Two leagues, two best-of-seven series that went all the way, and now as Monday dawns we finally know who will be facing off in the World Series starting on Tuesday.
For the American League, the scrappy low-spending Tampa Bay Rays have bested the villainous Houston Astros, putting an end to their hopes of a redemption arc. For the National League, the MLB best-scoring Dodgers had to fight tooth and nail against the Atlanta Braves, but in the end, the Dodgers were able to claim victory.
For the first time in what seems like ages, the two teams with the best records in baseball are actually the two teams squaring off in the Fall Classic. (The last time that happened was 2013, when the Red Sox and Cardinals tied for the best record.)
Beginning Tuesday it will become a story of all-spend vs. no-spend to see who can become the 2020 season victors.
As you might expect, much of the writing this past weekend was all about the Championship Series games. (Bear in mind the Dodgers/Braves series had just wrapped as this article was written, so expect more links on that in Wednesday’s post.)
- We shared a link last week about Billy Beane potentially being done with baseball, and Neil Paine writes that if it’s true, the man has made his mark on the game.
- Tony Wolfe looks at the conclusion of the ALCS that sent the Rays to the World Series and the Astros home empty-handed.
- Fabian Ardaya highlights how the Rays managed to do it their own unique way through the entire journey to the World Series. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Randy Arozarena came to the US via a stint in Mexico, and James Wagner looks at how the rising star’s time in Mexico shaped who he has become.
- On the topic of Arozarena (and he will be a big topic this month), Stephanie Apstein highlights how he is the hero Tampa Bay needed.
- Bradford Doolittle is also a member of the media fan club for Randy Arozarena.
- Fenway Park has reopened to the public as a location for voting.
- Get you some teammates who will treat you like this.
ronald acuña jr: professional hype man pic.twitter.com/WjrKG7DmoP— Cut4 (@Cut4) October 19, 2020
- The Rays may have won the ALCS, but Ben Clemens wonders if slugger Brandon Lowe might be broken.
- Michael Baumann is also in a mood to spotlight the Rays, sharing how their smart but not-star-making techniques managed to help them best some of the biggest teams in baseball.
- Alex Coffey shines a spotlight on the man responsible for over 80,000 fun-facts on the Petco Park big screen. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Tom Verducci looks at how removing Kenley Jansen from the closer role might have been exactly what he needed to return to form.
- There are quite a few open managerial positions in baseball right now, and Jim Bowden tries to figure out who fits best in each open role. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Before their elimination, Michael Baumann wrote about how the Astros were the team that just wouldn’t die in the postseason.
- One of the single greatest moments of baseball swagger I’ve ever seen.
THAT ONE IS GOOOOOONNN....— CPBL 中華職棒 (@CPBL) October 16, 2020
NOPE!!!! THAT ONE CAUGHT BY Lin Che-Hsuan!!!
The @FubonGuardians CF Lin Che-Hsuan (林哲瑄) robs a HR away from the Lions and keeps the score at 2-2!#CPBL #CPBLwithFans #TaiwanBaseball #富邦悍將 #ItsTime pic.twitter.com/XJLVzeC0Jg
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.