Thursday, October 03, 2013


The Home Stretch-Major League Baseball 2013


It wasn’t that long ago that the boys of summer were kicking around the dirt in the Spring, somewhere in the south. Then began the gruelling, grinding, often painful quest to become the best team in baseball-the winners of the World Series.


Many of those decisions have already been made, and, within a day or two, the final post-season participants will be dressing for games in October. The great game of baseball traditionally holds its final games in the Hallowe’en month. Even one of the stars of the past, who had an exceptional day in Yankee Stadium, was dubbed “Mr. October”. He hit three home runs in one game to earn the honour, and never let us forget it!


Max Scherzer should be a name to remember this October. He pitches for the Detroit Tigers, and he will start the first game for them in the Championships. He won 20 games this year for the Tigers, and lost but three. There are always cute quotes on the back of the Topps baseball cards, room permitting. “On days that Max is “on”, hitters have no chance. Once, in a minor league start, he retired all 21 batters he faced, striking out 13. In 2010, he became the first pitcher ever to fan 14 in a start of shorter than six innings. ‘The low ball looks like it’s 100 miles an hour, and the high ball looks 110,’ says Dan Carlson, one of his former pitching coaches.


The Yankees were moving towards a shot at the finals when they ran into a stubborn Blue Jay team a week and a half ago. The Toronto squad refused to roll over and die against the Yankees, and all but killed their post-season hopes. The Jays took two of three games against the Bronx Bombers, spoiling their dreams. It is a time of the year when those who cannot make the playoffs need to show off their younger players who have toiled in the minors all season. If the rookies are hot, the contenders suffer.


Yankee fans were hoping that they would make the playoffs so that their closer, Mariano Rivera would have a final chance to show his stuff. He will retire at the end of this season, and he is a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame in five years. He has recorded more saves that any other pitcher, ever, establishing a record that will last for years. He is most gracious, and has contributed much to his native country, Panama.


It is coming down to the wire for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds. The Pirates are led by a dynamic outfielder named Andrew McCutcheon-the man with the long locks. He has provided superb defence throughout his career, and had a respectable .276 batting average at the beginning of the season. These will be exciting times for Pirate fans. They have not had a taste of playoff baseball for decades, and they are hungry,


The Red Sox, the Tigers and the Oakland Athletics have locked up their divisions, and await results from the wild card play. In the National League, the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers have already punched the ticket. The Cardinals, the Pirates, and the Reds are all chasing the dream in the Central Division of the Senior Division.


They will be some exciting ninth inning heroics somewhere in the next month. “Play Ball!”


James Hurst

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?