The World Series

Tuesday, October 22 2013 @ 04:20 AM EDT

Contributed by: Magpie

And on no account will I tolerate Boston-St.Louis. Enough is enough, I say.

Me, ten days ago. That worked out well.

At least I don't have to watch Prince Fielder play baseball for another six months. I already knew he was an awful defensive player, one of the worst I've ever seen. And a bad baserunner, too - still, there's nothing quite like having it rubbed in your face for ten days. It's as if he was on a mission to prove these things, beyond a shadow of a doubt, until we all cried "Mercy."

I get the impression that a lot of Blue Jays fans are - how can I put this - not feeling all warm and fuzzy about John Farrell's successful season. We went into the season looking foward to a delicious meal of schadenfreude. And then - not only was it snatched away from us, but a generous serving of crow seems to have taken its place. Bitter, and hard to digest. Farrell is, of course, the same guy we watched here for two years. But obviously, Boston is a far better fit for him and he's a far better fit for Boston than Bobby Valentine. Farrell understands the Red Sox culture and how to fit himself into it. Valentine tried to remake it, for no good reason whatsoever. Had the team been struggling before he arrived? No. They'd had a bad month. That's all. You can't change the culture of a 90 win team. You just can't. The players won't allow it. They will resist, and then you'll be screwed.

I still don't think much of Farrell as an in-game manager, and the Red Sox improvement this season was largely a matter of a) numerous mid-level pickups working out better than anyone would have dreamed, and b) good players recovering their health. There were a few good players recovering their form as well - Lester and Buchholz come quickly to mind - and it's not unreasonable that the return as manager of the pitching coach who had helped them develop into fine major leaguers didn't exactly hurt.

At any rate, it's beyond dispute that Farrell (unlike his counterpart in the Detroit dugout)  recognized that a short series is a very different creature from the six month regular season.  Leyland kept losing games with his seventh best pitcher on the mound. So far, Farrell has called for his best reliever in the eight inning three times, and Uehara delivered each time. Farrell pulled a struggling regular from the lineup, and subbed in a 20 year old kid with 44 at bats in the majors. That worked out nicely as well. Leyland needed to do that too, but he couldn't.  Leyland was unwilling to adjust to the fact that Miguel Cabrera was too crippled to field his position or run the bases. Cabrera might have been able to help the team as a DH, but that would have meant making either Fielder or Victor Martinez sit down. Well, Leyland gets to watch the rest of the way.