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Puffing In the Playoffs 2010

Cigar Aficionado's guide to enjoying cigars in baseball's postseason.
Alejandro Benes
Posted: October 5, 2010

(continued from page 2)

The Rays meet the Texas Rangers. The outcome of this series will depend on the health of Evan Longoria, who last played on September 23. The pitching for the Rays is just so-so. I really like the way the Rangers play. Is there a more powerful lineup left playing in the A.L.? If Cliff Lee wins two, the Rangers are a possibility. Plus, ya gotta love that Vladimir Guerrero had 29 homers and 115 RBI after the Angels declined to re-sign him after a miserable 2009. I'd like to see the Rangers move on, but I'm picking the Rays in five.

NATIONAL LEAGUE
The Phillies are the strongest team in baseball right now. The "Fightins" are going to be playing late in October and should be favored to win it all behind the pitching of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and a seemingly revitalized Cole Hamels. Philly has the bangers too. Defense could be their undoing. The Phils will have to beat the Reds in the first round and they will. Cincinnati has the N.L. MVP in first-baseman Joey Votto, but not enough else to beat the strongest rotation in the playoffs.
 
The San Francisco Giants took it to the limit against the surprisingly strong San Diego Padres. The Padres sat atop the weak N.L. West for 131 games during the season and kept playing better than anyone expected. In the last couple of weeks, the Giants had the better pitching and enough hitting, but played just well enough on the last weekend against the Padres in San Francisco. The Giants play the Braves, the wild card entrant. The Giants pitching is the key and should lead the team to a series win in four.
 
The Phillies will beat the Giants, but this could be the best series of all of them from a pitching standpoint. Problem is that the Phillies have all the postseason experience and are a run-scoring machine.
 
WORLD SERIES

The series will open in the National League park thanks to the league's victory in the All-Star Game. Home-field advantage means a lot, and in a bandbox like Citizen's Bank in South Philly, the Rays have to pitch a whole lot better than they have all season. Yes, I'm saying it's a replay of 2008. Phils in six.
 
WHERE TO SMOKE IN THE PLAYOFF CITIES
Again, New York City leads the pack in terms of number of places to enjoy a fine cigar. Arlington, TX, the home of the Rangers, lies in between Ft. Worth and Dallas and has one place within a long walk of the park. Philadelphia really has only one cigar bar and Tampa Bay (really St. Petersburg) offers the only cigar bar inside a ballpark. In Cincinnati, the riverfront bars on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River offer the best cigar opportunities and they are closest to the ballpark. In any case, below are our annual suggestions. Many are listed in our Where to Smoke section of the website. Add your own and let us know of ones we might have missed.

Arlington, TX
Perfecto Cigar Shop & Lounge
306 Lincoln Square
(close to the stadium)
Arlington, Texas
817.277.9861
 
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
Golden Leaf Ltd.
3032 Hennepin Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN
612.824.1867
 
Stogies on Grand
961 Grand Ave.
Saint Paul, MN
651.222.8700

 
New York, NY

The Carnegie Club
156 West 56th St.
New York, NY
212.957.9676

Cigar Aficionado Lounge
Cigar Inn
1016 2nd Ave.
New York, NY
212.750.0809

Club Macanudo
26 E. 63rd St.
New York, NY
212.752.8200
 
230 Fifth
New York Market Center Building
230 Fifth Ave.,
20th Floor, PH
New York, NY
212.725.4300

Patroon Rooftop
160 E. 45th St.
New York, NY 10017
212.883.7373

Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL
Cuesta-Rey Cigar Bar
Tropicana Field (inside the stadium)
One Tropicana Drive
St. Petersburg, FL
727.825.3378
 
King Corona Cigars 
1523 E. 7th Ave. (Ybor City)
Tampa, FL 
888.248.3812

Gaspar's Grotto
1805 East 7th Ave. (Ybor City)
Tampa, FL
813.248.5900

Atlanta, GA
Highland Cigar Co.
245 N. Highland Ave.
Suite 140
Atlanta, GA
404.477.2415


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