At least this time they won by letting their talented players just play well. And no one can begrudge the classy and likable Dusty Baker earning his first World Series ring since he helped the 1981 Dodgers win the fall classic.
At least this time they way the Astros cheated their way to the final win was a legal, ‘old school’ baseball move — a guy who knows he can’t hit his way on stands right over the plate with his elbow in the strike zone and then ‘can’t quite get out of the way’ of a pitch he is trying to get hit with.
On this the Phillies had options. Zach Wheeler could have pitched Martin Maldonado away or the Phillies could have asked home plate umpire Lance Barksdale, before the first pitch, to instruct Maldonado to keep his elbow out of the strike zone lest it be struck.
They didn’t, and what Maldonado did might have been cheap but it was fair and let’s face it: the Astros won 19 more games than the Phillies during the regular season for a reason. For a change Houston won a World Series and they deserved it. What a concept.
My only complaint is that if MLB had a real commissioner, after the 2017 scandal the players would have not only been denied a ring to go with their “trophy” but those players would have been deemed ineligible, for the rest of their career, to receive a World Series ring. That would leave 5 current Astros (Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, Yuli Gurriel, Martin Maldonado, Lance McCullers) unable to receive jewelry to commemorate a feat everyone else achieves with integrity.
Contrast MLB’s “Bad Astros! Bad! You lose a couple draft picks. Next?” response with the NBA’s intervention with Kyrie Irving. Irving has literally done nothing objectionable on the basketball court in any way at any time. All he has done, on his own time, is share some links on social media that embarrass him, his team, his league, and all of humanity. And the NBA isn’t having it.
Irving was suspended 5 games without pay by the Brooklyn Nets and has since been suspended indefinitely because in the NBA, character, integrity, and justice matter more than free throws and dollars. Star power combined with promoting antisemitism earns you ticket to watch your own team from your couch. As it should be.
I would rant about all this on Twitter, but Elon Musk went and fired half the staff and now I’m unsure where I can get my essential misinformation, bigoted rants, ignorant comments about everything, and soft porn.
I’ll figure it out because I have an extra hour to work with thanks to daylight savings also being laid off while I was sleeping last night. That’s just one more hour to stare out the window and wait for spring.
Don’t leave us, though. At this very site, the coming weeks promise to be filled with more Wheat/Chaff analysis, off-season SIMs, news of Howard Terminal, the inevitable trades, a few signings, perhaps even a few surprises as no two seasons — nor two off-seasons — are alike. I’m thinking the big Yonny Hernandez signing won’t actually be the highlight.
2022 Astros: World Champions. Just another reminder that when you get down it, the 2022 baseball season really kinda sucked. And I miss it already.