I did think Dusty Baker would manufacture a way to blow it again even as late as the 7th inning of Game 6 the fact is the Astros pitching staff was doing some very historic things under his watch this year. Thanks to the stellar pitching by his teammates Jose Altuve has his second ring and while some think the cheating was still happening I have to disagree.
For me this years Astros title will be the one to remember because of the historic combined no-hitter managed by Baker in game 4 and the fact that Altuve the “policeman” that called his fellow teammates out after the 2017 title is still there. Ever since that news broke a few years ago I have felt that the title should be wiped and there should simply be no 2017 championship.
Before the no-hitter in Game 4 I still had a gut feeling that this series would go seven games because the Phillies were winning the odd numbered games. Once the no-hitter occurred and the Phillies were not ever able to get a lead in Game 5 I was starting to get weary of it going to a Game 7, especially when we consider how amazing the Astros bullpen was this season entering the playoffs with the lowest bullpen ERA at 2.80.
It is important to note that had there been no ex-Cubs involved in this years World Series I would have only been watching highlights online after each game. However, there were a total of 4 ex-Cubs involved. The Phillies won the 2022 title (if you will) for having the most ex-Cubs on the field in the World Series with Schwarber, Castellanos, and Robertson. I was so neutral on which team I was rooting for that the rule changes which go into effect on Opening Day 2023 and were starting to loosely be enforced by teams at the end of the season caused me to watch more playoff games than I normally would have and all except one World Series game. Baker has been managing for most of the last 30 years and has always found ways to blow it and not win a World Series, whether or not he returns to the dugout next season for a chance at winning another ring I am happy for him that he finally was able to manage his way to a title and also managed the first ever combined no-hitter in the World Series!
During the World Series commissioner Rob Manfred was quoted saying the the runner at second in extra innings could stick as long as the players union signs off on it. I do not like this and never did since they started implementing the rule in 2020.
I understand that they implemented it with health and safety in mind due to the COVID-19 virus which cause the 2020 season to be shortened to 60 games. I think the rule is flawed because it should not allow both teams a “fantom” runner to be at second starting the inning. It is not how the game was ever played before and lets not forget that extra inning games in the LCS and World Series could leave news reporters scrambling to get their articles out on time if they go fourteen to eighteen innings because the games could be ending in the early hours of the morning on the east coast.
So as a fan I would accept this rule if they modified it with some justifiers:
- Both teams get an extra runner once the game hits the fourteenth inning.
- Teams that are short handed due to more than one position player getting injured during the game are allowed the runner at second to start the inning, if they want it, starting in the tenth inning.
- The runner at second should be the batter who recorded the last out in the previous inning and can not be substituted out for a better base runner unless the last batter suffered an injury or was taken out of the game while the team was on defense.
With that… let the hot stove start heating up!