I have no dog in this fight. The Baltimore Orioles finished their season nearly a month ago. Freed of the shackles of agonizing over every single pitch, I’ve spent the month of October rooting for one thing, and one thing only — baseball. What a ride it’s been.
Spare me the baseball is dying talk. It’s not. Baseball is healthier than it has ever been, and this postseason shows it. A 21-year-old Carlos Correa became the youngest player to bat third in a playoff game since Mickey Mantle. In 1953. All Correa did in his first game batting third in the playoffs was hit two home runs. It was in that same game that the governor of Texas celebrated a victory an inning too early. The Kansas City Royals stormed back, and are now just two wins away from their first title since 1985.
Baseball’s postseason returned to Canada for the first time since 1993. One of the most insane games you will ever see capped off the Blue Jays first series victory in over 20 years. A run scored after a throw back to the pitcher ricocheted off a bat that lingered just a second too long. Pandemonium would have ensued in the streets of Toronto, but baseball has a funny way of righting itself. Three errors and one infamous bat flip later, the Blue Jays were on to face the Royals in the ALCS.
I’ve made it this far without even touching on the fact that Chicago Cubs rookies hit ten big flies before bowing out in the NLCS. The old Major League record for rookie home runs in an entire postseason for all teams combined was … drumroll please … nine. Kyle Schwarber hit a home run so epic, it was turned into a landmark.
There’s a new top dog in the Big Apple. Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard have owned the postseason, and have combined to earn about as much money this season as Clayton Kershaw earned in 12 innings this year. David Wright, The Captain, is playing in the World Series after almost seeing his career lost to spinal stenosis.
In the studio, Fox has somehow managed to assemble a team of former players actually willing to have fun and say interesting things. Alex Rodriguez is somehow less of a villain, while Pete Rose has been comedic (albeit unintentional) gold. Even Frank Thomas, who couldn’t have looked stiffer when on air at the All-Star Game, is having a blast. Even when the broadcasters go off the rails — I’m talking to you Harold Reynolds — it’s a good thing. Baseball should be ecstatic that millions of Canadians are pissed off by an announcer questioning their ability to catch a ball.
Baseball is relevant. The 2015 postseason has been one of the most riveting in ages. The World Series started out with an inside-the-park home run for crying out loud. I don’t hate bat flips. I love them, but some of you hate them. Whatever you believe, the bat flips of Jose Bautista, Eric Hosmer, Yoenis Cespedes, and Schwarber are a win for baseball. We’re talking about them! We’re debating them! We’re passionate about baseball! We’re watching highlight after highlight of exciting young players under the age of 25!
Someone will win the World Series in four to seven games. Their fans will go home happy. The rest of us should go home happy too. Major League Baseball has been the biggest winner of the 2015 postseason.