Monday, November 7, 2016

Theo To The Hall
(Theo Epstein, Hall of Famer)

That's Theo Epstein to the Baseball Hall of Fame, now.  He's taken the Boston Red Sox to a World Series championship in 2004, ending an 86 year drought and now done the same for the Chicago Cubs after 108 years.  Since Theo is only 42 years old, we would normally have to wait until five years after his retirement for his enshrinement in Cooperstown.  That could be 20 or 30 years from today.  Why wait?

This was a wonderful world series with, from my perspective, solid Red Sox credentials on both sides - Theo, John Lester, John Lackey and David Ross for the Cubs; Terry Francona and Mike Napoli for the Indians.  I had the chance to meet Theo and Terry a few years ago and they are both nice guys.

Game Seven was an all-time classic and there's one particular aspect I'd like to highlight.  While I'd seen Kris Bryant of the Cubs play a few times, I was not prepared for the base running skills he twice demonstrated during the final game, in which he showed both speed and savvy in scoring.

It was a 1-1 game in the top of the 4th, when Bryant found himself on third base.  Addison Russell hit a fly to shallow center field on which Kris tagged up and slide home safely on a beautiful slide in between the catcher's legs.  Russell's fly went only 231 feet and during the regular season only 8% of runners scored from third on a ball hit that shallow.  Watch it here.

In the 5th inning, Bryant was on first base after working a two-out walk, when Anthony Rizzo hit a ball sharply down the right field line.  Bryant took off and easily scored from first on a single, making it 5-1 Cubs.  You can watch him fly around the bases (look at his turn around third) at this link.

So, a belated congratulations to all the long-suffering Cubs fans!  And maybe next year, if the Red Sox don't do it, the Indians can bring home their first trophy since 1948.

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