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Puffing in the 2011 Playoffs—Where to Smoke A Cigar in Baseball’s Postseason

Cigar Aficionado's guide to where you can smoke in MLB’s playoff cities.
Alejandro Benes
Posted: September 29, 2011

(continued from page 3)

The Texas Rangers begin at home against the charging Rays. Tampa probably has the best starting pitching of the four teams in the AL playoffs, but the arms are a little worn. Texas just crushes the ball against anyone. The Rangers want to get back to the World Series and avenge last year’s defeat to the Giants. I see the Rangers moving on, deflating the Rays in four. After that, I have the Rangers moving on to the championship.


The Phillies. That’s about all you need to say. Unless you also want to say the Brewers. Philadelphia has all that pitching and all that hitting and played like the “cheese” they put on cheese steaks down the stretch. You know? Like crap. The hitting that did not show up against the Giants last year was again not showing up in the last 10 games of the year. The Phils starters are pretty much healthy and they’ve added right fielder Hunter Pence, who has apparently brought some fire to the team.  

Philadelphia will play the surprising wild-Cardinals. Philly will throw Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and, maybe, Roy Oswalt at the redbirds. Phenom Vance Worley goes to the bullpen as the long-reliever. Then there’s still Joe Blanton and closer Ryan Madson. They’ll be facing Pujols, Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday, always fearsome bats, with the addition of Rafael Furcal at short and leadoff adding a dimension the Cards had missed most of the year. Still, the Fightins move on.

The only official Cigar Aficionado lounge in the world, inside New York's Cigar Inn.
The only official Cigar Aficionado lounge in the world, inside New York's Cigar Inn.
The Arizona Diamondbacks, who won the relatively weak west in Kirk Gibson’s rookie year as manager, get the misfortune of facing the Milwaukee Brewers. Arizona also saw the emergence of Justin Upton as a star and benefitted from a solid enough year from centerfielder Chris Young. Aaron Hill was a late season acquisition from Toronto and is helping fill holes in the lineup. Ian Kennedy, a former Yankees pitcher, won 21 games as a starter.

Milwaukee has surprisingly good pitching this year, with Yovani Gallardo, Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum and Randy Wolf. Milwaukee has John Axford closing games, being set up by Frankie “K-Rod” Rodriguez, who seems to find ways to say or do the wrong thing at the worst time every year.  Milwaukee, whose hitting has been inconsistent beyond Braun and Fielder most of the year, will score enough against a Snakes pitching staff with a combined 3.78 ERA. That’s not much worse than Milwaukee’s at 3.64, but it’s enough of a difference.

I think the Crew win this round easily over Arizona, then falls to Philadelphia in the NLDS.


In a Texas-Philadelphia matchup, I’m picking the Rangers. The much-improved bullpen guides me to that selection. Also, the Rangers hit. I mean, they really hit. Philly can hit, but doesn’t always do so. Of course, the Phillies have the best pitching in baseball and that was the same challenge the Rangers faced last year. Still, Texas crushes the ball. Did I mention that?

Where to Smoke a Cigar in the Playoff Cities

While I will be watching the games at home and enjoying fine cigars and beverages, here’s where to catch a puff if you go to the games.

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Comments   8 comment(s)

David Savona September 29, 2011 4:53pm ET

I like your story, but not your picks. Yanks in five.

Arthur Pappas — MA,  —  September 29, 2011 5:03pm ET

May I also make a shamless plug for Cigar Masters in Worcester MA as a great place to watch a game (even though the Red Sox broke our hearts)?

Chris Homan — Coldwater, OH, USA,  —  September 30, 2011 7:49am ET

I'll be watching playoff baseball from the comfort of my own home, with good cigars and scotch on hand, being that my team didn't make it. I really don't care who wins, as long as it's not the Yankees. The only team in professional sports that I loathe more is the Green Bay Packers.

David Savona September 30, 2011 9:43am ET

Funny Arthur, all my friends who are Red Sox fans have shown zero interest in watching the playoffs this year. And Chris, why all the Yankee hatred?

Alex Benes — Newbury Park, CA, USA,  —  September 30, 2011 2:21pm ET

Watching from home is the best, really. I turn my screen towards the porch and look through the glass door. I light a big cigar and pour a huge glass of rum and sit back. It's always good weather here!

Chris Homan — Coldwater, OH, USA,  —  September 30, 2011 5:58pm ET


I've just never liked the Yankees, and them winninng everything under the sun, going out an dspending money on big-name guys, and having the sports media ramming them down my throat every day gets really old. I know there's a lot of history there, and i can appreciate that, but I just can't stand the Yankees.

David Wisniewski — Pennsauken, NJ, USA,  —  October 1, 2011 8:19pm ET

Total agreement with your view on the Yankees, but I want to see them represent the AL, so, the Phils can put those cry babys and their bandwagon fans in their place, once and for all.

Chris Homan — Coldwater, OH, USA,  —  October 7, 2011 9:10am ET

Ding dong, the Yanks are GONE!!!! :)

Sorry, couldn't resist.

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