The whole 2023 season has been building towards this. Tonight the World Series begins, and I don’t think there is a single soul who can honestly say that at the beginning of the year they believed we would be seeing an Arizona Diamondbacks/Texas Rangers fall classic, and yet here we are.
The funny thing is that the Rangers should be here, they spent the money (so so much money), they acquired the talent, they had a tremendous start to the season, but things kind of slipped downhill and not a lot of folks would have thought they’d be where they are today.
As for the Diamondbacks, I suspect most experts had already pre-written their Phillies vs Astros predictions, but the D-backs pushed back. They fought tooth and nail against the Phillies, and they’re the last NL team standing because of it. Postseason baseball is at its best when it keeps you guessing.
Here’s the Series schedule so you can plan your week as needed
Now let’s get on to the links of the day.
- Ben Clemens gives us the FanGraphs preview of the World Series.
- Who are the 10 best bats in the Series? (MLB)
- Mike Lupica offers 7 reasons he hopes the series goes to Game 7.
- Max Scherzer was back in the ALCS but not better than ever. Jay Jaffe explains how he scuffled his way through the series.
- Kiley McDaniel ranks every player in the World Series.
- Barry Svrluga writes about Rangers GM Chris Young’s big fandom of the NHL’s Washington Capitals: It’s family.
- Looks like Bob Melvin’s interview went well as he is set to become the new Giants’ manager. Story by Andrew Baggarly. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- There are other spots still open, as Craig Counsell has evidently interviewed for the Mets’ open manager spot. (ESPN)
- Tom Verducci looks at the Princeton roots of this year's competing teams.
- Fellow SB Nation writer Evan Lang had a very important observation.
For the first time in MLB history, both World Series teams have a player named Evan in their roster.— Evan Lang (@evan_lang27) October 25, 2023
- Speaking of Evan’s, Evan Drellich tries to make sense of the MLB antitrust exemption. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Dusty Baker has announced his retirement from managing. Story by Brian McTaggart.
- ESPN looks at the retirement news of Baker.
- Chandler Rome wonders what the 26-year legacy of Dusty Baker is. The other important question is, who will replace him as a manager for the Astros? (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Ben Clemens does a managerial report card for Dusty Baker’s last ALCS.
- What have the new rules meant for the postseason? Let’s look at the numbers. (AP)
- Michael Baumann shared everything that aligned to send the Diamondbacks to the World Series.
- The Diamondbacks aren’t going to soon forget everyone who doubted them, shares Daniel Chavkin.
- Who is Russell Nua and why does he have five World Series rings? Matt Monagan explains.
- Meanwhile, Manny Randhawa explains how both teams seemed equally unlikely to end the year where they did.
- Dan Gartland explains what went wrong for the Phillies.
- Apparently, some “preliminary” trade discussions were made between the Padres and Yankees about Juan Soto, reports Karl Rasmussen.
- A look at some wild postseason eats.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.