I have not watched an inning, an out, a pitch, since the Mets disintegrated what seems like months and months ago.
I just can’t watch. I gave so much to the Mets all season, probably 125 parts of 162 games. Got nothing left.
Philadelphia is playing Houston in the World Series – now the coda to a long and lucrative process, four separate rounds as northern weather gets more iffy.
(I know, I know, last year I railed against baseball adopting the basketball/hockey endless playoffs, but this year I give up. The World Series has become "The Finals."
Baseball needs to make money so badly that, in the era of Rob Manfred, they play forever, pimping for gambling sites, encouraging people with a gambling jones to put money on each pitch, each swing.
After a year of Mets melodrama, I need a break – reading good books, watching the tube with my wife, puttering around the house, seeing our family, at least until the pandemic clamps down again.
(Well, not exactly. In the spirit of conscientious bloggery, I must admit I will be watching the World Cup of soccer, in Qatar, beginning on Nov. 20, with the United States meeting Wales the next day. The World Cup only comes around once every four years, which is part of the mystique of the event, although the masters of world soccer keep twitching to run the event more frequently. The dopes.)
Only one more thing about this World Series: Nothing against the Phillies, who staged a gallant rally late in the season, when they had been dead meat under Joe Girardi. Good for them. My Pennsylvania relatives report loud noise from Philly. Enjoy.
However, I am rooting for Houston for one reason only – Dusty Baker. He was a friend of my late pal, Bob Welch, with the Dodgers, and he runs in the same circles as some other friends in the Bay Area, and he has had some memorable managing gigs. Only thing he hasn’t done is win a World Series. Go Dusty.
I did consult a few good friends of mine from Jamaica High in Queens, back in the day, to see how they feel about the "World Series."
By Walter Schwartz
For much of the past season, the Yankees were, or at least thought they were, the best team in the world, or the pre-determined champions of the world. But that was before they won their division and were given a bye in the first round.
Soon after mid-season, it began to come tumbling down and the deficiencies became apparent: a straggling bullpen, a struggling bench and a stultifying manager.
A lot has already been said about the uncertainty of their relief pitchers and reserve players, but a major part of the issue is the guy in the dugout, a sullen, unapologetic, inconsistent handler who begrudgingly dodged post-game questions (many of them softball) from the media and walked off without ever thanking any member of them.
Every one of the post-game commentators (including Michael Kay and David Cone) rebuked the manager for his pitching and lineup tactical decisions during the Astros series. Anyone who thinks the vociferous shouts we heard were only for Donaldson, Carpenter and, sadly, Judge, is mistaken. The way I saw and heard it, the loudest of the fans were booing, “Boooooone”.
So where does this go or should go? I know the present manager remains under contract (as was Joe Girardi who was let go by the Phillies and look what happened afterwards!), but if I were a gambler I’d place a bet on whether Boone was invited back, although the odds would be changing from batter to batter and inning to inning.
(I might suggest to the Commissioner doing just that during the Houston-Philly series.) That’s how ridiculous and greedy it is for baseball to allow between-inning, and at other times, betting commercials to infiltrate the “national pastime” and particularly the children who watch them.
And that’s my take how the Yankees got yanked.
(Walter Schwartz was once upon a time the editor of the Hilltopper, the newspaper of Jamaica High School, long since put out of existence by New York "leaders" who, of course, knew best.)
By Jean White Grenning
(Jean is our Class-President-for-Life. As the pandemic abated for the warm months, she and Phyllis Rosenthal were known to take in a ballgame here and there, in our home borough.)
We are “The Ballpark Twins.” Loyal Mets fans to the end.
It may be an old saying but “Wait til next year!!”
George, I have no great love for Yankees but they are a New York team so I was hoping they would win. They are like the rich kid whose father can buy him everything but he can’t buy him a winning team.
That’s it from me. Jean
By Alan Levine
So now we get to the World Series, with the best team in the American League facing a National League team that finished a fairly distant third in its division. I consider this a ludicrous state of affairs, fueled by television networks and greedy owners and players. That three teams who had won more than one hundred games each were eliminated in a hodge-podge of short, jerry-built, sudden-death series tarnishes a game meant to reward hard work and season-long persistence.
Here is my proposal for restoring the big leagues to a semblance of sanity, which probably illustrates nothing more than how old I am.
1. Add one team to each league.
2. Divide each league into two, strictly geographical, divisions.
3. Eliminate all regular season interleague play.
4. Have each team play fourteen games against each of the teams in its division and eight games against each of the teams in its league's other division.
5. At the end of the 162-game season, each league has a best-of-seven playoff between the two division champions.
6. The World Series will be between the winners of each league's playoff.
7. Everyone goes home by Columbus Day.
8. We'll discuss the designated hitter some other time. As for the ghost runner, there is no discussion. Keep him in the dugout.
(Alan Levine is my friend from junior high school. He is still working.)
10/26/2022 09:53:54 am
Thanks for sharing these exchanges, George. Alan, great thoughts on fixing Wild Card gone wild. I'm sure the pointy pencils at MLB have all kinds of grubby (to us true believers) commercial reasons not to mess with the status quo, but I'm on board with your suggestions. And of course: Baseball should not be played in November. Cheers.
10/26/2022 10:38:44 am
Alan, you’re basically suggesting that MLB take the system it used beginning in 1969 (two six-team divisions in each league, with the playoffs consisting of the division leaders and then the league winners facing off) and expand it to two eight-team divisions in each league — even though, since 1994, MLB has continually added layer upon layer of playoff rounds.
10/26/2022 04:59:38 pm
Peter, totally agree, except that 2001 season was extended for hideous reasons -- and I was in Yankee Stadium for WS games. Geo W Bush threw a fastball with the swagger of a Rich Gossage -- my admiration for him leaped -- and Derek Jeter hit a homer just past midnight, with millions of fansm Yankees and others, calling him Mister November. Other than that, the World Series belongs in benign weather. GV
10/26/2022 10:57:26 am
One of the things we love about baseball is the better team doesn't win as often as other sports. One of the things we hate is.......that the better team doesn't win as often. Not system of playoffs is going to change this, and we should be happy it doesn't. Lots of things have changed since 1969. This fundamental fact of baseball hasn't. We should cherish our eternal verities. There aren't that many.
Alan D. Levine
10/26/2022 11:39:52 am
Nothing new to add at this point, but I want to be sure I get notifications of new posts.
10/26/2022 12:00:48 pm
I have very little to add here, because I do not follow the game any more. Although I really have not rooted for any team other than the Yankees for more than the past 50 years (and still consider the only variance in the past 60+ years, in 1969, a psychological flaw on my part), I have not been a very devoted fan recently. I haven't been to the new Stadium for a baseball game. I did not watch a pitch of the Astros series. I could blame the time-consumption of trying to watch a ballgame, or I could be honest and say how depressing it would be to watch the Yankees lose. I have mixed emotions about the prospect of a Subway Series when it seems plausible. The Yankees' winning a Subway Series would be wonderful! Losing it would be devastating.
10/26/2022 05:01:54 pm
Andy, to paraphrase Dickens: "Spellcheck is an ass." GV
10/26/2022 02:05:17 pm
Alan’s suggestion makes such sense it clearly stands no chance.
10/26/2022 05:07:51 pm
10/26/2022 07:20:30 pm
Right George, Hermanski #22 I think started in Left that day. Dixie Walker soon took over right, he had been leading hitter. When his attitude toward Jackie came out he was persona non grata with me, and soon with Rickey. He had a liquor store in Rockville Centre, but it did not matter.
10/26/2022 02:15:49 pm
Thank you for all the details about baseball. Maybe we will have a Subway World Series next year.
10/26/2022 04:34:43 pm
Frank Sinatra recorded a song about 50 years ago called There Used To Be A Ballpark.
10/26/2022 05:11:27 pm
He Randolph here a few more lyrics,
Alan D. Levine
10/26/2022 05:15:45 pm
Ed--One of is confused. I remember, "We're calling ball fans, all you Giant ball fans." The Brooklyn song was "Follow the Dodgers."
10/26/2022 04:54:37 pm
Randolph, I see the first words (know the song) and immediately i feel it could be opening day of 2023 at NewShea Stadium.
10/28/2022 11:21:44 pm
I'm happy and grateful to say that when my wife and I traveled to the U.S. some years back, our visit served as one of George's "excuses" for a pilgrimage to the site of Ebbets Field.
10/29/2022 01:24:29 pm
Gene: To tell the truth, the detour around the Ebbets Field site was not the highlight of the day; for us, it was getting to know Guadalupe. Our regards to you both. G&M
10/26/2022 07:24:28 pm
Alan, nobody’s prefect, even me. It was only 75 or so years ago.
10/26/2022 09:44:06 pm
“Who played for three NY teams?"
10/27/2022 01:02:40 pm
Who played with the Lions and the Tigers in Detroit?
10/27/2022 02:41:03 pm
Not to interrupt “Your Hit Parade,” but in the likely who cares dept.—NY Knicks 3-1; Nets, 1-3.
Alan D. Levine
11/4/2022 10:34:41 pm
Did you read Rob Manfred's press release this AM? The new format is wonderful. The stands are crowded, TV revenue is up. We are seeing the future, I'm afraid.
Comments are closed.
“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.