by Jonah Raskin, September 13, 2017
It’s that time of year again: time for me to write about the baseball season now exiled to distant outfields as political and meteorological storms grab the headlines. Last July, a bit earlier in the game, I predicted that the Chicago Cubs would beat the Texas Rangers. I was right about the Cubs, wrong about the Rangers. The Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians four games to three and won their first championship since 1908. They also overcame a 3-1 deficit.
It’s unlikely that this year’s series will be as nail-biting as last years, though there are some exciting teams who look like their could go all the way, including Cleveland who won 14 straight games at the end of August and the beginning of September, and Arizona who won 13 straight games in the same time period. As of September 7, 2017, they were the hottest teams in baseball, though they’re not leading their leagues.
The Dodgers were in first place in the west in the National League the last time I looked, but they lost nine of ten games at the end of August and the beginning of September. I predict that Cleveland will beat Arizona in five games. The Indians are highly motivated and they have superlative hitters in Ramirez and Encarnacion, excellent pitching in Kluber and Allen and a great manager in Terry Francona.
The Dodgers are on the path to self-destruction once again, despite the fact that they have talented players. The Yankees won’t catch the Red Sox, and the Nationals will fizzle, though they are 18 games ahead of the Marlins in their league, and though I love their manager, Dusty Baker, one of the best around. I haven’t watched baseball on TV or listened to it on the radio all season long, mostly because the Giants and the A’s are so awful. I read about games online. I’ll watch occasionally when the playoffs begin, and for the World Series I’ll view all the games, though there are sure to be more political and meteorological storms on the horizon. Hey, it’s the All-American game.
ED NOTE: And Pablo has set a National League record for hitless at bats.