Game 4 one for the books
Why baseball can be great...
Good morning, all. Hope you had a tremendous weekend!
No, I was not one of those who stayed up after midnight into early Sunday morning to watch the conclusion of Game 4 of the World Series. I turned in after Tampa Bay cut the Dodgers lead to 3-2. At that point, the game had just passed the halfway mark but it was after 10:00 and my eyelids were heavier than a weighted bat. It is obvious I missed a classic ending. But I awoke at 4 in the morning and as usually is the case, could not go right back to sleep. So I checked my iPhone to find out who won the game and read about the memorable finish.
You can click on the image to watch the highlights of the dramatic bottom of the 9th in case you missed the conclusion.
What struck me most about the inning was how baseball used to be played. There were no home runs to highlight the rally. There were two hits, a walk and enough inept fielding plays by the Dodgers to make the Bad News Bears look like Gold Glove winners. In other words, there was action. There was no waiting for the home run. Throw analytics out the window. Among the Dodgers’ miscues was reliever Kenley Jansen’s failure to back up home plate, which had he done so, might have led to an out at home, sending the game into extra innings. No amount of data compiled by an Ivy League whiz kid, now sitting in some major league club’s front office, could have computed that finish. In other words, the game was allowed to breathe, without the machinations directed by numbers on a spread sheet that result in moves that make players resemble pawns on a chess board.
Let’s hope Game 4 serves as a wake up call to the baseball pooh-bahs. Yes, winning is what counts, but baseball is also in the entertainment business and endless strike outs, foul balls and pitching changes, just for the sake of possible home runs is no way to sell a game. Now if they would only start these things a tad earlier.
What will the ratings be
I will be interested in the ratings for Game 4. So far the World Series ratings have been in the tank. However, this is an unusual year - ya think? - and the ratings for most sports are down. Aside from social media or sports talk radio, the anecdotal evidence from my neck the woods was not promising for the sport. In interaction I had with some people on Sunday - and granted the interaction was limited in our COVID-restricted world - not one person said to me “how about that World Series game last night?” This is certainly a far cry from the days, when you would sneak a transistor radio into school to listen to a World Series game. Starting the games early might get more people talking about the game again. Just sayin’.
Changes are coming
Finally, all has been quite on the baseball personnel front. Yes, some coaching announcements have been made, but there have been no managerial hires. And that is by design. MLB frowns on such moves, during the post season. In fact, the commissioner has sent out an edict to clubs not competing in the post season not to make major moves that would detract from the games. One way or another, the World Series will end this week and that should lead to a flood of baseball news, aside from the series’ participants, by week’s end. In other words, let the Hot Stove League begin. Some fans say, the Hot Stove League might be the most exciting league of all.
That’s it for today. As always, thank you for your support and have a great week!