Hello, Goodbye

The end of the regular season in Major League Baseball always marks beginnings and endings but 2021 seems particularly more that way. Rob Manfred is the new clown prince of baseball, but Max Patkin was funnier. The man who brought us the A.I. runner on second base for extra innings surpassed the Chevy salesman who brought us the tie All Star Game with that move and added the relievers who had to face three batters plus the beginning of the end for minor leagues. This is a happy time for fans so let’s drop the negativity for now except for one last mournful cry of “I hate the designated sitter!” Pitchers batting is going the way of the hit and run play, the pitchout, and the sacrifice bunt so here is a fond thank you to San Francisco Giants hero Logan Webb who singled, walked, and homered while pitching the Giants to an 11-4 win, their 107th, which put the Dodgers in the Wild Card game. Go Cardinals.

Hello and welcome to Shohei Ohtani, speaking of slugging pitchers, and let us hope in the wee hours of the night when our wishes seem possible, that the Garden Grove Angels get some pitching before next season so that Anthony Rendon, Mike Trout, and Ohtani can contend for real. A happy salute also goes out to Dusty Baker for maintaining dignity and respect for the game while leading the maligned Houston Astros to another American League West title. Hats off to Alex Cora, another fine gentleman, for giving the Boston Red Sox some astute leadership as they face the Yankees. Some credit is also grudgingly due the New Yorkers for overcoming their terrible start. So there, I said it, now shut up.

Kudos as well for the Milwaukee Brewers, who for a while looked really strong but now look not so hot compared to the late sizzling St’Louis Cardinals. Hey, Brewers, you might have slipped in at least one win against the current World Champs in that last weekend series, but congratulations. Bryce Harper lived up to hype this time but let’s bear in mind that, like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, he plays in a P.O.N.Y. league yard.

I’m feeling sad for Juan Soto and his manager Dave Martinez. The Washington Nationals, just two years after winning it all, just totally, inexplicably, gave up and sent Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Dodgers for three autographed photos of Jay Leno and a young, talented team fell to the outhouse. Whoops, there I went getting negative again. While I’m at it, don’t worry, Baltimore and Pittsburgh fans, the ’71 and ’79 World Series are still on film.

This just might be the year that the Tampa Bay Rays go all the way. Lots of talent and smarts in that organization. They were actually able to trade talented young Willy Adames away because they had another very good shortstop named Wander Franco. I guess I will also have to suck it up and say that the Chicago White Sox looked good all year while I root for the Astros to beat them.

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