While hockey rules number one across the Kivalliq, especially in Rankin Inlet, the region has its share of knowledgeable baseball fans.
And, despite the excitement of NHL hockey being back this week, there’s been plenty of baseball talk during the past few weeks in the region focusing on the demise of the Toronto Blue Jays this season, and who will take the World Series title.
First of all, get over it to any Jays fan who is sulking enough about this year’s fall to start suggesting the Jays should tear it down and go into rebuilding mode.
No team in baseball could have weathered as many injuries to key players as the Blue Jays this season.
The Jays starting pitching staff – hailed as of the league’s best going into the season – was devastated by injuries as the year progressed, and starting fielders seemed to just keep dropping like flies.
The Jays still have the core of a very good ball club.
If they’re serious about contending next season, a few shrewd free-agent acquisitions to plug the holes, bolster the pitching staff and add to the squad’s overall depth will boost Toronto right back into playoff contention.
With the era of third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., right-handed pitcher Sean Reid-Foley and, perhaps, shortstop Bo Bichette only a season or two removed, the Jays can afford to load up for another run and unload some top talent at the deadline if the bottom falls out.
The offers for the likes of a healthy Troy Tulowitski, a productive Kendrys Morales and, especially, third baseman Josh Donaldson in a contract year will still be substantial.
Turning to the World Series, this may be the strongest group of four or five teams with a legitimate shot at the title in a good many years.
My apologies to Naujaat senior administrative officer Rob Hedley, but the Boston Red Sox just don’t have the pitching to go all the way, and the New York Yankees are too streaky, some would say inconsistent, to handle the best of the rest still standing.
The Cleveland Indians and the Huston Astros are the best bets for an American League team to claim a series victory.
The National League has two juggernauts in the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals, and a determined and very dangerous defending world champion in the Chicago Cubs.
These are five incredibly strong baseball teams, folks.
At the end of the day, it will come down to a battle of the balanced when the Dodgers and Astros meet in the World Series.
Both teams have power to spare, solid averages up and down their batting orders, better-then-average speed and solid, if not spectacular, defense.
At the end of the day the Dodgers’ ability to throw Klayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish and Rich Hill at a team, backed by 16-game winner Alex Hill and top-of-the-line closer Kenley Jansen, is a high hurdle for most lineups to get over in a seven-game series.
Predictions can be a lot of fun (especially when there’s no money involved) when one considers themselves a knowledgeable fan, and draws upon that knowledge to predict a winner.
I go out on a limb and predict the Dodgers will defeat Houston in six games to claim the series. If another team proves me wrong, may it be the Cleveland Indians.