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Kaz's Korner

World Series over but Controversies continue

There was little surprise that the Los Angeles Dodgers are the 2020 World Series champions because they spent three times more to “buy” the better roster than the runner-up Tampa Bay Rays.

But did the Dodgers win or did Rays’ manager Kevin Cash lose it for his team with his boneheaded use of his low-dollar roster?

Game Six was an elimination game for Tampa Bay so Cash sent out his best pitcher, southpaw Blake Snell, who was a Cy Young Award winner in 2018.

The 27-year-old Snell was masterfully protecting his team’s 1-0 lead on rookie sensation Randy Arozarena’s first inning home run—his playoff record 10th circuit clout—allowing just one hit going into the bottom of the sixth inning with nine strikeouts.

With one out in the sixth inning, the Dodgers’ weak-hitting catcher Austin Barnes, who finished the World Series with an anemic .154 average, singled.

Cash immediately strolled out to the mound, pointed to the bullpen and Snell’s day was over with star reliever Nick Anderson, who had given up at least one run in his last six outings, taking over the Rays’ mound duties with his shoddy 7.20 ERA and only five strikeouts in 10 playoff innings.

The move to the bullpen was dumb because Snell had struck out the next three batters (Mookie Betts, Corey Seager and Justin Turner) twice each.

What happened on the next six pitches from Anderson spelled doom for Tampa Bay’s chances of tying the series at 3-3.

Betts ripped the first pitch off the left field fence for a double with Austin taking third base and then scored on the next pitch, which was wild and tied the score 1-1 with Betts taking third.

Seager hit a slow roller to first base and Betts beat the throw to the plate, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. That was all LA needed. Betts smashed a homer in the eighth for an insurance run, winning Game 6 by a 3-1 count and the 2020 World Series 4 games to 2.

Another controversy occurred during the Dodgers post-game celebration when Turner was taken out of the lineup when his COVID-19 tests came back positive and he was put into isolation for the safety of his teammates.

Turner couldn’t stand being unable to celebrate with his team, so he pushed past a security guard and was standing in the middle of the team photo WITHOUT his mask, hugging his manager Dave Roberts and several of his teammates.

“An initial round of post-game tests that night turned up no additional positives among players on the Dodgers and Rays,” according to the Los Angeles Times.” Another round of testing took place Wednesday. One Rays family member tested positive.”

Major League Baseball officials declined to say what would have happened if the Rays had won Game 6, with a potential Game 7 scheduled last Wednesday night.

The league said only that it would have reviewed test results and consulted with medical experts Wednesday morning.

If there actually was a Game 7, my money would have been on Tampa Bay ace right-hander Charlie Morton, who would have done exactly what he did for the Houston Astros in 2017 when he pitched a Game 7 win against these same Los Angeles Dodgers. At least manager Kevin Cash wouldn’t be blamed for blowing his team’s World Series chances.

KWICKIES…The Pittsburgh Steelers, despite being a four-point underdog at Baltimore Sunday, upset the Ravens 28-24 and remains the only undefeated NFL team. The Steelers are 7-0 for the first time since 1978, when they won the Super Bowl. The victory was No. 140 for Head Coach Mike Tomlin, who passed Tony Dungy for the most wins by a black head coach.

Green Bay’s game plan for Sunday’s rivalry against the Vikings at empty Lambeau Field was to stop running back Davin Cook. The touchdown-favored Packers failed as Cook ran for 163 yards on 30 carries and scored all four Vikings’ touchdowns for a 28-22 win that wasn’t even as close as the final score indicated.

Top ranked Clemson had to rally in the second half to subdue a scrappy Boston College team 34-28 and almost lost its No. 1 status to Alabama, a 41-0 winner over Mississippi State Saturday. Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Georgia retained the top five spots in this week’s AP Top 25 College Football Poll, Cincinnati and Texas A&M each moved up one place, Florida and BYU each jumped two places and Wisconsin dropped one spot to No. 10. SMU moved up four places to No. 18 and Texas rejoined the poll at No. 22.

The struggling New England Patriots played better Sunday but still were nipped by the Buffalo Bills 24-21 for their fourth-straight loss, their longest losing streak since 2002. Head coach Bill Belichick had better come up with a good game plan for Monday night when a hungry—but still winless—New York Jets team hosts the Pats.

Former Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch must really be good at his job because his one-year suspension ended after the World Series was over and he was contacted 30 minutes after Game 6 by the Detroit Tigers, where he will manage for the 2021 major league season.

The 2020 Vivant Houston Open begins tomorrow at Memorial Park with such talent like the world’s No. 1 golfer Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Jason Day and former Texas Longhorn stars Jordan Spieth and Jhonattan Vegas, former Lamar golfer Dawie van der Walt and ex-PNG star Andrew Landry. Only 2,500 fans will be allowed per day and must wear masks at all times. However, the four-day event is sold out, but it can be seen on the Golf Channel.

JUST BETWEEN US…I was saddened to hear of the passing of former Lamar basketball coach Billy Tubbs. I attended some of his press conferences and post-game interviews and thought he was really clever with some of his humorous analogies. Tubbs played for the school—then called Lamar Tech from 1955-57—returning in 1976 in his first Division I head coaching job, becoming the most successful coach in Lamar basketball history. From 1976-80 Tubbs won two conference championships and led his school to two NCAA appearances. He made the school proud when Lamar advanced to the Sweet 16. He returned as Lamar’s basketball coach from 2003-2006 also serving as the Cardinals’ athletic director until 2011. During his Division I coaching career at Oklahoma, TCU and Lamar Tubbs posted 610 wins. While serving as the Sooners coach, Tubbs team scored 4,012 points in 1987-88 which remains an NCAA record.


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