For the first time in recorded history, I correctly predicted the World Series. Last week, I predicted the Royals would win in five games.
That, of course followed my forecast of a Blue Jays-Cubs World Series.
The Series wasn’t a surprise to me. The Royals’ starting pitching was good enough to win, their aggressive hitting and baserunning paid off, and their bullpen was magnificent. And, they shut down Daniel Murphy.
Murphy proved fallible in the field and at bat, and Terry Collins allowed his heart to take over his decision making skills.
I hate to forever compare other managers with Buck Showalter, but even though Showalter has never been in a World Series, he wouldn’t have allowed Chris Tillman or Kevin Gausman to talk himself back into a game.
As a little boy, I remember the great 1964 World Series. In the ninth inning of Game 7, St. Louis Cardinals manager Johnny Keane walked to the mound to tell the tiring Bob Gibson that it was his game to win or lose.
Gibson had given up two home runs, and the Yankees had narrowed their deficit to 7-5, but Keane stuck with Gibson. He was rewarded.
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Afterward, Keane was asked about the decision.
“I had a commitment to his heart,” Keane answered.
Matt Harvey, who had been involved in a controversy over his supposed innings limit was wonderful for eight innings, and Collins wanted to take him out. He refused, and Collins buckled.
Had Jeurys Familia started the ninth inning, perhaps we would be talking about Tuesday’s Game 6, but instead, I’m reveling, for the moment, in my correct prediction.
Whenever there’s a World Series winner, teams try to copy their success. How about combining a group of home grown players with shrewd trades and some under-the-radar free agent signings?
Many teams have tried and will continue to try that formula, but the Royals had the right stuff.
Now that the season is finally over, exactly four weeks after the Orioles played their final game, we can start linking every free agent from Matt Albers to Ben Zobrist with the Orioles.
While the Orioles have until a moment before midnight on Friday night to exclusively negotiate with Wei-Yin Chen, Chris Davis, Darren O’Day, Gerardo Parra, Steve Peace and Matt Wieters, nothing is expected to happen between now and then.
They’ve had the ability to talk with their representatives all along, so there’s no reason for them not to test the market now.
Beginning Saturday, they’ll be able to test the market, and don’t expect early signings by Chen, Davis or Wieters because they’re all represented by Scott Boras, who likes to take his time.
The three will probably receive $15.8 million qualifying offers, which they’ll reject, and the Orioles can receive a compensatory draft pick in return.
It will be interesting to see if the Orioles chase any other free agents with qualifying offers. They signed two, Nelson Cruz and Ubaldo Jimenez, in Feb. 2014 and surrendered draft picks.
In a little over 3 ½ months, on Feb. 18, spring training will begin in Sarasota, Fla., and between now and then, I’ll be happy to spread countless rumors. Like my World Series prediction, perhaps one or two will be turn to be true.
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