When baseball gets epic

 

Happy almost-Halloween! I’m back from a hiatus to weigh in on the World Series, which starts tomorrow night between the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals, and on the overall baseball season.

The World Series match-up isn’t what I had hoped for — I was rooting for the Chicago Cubs to meet the Toronto Blue Jays, the Cubs in large part because I knew my friend Matt Paolelli, a lifelong Cubs fan, and much of the great city where I went to graduate school would be thrilled, and the Blue Jays because, well, Canada has a new prime minister (like me, a literature student in undergrad!) who seems cool, so why not? But, I will probably tune in, if only because I like a few of the Mets players.

All joking about Justin Trudeau aside, the seventh inning of Game 5 of the ALDS should’ve been enough to make anyone like baseball. And no, I don’t think Jose Bautista was out of line at all with his bat flip — in a big moment in a big game like that, I’d be celebrating a little too. (As USA Today points out, perhaps the cultural differences between baseball players contributed to the negative reaction — or maybe people just don’t like to lose. Interesting tidbit from that article: “In Korea, for example, bat-flipping is commonplace, without negative repercussions.”)

Of course, the only reason I’m even discussing these teams is because the Nationals and Orioles both failed to even make the playoffs. The letdown seemed especially bad for the Nats, who had such high expectations, although Max Scherzer had great moments. My friend and colleague James daSilva weighed in on what the team needs to change, apart from firing manager Matt Williams.

Soon enough, it will be time to think about the Super Bowl and college bowl games (go Wildcats!). Until then, I’ll try to enjoy the last few days of what has become my favorite sport — and hopefully see some more memorable highlights.