Be honest. Aren’t most of you secretly hoping for a Dodger/Yankee World Series? After all, baseball is about a whole lot of memories and what better ones to share than those of Ebbets Field and Yankee Stadium. I didn’t come of baseball age until the early 1950’s so I may have a tainted view of what constitutes a valid baseball memory, but believe me, the Dodgers and Yankees are right at the top.
The Yankees have won the most World Series in history and it’s not even close. They’ve
won participated in 40 while their closest contender, the SF Giants (okay New York Giants if you’re an oldie) is second with only 20. But no matter. I have different thoughts on who should even be in the playoffs. Back in those days there was only the American League and the National League. No Divisions. That was it. So the team that won the most games in each league were the Pennant Winners and automatic World Series participants.
And isn’t that the way is should still be? Good grief. It’s bad enough having really bad Division Winners being able to compete for the Pennant. Some teams under .500 can still compete for the Pennant depending on how bad the rest of the division is. And forget about the Wild Card. The only possible reason for having that competition is for gate receipts and MONEY. MLB is good at that. They’re running unbelievable ads during the playoffs trying to get kids, I mean 8 and 9 year olds, sucked into buying MLB products online. MLB.com? That’s what’s happening, reminiscent of Wheaties and Cheerios ads in the old days. Get ’em while they’re young. And that merchandise is expensive. How can the average joe afford to buy this stuff for his kids?
I digress. The teams with the best records in MLB for any given season should be the Pennant Winners for each League and they alone should advance to the World Series. And there should be NO INTER-LEAGUE PLAY DURING THE SEASON. Inter-league play undermines the Divisions. How can you say the best team in any Division is one or the other if they’re all playing each other during the regular season. That’s what the World Series is supposed to determine.
So here it is. The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros – 2017 Pennant Winners. That’s the way it should be. (Well, actually Houston was one off from the most league wins but they’re there so we’ll leave it alone.)
World Series winner to be determined.
Update April 20, 2013. This was the headline written by Alex Pavlovic, Bay Area News Group, after the Giants 4-3 loss to the Cubs last week-end.
“ROMO’S BLOWN SAVE DOOMS SF”
And right next to the ridiculous headline is a photo of Giants center fielder Angel Pagan missing Starlin Castro’s “game-winning double “. I wrote a blog September 1, 2010 that talks about this notion of one bad play losing the game. It just don’t work that way folks. Take a look and see what you think.
“Making the Error that Loses the Game” Original Post 9/1/10 By: Garlic Fries and Baseball”
I’m thinking of Cody Ross in the SF Giants loss to Colorado on Monday. You can place blame and point a finger to a specific play and/or player in any game, especially if it’s in the last couple innings. But think about it. What about that last swing in a strikeout that should have been a hit in any inning (this applies to both teams). Or how about all the runners left on base, in any inning? What if? If only! Take a look at one of the innings in this game. I chose the 2nd inning but it could have been any. Colorado Top of 2nd Jonathan Sanchez pitching for San Francisco COL SFO M Mora grounded out to shortstop. T Helton walked.R Spilborghs grounded into double play, third to second to first, T Helton out at second. 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors San Francisco – Bottom of 2nd Jorge De La Rosa pitching for Colorado COL SFO C Ross struck out swinging. P Sandoval singled to left. J Uribe grounded into double play, shortstop to second to first, P Sandoval out at second. 0 Runs, 1 Hits, 0 Errors
“Before he was a Giant!”
So let’s assume Helton hit a home run instead of walked. Then Cody’s “error” in the 9th doesn’t have the significance it would have had if the game hadn’t been tied. Or suppose Uribe, instead of hitting into a double play, slammed that hit right between 3rd base and the SS and now they have a runner on 1st and 2nd and Sanchez gets to bat and hits a line drive single. This brings the guy on 2nd home and bingo! That error out in right field in the top of the 9th isn’t quite so significant either. MLB.com has some great shots of the game and also the play by play if you’re interested. What’s important to note here is the only error in the 9th inning is given to Sanchez on his throw to 3rd and not to Ross on the flyball to right field that caught some miracle of flight after a broken bat went sailing along with the hit. I woke up thinking about all this as I reflected on the unusually low attendance of 31,000 fans at the game yesterday, the night after the Cody Ross incident. Giants fans are not known to be fair weather fans so it caught my attention. But I’ll bet you odds there will be another big crowd tonight at AT&T Park, because even after the incredibly disappointing loss to Arizona on Monday, the SF Giants won and the San Diego Padres lost last night! Hope is alive and the fans will return again and again to watch their beloved Giants and all it will take is one great play from Cody Ross (Sanchez already provided his) and all is forgiven and forgotten. It’s kinda like hitting a 150 yard drive off the 1st tee at Pasatiempo. Nothing else really matters the rest of the day. It only takes one play folks……and that’s what’s so great about baseball! Don’t you just love it? “
GFBB Note: Cody Ross went on to be instrumental in post season play and the Giants World Series win in 2010. Just goes to show you …..