The Dodgers, the Yankees, and the 1997 Reds?
Brad is the de facto baseball chief here at SportsIntel but I thought I’d offer a few thoughts on my relationship to baseball considering the World Sereies is about to conclude on Wednesday. Okay, my mom asked me to write about it and I said I would. Sheesh.
If you were to check out my bio on the site, I very clearly claim to be a Yankees fan (I know, I know, cringe), but some of you don’t know I’m also a Dodgers fan. Double cringe. I can imagine the expression on your face, dear reader, and it doesn’t faze me, I’ve grown rather fond of the contempt and disgust over the years.
Besides, allow me to explain, it’s a half-decent story.
My earliest memories of baseball were as a youngster in little league and like so many others, my father assisted in coaching my team. I enjoyed sharing baseball with my father while growing up, and I naturally grew up watching my local professional baseball team. My local team was the Dodgers, my father’s team. I’ll admit, there was a brief, very misguided flirtation with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (my first live major league baseball game) but I grew weary of saying the name. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
So, why then, the Yankees?
Yogi Berra married into my grandmother’s family and used to visit their farm back in Missouri and I thought that was fascinating. Now I don’t remember what came first, the 1997 Reds with my dad, or my introduction to Yogi, but my grandmother introduced me to the Yankees legend when I was growing up and I knew, I’d always be a fan. It’s a quaint, far removed connection to an amazing person who left a lasting impression on me that I really couldn’t put into words, and to a team from a far away city, but it’s certainly a connection I took to heart as a young baseball player.
He was a catcher. I was a catcher.
Grandma Rose posing with cousin Yogi.
I am and will always be, a Yankees fan.
Unfortunately, the Astros knocked the Yankees out in game seven of the American League Championship Series. It would have been an ‘interesting’ World Series had both the Yankees and Dodgers made it to the final show. And to add insult to injury, the damn Astros have a chance at knocking out both of my squads in a game seven decider!
Speaking of… the Dodgers win game seven! That’s my 11th hour prediction. No surprise there. I thought Kenley Jansen showed up big time in the closing moments of game six and put his previous performances behind him. And after a disappointing loss to the Astros in game five, the Dodgers were able to overcome Justin Verlander and reliever Joe Musgrove in the sixth and seventh innings to rally for the team win. Joc Pederson hit his third home run of the series and I’m hoping the offensive display by the Dodgers over the last three games returns on Wednesday.
Heading into the final game, the big news is Yu Darvish getting the nod to open things up. He was shelled in his first World Series appearance giving up four runs on six hits in just 1.2 innings of play, an uncharacteristic performance that I don’t expect to see again. I’m excited to see how he bounces back on Wednesday and like Kenley Jansen I believe he’s motivated and talented enough to rebound and show why he’s pitching on the world’s biggest stage. I anticipate another high-powered showing from both teams though, and I can only hope the Dodgers emerge victorious when it’s all said and done.