Many baseball pundits called the 2014 World Series, between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals, “one of the most exciting World Series ever!” Perhaps so; I couldn’t say because I did not watch even one pitch! Why? There was absolutely no interest on my part whatsoever! Sure, I was happy for Tim Hudson winning a World Series ring at the age of 39 and for Jake Peavy, who won his second straight ring (he was also on the 2013 Boston Red Sox). Other than that, I didn’t care who played or who won.
Reason number one: Neither participants in the 2014 World Series won even 90 games during the regular season. Kansas City was 89-73 and, if they had lost just two more games, they would not have even made the playoffs! Meanwhile, the Giants won only 88 times and finished six games behind NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers…SIX! Call me old-fashioned, but I think the World Series should feature the two best teams in baseball. Of course, if that was true, the Giants would not have won the Series this year and the St. Louis Cardinals would not have won it all in 2011.
Reason number two: I just don’t like the Giants and the Royals! As a Southern Californian, I and the rest of SoCal fans consider the Giants “The Hated Ones”. And, since I grew up in suburban Detroit, the Royals are another hated rival! After the Dodgers, Angels and Tigers all “tanked” in the first round, my interest in the playoffs was snuffed out.
Speaking of the above-mentioned pundits, many were bubbling over with joy, wondering on the air and in print, if the Giants would considered a “dynasty”. Really? They win the World Series three times in five years and they should be considered a dynasty? PLEASE! If you want to know what a baseball dynasty is, go back and look at the New York Yankees, who won five consecutive World Series titles from 1949 through 1953 and four more straight titles from 1996 through 2000 (they lost the 2001 World Series to Arizona in seven games after leading three games to two). Or, how about the Oakland Athletics, who won three straight titles in 1972, 1973, and 1974? Those, my friends, were dynasties!
Then, I heard on a sports talk show that Giants’ pitcher Madison Bumgarner (two wins, a save and a 0.43 ERA) had the “best pitching performance in the history of the World Series!” Sorry, but in my opinion. he doesn’t even make the top three! In the 1967 World Series, “Bullet” Bob Gibson of the Cardinals had a 3-0 record (three complete games) with an ERA of 1.00. The following year, Detroit’s Mickey Lolich, who was not even the ace of the Tigers’ staff (that honor went to Denny McLain, who won 31 games), won three games (also tossing three complete games) including the seventh and deciding game on just two days rest! And, oh by the way, Lolich blasted an upper-deck home run…the only homer in his 16-year career!
In the 1988 World Series, Orel Hershiser of the Dodgers won twice and allowed just one run in 18 innings. The only reason he did not win more games is that the Dodgers won the Series in five games.
Writers! Sports talk show hosts! Before you say somebody “turned in the best performance ever”, check the records. Be prepared to back up what you say!