It Takes a Team

What a great World Series!  Loaded with mega-stars and top 25 fantasy baseball players it was – NOT.  What were the teams loaded with?  Good players who formed great teams – a bunch of top 100 fantasy players supplemented by solid players.

For those who like classic baseball, it was a classic series.  Good pitching, speed and defense were the keys.  Joe Panik was not voted the MVP but he made the MVP (most valuable play).  Without Joe’s incredible start of the double play when Bumgarner was struggling early, there would have been no award for Mr. Madison.  Indeed, without that play, your humble writer suggests that Kansas City wins the Series.

What else was in evident?  Good managing.  OK, like many others I will express concern about Ned Yost and his love of bunting.  I personally follow the Earl Weaver method of managing:  Never, ever give up an out.  But to be fair, it worked for Mr. Yost until the final game of the playoffs.  His decision to take the bat out of Alcedis Escobar’s hands and give it to Nori Aoki proved a poor one.

But wait, was it really a bad decision?  The result would have been totally different had Bruce Bochy and staff not positioned Juan Perez down the line in left – which is exactly where Aoki hit his line drive.  Game 7 of the World Series:  Bochy starts Juan Perez?  Yep, he wanted him in there for defense.  When you position a good defender perfectly, you get optimum results.

Now that I’ve talked about the good defense, let’s consider the second to last play (which was NOT an example of good fielding).  Should the 3B Coach have sent Alex Gordon knowing the chances of him being thrown out were high?  Normally I would say – go for it.  But not here.  Despite the armchair questioning, he would have been a dead duck (no offense to Duck Dynasty of course).  Gordon should have been held at third and he was.

So what’s the deal with this article?  Good teams on which players like each other, know each other’s tendencies and watch each other’s backs become champions.  Teams loaded with stars CAN win but teams loaded with good players who play together well DO win.

This article will also appear on www.rotoprofessor.com.

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