Tuesday, October 21, 2014
The World Series Is Here!!!!
The 2014 World Series begins tonight!! Magic words, indeed.
Once upon a time, the World Series was THE biggest event on the sports calendar. In the minds of many, it still is the biggest event in sports, but even the most die hard baseball fans have to concede that that is no longer the case. The reasons for that are, as Chuck Noll might have put it, many and they are great, but that is the subject for another time. For now, however, let's talk about this upcoming addition of the Fall Classic.
I cannot remember a time when the playoffs leading up to the Series have been as dramatic and exciting as the two wild card games and four series that have produced the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants as opponents for the Championship. (OK, I concede that one of those Wild Card games wasn't all that dramatic. Traumatic, maybe, but not dramatic.) I can only hope that the World Series will continue serving the drama that we have seen thus far, and I am truly hoping that this one goes the distance and produces what to me is the greatest event in sports: a Seventh Game of the World Series.
I usually develop a rooting interest in one team or another over the course of a post season. Oft times, that rooting interest is produced by a fervent dislike for one of the teams. Not so in 2014. In my mind, there a lot of reasons to root FOR either team, and not any compelling reason to root AGAINST either of them. All things being equal, I will usually choose the National League team to root for, and the Giants give an additional reason, for me anyway, in that they are seeking to win their third World Series title within a five year period. As I detailed on this Blog in post a few days ago, such a feat has been done before, but it is, apart from the New York Yankees, still a somewhat rare feat. The last time it was done by a non-Yankee team was when the Oakland A's won three consecutive Series from 1972-74. So, the historical excellence of such a feat intrigues me.
The Royals, on the other hand, are a great story. A small market team that has been in baseball's wasteland for 29 seasons gets a wild card spot, and precedes to compile an 8-0 record in the Playoffs to make the Series. I mean, who can't root for an underdog like that?
So let's just go to the Cliche Closet and just "root for a great Series".
Okay, you want a prediction. I'll give you the Giants to win in six games. The biggest reason for that will be the ace pitcher of the Giants, Madison Bumgarner. He has been completely dominant in the post-season, and I believe that he will be the difference between the two teams. I also believe that this simply amazing run of the Royals cannot sustain itself to produce another four wins, and there is the chance that KC manager Ned Yost will do something to screw things up.
One more thing. There has been much gnashing of teeth among the baseball purists over the fact that, because the both LCS ended early, there has been a four and five day layoff for the teams, and that this will somehow cause the players to get stale and rusty leading up to the World Series. Are you kidding me? Both the Giants and Royals have played over 170 games since April to lead to this point, and in four off days, they have all gotten, fat, lazy, and unprepared? Please, give me a break on that one, or should I just say...