The 23rd postseason in Kinsella turned into one for the ages. In the American League, Oakland and Texas looked to be the teams to beat. Minnesota was lurking as an underdog after a strong push to win their division. But all the expectations came unraveled when Cleveland unexpectedly swept Charlotte. Despite being the division winners, they only won 85 games. Minnesota took care of business against a scrappy Angel’s club. Texas ended Minnesota’s bid to appear in the ALCS and it seemed a shoe-in that Texas would meet Oakland. But the Indians rose up to beat the A’s in 4 games, 3 games to 1. Cleveland would meet Texas in the ALCS.
On the other side of the ledger, the usual suspects were all present. Arizona made a surprise push to win the NL West by five games over a hard charging Padres team. Florida awaited the winner of the Arizona/Pittsburgh matchup. The Padres did get into the playoffs only to have to play the Phillies. In a classic series, the Padres squeaked it out and earned the right to play 2 seeded Montreal. The favorite, Montreal barely held on to eliminate the Padres and move on. The Pirates had been in a similar position last year when they had faced Montreal (the Number one seed). This time it was vaunted defending NL champ Florida. But history repeated itself as the Pirates once again advanced to the NLCS as a lower seed. Their nemesis Montreal stood in their way.
Back in the AL Texas never seemed to stand a chance. The Indians ripped through the #2 seed just like they had ripped the hearts from the #1 seed, and sent Texas back for any early vacation. While the Indians were waiting, the NL went 7 games between the Pirates and Montreal. But this time, the Pirates rose up. After playing the bridesmaids, the Pirates pulled off the improbable and earned their way into the Series.
The season 24 series will always go down as one of the greatest. The Indians and Pirates went back and forth until game 7. And in the in the end, the Pirates overcame the adversity of a game seven again to take the crown and deny Cleveland their first title. Congrats to rookie30000 and his first ever World Series Title. RAISE THE JOLLY ROGER!