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The World Series That Wasn’t – Post-Season Musings Of A Veteran Baseball Scribe

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I was once sitting around with a group of people as Steinbrenner was holding court, giving his views on several subjects. “I believe in the golden rule,” he declared. “And since I have the gold, I make the rule.”

* * *

St. Louis, of course, beat Detroit in the World Series in five games. Detroit would have hosted games six and seven, so the city lost out on some big revenue. I was sorry for the business establishments that had anticipated a windfall and for the stadium vendors who lost a chance to work two more games.

Players only share the income generated by the first four games – that way they can’t be accused of prolonging the Series for monetary gain. An owner – I can’t mention his name – once told me he’d rather his team lose the World Series in seven games than win in four. He’d get the extra income from concessions and parking, and he’d have an easier time negotiating contracts with players – after all, they wouldn’t be winners.

I’m hoping the Tigers get to the World Series again next year. The only thing I’d bet on at this point, however, is the Yankees once again winning the American League East. The Yanks are far better than any team in their division – Boston’s a distant second.

While the Tigers have several solid minor league prospects, which may enable them to fill holes via trades, they face stiff competition in the Central Division. Chicago and Minnesota are tough and Cleveland could be back in contention with the right trade or free-agent signing.

If the Mets add a good starting pitcher to their rotation, they should find themselves back in post-season play – this time making it to the World Series.

Baseball drew an all-time record number of fans in 2006, and there’s no reason the figure won’t be even higher next season. Barry Bonds is closing in on Hank Aaron’s all-time home run mark, the Tigers are drawing more fans both on the road and at home, new manager Lou Piniella should reinvigorate the Chicago Cubs, the game boasts a slew of young and exciting stars, and the Yankees and Mets can always be counted on to make news.

About the Author: Author, columnist, and public speaker Irwin Cohen headed a national baseball publication for five years and worked for a major league team, becoming the first Orthodox Jew to earn a World Series ring. His column appears the second week of each month. He can be reached in his suburban Detroit area dugout at irdav@sbcglobal.net.

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