Ballin', Lifestyle, Sports

For Kobe: Dodgers win World Series, LA is 2020 title town

words by: Matt Peng
Oct 28, 2020

For nearly a month, baseball fans in Arlington, Texas have gotten the chance to enjoy the Texas Rangers’ new ballpark, Globe Life Field. Following safety protocols, only about 28% of the stadium’s capacity was filled, but all the teams were always away teams – because that was the mutual field for the National League Championship Series (NLCS) and World Series thanks to COVID-19. Last night, the Los Angeles Dodgers, who’ve played on that field for the entire month of October, won their 7th World Series championship, their first title since 1988, beating the Tampa Bay Rays.

 

 

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For Kobe and Gigi.

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For those of you who won’t watch baseball, all I have to say is you missed out on one of the greatest World Series in history – not only from a sheer numbers and analytics standpoint, but from the back and forth, hit for hit, strikeout for strikeout duel that the two teams put together. Some people will say that due to the shortened season, players were in their prime in October and not tired the way they normally would be, I say, that’s great for all of us. The home runs were monstrous and the strikeouts were plenty – with both teams having pitchers throw gas at over 100 mph even deep into games.

 

There’s a lot of names on baseball teams and everyone’s contributions are important but these are the names you really need to know. I’ll start with the Rays and the ridiculous performance that Randy Arozarena put on. In his first postseason with the team, he hit a postseason record 10 home runs, postseason record 29 hits, postseason record 64 total bases and tied for most postseason extra-base hits with 14. While all of that will be remembered by baseball geeks like myself, everyone else will also talk about their manager Kevin Cash, who made one of the worst decisions in postseason history last night when he took out starting pitcher Blake Snell.

 

 

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Wheels.

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Snell, the 2018 AL Cy Young winner, was straight dealing, recording 5 ⅓ innings without giving up a run and striking out 9 batters, looking his sharpest this entire season. After giving up a single to Austin Barnes in the 5th, Cash took him out and put in reliever Nick Anderson to face the top of the Dodgers lineup the third time through the order. That was a mistake. Cash didn’t trust his starting pitcher and like many people these days, looked for a reason to take him out of the game instead of trusting in him. Anderson would give up a double to Mookie Betts right away and then throw a wild pitch to allow Barnes to score and tie the game while Betts moved to third. Corey Seager, the Dodgers World Series MVP, would eventually hit into a fielder’s choice that allowed the speedy Betts to score and give the Dodgers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

 

I’ll talk briefly about Betts now. Mookie was traded from the Boston Red Sox earlier this year, along with pitcher David Price and cash, to the Dodgers for Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs and Connor Wong. This was going to go down as one of the worst trades for Boston in history but now it’s expedited with Betts’ World Series performance. Not only did the speedy baserunning outfielder score off brilliant heads up running to secure the Game 6 win, he also added an explanation point home run in the bottom of the 8th inning. And for taco lovers, his stolen base in Game 1 of the World Series won the entire country a free taco today at Taco Bell.

 

 

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MOOKIE OF THE YEAR.

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Back in August, Betts shared a picture of himself in a Kobe Bryant jersey saying that the last conversation he had with Kobe was “I will see you when I get to LA.” The two never got to meet up because Betts was still with the Red Sox at the time of Kobe’s passing. But with the performance he put on alongside the rest of the Dodgers organization – who are owned by Magic Johnson’s group – Kobe would be proud. The city of Los Angeles has historically been a place of police brutality and social injustice. In a year that has heard many voices calling for change, two sports titles have spoken volumes and helped some ease some pain and bring about a sliver of happiness and something to celebrate.

 

 

The Dodgers won in six. The Lakers won in six. Los Angeles lost a legend in Kobe Bryant that touched the entire city – and world – and LA is once again a title town that man would be proud of. I’ll end with one of my favorite movie quotes, from Billy Beane played by Brad Pitt in Moneyball, “how can you not be a romantic about baseball?”

 

 

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This one’s forever. #YouCantStopLA @dodgers

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