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Baseball ‘offs Notes

October 5, 2021

The four teams playing in the two 10/8 games, the next two nights (tonight it is Yankees at Red Sox, this with the winner to be one of eight teams remaining, 43 years after a classic Yankees’ (5-4) win that made them one of four, en route to a 22nd title and St. Louis Cardinals at L.A. Dodgers tomorrow) have accounted for 54 World Series titles, half (27) won by the Yankees.

By contrast, the six “div” winners, the Giants, Brewers, Braves, Astros, White Sox, and Rays have totaled 15 crowns, more than half (8) won by the Giants, a 107 win team this season, one more than “into a one game ‘off,” 106 win L.A. Dodgers’ team.

Even not counting the Yankees, the 27 by the other 3 teams (Cards (11), Red Sox (9) and Dodgers (7), easily exceeds, doing so in 9 to 5 ratio, the 15 won by the 6 “div” winners, rightfully afforded a bye to the “quarters.” (The Braves, one each in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta have 3 as do the White Sox, with the first and most recent 99 years apart. The Astros have one crown while neither the Brewers or Rays have ever won a World Series.)

The Astros are a little more than 6 to 5 favorites, in the second “within a league” World Series redux in a playoff (The Chi Sox swept Houston in the ’05 World Series, making it 8 of 8 and a first crown in 88 years, a season after the Red Sox won their first title in 86 years, all 8 wins after then Senator, Barack H. Obama threw out the ceremonial first pitch before game 2 of the Chi Sox eventual 5 game triumph over the Angels in the ALCS) as they have home advantage vs the White Sox. That best of 5 series begins Thursday, likely in the late afternoon in Houston.

In the other such situation, the Cardinals won both the 1982 World Series vs the then American League Brewers and then en route to title #11, “LCS’d” Milwaukee in the 2011 NLCS. Noting the White Sox World Series win in 2005 was vs the then National League Astros.

Finally each tilt tonight will be the fourth different type/level of within league playoffs competition between the participants.

The Yankees defeated the Red Sox in the aforementioned “unscheduled” ‘off game to win the then “had to finish first A.L. East in ’78, the Red Sox won the teams’ only division clash, that en route to their fourth title in 15 seasons in 2018 while the Yankees prevailed in two of the 3 ALCS clashes (winning in ’99 en route to their 25th title and losing in ’03 to the Marlins after Michael Kay said the Marlins “did not belong on the same field as the Yankees,” not the first or last time Mr. Kay stuck his foot in his ridiculously well compensated mouth. The Red Sox won an unprecedented 4 straight games to “7” the Yankees in the ’04 ALCS, en route to their aforementioned first crown in 86 years) between the teams. Tonight, a fourth level/type, in the “10/8” game.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals, two to one underdogs tonight, have had great post-season success at the three previous levels of ‘offs play vs the Dodgers. They won 2 straight in an unscheduled best of 3 ‘off for the 1946 N.L. Pennant, deemed so important that I believe Dodgers’ legendary broadcaster Walter Lanier “Red” Barber was sent to St. Louis, something unprecedented, to broadcast the game. Minimum the game was broadcast, also as a road tilt, an unusual if not unprecedented occurrence. St. Loo subsequently handed the Red Sox their first World Series loss in what was the first of four, maximum 7 game World Series losses for Boston, during their 86 year title drought.

The Cards won NLCS from the now L.A. Dodgers in both 1985 and 2013, each followed by World Series losses to the K.C. Royals (their season win projection for 2021 was 74 and a fraction, they won 74 games) and Boston Red Sox respectively. “St. Loo” also won in 2 of the 3 “div” series between the teams, winning in 2004 and 2014 while losing in 2009.

Tonight, as is the case regarding Yankees/Red Sox, they meet at the aforementioned fourth “level/type” of within league post-season competition.

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