Leaf Nation is in for a roller coaster ride of a season

Allsports, owner and operator of All sports on the Web

Allsports
“No Guts No Glory”

Up here in Toronto this time of year has the Toronto Maple Leafs filling up the sports news and sports on the web. The NFL is starting to sort out the contenders from the pretenders. The Canadian Football League is into the Conference Finals with the winners going on to the Grey Cup. Yes there is quite a bit of interest in the two football leagues but let’s face it, Toronto is a hockey town and the Toronto Maple Leafs eat up the lion’s share of the sports news space.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are a charter member of the NHL

The Toronto Maple Leafs Logo

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been doing their best impression of Dr. Jackal and Mr. Hide so far this season. Looking like legitimate contenders one game, then turning around and playing like an East Coast hockey team in the next. It must be driving Coach Randy Carlyle crazy from the team’s inconsistency. How can you look so good in one game (The Toronto Maple Leafs beat a very good Tampa team last night handily 5-2). Then stink the rink out as they did 48 hours earlier getting thumped by Nashville 9-2. Is Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment LTD saving money by dressing a poor junior team for half of the games? Shanahan, Nonis and Carlyle must all be shaking their heads in disbelief at the way the season has gone so far. It would drive lesser men to drink. Carlyle and Shanahan must be ready to choke someone because throughout both of their distinguished playing careers, they were anything but inconsistent. They do realize that there are some young guys on the team that are going to make mistakes but when the same mental mistakes keep happening you have to start to wonder. It can’t just be blamed on the young guys either. Some of the seasoned veterans are making the same rookie mistakes too. So make sure your seat belts are good and secure, Leafs Nation because the season is turning into quite the roller coaster ride. But will the roller coaster stop at a playoff spot?

And that’s the sports news and sports on the web, or the way I see it anyway.

“No Guts No Glory”

Walt Webb

Madison Bumgarner derails Royals for third World Series Title

Allsports, owner and operator of All sports on the Web

Allsports
“No Guts No Glory”

The World Series is over in the sports news and sports on the web. It was a great World Series and went the distance, but in the end Allsports prediction was a strike out. That was exactly what Madison Bumgarner did to the Royals all World Series. He was a horse, throwing something like 257 pitches and made history doing it. Bumgarner was the difference in the World Series, recording two wins and a save out of the Giants four wins and there was no doubt that he was the series MVP. Honorable mention for MVP has go to Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval. Pence batted .444 scoring 7 runs and batting in 5, Sandoval batted .429 scoring 6 runs and batting in 4.  Allsports knew Madison Bumgarner would be the dark horse in the World Series but never imagined that he would be so dominant and shut down the Royals so completely. We witnessed history in the making and Bumgarner had a series for the ages. He had a World Series  ERA of 0.43 and held the Royals to a .127 batting average over 21 innings of work. Lights out whenever he took the mound. His ERA and opposition batting average are the lowest in World Series history (minimum of 15 innings, Sandy Koufax, had a 0.38 ERA in the 1965 World Series)

Sandy Koufax won the World Series four times during his career

Sandy Koufax

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Two Wild Card teams refuse to lose and meet in the World Series

Allsports, owner and operator of All sports on the Web

Allsports
“No Guts No Glory”

The World Series is now front and center in the sports news and sports on the web. It will be the second time in MLB Playoffs history that the teams battling in the World Series are both wild card teams. The first was the Angels beating the Giants in the 2002 World Series. Taking the longest road possible to reach the pinnacle of the World Series. You have the young upstart Royals that swept through the American League ALDS and ALCS championships to reach the World Series against a MLB playoff Giants team that has been about the most consistent in the game over the last five years. It will be their third World Series appearance in those five years and they won both of their previous appearances to become World Series Champions. When the Royals swept through the American League playoffs it was the first time since the 2007 Arizona Diamondbacks that a team went through the division series and the conference final without losing a game. Talk about peaking at the right time. So how did these teams make it to the World Series, the pinnacle of professional Baseball.

The American League is often called the Junior Circuit. Who will represent in the MLB Playoffs

American League Logo

The Royals frustrated the Orioles completely with their defense and timely hitting and the Royals bullpen really shortened the game. If you have not scored before the seventh inning with those guys, chances are you won’t be. The Royals pen reminds Allsports of the 1992 Blue Jays where Dwayne Ward and Tom Henkie cleaned house from the seventh inning on. Lorenzo Cain was a thorn in the Orioles side all series long and recorded eight hits in fifteen at bats for a .533 average. He was rightfully named the MVP of the series but honorable mention has to go out to the Royals bullpen for shutting the door on a very dangerous Orioles team.

The National League, also known as the senior circuit, who will represent in the MLB Playoffs

National League Logo

In the National League Allsports did pick the Cardinals to win it but two things happened that made it so it was not in the cards for them, pardon the pun. First the Cardinals lost their all world catcher in Yadier Molina who suffer an oblique muscle strain and could not swing a bat. Secondly a guy named Madison Bumgarner out pitched Cards ace Adam Wainwright in there two starts to swing the tables into the Giants favor. Bumgarner was throwing BB’s up there for the Cards to hit without much luck. He pitched 15.2 innings, giving up three runs and the Cards batted .170 against him. He has been a horse for the Giants and Allsports feels he is the best money pitcher in the game today. He just wins baby and he received the NL MVP. Allsports thought it would have been interesting to see Molina trying to throw out the speedy Royals on the base paths but it just was not to be.

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Some Surprises in the MLB Playoffs Picture.

Allsports, owner and operator of All sports on the Web

Allsports
“No Guts No Glory”

 

The MLB Playoffs have reached the Conference Championship stage in the sports news and sports on the web. There were a few twists that Allsports did not see coming at the Division MLB Playoff level which is a little bit of an understatement considering  he went one for four in that round of the MLB Playoffs. Even the one that was right was kind of wrong. Allsports did pick Baltimore over the Detroit Tigers in their MLB Playoff ALDS series but the margin of victory was supposed to be slight and the MLB Playoffs series was supposed to go the distance. The Orioles handled the great Tigers starting pictures and once they got into the soft underbelly of the Tigers bullpen the fat lady started to sing. The brooms came out an it was a three game sweep for Baltimore. The Orioles served notice that they will be a formidable opponent in the Conference Championship of the MLB Playoffs.

The surprise of the MLB Playoffs has to be the Kansas City Royals. No one gave them a chance against the Angels, Allsports included. All they did was sweep away the Angels in their ALDS, MLB Playoff series. Making the best team in baseball through the regular season look very ordinary in the process. There were some MLB Playoff firsts in this series. It was the first time a team opened the MLB Playoffs with three consecutive extra-inning games.   The Royals won them all, one against Oakland in the Wild Card MLB Playoff game and then the first two in L.A. to open that series. There sure was not much to cheer about in La La Land, that’s for sure. The second first was that it was the first time the team with the best record in baseball through the regular season was swept in their first series of the MLB Playoffs. Allsports was happy this prediction was wrong and enjoyed the baseball the Royals played. Their speed on the bases had the Angels off balance all series and some outstanding defensive plays snuffed out a few of the Angels potential rallies. The Royals were very entertaining to watch and played the MLB Playoff series the way Ty Cobb would have been proud of.  It was Old Time Baseball.

Ty Cobb was one of the meanest and feared players to ever put on the cleats

Ty Cobb

In the National League of the MLB Playoffs, Allsports was shut out although not surprised. The two teams that refuse to lose in the big games of the MLB Playoffs did not disappoint. The Giants and the Cardinals took out their rivals by identical three games to one series scores. The question now is, which one of these two teams will blink first when they meet up for the National League Championship in the MLB Playoffs? The Giants scored their series winning run on a wild pitch and both teams had trouble bringing runs in with a man in scoring position. Bryce Harper was great at the plate for the Nationals but the trouble was he rarely had someone to drive in other than himself. While St. Louis was just more consistent at executing than the Dodgers and it helped having Matt Carpenter swinging the bat for them. He was involved with many of the scoring plays the Cardinals made. Allsports will make a prediction because after all that is the fun of it and of course the record could not get any worse.

So now the stakes are that much higher in the MLB Playoffs. The winners of the ALCS and NLCS will earn the right to represent their league in the World Series. There is an additional carrot for the American League Champion because they will get home field advantage in the World Series due to the fact that the American League won the All-star game this year.

The American League is often called the Junior Circuit. Who will represent in the MLB Playoffs

American League Logo

In the American League the upstart Royals head to Balitmore to open the ALCS for the MLB Playoffs on Friday night at 8 PM. All of the experts are not giving the Royals much of a chance in this one. The Orioles hit the most home runs in the Major Leagues this year, while the Royals hit the fewest. Baltimore has very few if any weaknesses and has played pretty consistent baseball all year long. They execute when they have to and very rarely beat themselves. As they say, Baltimore does all the little things well that win you ball games. With that said, the Royals are a young team and just don’t know that they are not supposed to be here. They made plays in the field that sucked the life out of any potential rallies and with that stayed away from the big inning that could hurt them. The Royals were on a high after putting away the Angels and most say the layoff before this round of the MLB Playoffs will hurt them more than it will the Orioles. They will come back to earth so to speak and the Orioles have more experience to keep them on a steady keel. Well Allsports thinks the Orioles will be quite formidable but with what I have seen from the Royals in these playoffs, the young guys have captured my enthusiasm and I don’t want to see it end. It will be a very tough series but my heart wants the Royals to win it so that is why I am going to take the Royals in the full seven games. It may not be where the smart money is but I am rooting for the Royals and their fans. It has been a long time coming in K.C., the young guys have played great so let’s not have the bubble burst on them yet.

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