The Season’s Almost Over #socs


Logo of Major League Baseball (MLB). (Copyright Major League Baseball, used under fair use)

Baseball season, that is. The World Series starts next Tuesday. Right now, we know the Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the teams in the World Series. The other team will either be the New York Yankees or the Houston Astros, who are tied at three wins each in their best-of-seven series, so they’ll play one more game tonight, with the winner going to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers in a best-of-seven series. The series could end as early as next Saturday or as late as a week from next Wednesday. Then, the 2017 season will be over, and the offseason begins.

I’m only mildly interested in the World Series, since neither the Chicago White Sox nor the Atlanta Braves are in it. They both had a pretty awful season, so they were done on October 1. Right now, the focus of the fans of both teams, and of the other 26 teams in the Major Leagues, is what the front offices of their teams will do between now and the beginning of next season to make the teams better: who will get traded and for whom, what free agents the team will sign, what changes in the leadership of the teams (i.e. manager, coaches, front office personnel) might take place, things like that.

Baseball is the only sport I follow with any interest. It’s the only game I understand, the only one I’ve taken any real interest in. I watch some other sports when they happen to be on TV and there’s nothing else to watch, and I was kind of a hockey fan back in grammar school, but baseball was really the only game I cared about. (Although Mary and I went through a period where we became really interested in bull riding and other rodeo sports.)

So, for most baseball fans, the season ended three weeks ago, and we wait in anticipation for the second week of February, when pitchers and catchers report to the various teams’ training camps for Spring Training. The 2018 season officially starts March 29, the earliest it’s ever started.

I can’t wait…


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word from Falstaff beer, for man-sized pleasure!

32 thoughts on “The Season’s Almost Over #socs

  1. My brother is a huge baseball fan ever since I can remember. In fact, he has collected cards since he was 5 and has amassed a huge collection worth quite a bit. He worked for a company where he actually created the back of the cards with all the statistics. His favourite is the Baltimore Orioles. I always hope that the Blue Jays will win again like they did, twice in a row, back in the early ‘90’s.

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    1. One of those back-to-back wins was against the Braves (’92). Bobby Cox managed the Jays in the Eighties, and helped them win the AL East in ’85. Sometimes I think he’s prouder of that than he was of the 14 divisional titles he had with the Braves.

      I collected baseball cards for a couple of years, and just tossed them out at the end of the season. That was back when they were a nickel a pack and you got a slab of horrible bubble gum with the cards. Guess I threw away a gold mine, huh? With all the advanced statistics they keep on players now, the back of the card isn’t big enough to hold all of them. I’ve been tempted to call the office of the Southern League (class AA), which is about a mile from my house, and see if they need a statistician…

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        1. The gum was always stale, as I remember. But that wasn’t why we bought the cards in the first place. There are some collectors that buy the cards and don’t unwrap them… very strange…

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  2. I follow baseball and will continue to through the final out of the World Series. I am not a fan of the Astros, but I hate the Yankees, so I’m pulling for Houston in tonight’s game. But if the Yankees win tonight, I’m going to become a huge Dodgers fan…at least until the end of the World Series.

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    1. Before divisional play and before there was an East-West playoff to decide who the league champion was, I would pick one or the other, but with so many levels of playoffs anymore, and with all the other changes they’ve added to the postseason, unless I have a dog in the fight, I go into offseason mode when the regular season is over. I’ll check the box scores the next day to find out what’s going on. I’m more interested to see what the Braves and White Sox are going to do this winter. I know the Braves have a huge mess on their hands (both on the field and in the front office) that might set the rebuilding effort back a few years. The White Sox have been rebuilding, it seems, since I started following them in the Sixties…

      The Yankees are, pardon my French, a pain in the ass. Always have been, always will be. Best thing the Dodgers could do would be to sweep them.

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  3. I am crying. Not only are the Giants not anywhere to be found, I HATE the Dodgers, especially Puig, and HATE the Yankees as well. I, too, am rooting for Houston tonight. If they don’t make it I’m pretty sure I won’t be watching any baseball until next year. It’s an even year so I’m holding out hope for my Giants again. Happy Saturday, John.

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    1. I spent most of my life watching teams that had no chance at all at even getting to the World Series (a fact we knew even before the regular season began in many cases), much less winning it. I’m used to this. Too much stress otherwise. All those years the Braves won a division title, I was a nervous wreck in October. One year, I visited the dentist after one of those seasons, and he told me I had a cracked molar and asked if I had been under any stress. I said “The Braves,” and he said, “oh, yeah.” The White Sox in 2005, on the other hand, was pretty easy, because they blew through all their opponents.

      As for this year, I’ll check the score periodically when they’re playing, maybe listen to a game or part of one, but since I have no interest in any of the teams, that’s as far as I’ll go. I’m not quite at the Grumpy Cat “I hope they BOTH lose!” stage, but I’ve pretty much put 2017 behind me. This winter will be interesting… the Braves are being disciplined because their general manager was caught tampering with international signings (that’s all I know; MLB won’t talk about it until after the World Series), they’ve fired two long-term coaches who were fan favorites when they played here (Terry Pendleton and Eddie Perez) and I expect them to make some wholesale changes in the front office. No idea what the White Sox will be doing yet. Guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

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            1. While free agency was a good thing because it put a player’s career more into his hands (before then the players were at the mercy of the owners), it also created a class of player whose only loyalty is to themselves. You don’t find players like Cal Ripken, George Brett, Chipper Jones and Derek Jeter anymore, who stayed with the same team for their entire career, even though they could have made more money by moving. For a lot of guys now (I won’t say everyone), it’s all about the money.

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                1. I’d say 90% or more of the players are good guys, most of whom are just the steady everyday guys that a team can’t do without. They’re just happy to be playing, they don’t have too many demands, don’t command a huge salary (though a lot of them make a couple of million a year) and always give 100%, whether they’re in the starting lineup, riding the pine or sitting in the bullpen. Makes the other 10% especially obvious…

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  4. My White Sox made a lot of moves to improve the team last season, hope it works , my favorite team was the AL champs of 1959.

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    1. I was a little young for that team, but a lot of the guys were still with the Sox in the early ’60’s. I hope it works, too. No idea what’s going to happen with the Braves… guess the boy genius GM got the team in trouble…

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  5. My grandmother Audiss Bohrer loved the Dodgers. When I’d visit her in the Hollywood Hills in the 1970s, she’d be watching games on TV if they were on. So I’d like to think she’d be happy with the Dodgers headed to the Series.

    For me, when the Cubs lost it was over. Unlike my middle brother Bruce, I was never much of a White Sox fan.

    But I played defense for three years in Wilmette League hockey before I got to high school. If it was around freezing, you’d check opposing forwards down into the puddles at either end of the (artificially-frozen) rink so they’d shiver the rest of the game. In those days, Fall always meant Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull, Glenn Hall and hoping for Black Hawks wins against the Original Six in the NHL.

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    1. The Blackhawks, Bruins, Rangers, Canadiens, Maple Leafs, and Red Wings, right? There are what, about six hundred teams in the NHL now? Seems that way…

      Was Vin Scully doing the TV side as well back then? He was a tremendous play-by-play man. I was in LA once and while I was driving around I found the Dodgers game on the radio. I just drove around for the next two hours and listened.

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  6. Talking about baseball and showing a beer commercial reminds me of the early television days in Chicago when a guy named Harry Creighton was Jack Brickhouse’s side kick on all Chicago baseball broadcasts. They were all sponsored by Hamms beer and the tag line for the commercial was, “….from the land of sky blue waters.” Well Harry C was known to partake of the brew during the broadcast and by the seventh inning or so it became evident that he wasn’t drinking soft drinks for six innings. He became notoriously know as “Sky Blue Watery Eyes Harry.”

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  7. You are probably not going to like me for saying this, but I have always been a Mets fan, however I lost most of my interest in baseball when all the players were testing positive for steroid use and they kept lying about it.

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    1. It’s not so much that they used steroids, it’s that so many of them lied about it. If you’re going to do something, at least own up to it. At the same time, MLB changes the list all the time and something a guy might have been taking for years can suddenly be forbidden. If he tests positive for it, do you suspend him?

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  8. My husband is a big fan of baseball and counts down to Spring training. I don’t mind watching some games with him, but not all, there are so many. I do like watching the little quirks they all seem to have and I really enjoyed the dance Mookie Betts and 2 other players used to do after winning.

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    1. We don’t have cable anymore, and since most games are now on cable, I don’t watch. MLB TV is $20 a month and you can’t see the games in your market (they’re blacked out), so it’s not worth it. I listen over Gameday Audio, $20 a year and you get both home and away radio feeds for all 2,430 games, plus Spring Training and the postseason. Who’d be without? I grew up listening to baseball on the radio, and even though I don’t get to see the walkoff celebrations and the things players do in the dugout and on the field, I really don’t mind. I can do other stuff (writing blog posts, answering comments, etc.) while listening. Even when I could see the games on TV, I’d just listen.

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