WORLD SERIES (NY METS V. KANSAS CITY ROYALS):
Well, well, well. Definitely not the teams from Missouri and New York that one would assume to be in the race this long, but hey baseball is mean and unpredictable and here we are, so let’s do this!
Despite all the Cubs had going for them (being the more Cinderella-y story of these two World Series deprived teams), they couldn’t overcome these extremely talented Mets. Seriously writing that sentence still makes me go “what the hell, Mets when did you get so good”. Anyway, the Mets showed up. Their pitching was/is absolutely nasty and limited the Cubs to minimal offensive contribution while adding some crazy run production of their own. Game 3, anybody? Sheesh. Back to the Mets pitching:
… You pretty thing, you.
Also we cannot talk about the Mets’ bats if we don’t mention Daniel Murphy. Seriously dude you had like 10 long balls (14 actually but who’s counting) ALL SEASON, but you hit one in 6 consecutive games. Remember when I said baseball was mean and unpredictable? Yeah.
No one knows better than the Cubs and the Cubs fans how unpredictable baseball can be. That being said the Cubs will be okay. They have Bryant and Rizzo and Schwarber that can hit baseballs to far away places that no one will ever find. They have two solid pitchers in Arrieta and Jon Lester (heyooo hometown Tacoma pride!) but they could stand to have some extra help in that department. So i’ll say it again, the Cubs will be okay. They will have all the pieces mentioned above (and then some) to make a run at the playoffs in 2016 and years to come.
However my favorite part of this series did not happen on the field. Both the Cubs and Mets were both very far removed from their last World Series victories. The Cubs storied journey made it seem like this was the year. As we all know that didn’t happen and I’d imagine that the Cubs would have every reason to be upset after being swept right out of 2015. Instead, they made a gesture to the Mets that was oozing with class and made my ohsoequallyplayoffdeprived baseball heart warm with joy. The Cubs made the decision to to give David Wright, longtime face of the New York Metropolitans and captain of the squad, the physical third base from the Mets’ WS clinching game at Wrigley. David Wright has been a Met since 2001 when they drafted him in the first round of the MLB draft, and has never once made it to a World Series. If he wasn’t on the Mets, he definitely would fit in on the Mariners. David Wright is to the Mets, as Felix Hernandez is to the Mariners. That’s why this moment hit home so hard. I can already see the day when Felix is awarded some game memento after the Mariners clinch their FIRST WORLD SERIES BIRTH EVER. A tribute to his unwavering loyalty and continued efforts to make sure that us Mariners fans will always have something to look forward to whenever the Mariners take the field. I cannot say with complete certainty that Mets fans feel the exact same way about their captain, but experience tells me it’s probably pretty damn close.
Playing opposite of the Mets will be the Kansas City Royals, another perennial losing team. Although Kansas City is not known for winning historically, this is their second trip to the show in the last two years. Last year they had a chance to beat the Giants (the Giants won in 7) but since it was an even year, the Giants dominated. KC did post the best record in the AL this year, but I would have never picked them to repeat as AL champs. Despite the AL all star lineup in June being 95% royal blue… I know the All-Star game is one glorified popularity contest but goodness Royals fans. Stuffed (online) ballots much? After all the Shenanigans, the Royals have made it and they did it in true Royal fashion. Annoyingly timely, well-played baseball.
The battle of the ALCS was a little more interesting for the simple fact that the Blue Jays won at least one game (compared to the Cubs zero wins). If I’m being completely transparent, I wanted to the Blue Jays to win. Yes if the Blue Jays were to win the WS I realize that Safeco would be extremely (more) annoying when the Blue Jays came to town, but I was willing to take that risk. The main reason that I wanted the Blue Jays to win was because of their all-in attitude (or because I wanted to see Justin Smoak in the playoffs… you’ll never know). One could assume that mid-season acquisitions of David Price and Troy Tulowitzki would mean that the Jays were putting all their eggs in one basket, in an effort to be the 2015 World Champions. Low and behold they were not able to pull off the must win series. Remember earlier when I twice mentioned was baseball was unpredictable? Keep remembering that as you watch the Royals and Mets battle it out.
The Royals hitting for contact is something that is frequently mentioned as one of their more positive attributes, and it will be exciting to watch that contact hitting against the Mets dynamic pitching. The Royals will counter with their best, Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto, at home for the first two games of the series. However when it comes to pitching I believe the most important guy the Royals have is Chris Young. Anyone reading this should of course already know that I’m going to bring a (former) Mariner into discussion whenever given the opportunity. Anywho, Chris Young is a beautifully consistent and clutch as ever soul who was one of the best parts of the 2014 season for the Mariners. The Mariners did not pick him up for the 2015 season and I hoped that he would go to a team that could benefit from a gentle giant from Texas. In the ALCS he limited the Blue Jays to their only 2 runs of the game (the Royals won 14-2), true to form.
This is gonna a fun one guys. Both teams come from cities that desperately crave and need a championship. WIll it be the Mets young flame throwers or the Royals timely hitting that will ultimately prevail? Just remember folks, baseball is mean, mean, mean and it will crush all your predictions. So what are we really here talking about anyway? It’s almost game time y’all. Play ball.