Congratulations to the Kansas City Royals, the 2015 World Champions! I predicted the Royals would win it in 5 after Game 1, but I would have rather have been wrong and have seen the Mets win last night so the Royals could have won it at home.
Now, my gripes:
First Gripe: Remember that I remain loyal to “My Tigers” from the “Who’s Your Tiger?” campaign. My Mariner who became My Cub (Austin Jackson) and My Yankee who is now My Met (Curtis Granderson) were both in the post season this year. There were other former Tigers and former Reds in the post season too, including Johnny Cueto who started this year as the Reds’ Ace and ends it with a ring from Kansas City. The Reds and Tigers ended 2015 in the basement of their respective divisions. A good portion of the Kansas City roster was built through their own system, having scored some high draft picks in their worst years. With salary caps the trade deadline becomes less of “a thing” and the playing field becomes level. Franchises can build within their own systems and there is no need to buy and sell championships.
Second Gripe: Last year having been such a “devastating loss” in Game 7 and coming back this year not just determined to get back to the World Series, but almost as if anything but winning it wouldn’t be good enough, because it had been SO LONG since they’d won the title. I will NEVER understand the concept that being the second greatest team in the league in any given year is somehow failure. Yes, winning is fun and an accomplishment, but winning and losing is not synonymous to success or failure.
The Royals have worked hard to develop the great team they have and they’ve earned the title; they weren’t entitled to it, but they earned it. If the Mets had won it this year, the Royals would still be a great team and winners for having been there 2 years in a row. Okay, soapbox notwithstanding, the Tigers haven’t won the title since 1984 and last I checked that was before 85, so forgive me if I congratulate you although my violin that plays “My Heart Bleeds For You” was very small.
Third Gripe: My last gripe is ages old. Mariano Rivera was a modern exception and I love Aroldis Chapman and rallied that he was great closer material rather than a starter, but I still remain of the opinion that the closer is the most overrated position in current day baseball. (although it's still better than the designated hitter) If you have a closer that can get it done, great, but don’t be so stubborn about the job title that you throw out the baby with the bathwater when you put him on the mound. Regardless of the score or inherited runners, the job of that last pitcher is to get quick outs and not let any runners advance.
Baseball Trivia: Who is the only closer to blow three saves in one World Series?
Answer: Jeurys Familia, 2015 Mets.
There have only been 2 other World Series with three blown saves (2001, 2010,) but never by the same pitcher or even the same team all three times.