-by Christina Bulkeley- Major League Baseball’s 110th World Series left an unforgettable impression upon viewers everywhere with the San Francisco Giants winning it all in game seven over the Kansas City Royals. This Fall Classic marked the Giants’ third since 2010, while the Royals made their first October appearance since 1985. Their third world series title in five years proved the Giants’ dominance over Major League Baseball, creating what has been widely referred to as a dynasty.
Early in the season, few predicted that either team would go to the World Series, let alone win it. In late May, just two months into the season, only 15 of a panel of 44 experts gathered by ESPN predicted the Royals would make it to the postseason and just 23 thought the Giants would.
Out of these experts, none predicted the Giants would win the pennant. Additionally, only one thought the Royals would make it, only to lose in The Series.
Naturally, the unlikely pair made for a World Series full of unexpected twists. This was only the second time ever that two Wild Card teams made it to the World Series. The Royals, revered for their speed and clutch hitting, had only four of their starting nine players born the last time their team reached the World Series. Additionally, nobody out of the Royals’ starting nine has ever won a World Series with any team. Giants ace pitcher Madison Bumgarner told the media, “You don’t necessarily have to have [experience], but it certainly don’t hurt when you do have it,” acknowledging the two World Series rings already in his possession.
Bumgarner, who had an incredible series, entered game seven in relief after starter Tim Hudson gave up two runs and was knocked out early in the game. He held the Royals scoreless throughout the remainder of the contest, though he gave up a hit that allowed left-fielder Alex Gordon to make it to third with two outs in the ninth. The third base coach controversially did not send Gordon home, filling the minds of baseball fans everywhere with “what if’s.”
“I really wish the Royals had won, but the playoffs were an exciting end to the 2014 season,” says Diana Faust, ’17. Underdogs that they were, the Royals became the fan favorite this postseason. Manager Ned Yost boasted in a press conference that his unheralded Royals had captured the hearts of enthusiasts across America. Going into the Series, the Royals had not lost a playoff game since last century. Viewers everywhere wanted to see the Royals, who have underperformed for so long, take home baseball’s most prestigious trophy. As Ms. Faust points out, however, this postseason was filled with ups and downs and the World Series summed up all the drama of America’s favorite pastime into seven tense games.
Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane has said for years that the playoffs are too small a sample size to effectively judge an entire season; they are largely luck. This World Series proved Beane’s point: these teams were so evenly matched that the Giants just barely came out on top. Baseball is a frustrating sport because the playoffs are so affected by chance, yet the postseason is too exciting not to watch.