By this time next week, this year’s baseball season will be over. The World Series has been a phenomenal battle to this point, with each team doing their best to get a leg up on their opponent. As exciting as the series has been, though, this week will be clouded in tragedy.
Taveres Killed In Car Accident
While Madison Bumgarner was putting on another show during Game 5 of the World Series, Twitter exploded with a baseball-related bombshell that had nothing to do with the game.
Oscar Taveras, a 22-year old outfielder and top prospect for the St. Louis Cardinals, was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic. His passenger in the car, his 18-year old girlfriend Edilia Arvelo, was also killed in the crash.
There aren’t many words that you can say about a tragic event like this one, other than it’s a terrible loss both on and off of the field. Taveras was known as one of the most lighthearted players in the game and his teammates have remarked that he always had a smile on his face.
Baseball truly lost a large part of it’s future with the death of Taveras and it’s a shame that we’ll never get to see what he could have accomplished. After hitting a huge home run in the NLCS and being a genuinely nice person off of the field, Taveras left a big impact on a wide variety of people and will be sorely missed by many. RIP Oscar Taveras.
Bumgarner Rolls Through Royals Again
Despite the tragedy involving Taveras taking center stage, there was some very entertaining baseball that was played this week. The Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants went neck and neck through the first 4 games, which made Game 5 pivotal.
Luckily for the Giants, Madison Bumgarner was taking the mound for them. Simply put, he has been lights out this postseason and has put on a performance that will be remembered generations from now. He has cemented himself as one of the best postseason pitchers in baseball and Sunday’s game furthered that notion.
After hurling 7 innings (and allowing one earned run) in Game 1 to get the win, Bumgarner one-upped himself in Game 5. He threw a complete game shutout and fanned eight Royals along the way. With this start, Bumgarner’s ERA this postseason dropped to 1.13 over six starts.
While he may not have been nationally recognized as one of the best pitchers in the game, this postseason has certainly changed that. At just $3.7 million this year, Bumgarner’s current salary has to be seen as one of the best in baseball, if not the best. If you had to win one game in the playoffs, which pitcher (active or retired) would you make the call to?
Maddon Leaves Rays
If you’ve ever read the book The Extra 2% by Jonah Keri, you’ll know that the Tampa Bay Rays have relied on a variety of Wall Street strategies to be able to compete with the larger market/payroll teams in their division and across the league. With Wall Street in mind, my advice would be to “Sell” on any Rays stock that you may own, especially with this most recent news.
With Andrew Friedman leaving for the Los Angeles Dodgers last week, the team was already wobbling, but the news of manager Joe Maddon leaving may just be the knockout blow. After weeks of negotiation the team and Maddon were unable to come to an agreement, which is going to leave a large void within the organization.
Maddon, generally considered one of the top 5 managers in all of baseball, has suddenly become the hottest name on the market. Some teams that may have seemingly been set with their manager might even take a look at him. For me, however, the one team that stands out is the Chicago Cubs.
They have the money behind them that Maddon never had with the Rays and they have a ton of young talent that will be coming up over the next couple of years. It seems like a perfect fit and we’ll see how it progress. As for the Rays, they may be in for some rough times without their front office leader, and now their manager. If the Cubs wind up hiring Joe Maddon, who do you think will finish with a better record next year; the Cubs or the Rays?
This Week’s MVP: Hunter Pence (.474/.545/.737, 1 HR, 5 RBI)
This Week’s Cy Young: Madison Bumgarner (2-0, 0.56 ERA, 13 K)