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Home / Articles / Columnists / Sports Feature /  Fall Classic in November Still Provides Heroes
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Friday, November 4,2022

Fall Classic in November Still Provides Heroes

By Mark Tudino  
It’s always strange in our state – mostly known for hurricanes and sweltering heat – that when the calendar says it’s Fall, the weather is not likely to cooperate. No sweater weather, no cool evenings, no falling leaves (unless you count the iguanas) to let us know the seasons have changed. But we also avoid crippling snowstorms, iced roads, and long, dreary winters – so it’s a tradeoff. Baseball has the same issue, with its World Series this year stretching into November, thanks to the early season lockout and the subsequent late start. But that doesn’t mean the series won’t still produce memories at its changed time, especially for the teams and fans who are left to cheer. Don’t think so? Just ask your local Atlanta Braves fan, who’s still celebrating after breaking through last year and winning it all for the first time in 26 years.

Which brings us to this year’s playoffs. By the time you read this, the World Series will be well underway, with its myriad of storylines and unlikely heroes. As of this writing, the visitors have been strong, with unlikely wild card wins from the Phillies, Padres and Mariners. Pitching, especially starting pitching, has been vital for the winners with the Padres’ Joe Musgrove and Yu Darvish, the Guardians’ Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie, and the Phillies’ Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola pitching their teams to upset wins. Don’t sleep on Seattle either, with Rookie of the Year candidate Julio Rodriguez and veteran stalwart Eugenio Suárez headlining a potent hitting attack. While all four first round survivors will be decided underdogs in their respective series, baseball playoffs are a funny dog. The team with hot pitching (much like having a hot goaltender in hockey) can upset better teams. If you had to bet (and as they say, for amusement purposes only) I like Cleveland’s chances to beat the Yankees, who’ve relied on AL MVP Aaron Judge to carry the offense. With a best of five series for the divisional matchups, all a visiting team has to do is split the first two games, and it regains the home field advantage. The other favorites will likely survive, and if the chalk holds, you’ll see the Astros and the Dodgers fight it out in the end.

So who’s a likely hero? The Al Weis, Rick Dempsey or Tom Lawless of these playoffs? A role player who suddenly becomes the go-to guy?

My choice would be someone from the Astros. Houston always finds that guy to show up and become the star, and this for a team which lost two All-Stars in two years in Carlos Correa and George Springer. Despite their tainted title for the cheating allegations connected to the 2017 win, the Astros are fast becoming the benchmark for baseball success. As they say, you can look it up.

So while the rest of the country gathers around the fireplace, we Sunshine Staters will be hoping to turn off the AC, and rooting for our favorite team to bring home the title.

Good luck to the survivors, and enjoy some playoff baseball!

 

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