymouth Cuda 440
The Brewers have played power oriented baseball for years in what is considered more of a “small market.” In the same way, the ’69 Cuda took a small frame and incorporated the largest of the pony car engines within it. A focus on shoehorning such force in to a small frame created a bevy of design problems needing attention in later models. Will the brewers end up like the ’69 Cuda or have their design issues been addressed already? Only the playoffs will tell if the pitching problems holding back this team from ultimate success have been addressed.

Team: New York Yankees
With 27 World Series wins, the Yankees have a penchant for the pennant. That same fervor for winning has continued in to this season as they own the best record in the American League while easily staving off last year’s AL East division winner (the Rays) and this year’s preseason darlings (the Red Sox). Starting pitching is the main and possibly only concern. After CC Sabathia, the team is filled with unproven and questionable starters. With the chance of a 10 run lead on any given night, who needs starting pitching anyway?

Cool Ride: 2004 Ferrari Enzo
Classic, timeless, and obsessed with being the best are synonymous with Ferrari and the Yanks. Both represent some of the most unique brands in the world. Much like the Yankees roster, the Enzo costs a pretty penny but every dollar shows in its performance. Even those who could never justify the hefty price tag still respect the craftsmanship. Are the Yankees able to use that legendary handling to traverse the hazards of the road to glory brought on by pitching plights? Or is this team ill-fit for a deep playoff run like a Ferrari in a snow storm?

Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Arguably the best team in the game today. They are just a well oiled machine made up of the highest quality parts. Years ago this team relied more on a high powered offense but now consistent defense and pitching has become the core of the team. And just like a classic car, this team has increased its value considerably over time by expanding payroll to nearly $170 million.

The Cool Ride: 1968 Shelby Cobra GT 500-KR
The car and the name are legendary just like this current team. And while the output does not equal that of famous hemi-powered cars, the mention of the name Shelby typically is all that is needed to impress any classic car fan. In the same regard, the Phillies have earned that same respect. From style to handling, this vehicle is well rounded and graceful, hence the KR moniker. That stands for King of the Road by the way. Right now, the Phillies fit that description perfectly we think.

Team: St. Louis Cardinals
It was truly a September to remember. If momentum matters, the Cards are full of it. How much this veteran filled team has left in the gas tank remains to be seen. Did they burn off everything in their amazing playoff push or will two days of rest rejuvenate this squad? No matter how they recover, don’t expect to see any Lou Brock impersonators on the field for the Redbirds. They had the second fewest steals in the MLB accompanied by the worst stolen base percentage. You can expect to see quality hitters mixed in with capable starting pitching. And that just may be enough to make it an October to remember for St. Louis.

Cool Ride: 1955 Lincoln Futura
This ride was a concept car by Lincoln. Like so many concept cars, it never reached the public. It was all but turned in to scrap metal until it found unexpected fame as the Batmobile in the Batman series of the 1960’s as the literal driving force of the show. In similar fashion, the Cardinals started off with high expectations only to be left for dead heading in to September. Now they are reborn as a legitimate World Series contender. WHAM!

Team: Tampa Bay Rays
Most prognosticators predicted two teams from the AL East making the playoffs. More often than not, the Rays were left off that list. After their historic September and as long as Joe Maddon is the manager, we think the Rays are always going to be on our playoff list. A young and playoff experienced team, the Rays have a sage for a coach and talent all over the field, especially on the bump. This staff has the second lowest ERA of any AL team and James Shields never seems to pitch less than 8 2/3 innings. Discounting this team would be a huge mistake.

Cool Ride: 1996 Dodge Viper RT/10
Established in the 90’s like the Rays, the Viper was new to the high performance sports car market. The big names, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Lamborghini all had established reputations. Needless to say the opposition was fierce so Dodge took a new angle on the market coming in with a rarely seen V10 engine. The Rays were dropped in the ultra competitive AL East but have made a name for themselves thanks to the unique style of Manager Joe Maddon (anyone remember his 9=8 mantra?) and their youthful talent.

Team: Texas Rangers
It’s back-to-back division titles for the Rangers as they drove away with the West again, a feat that has escaped the team since 1999. Bursting with offensive talent, even the best pitching staff is going to need some luck shutting down these hitters. Defensively they have had their problems though, ranking in the bottom 5 of all of baseball for fielding percentage even with the likes of Hamilton and Beltre. The only team beating Texas may be themselves.

Cool Ride: 1965 Ford F250 Camper Special
This truck was built strong and daunting. No haul out there seemed impossible while behind the wheel of this vehicle. The F-Series even in 1965 was a proven entity and this Ranger team is nearly identical to last year’s World Series roster. Whether it is the Rangers’ offense or this F250 Camper Special (built heavier to accommodate slide-in campers), once they get rolling, there is no stopping them. They should use this truck to pull the entire parade of floats if they win it all.

View this online at http://www.americancollectors.com/Baseball-and-Cars/. For more information about American Collectors Insurance, visit: http://www.americancollectors.com/.

About American Collectors Insurance
American Collectors Insurance is the nation’s leading provider of collector vehicle and collectibles insurance. American Collectors offers products through independent insurance agents, in partnership with several major insurance organizations, and direct to consumers. A wide range of collector vehicles qualify for American Collectors’ program, from “brass and wood” antiques to street rods, exotics, modern classics and more. American Collectors also offers all-risk coverage for a wide range of collections from stamps, coins and comic books to vintage wine, sports memorabilia and beyond.

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Jason Merrill