The Best Team Won in 2015

Did it really matter that Matt Harvey won the argument about pitching the ninth inning? Well, his determination was admirable and the bullpen options were not very enticing by the time the fifth game of the 2015 World Series rolled around, so all it really proved was that his manager would vacillate in a crucial situation. Mets manager Terry Collins showed poor judgement more obviously earlier when Yoenes Cespedes was allowed to complete his at bat after fouling a pitch off his knee and proving that standing upright took as much energy as he had to use. To answer the question, though, no.
The Mets, it is true, had that game won with a Harvey masterpiece taking them to a 2-0 lead with three outs to go. If he comes out after the lead off walk, maybe. If Daniel Murphy isn’t the mediocre to bad infielder he has always been, maybe. However, were they then going to go to Kansas City and win two more games? It’s baseball, and anything can happen, but no, hell no.
We have seen many times how a strong pitching staff, which the New York Mets certainly have, can carry an otherwise ordinary team to great success. When the pitchers strike out a lot of the opposition batters, a relatively weak infield defense can be compensated for if not totally made irrelevant. The 1969 version of the Mets is a case in point. Also, in a short series at least, even the worst team can win or even sweep the series against the very best team. I don’t know whether or not the 1954 Philadelphia A’s swept or even won any series against the Yankees or Indians, teams that combined for 214 wins, that season but it could have happened. In baseball, however, it is over the long haul of an entire regular season that cream rises to the top. So it was for the Royals this season despite the parity that now seems to exist throughout the major leagues. Every team has holes, but Kansas City had the fewest.
The Royals team of 1985 was somewhat similar, with outstanding defense and strong pitching led by Bret Saberhagen and Dan Quisenberry. In October, although I guess I should now say November, that is what usually gets it done.
One of the nasty things about the culture that we live in now is that winning means so much while contending but finishing second or third is considered failure by so many otherwise friendly people. I want to give credit to all eight playoff teams (admittedly enough for an entire league not so long ago) for providing us with a mostly entertaining (despite Fox television) postseason in 2015.
Now it time to count the days until everyone reports to spring training. The pundits are already going on and on about free agent signings, money for contracts, and all that other business page bullshit. Others turn to football or basketball for sports fixes, or even hockey, but, finding no solace or stimulation there, I will continue posting about the game I love throughout the winter. No money stuff though.

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