Tuesday, October 25, 2016
The 2016 World Series
The most anticipated World Series in the history of the event opens tonight in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians played host to the National League champions, the Chicago Cubs from Illinois. It is the baseball championship that will be, especially for Americans, a wonderful distraction from another battle taking place in their country. There is a presidential election in a couple of weeks in the United States, and most Americans are weary from the frenzy leading up to election night. It has been a long, nasty, and arduous campaign for both the Democrats and the Republicans.
The Indians and the Cubbies have spent some time preparing for the event. The Cubs have not seen a World Series banner raised in their home ball park in 108 years. They left their Spring Training camp with more anticipation in that regard than ever before. It has only been 75 years for the Indians. Both teams are mighty hungry.
In April, I touched on the fact that we might see the Cubs in the Fall Classic. The management of the team had placed a very strong roster on the field, and had given themselves a chance at the title. Understandably, there are those unanticipated factors that can derail a team before they ever get to the final: injuries, suspensions, slumps, and countless other distractions that will add up to failure. Both the Indians and the Cubs have managed to survive the tests of time, up until the present.
A brief tale of the tape will shed a little light on what to expect over the next week of baseball. Bear with me.
Behind the plate, I like Willson Contreras from the Cubs. He is batting .400 in the post season, and handles pitchers well. Roberto Perez is doing a fine job behind the plate for the Tribe, but his .174 batting average is anemic. Both teams have outstanding pitching, from start to finish. And both teams need to send “Thank You” cards to the New York Yankees after the season is over. The Yankees traded away two pitchers during the season. Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman are the best relievers in baseball. Chapman consistently throws pitches to the plate clocking at over 100mph for the Cubs, and Miller is not too far behind.
Corey Kluber starts for the Indians, most effectively. Trevor Bauer hopes his finger will heal before the Series concludes. The Blue Jays caught a break when he could not get out of the first inning against them; however, Cleveland had enough in the tank to put the Jays away quite handily. John Lester, Kyle Hendricks, and Jake Arrieta are the starters for the Cubbies, and will likely make the difference in this Series.
The Cubs have so many wonderful young players. They are destined to remain contenders for many years: Anthony Rizzo is a quality first baseman; Alex Rodriguez flatly stated that second sacker Javier Baez is headed to the Hall of Fame; Addison Russell is only 22, but is a wonderful shortstop; Kris Bryant just completed a season worthy of MVP status; and the Cubs have advantages in the outfield as well.
Eddie Robinson is the last surviving member of the Indians team that won the World Series in 1945. He is now 95 years old, and still enjoys the game. He is waiting for the Tribe to call him, and invite him to the Series.
But Blue Jay fans took notice of the power and speed of the Indians recently, as the Jays limped to defeat winning only one game out of five. This will be a Series to remember, one not to miss. It will be chilly baseball weather. Let's hope the rains hold off.
And that is why it is dubbed, “The Fall Classic”. Enjoy.
October 25, 2016