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PLAYOFFS POST-MORTEM , WORLD SERIES and PEDs
Oakland A's maverick GM, Billy Beane- the so-called 'Money Ball' guy - says that getting into the World Series is a 'crap shoot.' He also said, a few years back, that managers don't make a difference in winning and losing baseball games, this after hiring one Bob Geren, who 'led' Oakland to four lost, sub .500 seasons before fans revolted and Beane finally fired Geren and hired Bob Melvin, who has had two remmarkable, winning seasons.
And, after Detroit and Los Angeles started off like they were going to go all the way to the World Series, the truly better teams seemed to win out in their 6 game series. There may be other factors involved, too, such as PEDs - we still believe any number of players were using during the playoffs, as reasoned in previous posts. Then there were factors like injuries to Miguel Cabrera and Dodger's Matt Kemp that had their teams scuffling a bit. Nonetheless, seeing a team like Detroit go out and throw four no-hitters in a row through 5 innings, we would have expected more out of them. PEDs or not, Boston was too smart for Detroit, playing intelligent, scrappy 'old school' ball, making pitchers work and getting Detroit's best (Scherzer, Verlander, Sanchez) out of the game and taking advantage of Detroit's weaker relief corp. Hard to say that Boston doesn't dabble in PEDs itself; when you've got one suspect like Big Poppy - popping them out when a player of his ilk would normally be on the way out - there are usually others (the 'cockroach theory') like him nearby. The truly best teams won their series this time, and the far majority of the time, especially in the longer seven game series. The San Francisco Gaints were an anomoly in 2010 and 2012 due to unfortunate (in our opinion) mitigating (non baseball) circumstances.
As for St. Louis, one wonders how they came up with all those 95+ mph pitchers , but , again, PEDs or not, they managed to combine smart ball with power ball which Detroit did not. Glad to see no immenent signs of PEDs on the Dodgers but they certainly lack in the smart ball department, leaving way too many on base and making poor managerial moves; don't be surprised to see Dodger manager Mattingly finally gone by next year. Here's where managing could have made a big difference. The Dodgers have the talent - they've spent enough for it - but bonehead moves denied them when they had many opportunities to score and beat the weaker hitting St. Louis team. St. Louis, on the other hand, is run more like Boston, with a smart manager in Methaney and staff. St. Louis has a winning tradition.
While PEDs are still a scourge to baseball - there will be, no doubt , any number of players taking advantage of baseball's NO DRUG POLICY for the series (drug tests are not given in the playoffs and World series and this is one reason you sometimes see unlikely numbers put up as we saw with the normally weak-hitting San Francisco Giants in the 2010 and 2012 playoffs and Series), we're at least glad to see the better two teams in there in the Red Sox and Cardinals. It should be a good , close series, likely to go six or seven games, unless Boston can't handle St. Louis pitching; they were able to adjust to Detroit's so we think they will do similary with St. Louis