MR. OCTOBERS of WORLD SERIES GAME 3

David Wright and Noah Syndergaard (who pitched better than his stats indicate), AKA Captain America and Thor, are the MR. OCTOBERs of last night.

STANDINGS (PP means Position Player, P means Pitcher, * means the team has been eliminated):

P Noah Syndergaard 18

P Johnny Cueto 16

PP David Wright 13

PP Daniel Murphy 11

P Marcus Stroman 11*

PP Jose Bautista 11*

P Chris Young 10

PP Ben Zobrist 10

PP Eric Hosmer 10

P Jeurys Familia 9

P Jacob deGrom 8

PP Yoenis Cespedes 8

P Marco Estrada 8*

PP Troy Tulowitzki 8*

P Wade Davis 8

PP Jorge Soler 6*

PP Alex Rios 6

P Edinson Volquez 5

PP Alcides Escobar 5

PP Mike Moustakas 5

P Kelvin Herrera 5

P Matt Harvey 5

PP Travis d’Arnaud 5

PP Ryan Goins 5*

P Liam Hendriks 5*

PP Lorenzo Cain 5

PP Lucas Duda 5

P Steven Matz 5

P Dallas Keuchel 4*

P Jake Diekman 3*

PP Rougned Odor 3*

P Collin McHugh 3*

PP Kendrys Morales 3

P Shawn Tolleson 3*

PP Delino DeShields 3*

PP Salvador Perez 3

P Ryan Madson 3

P John Lackey 3*

PP Stephen Piscotty 3*

P Travis Wood 3*

PP Adrian Gonzalez 3*

PP Chris Carter 3*

PP Carlos Correa 3*

P Roberto Osuna 3*

PP Kevin Pillar 3*

P Pedro Strop 3*

P Justin Grimm 3*

PP Javier Baez 3*

P Clayton Kershaw 3*

PP Justin Turner 3*

PP Colby Rasmus 1*

PP Kyle Schwarber 1*

P Jake Arrieta 1*

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MR. OCTOBERS of 2015 WORLD SERIES GAME 2

Johnny Cueto had the first complete-game for an AL starter since 1991 with a two-hitter, and Eric Hosmer had two RBIs, so they are the MR. OCTOBERS of Game 2.

STANDINGS (PP means Position Player, P means Pitcher, * means the team has been eliminated):

P Johnny Cueto 16

PP Daniel Murphy 11

P Marcus Stroman 11*

PP Jose Bautista 11*

P Chris Young 10

PP Ben Zobrist 10

PP Eric Hosmer 10

P Jeurys Familia 9

P Noah Syndergaard 8

P Jacob deGrom 8

PP Yoenis Cespedes 8

P Marco Estrada 8*

PP Troy Tulowitzki 8*

P Wade Davis 8

PP Jorge Soler 6*

PP Alex Rios 6

P Edinson Volquez 5

PP Alcides Escobar 5

PP Mike Moustakas 5

P Kelvin Herrera 5

P Matt Harvey 5

PP Travis d’Arnaud 5

PP Ryan Goins 5*

P Liam Hendriks 5*

PP Lorenzo Cain 5

PP Lucas Duda 5

P Steven Matz 5

P Dallas Keuchel 4*

P Jake Diekman 3*

PP Rougned Odor 3*

P Collin McHugh 3*

PP Kendrys Morales 3

P Shawn Tolleson 3*

PP Delino DeShields 3*

PP Salvador Perez 3

P Ryan Madson 3

P John Lackey 3*

PP Stephen Piscotty 3*

PP David Wright 3

P Travis Wood 3*

PP Adrian Gonzalez 3*

PP Chris Carter 3*

PP Carlos Correa 3*

P Roberto Osuna 3*

PP Kevin Pillar 3*

P Pedro Strop 3*

P Justin Grimm 3*

PP Javier Baez 3*

P Clayton Kershaw 3*

PP Justin Turner 3*

PP Colby Rasmus 1*

PP Kyle Schwarber 1*

P Jake Arrieta 1*

MR. OCTOBERS of WORLD SERIES GAME 1

The MR. OCTOBERs of Game 1 were Ben Zobrist and Chris Young. Ten points to each of them!

STANDINGS (PP means Position Player, P means Pitcher, * means the team has been eliminated):

PP Daniel Murphy 11

P Marcus Stroman 11*

PP Jose Bautista 11*

P Chris Young 10

PP Ben Zobrist 10

P Jeurys Familia 9

P Noah Syndergaard 8

P Jacob deGrom 8

PP Yoenis Cespedes 8

P Marco Estrada 8*

PP Troy Tulowitzki 8*

P Wade Davis 8

PP Jorge Soler 6*

PP Alex Rios 6

P Johnny Cueto 6

P Edinson Volquez 5

PP Alcides Escobar 5

PP Mike Moustakas 5

P Kelvin Herrera 5

P Matt Harvey 5

PP Travis d’Arnaud 5

PP Ryan Goins 5*

P Liam Hendriks 5*

PP Lorenzo Cain 5

PP Lucas Duda 5

P Steven Matz 5

P Dallas Keuchel 4*

P Jake Diekman 3*

PP Rougned Odor 3*

P Collin McHugh 3*

PP Kendrys Morales 3

P Shawn Tolleson 3*

PP Delino DeShields 3*

PP Salvador Perez 3

P Ryan Madson 3

P John Lackey 3*

PP Stephen Piscotty 3*

PP David Wright 3

P Travis Wood 3*

PP Adrian Gonzalez 3*

PP Chris Carter 3*

PP Carlos Correa 3*

P Roberto Osuna 3*

PP Kevin Pillar 3*

P Pedro Strop 3*

P Justin Grimm 3*

PP Javier Baez 3*

P Clayton Kershaw 3*

PP Justin Turner 3*

PP Colby Rasmus 1*

PP Kyle Schwarber 1*

P Jake Arrieta 1*

Headlines From Around The Continuum (October 24, 2015)

A sampling of baseball-related headlines from the Newseum, elsewhere, and occasionally some websites, with the occasional note from me on what they are talking about:

Headline: Royals beat Blue Jays in Game 6, head to World Series vs. Mets

Kansas City Star: Ready for the world

Globe and Mail: IT’S OVER FOR THE JAYS

Toronto Star: HELL OF A GAME, HELL OF A SEASON

St. Joseph (MO) News-Press: BACK TO THE SERIES

Calgary Sun: DREAM RUN OVER

Joplin (MO) Globe: AL CHAMPIONS: K.C. back in Series

Guelph Mercury: It’s over

Lawrence (KS) Journal-World: AND WE’RE BACK!

Prince George Citizen: Heartbreak for Jays

Columbia (MO) Daily Tribune: WORLD SERIES BOUND

Salina (KS) Journal: BBQ or bagels? A tasty World Series set- Royals meet Mets

Wichita Eagle: AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPS

Bradenton (FL) Herald: ROYALS RUN INTO WORLD SERIES

NY Daily News (back): K.C. BEATS JAYS TO PUNCH SERIES TICKET

New York Post (back): K.C. YA TUESDAY

Newsday (back): GOING TO KANSAS CITY

New York Times: A Mets-Royals World Series

El Vigia (Ensenada, Mexico): Van por la revancha (“They go for revenge/rematch/another chance.”)

Vanguardia (Saltillo, Mexico): La hacen cardiaca pero vuelven a Serie Mundial (I think this means basically “The heart makes it to the World Series”, perhaps saying that the Royals have a lot of heart, or something like that.)

El Nuevo Diario (Managua, Nicaragua): KANSAS CITY A LA SERIES MUNDIAL (“Kansas City to the World Series”)

El Nacional (Caracas, Venezuela): Kansas campeón de la Liga Americana (“Kansas champion of the American League.”)

 

 

Headlines From Around The Continuum (October 22, 2015)

A sampling of baseball-related headlines from the Newseum, elsewhere, and occasionally some websites, with the occasional note from me on what they are talking about:

 

Headline: Mets head to first World Series since 2000, sweep Cubbies

New York Times: Suddenly Invincible, Mets Are in World Series

Daily News (Back): ALL WORLD

NY Post (Front): WORLD CLASS!

NY Post (Back): DANIEL BROOM

Newsday (Front): YA GOTTA BELIEVE!

Newsday (Back): HOW SWEEP IT IS!

AM NEW YORK: BELIEVE IT!

Metro- New York: SWEEP

Staten Island Advance: The new Mr. October? (Murphy)

Chicago Tribune: MAGIC RUNS OUT

Chicago Sun-Times (Cubs Extra e-paper): BACK TO THE FUTURE (here meant to mean “Back to the drawing board”)

Daily Herald (Suburban Chicago): TIP YOUR HAT TO THEM

Hartford (Conn.) Courant: NEXT STOP, WORLD SERIES

The Record (Bergen County, NJ): UNSTOPPABLE

News-Gazette (Champaign, Ill.): They’re gone

Jersey Journal (Jersey City): METS HEAD TO WORLD SERIES!

Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ): HOW SWEEP IT IS! (This was used by other papers as well)

Panama City (FL) News Herald: MVP Murphy leads Mets to World Series

Times Union (Albany, NY): Mets move on

Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, Ill.): CLEAN SWEEP

Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY): METS MANIA

Augusta (GA) Chronicle: MOVING ON

Times-Tribune (Scranton, PA): SWEEPING SUCCESS

USA TODAY: CUBS SWEPT BY METS IN 4 (A ironic echo of how the Back To The Future 2 USA TODAY said “CUBS SWEEP SERIES IN 5”)

Journal-Star (Peoria, Ill.): CHICAGO HOPE VANISHES

Naples (FL) Daily News: FOR CUBS, IT’S DO OR…. NEVER MIND

Daily Southern (Tinley Park, Ill.): Met their match

Quad-City Times (Davenport, Iowa): Wait until next year

Omaha World-Herald: Cubs’ dream swept away

El Vigia (Ensenada, Mexico): No se cumplió la profecía (“The prophecy is not fulfilled.”- not doubt referring to the Back To The Future Cubs joke)

El Nuevo Diario (Managua, Nicaragua): Los Mets en la Serie Mundial (“The Mets in the World Series”)

Primera Hora (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico): Los Mets en la Serie Mundial (“The Mets advance to the World Series”)

Headline: Blue Jays send ALCS back to Kansas City for Game 6

Globe and Mail: ESTRADA GEM KEEPS BLUE JAY HOPES ALIVE

National Post: JAYS NOT DONE YET

Toronto Star: EXTRAORDINARY ESTRADA

Kansas City Star: Coming home

St. Joseph (MO) News-Press: BLUE JAYS FORCE GAME 6 AT KAUFFMAN

Calgary Herald: JAYS WIN TO FORCE GAME 6

Junction City (KS) Daily Union: Volquez struggles as Blue Jays force Game 6 in ALCS

Calgary Sun: Going back to K.C.

Lawrence (KS) Journal World: 3-2

Canada’s Metro Papers: 1 DOWN, 2 TO GO

Wichita (KS) Eagle: Royals’ bats silent as Blue Jays win Game 5

Edmonton Journal: JAYS FORCE GAME 6

Guelph Mercury: Jays still alive after 7-1 win over Royals

Chronicle-Herald (Halifax): Kansas City, Here We Come

Hamilton Spectator: Blue Jays win keeps World Series hopes alive

Waterloo Region Record: Still in the game

La Presse (Montreal): Les Blue Jays S’accrochent (“The Blue Jays hang on” or “The Blue Jays cling”)

Ottawa Citizen: JAYS FANS A LITTLE LESS BLUE

Prince George Citizen: Estrada gets it done for Blue Jays

El Nacional (Caracas, Venezuela): Los Azulejos no se entregan (“The Blue Jays do not surrender”)

 

The Pitcher is the Third Most Important Position In Sports (behind Goalie and QB)

Not too long ago, I saw a ad for a Sports Illustrated book entitled NFL Quarterback: The Greatest Position In Sports.

I immediately recognized this as bull. Oh, maybe being the QB is the most glamorous position in sports, but that’s just one definition of greatest. As far as the greatest importance, quarterback isn’t it.

No, rather, a ice hockey goalie is. NFL teams can go far with average or only-slightly-above average QBs. Doug Williams had nearly as many career interceptions as he did touchdowns and never made a Pro Bowl, but he was hot at the right time to help Washington stomp Denver in January of 1988. Trent Dilfer threw more interceptions in his career than touchdowns, but his Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV. The Jets got to within one game of the Super Bowl twice with Mark Sanchez as their quarterback. The Broncos won a playoff game with Tim Tebow at QB.

But, look at hockey, and I’m going to guess you’ll have trouble finding a champion who didn’t have a good goalie (and those that didn’t have good goalies that ended up winning probably had that goalie playing the best few weeks of his career). If a goalie is standing on his head, he can turn a mismatch into a even one, turn an underdog into a favorite, and make even the most unlikely of upsets possible (see: Miracle on Ice, Jim Craig, 1980 Olympics, which given his lack of success in the pros may fall into the “greatest few weeks of his life” category).

Now, to baseball, as Madison Bumgarner showed us this October, the third most important position in sports is the pitcher. Way back when, when men were men, arms were expendable and relievers were just guys who’d come in if somebody was doing really, really, bad, the pitcher was perhaps just as important as the goalie in hockey. Old Hoss Radbourn infamously singlehandedly pitched the 1884 Providence Grays to the title, throwing 678.2 IP, pitching in 75 of the team’s 112 games and starting 73 of them. His 59 wins that season is a record that will never be broken. In 1904, Jack Chesbro set the modern-era record for wins with 30 for the New York Highlanders, he pitched in 55 of the team’s 151 games, and started 51 of those appearances.

Those were the days when “wins” or “losses” meant far more than they do today, since pitchers were all but assured of going the full game, and their opposite numbers were expected to do the same, making the W-L record more analogous to a heavyweight fighter.

Since then, the worth of an individual pitcher has gone down. Having one or two or even three or four good pitchers is no guarantee of success like a good goalie or a good QB is. That’s because, well, it’s rare that they are in the game the whole time, and as good as they are they still can’t control their own offense. Just look at how Detroit’s great starting pitching has been constantly foiled in postseasons past by a suspect bullpen, or how Philadelphia’s “Big Four” starters of Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Oswalt failed to even get to a World Series because their team’s offense took a holiday.

Still, as Bumgarner showed us this past month, there are still times that a pitcher can make all the difference. If Madison Bumgarner isn’t pitching, it’s likely that the Royals win the World Series. A single player isn’t supposed to decide an entire series. Not anymore.

But nobody told Bumgarner that. And he went on to show just how important the position of pitcher is.