‘Tis the postseason to eat hotdogs. Welcome to the MLB World Series.
You do you. But the World Series are a big deal, since America’s pastime is one of the oldest and most popular sports in the country. About 15 million people tuned in for each World Series game last year.
There are two leagues: the American League and the National League. The 10 best performing teams from those leagues play in the postseason aka the playoffs. After lots of swinging and ‘heyyy batter batters,’ the top two teams from each league play each other for a spot in the World Series. Kind of like the Final Four. With smaller balls.
It was the Chicago Cubs v the LA Dodgers in the National League, and the Toronto Blue Jays v the Cleveland Indians in the American League. The Indians and the Cubs are now facing off in the World Series. It's best-of-seven games.
These teams haven’t been to the World Series in a loooooong time. Especially Chicago, whose last World Series win was in 1908.
Aroldis Chapman...as in the one with the fastball. This Cubs pitcher can throw 105MPH, which is the fastest ever recorded. He’s also played fast and loose with the law, and was suspended earlier this year for his alleged involvement in a domestic violence incident. Strike one.
Francisco Lindor...as in the one with few candles on his birthday cake. This Cleveland Indians shortstop is only 22, but already making a big name for himself as a serious switch hitter.
Kris Bryant...as in the Cubs third baseman who’s been crushing the postseason. He’s in the running to be the National League’s MVP this year. Deserves a deep dish pizza stat.
Painting the black... Not as politically incorrect as it sounds. It’s when a pitcher throws a strike to the corner of home plate, which is painted black. Don’t try this at home. Only v good pitchers can paint it black.
Bang-bang play...Not as NSFW as it sounds. It’s a play that’s a very close call, and sometimes unclear whether the runner is out. Cue the excitement. Because the game’s not all ‘spit tobacco, stretch legs, repeat.’
Hanging...When the pitcher throws a ball that needs an espresso. These slow moving pitches are usually hit fast and hard. This is why you hear announcers call pitches ‘hanging’ after home runs.
Squeeze play...Baseball’s version of a trade-off. It’s when a hitter bunts a ball so a base runner on third base can score, but gets himself out at first base in the process. Buzzkill.
Whether you already bought tickets to a World Series game, or the closest you’ve ever gotten to the sport is wearing a baseball hat, now’s the time to pay attention. And this year’s a good one to watch, since the teams haven't won in decades. Shine bright like a (baseball) diamond.