By JOHN JAMES MARSHALL/Designated Writers
There are couple of things that come to mind as the World Series begins in Arlington.
First is that there is a World Series at all, much less in Arlington, since the Texas Rangers were nobody’s idea of a championship team at any point in the season.
If we had listened to all the hysteria earlier in the season when the Miami Marlins had a virus situation, we wouldn’t have made it through August, much less October.
Believe me, I kept track.
“Poor leadership by baseball’s powers that be.” I heard this on an afternoon sports talk show by an NBA shill. It was just two weeks into the season but no one was in the mood to let it all play out.
“It’s only going to get worse.” Doomsayers were hoping so, but it never did, although the St. Louis Cardinals had a bit of a situation as well. Sure, some teams (especially the Cardinals) had to play an inordinate number of doubleheaders, but when it was all said and done, do you know how many games weren’t played in the entire schedule? Two … and that was a meaningless Cardinals-Tigers doubleheader.
“If only they had gone to a bubble like the NBA.” Not very practical and a complete knee-jerk reaction. The NBA could do it fo a number of reasons that didn’t apply to baseball. Basketball did do a great job of doing what it needed to do.
But you know who else did a great job of doing what it had to do? Baseball. The sport didn’t react to the latest daily outcry. MLB believed in what it was doing, navigated all the speed bumps and had a playoff plan that allowed it to give the best chance to finish the season.
Which is all you could really hope for when this started back in late July.
The other thought is that it’s a good thing that the participants this year are the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays. Both finished as the top team in their respective leagues. The last thing baseball needed was to have some shocking upsets and let the talk of a non-legitimate champion begin. In any other season, that would add to the intrigue. In this one, it has played out almost just like it was planned.
It’s October and we can all do what we are supposed to do — enjoy the World Series.