Friday, October 31, 2014

2014 World Series

While it was fun to have a true underdog to pull for in the KC Royals, and you had a fabulous and historic pitcher performance by Madison Bumgarner (I mean truly historic in an era of never-ending hyperbole), did you really think you were watching good baseball?  Did you not feel a little cheated, as I did, to not be watching the best teams compete for a championship?  Yeah, yeah, to the winner go the spoils but don't kid yourself that the best team won.
We're in an era where getting hot at the right time is paramount, because all of these teams are mediocre, even the ones that I would say were the best teams this year.  But at least you wouldn't be watching hitters who don't know the strike zone make it unbelievably easy for a very good pitcher to dominate like never before.  Side note:  I heard today that KC isn't planning on resigning four or five of the most integral players in this playoff run.  So how good are they then? 
My own beloved Red Sox won the World Series last year with a team as flawed as they come.  Were it not for a shutdown closer, the greatest clutch hitter of all time and an ace pitcher, we would've lost to arguably a better team.  And my Red Sox seem to be content to keep building teams that way because we're seeing you can win it all with the best mediocre team.
Don't get me wrong, I like the kind of players that both the Giants and Royals displayed in this series, mostly hard-playing grinders (and I'd rather have a team full of those than a team full of Puigs) but where was even a modicum of star power?  Where were the five-tool players?  San Francisco's leader and best player was basically a no-show in this series and they still won.
And remember, this is the third time in five years the Giants have won this way -- with a team no one thought could go all the way (and again, kudos to them) -- add to that last year's Sox win and it's getting to be a real bad habit.
So while I understand that having more teams in the playoffs is good for those markets that seemingly can't get there without a crutch, I disagree that it's good for the game overall.  What's good for the game is being able to watch a World Series where it at least kinda feels like you're watching the best baseball possible.
This never happened when there were no divisions and the best record (best team) in each league played each other in the World Series; this never happened when there were two divisions in each league, so you had League Championship series to determine who went to the Series -- and remember how great those series were through the years -- and I don't remember it really happening when they added the wild card to the mix.  But it seems to be happening every year now that we have two wild card teams.
I dunno, maybe something else is to blame but the end result is that we're watching World Series that are well below par, well below what we deserve as diehard fans.

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