Today is a sad day. Baseball is officially over.
The San Francisco Giants broke a 56-year title drought by beating the Texas Rangers in five games, in a decidedly lacklustre World Series.
Now, we can all turn our attention to the offseason, to free agency, trades, and rumour mongering.
But before we get there, here are my final thoughts on the 2010 World Series.
1.When your team is stacked with Josh Hamilton, Vladimir Guerrero, Michael Young, Nelson Cruz, and Ian Kinsler, and your best hitter is Mitch Moreland, you’re in trouble. Texas’ big five were terrible, combining for a .167 average, 2 HR, 6 RBI, .485 OPS, and 17 strikeouts. Guerrero was especially bad (.071 avg, .205 OPS), looking terrible at the plate and even worse in an embarrassingly bad Game 1 in RF. Coming into the series, the big bats had to do most of the damage for the Rangers to win, and they didn’t. The best hitting team in baseball scored a grand total of 10 runs, and only three in the last four games.
2.For all the talk about Cliff Lee being a playoff machine, it was Tim Lincecum who stole the show in the World Series. Coming into the WS, Lee was a career 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA in the playoffs, and a sparkling 3-0 0.75 ERA against Tampa and New York this year. But he was pounded by the Giants, giving up 9 ER in only 11.2 IP, losing both starts.
On the other hand, Lincecum, though not as spectacular as Lee, had a pretty nice playoffs himself. Through the first two rounds he was 2-1, 1.93 ERA, and 30 K in 23.1 Ip. Against Texas he won twice, allowed 5 ER in 13.2 IP, and struck out 13. Oh – he also beat Derek Lowe, Roy Halladay, and Cliff Lee…twice.
3.I have developed a serious man crush on Buster Posey. The kid is unreal. Normally rookie catchers take a few years to develop into stars (see Wieters, Matt) but Posey came out slugging right away. He is the likely NL Rookie of the Year recipient. He hit .288 with a .744 OPS in his first career postseason, all while having to call the game from behind the plate. He hit .300 with a homer in the World Series. He is 23 but looks like he’s 11. And he retired Edgar Renteria in the postgame interviews, saying “I’m glad he is going out on top,” even though Renteria has not decided to retire. Amazing!
4. What was supposed to be an incredibly tight World Series that promised for great drama, turned into a lackluster affair. Most pundits were calling for a 7-game series, but it lasted only five. The first two games featured sloppy defense and questionable managing. In none of the five games did the tying run come to the plate in the ninth. Forget about great drama – this series had NO drama.
When it comes to drama, the MLB Playoffs have been on a bad run recently. The last World Series to go the distance was 2002, when Anaheim beat the Giants. Since that time, only two have reached six games, with three series ending in five, and three in sweeps. And it’s not just the World Series either. The last ALCS to finish in seven was 2008. The NLCS hasn’t gone the maximum since ’06, and you have to go back to 2004 to find a year when BOTH LCS went seven games. Same goes for the Division Series. This year Texas and Tampa went the full five games, but that hasn’t happened since 2005. The last time multiple Division Series went the distance? 2003.
5. It’s now 100% official – I suck at predictions. Of the seven postseason series, I only predicted two of them correctly. This was going to be the year when Minnesota finally took down the Yankees, and Tampa Bay would overwhelm the Rangers. Then I said Philly would face the Yankees in a WS rematch. Uh…no. Rangers in seven? Not even close.
Can’t wait for spring training, when I can redeem myself with 2011 predictions. I can’t possibly get any worse…