Coming close makes the disappointment even greater, but in time, like a few months, fans should come to realize the 2009 season was successful for both teams.
It requires taking a step back and taking a deep breath.
If this was basketball, you could say your team reached The Final four. That’s right, after all the other teams were eliminated, the Dodgers and Angels were still standing, along with the Phils and Yankees.
It will be Philadelphia and New York in the World Series because they were the best teams. The Phils are defending champions and certainly no fluke. The Yankees outspend everyone and it wouldn’t be shocking if they reached the World Series year after year. Yet this will be their first Series appearance in six years. They finally bought the right combination of hitters and pitchers.
The Dodgers are left with some important questions for next season. Foremost is what effect the McCourts’ split will have on the franchise. Who will own the team and how will the player payroll be altered.
General Manager Ned Colletti says he’s seen no evidence so far that the team’s player payroll will be affected. He says that in recent months when the McCourts’ problems have been revealed nothing has changed in his ability to operate.
We’ll see what happens regarding the off-season free agent signing period. If the Dodgers stop being a player we’ll know the breakup is taking a toll on what fans can expect.
I’m also quite interested in Manny Ramirez’ 2010 season. Some friends have expressed the opinion to me that he’s through as a great player. I can’t agree. Not at this time, anyway.
I know he’s advancing in age and couldn’t get around on inside fastballs this season. But I have to see how he does in a new season in which he doesn’t have to miss 50 games.
As for the Angels. They’re probably going to lose John Lackey and Vladamir Guerrero for economic reasons. But the Angels went a long way and have Mike Scioscia’s offensive concept well in hand. They will continue to apply pressure to opponents on the basepaths.
They got past the Red Sox but couldn’t handle the Yankees’ combination of an awesome lineup and superior pitching. The Yankees could afford C.C. Sabathia, last summer’s best free agent pitcher. The Angels couldn’t.
I think baseball would benefit from a salary cap like the NBA has, but it won’t happen because the baseball players’ union is too powerful.
Baseball has another problem. It has given up control to the TV networks and now the World Series drags into November, in bad weather.
It’s a potentially great series between the Phils and Yankees, but it’s no longer the October Classic. Expect rainouts or games played in frigid weather.