I didn’t think anything could make me root for the Kansas City Royals after they performed their Team Punk act during the postseason last year, especially against the Orioles, but I found myself doing so anyway the moment Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays decided to challenge David Ortiz for the title of Most Self-Absorbed Player in the American League. I didn’t get to see every play of every game of the ALCS, but I have to say that from what I did see, Kansas City acted as if they really HAVE been there before. I could have missed something, but I did not witness any of the mindless yapping or juvenile snarkiness that was exhibited last year. I did notice, however, that after the final out of Game 6, winning pitcher Wade Davis did NOT run over to Jose Bautista, who was in the on-deck circle, and yell, “Flip that, Jose!” while slamming his glove down during an “impromptu” victory dance.
In the National League, I noticed that the Chicago Cubs, my pick to go win the World Series, never even held a lead, not even for one of their 36 innings against the Mets. I also noticed Daniel Murphy (along with the rest of the world) who has impressed me, not just for his home runs, but for his overall approach at the plate. In Game 4, and with the Mets already on top 6-2, he lined a pitch that was up and away into left for an opposite field single. As hot as he was, and given the game situation, he could have been thinking home run; instead, he took what was given. That is being a professional. As a personal aside, I remember Daniel Murphy when he played for the Luray Wranglers back in 2004-2005 in the Valley Baseball League.
Kansas City might very well win the World Series, but it’s hard to pick against the Mets pitching: New York in six games.
Does anyone else out there feel that keeping track of the game-times and what station these games are on is as difficult as trying to interpret when a catcher is illegally blocking the plate? And now the World Series starts . . . I don’t know when, but I’m pretty sure that it will finish before Christmas. Baseball is a game with inherent drama because there is no clock, but Major League Baseball has no clue how to build drama throughout the course of the post season because these series start and stop. (Note: The epic 1955 Game 7 between Brooklyn and New York took place on October 5th.) Baseball needs a College World Series-style tournament.