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Friday, May 6, 2016

Basic Biittner: Another "Unofficial" World Series

Monday, October 16, 2006

The end of the Major League Baseball season is rapidly approaching - which is good, I guess, because there's hardly any room for it at this time of the year, what with junior highs, high schools, colleges, and professionals all deep into their football seasons. The NBA has started their pre-season games too, and the National Hockey League - I THINK- has started their regular season also- although I may be wrong about that. They , too , may still be in their pre-season mode.

Let us not forget that area high schools are almost at tournament time in volleyball and cross country too. - and, of course, high school and college basketball and wrestling are right around the corner also.

It looks like the "unofficial World Series" (see cartoon) will again feature at least one team that is what I call a "Butch Cassidy" team (as in "Who are those guys?"- a line from the movie). The leading candidate for that slot would be the Detroit Tigers. Catcher Pudge Rodriguez and Manager Jim Leyland are the only people associated with the Tigers with whom I'm even faintly familiar- both because they've been around for years, and contributed to previous teams with whom they've been associated.

(Photo)
Unofficial World Series - Frank Miller
Detroit is playing the Oakland A's (or have they gone back to being the Athletics again?) in the American League Championship Series this week, while the New York Mets battle the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS. I' m really not much more familiar with the players on either the Oakland or Metropolitans rosters than I am with the Tigers - a situation much like it was last post-season.

St. Louis, on the other hand, is one of the oldest and most traditional baseball franchises, with a long, colorful, successful history . First baseman Albert Pujols is probably the best, and most consistent, hitter to come along in the last 30-40 years. Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen are legitimate All-Stars also, though both have have sub-par seasons, due at least in part to several injuries.

My Yankees, of course, totally fizzled out in the ALDS, but - you have to admit, stil lead the league in controversy and rumors. Tuesday's Joe Torre news conference, which he called to announce that he WAS coming back next season to manage the Bronx Bombers, seemed like a flashback to the old 1970s "Bronx Zoo" days. One big difference, of course, is that Torre will be serving his twelfth season as Yankee skipper next season. The late Billy Martin would have served 3-4 different terms with the Yanks during a 12-year period - in addition to managing two or three other teams between his Yankee gigs.

I guess I'll root for the Tigers if they make the Series this year - I've always liked "underdogs," and they're certainly one of the season's biggest stories, just a couple of years rempved from a 119-loss season. If the Cardinals are their opponents, though, my "traditionalist" side will be in conflict with the "underdog" side, and I'll be dazed and confused - kind of normal for me.

Go Yankees! As the old Brooklyn Dodger fans (and Cub fans over the last 60+ years) say, "Wait 'Til Next Year!"

Dan Whitney
Basic Biittner