The joy of watching baseball players, not managers, play the game

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Congratulations, Major League Baseball.

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After all, you’re going to reach the finish line, with the Los Angeles Dodgers or Tampa Bay Rays crowned 2020 World Series champions on Tuesday or Wednesday.

This is an unlikely and unlikely development, given the gambling situation during the Covid crisis at the end of July.

The fun part of it all is it took a Little League-like ending on the weekend to help show just how awesome the game can be, an ending where managers normally are very involved and ultra inclined. on analysis had little control.

In the words of Game 4 hero Brett Phillips, “man, baseball is fun.”

Well, that’s when he’s not shy.

Let’s get back to the tension of what had once been a back-and-forth contest when the end of Saturday turned into the beginning of Sunday.

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If you were at home watching the budget Rays take on the rich, loaded Dodgers – and where the hell would you envision our Covid lockdown? – you had a taste of the raw and spontaneous passion that only unpredictable sporting moments can bring.

At the end of the ninth, the Dodgers led 7-6, Kevin Kiermaier and Randy Arozarena on the basis of the Rays.

Phillips, a guy few of us had heard of before, a guy without a single hit last month, was making his World Series debut in Game 4 of the series, defeating Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen.

The big underdog scored and Kiermaier scored, tying the game.

Then came the comedy of mistakes.

Dodgers outfielder Chris Taylor kicked the ball. Arozarena fell on his face as he rounded third base, caught in no man’s land. Once the ball hit the infield, wide receiver Will Smith inexplicably missed first baseman Max Muncy’s shot.

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Arozarena got up, crawled and dived, before hitting home plate.

Game over.

And there you have Phillips, a 26-year-old celebrating like he was eight, running across the field “on a plane”, caught somewhere in a thrill of euphoria and disbelief. Even 15 minutes later, he looked like a surfer, breathless, trying to soak everything up.

Play it a thousand times again and it will never happen again the same way.

It was as weird as it was wacky and we needed it.

There are good days and bad days with so much isolation and routine in our lives. Variety must become the spice of life, wherever we can find it.

The wacky ending got us talking with our friends and families. Or, rather, given our closed circumstances, texting friends and families.

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The best part of it all? The people who weren’t playing didn’t bother the people who were playing.

It’s not as simple as the famous Skip in line Durham Bull , when he proposed that “it’s a simple game. You throw the ball. You hit the ball. You catch the ball. You got it?”

Today’s Major League managers are tasked with dissecting anything and everything in the baseball statosphere.

You can blame the focus on analysis for the routine of the four-hour games and the subsequent loss of countless fans due to the annoyance of too many pitch change delays.

Of course, in all professional sports you have to do your numbers homework.

You have to know the odds, recognize the situations that create the best opportunities for players to thrive in the best possible conditions.

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The resulting strategy is vital for success. Whether that means regularly moving three infielders to one side of second base or occasionally playing with four outfielders (in what has been described as “the Beer League rover position”), it is where the game went.

But athletes aren’t robots either. Pressure, emotion and bad bounces remain the unknowns that create drama for fans.

We hope a computer was kicked out of the Dodgers clubhouse in frustration after Game 4 was over.

However, in Game 5 on Sunday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts regained control as the game played out much like a pre-game plan.

Future Hall of Fame pitcher Clayton Kershaw was sailing with a two-point lead. In the sixth inning he had two strikeouts on just two shots, but Roberts pulled him out of the game, dismissing the pleas of Kershaw’s teammates and the pleas of anyone screaming on their TVs.

In the end, everything went well for Kershaw, Roberts and the Dodgers as the 4-2 win puts them in a position to win it all on Tuesday.

Game 4, however, will always be remembered more than Game 5 because it was so wild and for the fact that the ball was taken out of the hands of the managers.

It was an unforgettable moment in a season that was almost lost before it started.

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Twitter.com/Citizenkwarren

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