Posted tagged ‘playoffs’

Final Thoughts on the 2018 World Series

October 29, 2018

Sometimes, the antagonists win. With that in mind, congratulations to the Boston Red Sox – 2018 World Series Champions.

Bias aside, Boston is more than deserving of this title. During the postseason, they showed everyone why they won 108 regular season games. They were the league’s best from late-March to the present; so it’s only fitting they captured the prize.

Moreover, I am absolutely THRILLED for David Price and Steve Pearce!

Price’s tenure in Boston has been controversial. But after some stellar performances this month, he has slammed the door on all the haters and critics. David Price is a much-deserved world champion and no one can take that away from him. As he told reporters during the post-game news conference, he now holds the trump card.

I always liked Price and this was before he was traded to the Blue Jays in 2015. Watching him bolt from the dugout to celebrate his team’s triumph put a big smile on my face. Fairly certain I wasn’t the only one.

We know what a Steve Pearce hot streak looks like. Seriously, the man couldn’t have picked a better time to go on one. Regardless of what happens next for him, he has achieved folk hero status in Massachusetts.

It was also funny how certain members of Jays Twitter freaked out over Pearce’s MVP performance.

“HOW COULD THEY PAY TO GET RID OF STEVE PEARCE AND GET NOTHING SUBSTANTIAL IN RETURN?!” they shouted.

I guess these particular fans never saw a team rebuild before.

***
Small Housekeeping Note

I’ve joined forces with Jays Journal’s Ari Shaprio and will be contributing items to his website – AriShaprio.ca – in addition to my usual DNJT stuff. Currently, I have two pieces up: A short story called Living The Dream and an article entitled, October Baseball.

ER

David Staright @davidstaright – http://www.unsplash.com

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World Series Guess

October 22, 2018

Right about Boston and Los Angeles! Yes, I was patting myself on the back.

Anyway…

Los Angeles over Boston

It’s amazing to think that these two historic organizations have never faced each other in the World Series. That will change Tuesday night.

I want LA to win for two reasons:

1. They’re playing the Red Sox.

2. I’m a sucker for a dramatic storyline. A 92-win team defeating a 108-win team would be a smash hit.

Enjoy the series!

ER

ALCS/NLCS Guesses

October 12, 2018

So….I got every series right except for Houston/Cleveland. Thank you, Cleveland.

Anyway….

Boston over Houston
Los Angeles over Milwaukee

Here’s the thing: I’m a sucker for an underdog story; so I’d love to see the Brewers beat the glamorous Dodgers. However, my gut feeling is that the defending National League champs won’t be stopped.

To be honest, I hope Boston beats Houston only because the thought of Roberto Osuna pitching in the World Series – months after sitting in jail – sickens me.

ER

ALDS/NLDS Guesses

October 4, 2018

Wrong about Oakland, right about Colorado.

Anyway….

ALDS
Cleveland over Houston
Boston over New York

NLDS
Los Angeles over Atlanta
Milwaukee over Colorado

ER

Wild Card Guesses

October 2, 2018

To whom it may concern:

I anticipate a day of glorious triumph for the Colorado Rockies and Oakland Athletics.

Thank you.

ER

First Round, 22nd Pick

September 17, 2018

Man on the radio,
I’m driving while the city sleeps.
Tell me about the new draft pick.

He’s from Medford and runs with a proverb:
Height doesn’t measure heart.
It gives him a chip on his shoulder and
the meaning of life.
His life.

Man on the radio,
What’s the kid’s story?

Imagine being told you’re too small.
He got angry and
worked to prove everyone wrong,
using a fastball, slider and confidence.

Man on the radio,
what does his future look like?

He will tear his anterior cruciate ligament, but recover faster than anyone else.
He will help his team to the promised land after a 22-year odyssey.
He will earn a degree and several playoff starts.
He will win gold for his country.
He will build a fashion empire and maintain a mansion.
He will have ups and downs.
He will face adversity and a recurring blister.
He will energize the fan base.

You might be turned off by his bravado,
but baseball isn’t fun without character.
His character.

Man on the radio,
How will it all end?

Let the story play out.
Let the story play out.

ER

Josh Donaldson: He brought the rain and it was magical AF

September 3, 2018

Josh Donaldson’s tenure with the Blue Jays was a blessing. The events surrounding his departure really, really, REALLY suck. However, this is not as tragic as some have made it out to be.

Josh Donaldson was not going to finish 2018 in a Jays uniform. I made peace with this notion well before the season started. Unless the team was a legit contender for the second wild card spot, this was it for the Bringer of Rain.

I prayed he would be traded during the off-season. Prayed the Jays would get a king’s ransom in exchange. I get why they waited for the middle of the regular season – contending teams would be increasingly desperate to land Donaldson’s services and therefore, empty their shelevs of young, developing talent.

Of course, that didn’t happen. Josh gingerly walked off the field in May, never to return wearing a Jays uniform; his value drastically fell.

Who’s to blame? Nobody.

Donaldson didn’t intend to miss a significant chunk of the season. Mark Shapiro, Russ Atkins and the rest of front office didn’t anticipate something like this to happen, nor would they want it to happen.

Of course, social media is more than happy to point fingers.

On social media, Shapiro and Atkins have screwed up everything!!!! Some have claimed they have set the team back by decades. Others have filed a non-confidence motion. Heck, if Shapiro and Atkins saved 1000 orphans from a towering inferno, they’d still be villanized.

So let’s take a breath.

The Blue Jays are rebuilding. It has been evident for a while. Whether you like it or not, they are a team in transition. Keeping Josh Donaldson would be counter-productive. A player of his caliber and age – if healthy, obviously – would naturally yield younger, developing talent. It’s not a perfect formula, but it only makes sense to collect several “prospects” in exchange for Donaldson and hope some – if not all – live up to their full potential.

The only mistake Shapiro and Atkins made was not trading Donaldson before the season. An error that defines the concept of hindsight.

Here’s something else to consider: Do you really believe Donaldson wanted to be a Blue Jay after 2018?

Think about it. He’s in his early 30s and about to become a free agent. He wants to win now. He expects to win now. Why would he stay in Toronto and endure a rebuild that doesn’t have a definitive timeline? Donaldson has earned the right to play for whoever he wants; so the Jays might as well get something for him, even if it’s unfortunately not a king’s ransom.

While Donaldson and Atkins have both paid the appropriate amount of lip service post-trade, we may never know what actually happened behind the proverbial closed doors. Maybe there were diagreements. Maybe feelings were hurt.

There will be some who desperately need to know what occurred for their own agendas. But for me….I just don’t give a damn.

When I think about Josh Donaldson, I won’t think about his departure. I’ll think of the man who told the world that this was the “get it done league.”

I’ll think of the man who dove into the first few rows at Tropicana Field to catch a foul ball.

I’ll think of the man who crushed a walk-off home run at the final home game of the 2015 season, sending the crowd into a frenzy; including yours truly from my right field seat in the 200s.

I’ll think of the man who knocked in the tying run in game five of the 2015 ALDS, setting the stage for Jose Bautista’s iconic bat flip.

I’ll think of the man – who I witnessed from my perch in section 525 – dive gracefully across home plate, clinching game three and an ALDS series sweep in 2016.

Damn right his name should be added to the level of excellence. He was the American League’s most valuable player in 2015. The only other Blue Jay who won AL MVP is already on the LOE.

Josh Donaldson was the glue, the missing piece, the magic tonic. He brought the rain and it was MAGICAL! His unfortunate departure will never overshadow his impact.

I really hope things work out for him in Cleveland and of course, with the Blue Jays’ long-term plan. Seeing a popular player get traded is never pleasant.

Just remember: It’s going to be okay.

ER


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