Monday, October 10, 2016

The ALDS. Sweeps and chokes

With apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer -- alas, there will be no joy in Mudville, or at least Fenway, mighty Boston has struck out. Yep, the Cleveland Indians dispatched the Red Sox in three straight games. A sweep.

Also, there will be no storybook ending to the illustrious career of David Ortiz. Big Papi be gone. Too bad indeed. He was truly a joy.

Next up, the Tribe faces the Toronto Blue Jays for the right to represent the American League in the World Series. While Cleveland was busy brooming the Beaners, the Jays had done the same thing to the Texas Rangers. If you count the wild card game Toronto played against the Baltimore Orioles, their post-season record is now 4-0. Perfect.

Being division winners, Cleveland didn't have to play a wild card game. Their mark stands at 3-0. So two unbeatens get to lock horns. It should be quite the series.

Thing is, somebody's gotta start losing. A pick? Not me. No idea. Got a coin?

Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs had dumped the San Francisco Giants in the first two games of their best 3 out of 5, and are currently leading in Game 3. Another sweep? Could be. San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner got dinged for a 3-run homer off the bat of his pitching counterpart Jake Arietta. Ouch. That's gotta hurt -- in more ways than one.

So assuming the Cubbies sweep, that leaves the LA Dodgers and Washington Nationals. Both excellent teams as well. They split the first two games. No clean sweep of sweeps.

But you just know LA will eventually prevail. Why? Because Washington will choke. They always choke. Everything in Washington chokes. Besides the Nats, the Capitals choke at playoff time. The Redskins could be renamed the Heimlichs for some of their maneuvers.

Speaking of names, the former Bullets of the NBA choked themselves out of one. They caved to politically correct pressure and became the Wizards instead. Like there's no bullets in DC. Right. Guess what, they're woefully short on wizards too. Seen Congress lately?

On that note, there is a total of 545 people in Washington that choke constantly. 435 Reps, 100 Sens, 9 Supremes (8 for now), and a Prez seem to be choking the very life out of the American people. But I digress.

What's that? San Fran has scored a couple runs to make it 3-2 in the seventh inning? It ain't over yet. Maybe it won't be a sweep after all.

But I dare say I speak for the majority by saying we would be hard pressed to imagine the Giants beating the mighty Cubbies three games in a row. Those guys have got everything. Hitting, pitching, defense, speed, you name it. That's probably why they won 8 more games than anybody else in the majors this year.

Though I don't live there and haven't even been to Chicago for several years, count me a Cubs fan.

As was mentioned in this space a few days ago, there are exactly 108 stitches on a Major League baseball and it's been 108 years since the Cubs last won a World Series.

Somehow, it just feels right this year.

Here's hoping they don't choke.

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