J. D. Thorne, speaker and author of the new book Baseball’s Winning Ways  (Available on Amazon Books).

 “Let the Games Begin”

It’s time to watch the “World Serious” beginning tomorrow.  We are “fans of baseball.”  These games are the gems in the “crown.”  All fans wish their teams had made it through the gauntlet of the long regular season and the extensive play-offs.  It is the “Spirit” of game on display, and its one hundred and eighteen “brothers and sisters.”  We should watch it if for nothing more than to see good baseball.

There were only two WS not played since the beginning in 1901.  The first was in the second year of its existence when feisty NY Giant manager John McGraw refused to play the Boston Red Sox of the recently formed American League in 1902.  His refusal was on the grounds that the Red Sox were inferior opponents, unworthy of the honor of playing his Champion Giants.  It was also a great way of arranging his team was not upset in the series.  The second was the year of the player’s strike/ownership lock-out of 1993.

This season, the noble and righteous Milwaukee Brewers lost in the National League Division Series to the eventual National League representative Atlanta Braves. However humiliating it may be cheering for a franchise that left the city of Milwaukee for greener pastures, fans of the Brewers should cheer for the Braves.  They beat us, so we should cheer for the Braves to beat the Houston Astros, formerly known in the press and other media sources as Sign Stealing Garbage Can Lid Bangers.  Then, we can say with pride that we were only beaten by the ultimate champion.

There is some “justice” in the Braves being National League Pennant Winner.  This honor takes place after Major League Baseball’s controversial decision to pull the plug on the mostly minority small business owners of Atlanta by moving the All–Star Game. This mixing of sport and politics took place when the state of Georgia legislature passed fair election polling rules that curb the opportunity for mail-in ballot abuse by Georgia voters.  The All-Star Game was played in Denver, benefitting Colorado business owners. I guess the MLB really showed the public on that one?

Is it hard to get revved up for this year’s “Fall Classic?”  Television ratings may reveal this sentiment nation-wide.  Clearly, an east coast winner like the Red Sox or a west coast winner like the Dodgers or Giants might have garnered more of an audience, but the Play-Off series are played to winnow out all but the teams playing their best October baseball.

This series will showcase the Astros mighty infielders against Freddy Freeman and the Braves great pitching.  Pitching is probably the most important to winning a short series.  Ask the Dodgers, whose pitching depth bottomed out after using Max Scherzer in relief, “dead-armed” by a few too many innings.  They Dodgers lost despite having a position player like the great Mookie Betts and many other talented players.

It will be nice also to return to a WS that features home town fans in attendance, unlike last season’s Covid Classic when all games were played in the new stadium at Arlington, Texas.  In this regard, the Astros will have the home field advantage because the changing rules for MLB now give that edge to the team with best regular season winning percentage.  This match-up also ensures that there will be no repeating champion like it has been for almost the last twenty years.

Let the fun begin!  Go Braves!

Sporting Chance Press includes books on sports including baseball. Our baseball books:

The 10 Commandments of Baseball: An Affectionate Look at Joe McCarthy’s Principles for Baseball (and Life)

Public Bonehead, Private Hero: The Real Legacy of Baseball’s Fred Merkle

Baseball’s Winning Ways