By Spencer Schultz and Scottie O'Bryan
It’s that time of the year again. As the fall season begins, the Major League Baseball season wraps up, ending always with dramatic playoff games. It’s the chance for teams to win it all for their city. The MLB Playoffs is full of upsets and blowouts, underdogs, intense situations and moments that will live on in baseball history forever. It all boils down to one thing; winning. “It’s when the men are separated from the boys,” says freshman Parker Wing.
The rush of excitment the MLB Playoffs creates has already spread to many students at Jamesville-DeWitt High School. Freshman Sean Hlywa and sophomore Ian Crawford are both World Series watching regulars. Both enjoy watching the MLB Playoffs because they play baseball. Junior Hannah Gunther will watch the World Series even though her favorite team, the New York Yankees, won’t be playing in it. Wing “loves” watching the playoffs as well. “I play baseball, and I can learn a lot from watching some of the best (players) compete in clutch moments,” says Wing. “The World Series is a rich history in baseball,” says junior Pat Cramer who also plans on watching the World Series.
The Kansas City Royals advanced to the World Series after sweeping the Balitmore Orioles in 4 games, winning Game 4 on Wed, Oct. 15. They’ll be playing the San Fancisco Giants who defeated the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday, Oct. 16, with a ending usually only seen in movies. With a tie game in the bottom of the ninth inning, Travis Ishikawa hit a three-run walkoff homerun to advance the Giants into the World Series. The Giants have been in three of the last five World Series.
People already have been making predictions about the turn outs of the big games and if certain players will make a big impact in this year’s MLB Playoffs or not. Some were upset with the outcomes of the games. Hlywa correctly guessd that the San Fransisco Giants will go up against the Kansas City Royals in the World Series. Wing says he knew that the Giants were going make the World Series. He’s also hoping that Giants outfielder Nelson Cruz has a succesful postseason this year. “Nelson Cruz kind of fell of the face of the earth for a while. He’s back though, and he’s looking for redemption.” says Wing. Freshman Luke Smith thought it was of going to be the St. Louis Cardinals versus the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. He still hopes for close games though. “I hope there’s going to be seven games. I think it’s going be close games right down to the end,” says Smith.
Not all Red Rams have caught the Playoff’s fever. “Is baseball even played right now?” says junior Casey Sawyer. A couple other students will not watch the MLB Playoffs. “Baseball can be boring and games are usually late at night on schoolnights, so its tough to watch them,” says freshman Nico Modesti. Freshman Sara Gow agrees, saying she probably won’t be able to watch any games because of school.
One team that fans had not been expecting to make the playoffs was the Kansas City Royals, a team that has failed to make the playoffs since 1985. However, this team has become a favorite for people to root for. Wing, Hylwa, and freshman Kasey Vaughan are just a few of the fans rooting for this underdog to make it far in the Playoffs. “This isn’t just a Playoffs run, it’s a World Series run,” says Wing, who is very confident in the Royals’ chances. Wing believes that the Royals will win the World Series in five games and that they will “destroy” the other team. Vaughan agrees saying, ”The Royals are winning it all! They have the right momentum.” Cramer thinks their surprising play is a “combination of luck and skill.”Some students, like Modesti, haven’t been too impressed with the Royals run though. “It’s over! They won’t win anymore. They’re overrated and it’s just luck!” says Modesti.
Kansas City’s playoff run has not better the only shocker this baseball season. After 20 successful seasons with the Yankees, the iconic New York Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter announced his retirement earlier this season.
Wing, Hylwa, and Crawford believe it was the right time for him to retire. “He started to ‘fall off’ and his game wasn’t as good as it used to be,” says Hylwa. However, other students, such as Modesti, think that Jeter should not have retired this early. “He had a few more years in him. I wish he retired on a year where they won the World Series,” says Modesti. “It’s an end of a dynasty and an era. I’m sad to see him go,” adds Gunther.
Although Jeter’s stats show he will be remembered as a great player, some believe he has had an even greater impact as a person. “I have a lot of respect for him. He is a great model for young players,” says Gunther. Even J-DHS baseball players admit to modeling their game after Jeter. “I try to copy the way (Jeter) carries himself on and off the field,” says Cramer, a second baseman. “I really wish I could do his famous throw in the air after he backhands a groundball,” says freshman Sarina Alexander who primarily plays second base in softball. “He’s not only one of the best shortstops, he’s one of the best people (in the MLB),” says Smith.
As far as the future of the Yankees without Derek Jeter, people have mixed opinions. Wing believes that the Yankees will struggle without the prescence of Jeter, saying the Yankees are going "downhill from here." Freshman Kasey Vaughan agrees, saying it will be tough for the Yankees to recover from losing such a key player. “Someone on the team will definitely have to step up, lead the team, and take his role,” says Vaughan. “It will be a hard role to fill, but I think they can do it."
Game 1 and 2 of the World Series will be held on Oct. 21 and 22 between the San Fransisco Giants and Kansas City Royals w Kansas City.