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Baseball Update

October 14, 2020

The Tampa Bay Rays and Atlanta Braves are now a very likely, but far from certain, World Series pairing.

Tampa Bay has a seemingly commanding (3-0) series lead vs the Houston Astros. The Rays won in their only other ALCS appearance, that in 2008, when they won games (2-4) for a (3-1) series lead vs the defending champion Boston Red Sox. (Boston had garnered (James?) 2 crowns in 4 seasons after being sans such for 86).

However, due to their manager Joe Maddon, he who lucked out to guide the Chicago Cubs to a first crown in 108 years in 2016, not bringing in one of three left handed pitchers available to face the great hitter, David Ortiz, the Rays lost #5 and needed 7 games to win that ALCS.

At that point “Bye bye intangibles” and the Phillies 5’d them in the World Series, the great announcer Harry Kalas, who would die early in the next season, getting to call a Phils’ title clincher.

In the NLCS, with the never silent and so annoying John Smoltz there with the “Emperor,” Joe Buck ( Buck apparently made the Football Hall though I heard him at a tribute , to his father Jack, stating the famed “Ice Bowl”/1967 NFL Title Game was played in 1969—standards there are none!!!) his once team, recall the under achieving Atlanta Braves (8 straight NLCS appearances from ’91-’99, but one crown–though of the 3 so called star pitchers, Smoltz was best and great, not so Maddux and certainly not Glavine) have a (2-0) Freddie Freeman led series lead, vs the top ranked Dodgers, a team sans a title since 1988–despite 2 W.S. appearances and in this their 4th NLCS in 5 seasons and seventh in 13 seasons.

Atlanta, which before this “season,” lost 8 straight division series and 10 series entities, since last winning a “div” series to make the 2001 NLCS, a 5 game loss to eventual champion Arizona (Diamondbacks), has a (2-0) NLCS lead for the fourth time. (’92,’95, and ’99 are the other such occasions).

The Braves won the ’92 NLCS but needed Francisco Cabrera’s incredibly clutch hit, to do so in 7, swept Cincy (Reds) en route to the city of Atlanta’s lone title in ’95 and needed 6, up (3-0) vs the Mets in the ’99NLCS.

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