Basic Biittner: Post Season Blues

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

To no one's real surprise, once again this fall we will have an "Unofficial World Series." To the uninitiated, the late Des Moines Register cartoonist Frank Miller declared many years ago that any World Series in which the New York Yankees were not participants was not an "Official" World Series, and many of us have held to that belief.

The really weird thing this year is that with four teams left in the running for the World Series title this year, not only do we know that the Yankees won't be the champs this year, we also know that the second most successful franchise in MLB history, the St. Louis Cardinals, will also not be hoisting any more trophies or spraying champagne this year - even though they had baseball's best regular season mark this year.

Well surely, you say, the Dodgers must be WS participants this year. Not so - although I predict that both of this year's combatants will be wearing "Dodger Blue" uniforms.

Well then, you say, surely that doesn't mean that the Giants aren't in the hunt, does it? I mean, did they change their unis to blue?

No sir, I reply. You should have known the Giants would be nowhere near the World Series this year - it not being an even numbered year.

The four teams left standing, following an exciting round of League Division Series are the Blue Jays, Mets, Royals and Cubs. Yes, you read that correctly. I'm guessing that the Cubs will be the sentimental media favorite for the simple fact that they haven't won a World Series since 1908 - and even been in the Series since 1945. Many media, of course, will be rooting for the Mets, simply because they're from New York. The Royals are an exciting young team to watch, but some will think of them as last year's "flavor of the month," and the Blue Jays - well, they're not even from this country, are they?

Of the four remaining teams, the Royals are the only team that has played in the World Series recently. The Mets have been there this century (barely, losing to the Yankees in the 2000 World Series0, but the Blue Jays haven't been ther since they won two Series in a row, in 1992 and 1993. A result no disturbing to baseball that they canceled the entire 1994 season, including the World Series. As the late lamented Yogi would say, "You Could Look It Up." And the Cubs, as we've said, last played in the World Series five years before I was born ... and I'm on Medicare now!

I for one, though, am looking forward to the UWS. Last year's UFS between the Giants and Royals was a pretty good series, as have been many

UFSes (?).

One interesting thing about one of the World Series possibilities this year. Though it has been 55 years since the "expansion era" of MLB began, taking the league from the 16 teams who played from 1901-1960 to the size of the current league, and many expansion teams have played in or even won World Series titles, this year - 2015- would be the very first World Series between expnsion era teams IF the Mets are the NL's

representative.

I have a sure bet for you, though, nd you can take this to the bank. This year's World Series winner will be the team wearing blue uniforms. You heard it here first.