You may have noticed that I haven’t posted very much on the baseball season since the All-Star game. For those watching the Nats’ season fall apart, the reason will be obvious. And now that the local nine have wrapped up a miserable year, we get to begin speculation here in D.C. on where Bryce will land next year. Frankly, I’ve read about all the ink I care to on Harper. I just hope he makes up his mind early and doesn’t drag this out all year. Robles and Soto are two excellent young (and cheap) outfielders, so it isn’t like we’d have chopped liver out there in the outfield
But let’s move on to the teams still playing. The team with the top record, the Boston Red Sox, look good, but I think they have a tough row to hoe to win it all.
To cut to the chase, here are my picks/hopes:
First in the American League:
- I hope the A’s (now Claire’s team since she lives in Oakland) use their “new pitcher every inning” strategy and shock the Baby Bombers in the Wild Card.
- In what may be the best series of the first round, I’m picking the Astros over the Indians.
- With the A’s in out of the wild card game, I’ll take the Red Sox.
- For the ALCS, I’d have to pick the Astros over the Sox. While the Sox have been great, they have too many problems in key areas (e.g., pitching).
Then the National League:
- While I’d like to see the Rockies win the NL Wild Card, I suspect it will be the Cubs.
- I don’t want either team to win, but I think the Dodgers are getting hot and will take the Braves.
- I’m going to take the Brewers over the Cubs, just because they are such fun to watch and I’ve loved Lorenzo Cain since he was with KC.
- And on that note, I’m going to take the Brewers over the Dodgers to get to the World Series.
And in the World Series:
- I think we have a repeat champion with the Astros, although the Brewers could give them a good run for their money.
Few teams had a more disappointing season than the Nats, but the Mets fall in that category. So I sympathized—and laughed out loud—at this wonderful article on the announcers for the Mets. Here’s just a small sample of some wonderful baseball writing:
“The problem, though, is that baseball — good, high-level baseball — often is boring. A “perfect game” is one in which, miraculously, nothing happens. Ten-pitch at-bats that end in routine groundouts are boring, and shaving a few seconds off them won’t fix that. Gary Keith and Ron aren’t magicians, but perhaps they do represent an alternate strategy for attacking baseball’s existential crisis: fix the game itself, yes, but fix the conversation around it too. Baseball is a peculiar sport, filled with dozens of climactic anticlimaxes, and wide pockets of time for digressions into movies or politics or, in Keith’s case, deeply felt opinions about uniform design. But too many booths are occupied by people with nothing to say — a problem some of them solve by literally not talking. With Gary Keith and Ron, meanwhile, each one has enough charisma to carry stretches of a broadcast on his own. And anyway, if things ever get too sleepy, Keith will just announce that he’s nodding off, which, ironically, is quite fun.”
Do yourself a favor and read this article. And yes, you will note that the Nats consistently have one of the worst rated announcing teams in Major League Baseball. After this season, that figures.
Let’s play ball!
More to come…