By Aris Sakellaridis
We are living in a politically correct world where statues of past leaders are being torn down, convicted cons are being released from prisons, marijuana laws have been relaxed and common sense is a thing of the past.
Major League Baseball needs to correct an obvious by renaming the Willie Mays Award to its true October hero, Mr. October himself, Reggie Jackson.
I love Willie Mays, who’s without a doubt the greatest five tool player who ever played the game, but when it came to the Fall Classic, Willie Mays was Willie Mays Hayes.
The World Series MVP Award was named after the Greatest Living Player nicknamed “The Say Hey Kid” in 2017. Whoever decided this didn’t do their homework properly. Mays appeared in 4 World Series (1951,’54,’62,’73). The best centerfielder ever, who hit a total of 660 homeruns, has zero homeruns in 71 World Series at bats. Mays batting average in October baseball games was .239. He has one championship ring, earning it in 1954.
Mr. October’s numbers during his series run is 98 at bats, 10 home runs and a .357-batting average. His 2 MVP awards in 1973 and 1977 helped validate his nickname, along with his 5 championship rings. Jackson’s 3-homer game in 1977 will forever be in the highlight reel.
Just like numerous other things in today’s society, replacing Mays’ name is a touchy subject, but some knucklehead in the MLB headquarters didn’t use their common sense on this one.
Kevin Long reappears
Congratulations to the 2019 World Champion Washington Nationals. They put a whole new meaning to the phrase “Age is just a Number.” The oldest team in the Major Leagues took it to the max in a total team-effort performance.
One member of that team is a familiar name. Hitting coach Kevin Long is earning the title of a “Good Luck Charm.” Long was the New York Yankees hitting coach in 2007-14, where he led his team’s offense to a 2009 championship. He then took his knowledge across the bridge to the N.Y. Mets and helped them get to the Fall Classic in 2015, in a losing effort to the Kansas City Royals. He was with the Mets from 2015-17.
The Washington Nationals quickly snatched him and “Bingo,” the Nats are the 2019 World Champions. K-Long’s energy and positivity along with his unique hitting drills have turned swingers into hitters. Long is the only Major League batting coach who has appeared in the World Series with 3 different teams. The business of baseball never gives credit to its coaches. The only time we hear of them is when their teams fail, and they’re made the scapegoats.
Congratulations to manager Davey Martinez and his bench coach Chip Hale, pitching coach Paul Menhart, first base coach Tim Bogar, third base coach Bob Henley, bullpen coach Henry Blanco, assistant hitting coach Joe Dillon and hitting coach Kevin Long.