World Baseball Classic 2017

The fourth World Baseball Classic begins in about a month and they have just released the rosters for all the teams. This time around there will be teams from Israel and Columbia for the first time. Now for a sport that originated in the US it is puzzling that the United States has only managed to finish 4th in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, which currently is the biggest Baseball tournament in the world. Sure Baseball is coming back at the 2020 Olympics but the US Baseball team hasn’t done well in these international competitions and I hope that at some point they can turn this around  and at least be competitive in baseball since Japan and other Asian nations (South Korea, Taiwan) have strong baseball roots. Just look at the Little League World Series where Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) and Japan have combined for 27 championships. Hopefully this will be able to whet my appetite for this upcoming season.

World Series 2016

History has happened after a very long time we finally have a Championship title for the Chicago Cubs it has been 108 years. Raise the White Flag. It was a well played game on both sides who would have thought we’d get a tied game in the ninth, a rain delay and extra innings baseball. It was fitting for the gravity of this game. Come April 3(10), 2017 the Anno Catulorum “In the Year of the Cubs” will read AC000000 for the first time ever. It was a tremendous game and a wonderful game for all involved it looked like the Cubs had it wrapped up early but Cleveland put up a fight and evened it up.  The game was a nail biter for sure and it seemed like it might not end this way or even go longer as in the bottom of the tenth, after the Cubs went up two runs in the top, Cleveland had the winning run up at bat but grounded out to end the game. This result is the opposite of what happened in the NBA Championship where Cleveland came back from a 3-1 deficit. The best part of this is that both team seems to have a young core that if they stay healthy can be dominate for years to come. Already, the Cubs are favorites to win the series in 2017. Opening day is only in a short five months away can I am sure that fans can’t wait for baseball to start again.

World Series 2016

This Tuesday begins a match up a half-century in the making as the Chicago Cubs will be playing in the Fall Classic for the first time since 1945 against the Cleveland Indians who hope to win for the first time since 1948. These are the two longest droughts in Major League Baseball (besides Washington which although hasn’t been since like ’33 didn’t have baseball for 30-something years) So by and large the Cubs are the Favorites and everyone is saying it is their year finally. Looking back over the year The Cubs went 15-5 against AL teams while Cleveland went 13-7 against NL teams yet just looking at this makes it rather difficult pick as they did not face each other at all this season in interleague play. The rematch will take place in 2018 at the earliest going by the existing scheduling rules when the same division face off between leagues.

The game is set and Tuesday can’t come soon enough for many fans. Either way this series goes it will be historic with an end to a historic World Series drought or the most improbable playoff upset since June when the record setting 73 win Golden State Warriors lost to the Cleveland Cavilers in seven games. Finally the and games will be broadcast on over the air network, FOX. I really hope that Chicago can win out this year.

Championship series

Well the Divisional round is finally over and before we have time to catch our breath the ALCS and NLCS are about to begin. The best thing is that whoever win will blue and white will win the day, also who ever make it to the World Series will breaking long droughts in ranging from 22 to 107 years.

In the American League it was pretty quick with the Toronto Blue Jays as well as the Cleveland Indians swept the series. The Blue Jays made easy work of the Texas Rangers and Cleveland bid the Red Sox a quick exit. So, Toronto will face Cleveland with Cleveland being the higher seed Toronto play in the ALCS last year where they lost to the Royals. This year the Indians won the season series 4-3. They have never met in the Postseason but the basketball teams in their respective cities met in NBA Eastern Conference Finals. Could this be the year for Cleveland to win in Baseball for the first time since 1948, the city has already won quite a bit this year. I think that Toronto will have the best chance to get through this series as they played in it last year and

In the National League it took a little longer to see who would make the Championship series. The Chicago Cubs are back in the Championship game with hopes of making their way to the World Series, they overcome the legacy of the San Francisco Giants who had won every World Series in an even year this decade. The Los Angeles Dodgers barely survived the Washington Nationals to get the chance to make it to the Championship they were last there in 2013 and no one is expecting them to advance. Washington once again failed to make it out of the first round a common thread in DC sports over the past decade. Anyway it seems only logical that the well rested Cubs will have the upper hand in this upcoming series.

Division Series

Now that the Wild Card games are over we know who all the teams in this round are. Congratulation go to the Blue Jays and Giants for making their way out of the Wild Card games. The Giants hope that history can repeat itself and they can come home with another title after winning the Wild Card game. Now in past years the winners of these games have done fairly well especially in the National League.

The American League kick off the Division series this afternoon with the Toronto Blue Jays traveling to play the Texas Rangers. Over the season it was pretty close with Toronto winning four of the seven games they played. So it could be anyone’s game to win, but I’m thinking the Rangers might have a better chance to come out on top. Later on in the day the Boston Red Sox will host the Cleveland Indians. During the season Boston had their way with Cleveland taking four of the six game from them. It’s David Ortiz’s final postseason so it seems likely that his teammate will want him to go out on top. Both team will play again at the early times on Friday.  I hope that the ALCS ends up as Rangers playing the Red Sox

In the National League play begins on Friday afternoon with the Washington Nationals hosting the LA Dodgers. This isn’t that great news for the Nationals as during the season they only managed to win a game against the Dodgers but those games were back in July. Kershaw hasn’t really been great in the Postseason either. I am pulling for my Nationals to make it out of the Division series for the first time in history. The late game on Friday in the Chicago Cubs playing the San Francisco Giants. Everyone one has been predicting that this is the Cubs year but this is going to be a tough series and should help whomever comes out of the Nationals/Dodgers in the next round. The Giants hope to once again win a World Series Title in an even numbered year. The Cubs haven’t won in a century.  I’m hoping that it’s the Cubs playing that Nationals for the NLCS.

MLB Wild Card Games

The first round of the baseball playoffs being on Tuesday with the two American League wild card teams playing a game for the right to play the Texas Rangers in a best of five series. The AL teams are both from the AL East and they recently played each other. The Baltimore Orioles took two of the three they played in Toronto against the Blue Jays this past week. Both teams have the same record as the season ended so this game will be a tough one to decide who will win as Toronto hold the slim lead in the season series of 10-9.

Over on the National League side we’ve got the loser of last year’s World Series the limping New York Mets will meet with the San Francisco Giants, who have won all the previous World Series in even year in the 2010s on Wednesday. Whoever make it out of this game will face the Chicago Cubs in a best of five. I doubt that the Mets will do much this postseason because of the lack of pitching but in a one game match up with both aces throwing it is a game that either team could win the Mets hold the edge in the season series 4-3. However, the Giants and Mets finished the season with identical records so just like the AL game it is a coin toss type game.

MLB Playoffs preview

The Baseball regular season doesn’t end until next week October 2 or perhaps later with a play-in game. So far most divisions have a winner except for the AL Central where Cleveland has a seven game lead on Detroit but they play each other the next couple of days. As for the wild cards that might get even crazier over the next week.

In the American League Texas has won their divisions, with Cleveland on the verge of winning the Central and Boston having clinched a playoff spot but the Yankees could play spoiler along with Toronto and force Boston into the Wild Card game but that seems unlikely. In the Wild Card race Toronto, Baltimore and Detroit are all within a three games of each other. Baltimore faces Toronto for three games then Toronto face Boston for three more so they might be on the outside looking in come next week.

In the National League Chicago, Washington and Los Angeles have wrapped up their respective divisions and it looks like Washington and LA will be facing off in the NLDS. As for the Wild Cards it is a three team race between New York, St. Louis and San Francisco, all three teams are within a game and a half and there is a strong possibility that there might be a tie between at least two of the three teams. If that happens there will be a play-in game it would be crazy with the game on Monday the third since the Wild card games are scheduled for Tuesday October 4 and Wednesday the 5th. This will be an exciting week of Baseball.

Baseball predictions: Mid-season

Well we are about halfway through baseball season and back in April I made some prediction of who would be competing for the respective divisions most are still holding up so far but there have been some surprises in the first half of the season.

I was pretty spot on in the National League,with the only real difference is the wild card teams could be any 5 of the listed teams, although some are thinking that we might not see either team from last year’s World Series in the playoffs at all. I’ve added the Marlins and Cardinals to the possible wild card teams. Sure I not happy that the Giants have been streaking lately and might make it back to the World Series for the fourth time this decade it is an even year. I’m keeping the Mets on here as they are bound to do something before the trade deadline to bolster their pitching staff.

NL East: it’s between the Nationals, the Marlins and the NY Mets.
NL Central: The Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals are all within striking distance of the Cubs
NL West: SF Giants and LA Dodgers

In the American League I haven’t done as well, since the Royals aren’t doing that well and the Indians have a good team for the first time in forever hoping to follow the success of the basketball team from Cleveland. Although I hope for the Baltimore/Washington World Series I don’t see that happening this year as it seems unlikely that they will be in the playoffs.

AL East: Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays or Baltimore Orioles
AL Central: Cleveland Indians
AL West:  Texas Rangers and the Houston Colt .45s, I mean Astros

Many people are still calling for the Cubs in the World Series and even more are saying a Cubs win, it’s been far too long since they won anything.

Great Native American name debate part 10

You remember the details the Washington Redskins have what some people consider an offensive name and people want it changed. Lots of people are up in arms South Park even did an episode about it and the trademark lawsuit back in 2014. It looks like the Trademark suit will be going to the Supreme Court sometime in the future. While that is still up in the air The Washington Post has released a poll it took of 504 Native Americans that indicates that 9 out of 10 are not offended by the name.  Sure critics are saying that this was a biased poll since only 504 individuals were contacted and the total population of Native Americans is around 5.4 million, and that it isn’t indicative of how all Native Americans think about it. However even if the name does get changed there are still other teams out there that are called the Indians, Warriors, Chiefs, etc. that should be considered just as offensive with the whole “We are not Mascots” stance.  Nor will this do anything to get rid of the Tomahawk chop or fix any other problems facing the Native American population. When the Supreme Court decides I think that might finally be the end of the debate. If Dan Snyder has to change the team name or not this single victory isn’t going to do much for anyone living in the United States.

Baseball Begins

On Sunday the Major League Baseball season began and now there are like 160 or so games left for all teams.  The biggest question we have this year is are the Giants going to win the World Series again since it is an even year and they have won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014. The Cubs are favored to make it to the World Series and many are also saying that the Astros will get to the World Series. If this actually happens it would be amazing, I know that just about everyone would be happy with the Cubs making and winning the World Series, but it is only April and there are still six months left in the season.

Here are my early predictions of who have a chance to make the postseason

NL East: it’s between the NY Mets and the Nationals.
NL Central: Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates seem to be the contenders as last year.
NL West: SF Giants and LA Dodgers, although the Giants era might be coming to an end.

AL East: NY Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays or Orioles?
AL Central: Maybe the KC Royals again and someone else
AL West:  Teams of Texas, Rangers and Astros