The Kansas City Royals are the 2015 Wold Series Champions. This scrappy bunch of players finally completed the goal they planned to accomplish in the 2014 season, and that was to bring home a world championship. It is rare these days for a team to make it to the World Series two years in a row, but the Royals defied the odds, and managed to not only make it once again, but to win it all. Last year, the Royals were eliminated in dramatic fashion during the final game of the World Series, so this year they managed to leave little room for the same outcome. The Royals won in five games and made sure each win showcased the strength of their late game bats. In my World Series preview post, I said the Royals must keep the Mets score low in order to allow for their usual late game heroics, and that is exactly how they managed to win the series. The Royals were trailing in every game played during this series, but their “never say die” attitude caused them to be able to defy the odds, and be crowned champions. I definitely want to congratulate the Royals on a stellar season, and as a Yankee fan, thank them for saving me from hearing the Mets fans of New York berating my team. The Royals are a very good team, and now they have a trophy to show for it. With the talent the Royals possess, I imagine that they will be playing in the championship series for many years to come.
The Major League Baseball World Series will finally begin tomorrow night. In this seven game series the two best teams in baseball will face off to see who is worthy of raising the championship trophy. The team that is representing the NL is the New York Mets, while the AL will have the Kansas City Royals as their representative. Both of these teams are very talented and they both seem to be on an unquenchable hot streak, but unfortunately one of these teams must lose. The Mets are coming into this match up with some of the best young pitching talent that has ever been seen in the playoffs, and along with the stellar batting performances of Daniel Murphy, they have been defeating teams before the game reaches its half way point. I expect the Mets to continue to pitch well, but I just can’t see Murphy keeping up this pace of hitting throughout the playoffs. The Royals have a couple of great pitchers, but their strength comes from their hitting. There have been countless times during the playoffs when the Royals have had their backs against the wall, only to be saved by the clutch bats in their lineup, and they will likely need a few clutch performances to defeat the Mets in the World Series. I can’t make a pick for this series since both teams are extremely talented, but what I can say is that in order for the Mets to win, they need to pitch well early and keep hitting late in the game. If the Royals want to win, they have to keep the score low, and force the Mets’ relief pitchers to try and contend with their generally hot late inning bats. Tuesday night marks the beginning of the end of the MLB season, it has definitely been an interesting one. I’m sure this World Series will be like sweet frosting on top of the already appealing MLB season.
It has been 107 years since the Chicago Cubs last won a World Series Championship, and despite the team’s persistent futility, they always seem to have enough fans willing to root them on year after year. The Chicago Cubs have the longest drought between championships that any active professional team has ever seen, and whether it is by a curse, by error, or by act of fan, this team has managed to lose in seven World Series since their last. I am a Yankee fan, and I am relatively young, so I honestly don’t know what it feels like to go more than ten years between championships, but I can imagine that Cubs fans are elated to see that their team is literally eight games away from finally winning once again. The Cubs are quite possibly the hottest team in baseball at the moment, I know there are only four teams left, and that all four are playing incredibly inspired baseball, but the Cubs have one thing that all of the other team’s lack, and that is a “mad genius” manager in Joe Madden. Madden has seemed to find a way to galvanize this young and talented Cubs team to a level that has them believing they are not just capable of winning it all, but also into believing that whoever wants to win must go through them. Aside from the talent on the field, the Cubs also now have the general manager who was responsible for breaking the 86 year “curse” on the Red Sox and bringing them a World Series title so I would say history is on their side. If all of the facts about the Cubs don’t quite make the case for their possible World Series Championship, we also have the fact that the movie Back to the Future II predicted that they would finally win it all in this, the year 2015. I am fully on the bandwagon of the Cubs, they are a fun team to watch and a talented bunch. I would be glad to see the misery end in Chicago, and a World Series Championship trophy raised high in the north side of the Windy City.
Fantasy football is a fickle little game. I posted before about how fantasy football has gained a significant following in recent years, and along with that following has come the online gambling that is weekly fantasy games. Weekly fantasy football leagues are the heavily advertised and not at all regulated flavor of the week. If you have ever watched any sporting event or even turned on a television show that is geared towards millennials, you probably have seen the countless ads for Fanduel and Draftkings, which are the two competing fantasy for money websites. These companies advertise a chance to win millions for dollars, by simply picking your favorite players and enjoying the games you love, but this week both companies have come under fire for the actions of their employees. An employee of Draftkings won $350,000 from Fanduel after leaking sensitive information about player ratings, then using that data to his benefit. The knowledge this employee had on players and the similarity of the two companies gave this individual a distinct and unfair advantage over his competition. Both fantasy companies have since barred their employees from playing on either site, but there are more issues with these games than just “insider trading.” The problem with these fantasy sports betting sites is that they are completely unregulated. I am not the biggest fan of government regulation, but these companies are controlling way too much money to be able to freely share data with employees who have a chance to make a financial gain from it. Many people have called these websites the new stock market, I just hope this whole fantasy sports betting thing doesn’t get out of hand. Too many people have too much at stake when it comes to sports betting and this whole ordeal may run them the wrong way. I expect some sort of regulation to come out of this mess within the next few months, but until then, I would be wary of putting money into fantasy sports.
The Major League Baseball season has finally come to an end. The longest season of all major sports in the USA has now made way for one of the most interesting postseason starts in sports. While the MLB season has 162 games, there is a very important one game playoff that takes place as soon as it ends, in order for two wildcard teams to make it into the real tournament. This year’s games feature the Yankees, the Astros, the Cubs, and the Pirates, four teams that have played as hard as any this season. The NL matchup for the wildcard pits two teams, that are extremely familiar with each other, in a nine inning winner take all showdown. The Cubs and Pirates are in the same division, so they have played a whopping 19 games against each other this season, with the Cubs winning 11 times. Although the Cubs have a history with the Pirates, season series records don’t mean much in the playoffs since it is up to the players and the fans to bring enough energy to get their team to another game. The Yankees and Astros have played a few games this season, but neither team has managed to show that they are truly superior to the other, I am a Yankee fan so my allegiance is set, but this game looks to be a tough one for both teams. The MLB wildcard games are the most exciting games of the season, four teams enter with only nine innings to show that they belong in the playoffs, I can’t wait to see who comes out on top as these teams will definitely give it their all in the hopes of reaching the championship round.
This morning a baseball legend passed away. Yogi Berra, the hall of fame catcher for the New York Yankees, died today at the age of 90. While Berra can be recognized for his great plays, his multiple MVP awards, or his many championships, I remember him best for his many goofy and somewhat philosophical quotes. Yogi-isms, as his famous sayings were known, were the phases that Yogi was credited with saying. I love Berra’s many Yogi-isms because, even when they don’t seem to make much sense, they make perfect sense. Here are my Top five favorite Yogi Berra sayings or Yogi-isms:
1. “It’s déjà vu all over again!”
2. “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
3. “Ninety percent of the game is half mental.”
4. “I want to thank everybody for making this day necessary.”
5. “The future ain’t what it used to be.”
Bonus: “I never said most of the things I said.”
Yogi Berra was definitely a legend both on and off the field, and he will be remembered as not only a great Yankee, but also as a man who touched everyone who came in contact with him. I never actually met Yogi, but from what I’ve heard from people who have met him, he was a very warm and caring individual. Yogi Berra will always be remembered and missed by his fans, and by those who love baseball.
Fan safety is a huge issue at sporting events these days. The safety of the fan is commonly stressed at every event I have ever attended, but in spite of the warnings and apparent security all over these gigantic venues, fans are still being injured in terrible accidents every year. Last night, during the Yankees game at Atlanta, a man fell 50 feet from the upper decks while leaning over the railing to shout insults at players. Thankfully the man did not fall on anyone below, but sadly, he later passed away from his injuries. A tragic event like the fall of this man could have been prevented by an increased presence of security in his section, but events like this happen all of the time with less catastrophic results. I can’t blame every tragic event on security, since they have no control over the alcohol intake of fans, and all sports related fan injuries are not easily preventable, but I do think sporting venues can do more to keep fans safe. To be completely honest, I think the biggest risk to a fan at a sporting event is alcohol abuse. Most tragic events that take place in or around sporting events, have been alcohol related, and that is not just a coincidence. It is not really the team or the venue’s job to stop fans from drinking, but they have fruitlessly tried for years to curb fan alcohol abuse. It seems that the notices to “drink responsibly” are going largely unfollowed, and fans are getting more reckless with each passing season. I love going to sporting events, and I don’t think much needs to change in order to make a ballgame a safer place. I just think all fans need to understand that everyone at the venue wants to enjoy the game as they do, and that getting home safely is more important than getting overly drunk or “shaming” the visiting team and their fans.
The New York Yankees have been on an absolute tear over the past 10 games, a team that many thought was on the decline has seen new life thanks to their lineup’s extreme versatility. The Yankees have scored 90 runs in the last 10 games and they are showing little sign of slowdown. At the beginning of the season the team looked as though they would only be able to live on the strength of the players at the top of the batting order, but the team has shown that they can perfectly adjust to any changes injuries or slumps may bring. During this hot streak the bottom of the Yankee lineup has been hitting extremely well, they have even outperformed the guys at the heart of the lineup in a few games. I am a Yankee fan so I don’t want to “jinx” their success, but it isn’t a completely ridiculous thought that this team may go very far in the playoffs. The Yankees have not been a good team over the last couple of years, and while this year’s team seemed overwhelmingly average, the Yankees decided to pass on any major team improving trades. The story behind the Yankees’ lack of movement at the trade deadline was the team’s desire to keep their prized pitching prospect, Luis Severino, and while the jury is still out on Severino’s big league productivity, many people believe he is “the real deal.” Severino looks to make his first major league start tonight for the surging Yankees, and I as a Yankee fan, would love to see him kick off his MLB career with a legendary performance. Hopefully the team’s decision to keep him will pay off both this season and in the long term.
This year’s MLB trade deadline looks to be the most exciting in years. I can honestly say that I have never been more interested in the possibilities with regards to the names of players being thrown around. This year, we have already seen big name allstars such as Johnny Cueto and Troy Tulowitzki shipped off, with more of the biggest names in the sport commonly being spoken of in trade talks. I have followed baseball for years, and while big names have been traded before, this year seems to be the first in which multiple former contenders are looking to unload their longtime franchise centerpieces. The New York Mets, a team that has high expectations and great pitching this season, are currently hurting for a strong bat to place in their lineup, and recent rumors have stated the possibility of the team trading ace pitcher Matt Harvey for another big name player. Harvey is the heart of the franchise when it comes to popularity and productivity, and no matter how great the return is on the trade, the Mets will most certainly lose the respect of many fans by letting him go. Another great player being regularly mentioned in rumors is Dodgers centerfielder, Yasiel Puig, and while many may think it insane to trade such a young and talented commodity, the Dodgers have shown the ability to quickly call up strong talent from the minors to replace fan favorites. There are many more “sellers” than “buyers” at this year’s MLB trade deadline and while rumors are not always the most legitimate of sources, the trades we have seen already show that no player is safe, and that this last week before trades cease will be a rollercoaster for many players and franchises.
Alex Rodriguez joined an exclusive club yesterday, he became the 29th player in MLB history to tally up 3000 hits, and he managed to accomplish this feat in stellar fashion as he did it with a homerun. Before last night only two other players have managed to hit a homerun for their 3000th hit and it is only fitting that Arod, wearing number 13, would make his 13th homerun of the season his 3000th hit. Alex Rodriguez is one of the most hated athletes in America due to the fact that he admitted steroid use, but I really don’t think the people who hate him realize just how talented he actually is. I understand that steroids and other performance enhancing drugs do help athletes work out harder and stay healthy, but they can not give people the ability to hit the ball. I don’t think baseball players should be penalized for using PEDs, because at the height of the drugs’ popularity, the use was rampant in the league, and the most talented players were the only ones benefitting from their “effects.” For every Mark McGuire there was a Jeremy Giambi, although they were both on the drugs, they had drastically different careers, and this is due to the talent gap between them. The very real talent gap between Arod and other users of PEDs is my major reason for believing Arod and these other “cheaters” belong in the Hall of Fame. As it stands, the hall of fame is and will always be without several very talented players, I just hope the MLB will take the time to reevaluate the blame, and give players like Arod a shot at being immortalized in the hall of fame for their legendary careers.