Just a few more days and no more than seven games to go and then the television can go into hibernation until next March. Like many others, I reckoned that the American League Championship Series would be the real contest to see who was best. The NLCS proved to be quite interesting, however, even beyond the somewhat bizarre pitching strategies employed by Dave Roberts and, especially, Craig Counsell. My feeling in September was that the Milwaukee Brewers had made a mistake by stocking their roster with too many infielders and not adding a starting pitcher or two but, oh Lordy, what a bullpen that is! And to think that not so long ago I tried to make a joke about starting a game with the “closer”. It was also bizarre to see an L.A. Dodgers team that pulverized teams with home runs. Echos of Vin Scully and Jerry Doggett describing 2-1 and 1-0 games over and over back in the days of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale went through my weary head as the likes of Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger nearly erased all memories of the days when a Dodger hitting more than ten homers was considered big power.
Boston does look like the better team, though, and that’s been true all season. They have that wonderful assortment of outfielders although one of them, Mookie Betts, will apparently become an infielder in Los Angeles thanks to the designated sitter rule. If Chris Sale is healthy I like the Red Sox pitching a little better than the boys from LaLa Land. The Dodgers are a bit better late in the game if Kenley Jansen is okay, which he certainly has been lately. Health had a lot to do with the defending champion Astros falling short. Mitch Moreland was hurting for Boston but Jose Altuve was obviously not himself in the field and on the bases. Xander Bogaerts may not hit quite like Manny Machado but he is very good and did not prove himself to be a dickhead the way that Machado did in the last round. Here’s hoping that Machado signs with either the Yankees or Dodgers for next year to make it even easier to root against them. Boston’s closer, Craig Kimbrel, has very impressive career statistics despite that odd style of his. Just before each pitch, he resembles a drunk who is looking for the lighter he just dropped. It works, though.
This should be a very interesting series for all of us who are not too old or too young to be there or to watch it on television. Every single game will begin after 8 o’clock PM in the Eastern time zone. The first two are in Boston and I sure hope that it doesn’t snow. Out in Mountain or Pacific time zones, not so bad and we’re glad Colorado didn’t make it because it WOULD snow. This is a game that is meant to be played in daylight whenever possible. I know, it’s all about the wonderful folks who bring it into our modest little homes via television. We wouldn’t want to not be on at “Prime Time”, which has become a joke in this day and age. I got the baseball bug watching 23 year old Johnny Podres shut out the Yankees in 1955, when my bedtime was, as it probably should be now, 9PM. At least the youth of today will be spared having to see ads for erectile dysfunction pills available online or that obnoxious and grammatically challenged woman hawking Jim Beam. So two in Beantown and then three in L.A. and, if necessary, two more in Boston October 30 and 31. It’s a great game, but the people in charge aren’t doing much to show it. Go Sox!