Coppola: The Wacky World Of Baseball

By William Coppola: Contributing Writer/ Bronx Chronicle Sports

Wow, what a wild playoff season so far. When the heavily favorite Astros play the “How are they even still playing” Tampa Bay Rays tonight, in what will be the final game of their best of five ALDS series, anything can happen.

On Wednesday we watched the Braves get obliterated with a record ten runs, surprisingly without a single home run, in the first inning by the Nationals. The team that the Braves beat out for a second year in a row for the division title in the east ending their bid for an appearance in the fall classic.

Then in the late game on the coast in Los Angeles, the Dodgers fell apart like a cardboard go-cart racer when they blew a two run lead in the eighth inning with three time CY Young award winner Clayton Kershaw on the mound. Watching him give up back to back home runs on successive pitches was cringe worthy to say the least.

 Kershaw has allowed homers on back-to-back pitches in the postseason twice now, something he has never done in the regular season. And why did he pitch the eighth inning out of the stretch? The guy has the most deceptive delivery out of the wind-up in baseball.

Then with some questionable moves, or shall we say non moves with the bullpen by Manager Dave Roberts, that will be talked about all winter by Dodger fans and the media on the west coast, the Dodgers went down in the tenth inning on a grand slam home run by Howie Kendrick.

And so it goes in this amazing game of baseball. For all you betters out there that have been playing the non favorites, congratulations. One thing that we saw in the last two games is that in this instance, good pitching did NOT beat good hitting.

And what about those Dodgers? This storied franchise has appeared in twenty World Series, tied with the Giants with the second most appearances behind the Yankees who have been to the big show 40 times. They are 6-14 in the fall classic now.

But we are not talking about the World series here today in their latest blown season. Anyone remember a Dodger pitcher named Ralph Branca who threw the pitch that became “The Shot Heard ‘Round The World?”Just couldn’t resist bashing the Dodgers. Growing up in the 50’s in Brooklyn a “bums” fan, I will never forgive them for moving to the west coast. 

Babe Ruth once said: “Baseball was, is and always will be to me the best game in the world.” He was right. No other professional sport has the combination of a 162 game season over six months through spring, summer and fall.,followed by a playoff season that brings us into the winter. 

Roughly 68.5 million fans attended MLB games during the 2019 regular season, all of them hoping that their team will win it all. But as we see, that doesn’t always work out the way we expected.

So who will be next to fall short of what all the baseball experts have been predicting? Will the Yankees become the victims of the Rays after they upset the heavily favored Astros? 

As my friend and author Lee Lowenfish told me once, “Joaquin Andujar said it best about baseball, Only word you need to understand it: “Yaneverknow, yaneverknow.”  

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