Friday, October 14, 2016
ALDS Preview: The Joe Carter Throwdown
Tonight is the ultimate battle between good and evil, light and dark, and, ultimately, the Best Two AL Teams From The 90's That Weren't The Yankees.
Cleveland. Toronto. Homes of such fattening delicacies as stadium mustard and poutine. Northern sites of cool, hip twenty somethings with coffee... vs northern sites of long-suffering bulkier yet still kinda nice people who still have Drew Carey Show posters in their basement. A team that hasn't won a World Series since its prime minister was pre-pubescent, versus a team that hasn't won a World Series since most of their fans were still embryos.
To me, however, this is a battle between one of the most impressive underdog stories in recent memory to one of the most undeserving perennial playoff teams since...well, the Cardinals, but you knew I was going there. As a baseball fan, it is my solemn duty to root for Cleveland. They've come so far, have done so much this season that no one could have predicted, and look like they might take some away from Toronto.
What worries me is that Cleveland is running low on pitching. Carrasco and Salazar are out. Trevor Bauer just cut his finger, and will be out until at least Game 3. They're running on Corey Kluber, one of the best strikeout pitchers in baseball, and Josh Tomlin, who's good, but still isn't perfect like the rest of the rotation. Will they have to go with Zach McAllister for Game 4? Will they have to try something crazier?
At the same time, the Blue Jays might be running out of lucky shots. Do they have enough pitching left? Will Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ continue their good luck? Are there any bat flips waiting in the wings?
I honestly have no idea where this series will go. Either one could win. Either one could screw up royally. I WANT the Indians to win, because it's been way too long since they've been in the series, but from a storytelling standpoint, you won't get a better Good vs. Evil story than a Cubs-Jays series.
Either way...this is gonna be a very....interesting series.