World Series Champions: the Chicago Cubs
By Stevil, November 3rd, 2017
|Former Mariners pitcher Mike Montgomery participating in a human totem pole after clinching victory with his first major league save--in game 7 of the World Series! Photo from the Chicago Tribune.|
Most people outside of Cleveland believed the Cubs would win the 2016 World Series. Many people believed that before the season even started. The Cubs took a good 2015 team and made it better. There were no holes, no question marks. All they seemingly had to do was go through the motions.
Well, it wasn't quite that simple, as it never is in baseball. Time proved they needed a better option to close. They also needed a left handed relief pitcher, and even starting pitching depth, as the season took it's toll. So, they shipped a considerable load of minor league talent, along with their souls and first born sons, to address the needs that arose--and it paid off. Mike Montgomery actually addressed two needs, and though Chapman blew the lead in game 7, he was a critical part of their success. Credit the Cubs brass for assessing and executing exceptionally well. Their disregard for eternal sovereignty in exchange for short-term pleasures should serve as the text book example of how to make a deal with Lucifer, aka: Brian Cashman, New York Yankees, work. Worth noting, Jerry Dipoto did a clever job of squeezing a bat and a starting pitcher out of Montgomery. He may very well have picked their pockets, while o diablo took most of the credit.
Though even with all the necessary pieces, we watched Maddon make some questionable decisions. I think it's safe to assume there was a little demon sitting on his shoulder, whispering into his ear; instilling fear and paranoia. The most significant of his mistakes, in my opinion, was using Chapman in game 6 with a 5 run lead. That very well may have effected his performance in game 7. But much like Guyer and Davis' incredible performances, things like that will be forgotten. I just hope the Indians are finally given their much-deserved respect, as they proved to be one heck of an opponent for the mighty Cubs--and they nearly took it all. They paid a high-price themselves in exchange for Miller, but Miller came with control and an affordable contract, considering his value. We'll call that a 1-1 score between Cleveland and the forces of evil.
In the end, despite a boring game 2 and a kind of boring game 6, this was the most entertaining World Series I've ever seen. Certainly the best game 7 I've ever seen. It was probably the best game 7 most people have seen. Being that this was one of the most watched series in Baseball history, what I'm suggesting is supported by numbers. My opinions may carry little weight, unlike my waistline, but fortunately I have just enough wits to find quick support with fiscal numbers when my mouth is in danger of putting me in the hot-seat.
With any luck, this has injected baseball with a shot of intrigue that leads to a resurgence of participation in America's Pastime, steering youth onto the fields and out of the online game rooms. Call it another opinion, or whatever you will, but with an election around the corner which will likely leave the United States with a nutcase at the reigns, things like baseball may quietly prove to be a refuge from some of the craziness that has consumed our ever-devolving minds.
With that said, I look forward to an active offseason and dread the wait for April.