Well, the Kansas City Royals are the 2015 World Series of baseball champions. Their 4 games to 1 World Series demolition of the listless and undeserving New York Mets gives them a year to brag about their accomplishments. And brag they should because they are a very good team. Not a great one, but a good one!
It amazes me how great teams become when they reach the World Series and go under the extreme scrutiny of the national media. If we believed the continual praise and adoration of the national announcers and scribes throughout the playoffs, the Royals would equal the 1927 Yankees. They don’t!
These announcers and experts continued to harp on how hard it was to strike the Royals out and how they put the ball “in play” regularly thus resulting in more runs scored. This was not only annoying but was also a bit off base. During the 2015 season the Royals struck out a league low 973 times or 6.01 times per game. This allowed them to score 724 runs which was 7th in the major leagues.
Do you know which team struck out the second lowest number of times in 2105? Well it was our own Atlanta Braves, who struck out 1,107 times or 6.83 times a game. With that the Braves scored a major league low 573 runs. So putting the ball “in play” wasn’t so important after all. As a matter of fact, the 29th team in strikeouts were the Astros with 1,392 and 30th were the Cubs with 1,518. They both reached the playoffs.
I’m not trying to diminish the Royals accomplishments. They are a good team and a deserving champion. I’m just saying that the announcers should “clam up” and just report the action.
I watched the ending of last Saturday night’s Miami-Duke football game as it happened and was amazed at what I saw. The kickoff return was fun to watch and was an amazing play. On Monday the ACC suspended the officiating crew for two weeks for their interpretation of the play.
Now I am surely not a big supporter of officials and don’t care for either Miami or Duke, but I thought that the officials did about as good as they could. They reviewed the game for about ten minutes and I thought that they did a good job. There was a player that the league office said had a knee down before a lateral but an official was looking directly at the play and felt differently. So did the replay officials. I also thought that all of the blocks were legal. So did the officials and the replay! How did these things look so different on Monday morning on the same replay videos?
I’ve seen many games this year when the officials missed more obvious calls and they weren’t suspended. I thought that these guys did the best that they could. And that may be the last time that I support the officials!
The Upson-Lee Knights will travel to Perry tonight to take on Veterans in the final regular season game of the 2015 year. We always look at a school’s record in their season-opening games throughout the years but pay no attention to their record in season-ending contests.
Well, let’ s look at the Knights’ record in those games in their 23-year history. I’m not talking about the last game of the season, which may include playoff games, but simply regular season-ending games. Okay, the Knights have a 13-10 record in those contests. Useless information, huh? Oh well, you have it anyway!
Hopefully they will make that mark 14-10 after tonight’s game. Onward to bigger and better things for Coach Tommy Parks and his Knights!
Jim Fowler is a sports columnist and retired teacher and coach who worked in the local school system for many years. He is a founding board member of the Thomaston-Upson Sports Hall of Fame and is also the statistician for the Upson Lee football team, and has written a book about the history of football at R. E. Lee High School.