It's hard not to get swept up in the excitement of the 2016 postseason. I'd say this is one of the most historic post seasons as far as match ups go. It pits the Dodgers, who said goodbye to their beloved broadcaster just today, against the Nationals who have a chance to go deep into the playoffs for the first time in their history in both Washington and Montreal. The Cubs have a real shot at exercising their 108 year old curse, the Red Sox have a chance to send their beloved slugger away with a fourth championship ring, the Indians have a chance to put the city of Cleveland back on the map after a basketball championship, the Rangers could be the first Texas team to take home a World Series trophy, and the Orioles and Blue Jays have a chance to give a World Series Championship to their starving fans. With all this stuff I still have to say the thing I am most excited to see (other than the Cubs finally take it home) is the match up between the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets in New York. I think this puts an exclamation point on the history of both of these franchises, and perhaps by extension the Dodgers as well. This is a huge treat for all of the National League baseball fans who were snubbed a team when the Dodgers and Giants left.
Willie Mays: Legend for New York and San Francisco
Any Baseball fan could tell you that these two teams have an intertwined history from the get-go. As I stated in a past article the Giants are from New York. They were one of two National League teams to play in New York between the late 1800's until the late 1950's, the other being the Dodgers of Brooklyn. Giants fans in New York were the white-collar/working class, I guess you could say they had all types of people following them. They weren't necessarily known for getting too rowdy, however they were knowledgeable and incredibly loyal. Like their Brooklyn counterparts, Giants fans had their team taken away from them for the simple reason that money talks louder than tradition and fans. Fans of both teams were said to have gone to the West Coast to see their old teams playing and said that in many ways they were not the same team anymore. Seeing the same players play in similar uniforms, but having the original culture of the team ripped away would be painful to any fan.
However, what makes this a beautiful story is the second chance National League fans in New York got soon after the Bums and Jints went to the West Coast. Fans got a second chance at life with the new baby team from the National League expansion era, the Mets. The New York Metropolitans brought together ex-Giant and Dodger fans with their hat logo being the old Giants logo while they were in New York. Even their colors of blue and orange were call backs to the days of Dodger and Giant Baseball and they even went as far as to start their first couple seasons playing in the Polo Grounds while Shea Stadium was being built. What the Mets inevitably did was help the blue collar fan who was forced to either follow a team that left them or the Yankees, both of which weren't the best options for fans of New York National League Baseball.
The importance of this Wild Card game is proof that New York has moved on since their National League teams left, but also offers old fans a chance to see their beloved Giants play October Baseball in New York just one more time. It is hard not to be nostalgic about this specific match up. It tells a story of fans who have evolved with the game. I think seeing these two teams play each other is going to be one of the most meaningful games in October and I am very excited to see it. As for who will win I would say the Giants will probably move on to play the Cubs simply because the Mets have too many injuries and "Mad Bum" is nothing short of dominant in important games like this. However, whoever wins is irrelevant to me, I'm excited to see the historic match up.
Wow...I'm still taken aback about what has transpired today. As soon as I woke up I had to look at the alert on my phone several times. It serves as a harsh reminder that life is fragile and that picking up the gauntlet and carrying on is the most important thing to do. To Mr. Fernandez's wife, future son, family, teammates, fans, and anybody else affected by this tragedy (especially the other people on that boat and their families) I am truly sorry. In a day where Jose Fernandez and a legend like Arnold Palmer die and people like Vin Scully will never be heard announcing a game again it says how the world is going to change. Everything can change within a day and we may never truly recover, but we can move forward and make a great tomorrow. I always thought the problem with people like Bears fans is that they spend way to much focusing on the 1985 Super Bowl title, but they haven't won a championship since. It is all they have to talk about and being a Bears fan makes it hard to follow a team whose fan base is completely happy with looking back on what was. They never seemed to move forward and ownership was perfectly happy with that. That is not what I want to see happen to fans of Jose Fernandez and the Marlins. Win tomorrow's game, win the division, and win a championship for him. That is the best way to honor him. While the absolute worst part of such a young super star like this guy was is the wasted potential, but his legacy will inspire this team to win instead of looking back at what they have lost. R.I.P Jose Fernandez.
It's going to be hard for me to say something that somebody else hasn't already said about Vin Scully in this season alone. He was a difference maker, a voice of a team, and an all around great person. When I heard him announce I would almost exclusively listen to the stories he would tell, then the actual game being played. Instead of listing off his life history I would rather write a couple lines about how I feel Vin Scully changed baseball, but also let it stay the same...
It is really no one in baseball who had such a smooth voice as he did even in his late 80's. As I stated before his stories seemed like he had a connection to every player that was playing, that even the other announcers didn't know. He was a class act from anybody who I have heard talk about him and a great person. It is almost too bad that he would not be announcing post season games. I think it is absolutely fitting that was able to announce the game that the Dodgers clinched their 4th straight NL West title and a great way to send him off. He is still the only reminder of the Dodgers ancient history in Brooklyn which has been almost forgotten. His spirit never wavered and he will always be remembered as the best voice in baseball. Thank You Mr. Scully!