First of all, a quick apology: I'm going through a big career change, and it's requiring most of my mornings, a.k.a when I had time to write. It will take adjustments on my part to get back in the swing of things. Moving on!
Last night was Game 2 of the World Series, which has proven to be wildly entertaining.
The Mets starters ("the Fab Four" as Tom Verducci calls them) were tantalizing enough to scare you into thinking the Royals didn't stand a chance, but the fallacy of thinking a rotation can be your strength was undone. In Game 1, the Mets put everyone's favorite Cespedes in center field and benched Lugares, the gold-glover in favor of more offense at DH in dear old friend Kelly Johnson.
You probably know what happened: a late jump, the first pitch seen by a Royal bounced off Cespedes's knee, and we got the first inside the park homerun in the World Series since 1929! Then in Game 2, Jonny Cueto pitched eight innings of dominant baseball, undoing the perceptible strength of the Mets offense.
For the second time, a supposedly-bad Drayton Moore trade is paying dividends in the post season. I don't know what fixed Cueto's elbow, but in this game it was awesome in the true sense of the word. He pitched a complete game two-hit shutout.
Why am I thrilled for the Royals? I have a theory that baseball teams generally have a three year window. Other people might have said this before, I've honestly never checked, but it's something abstract that feels true. Either baseball teams are a flash in the pan, or they're a juggernaut build to succeed. If they are the latter, if your team can really do this thing, you probably have a three year window to win it all. When the Phillies and Rays met in 2008, it was two teams in their windows, it was a great match up, although a horrible series.
The Rays were at the start of theirs in 2008, struggled through injury in 2009, and then looked like the best team in baseball in 2010 but succumbed to Cliff Lee's last hurrah. Oh what could have been!
I cannot pretend to have the age and experience of the elder baseball fans, I was in elementary school when the Rays came into being, but was a fan from Day 1. For me it'd been a lifetime of ineptitude that ended in misery. An ALCS, a lost year, a sudden stop. That was our three year window.
The Royals are now in a similar position, and this honestly feels like the last opportunity in what would be a three year window of some fine baseball. They're a tortured fanbase that finally has a fun team. I'd like them to have a share in glory -- and let's not forget Ben Zobrist and Wade Davis!
As for the Mets: are they a flash in the pan? Will the great Cespedes move on to greener pasture and supernova Daniel Murphy cool off into the dwarf star he's destined to become? Afterall it took a second half renaissance for their offense to even be competent. Or is this the first of their three year window, with a foundation primed to keep this team competitive through 2017. The Mets have the money, they don't even need trades to stay afloat. I'm not sure just yet, but I know where the Royals stand and I fear this is the end of their incredible run.
So for the sake of posterity and well deserved glory, Go Royals.
In other news:
- Lots of great quotes about future Rays phenom Blake Snell as he wins MiLB.com's MiLBY award.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopolous has quit the team (!)
Source: In their 1st & only meeting, new Jays prez Mark Shapiro scolded Alex Anthopolous & staff for trading so many top prospects this yr— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) October 29, 2015
- Bud Black will manage the Nationals, and Don Mattingly will manage the Marlins, with both signing contracts today.
- Ben Zobrist's wife is due in 12 days, but Zorilla will not be leaving the World Series, according to his wife Julianna.
- A local reporter at the World Series interviewed the wrong Cueto brother after the game...