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The Paw Print

Poly students discuss the 2023 MLB World Series

Esme Younger

Did you know the World Series happened? I am completely serious. Not joshing, not jesting, not even joking when I say that it happened.

The two teams were filled with young talent, yet no one thought they had a real chance to make it. They played incredibly few games (only five). It sounds like a must-see event, right? Wrong. This year’s World Series seems to have been largely forgotten, even by avid baseball fans.

I typically follow the Series, but with senior year getting busier in the fall, I completely forgot about it. To my surprise, nobody else seemed to know it had happened either.

Regardless of grade, gender or typical investment in baseball, almost everyone’s reaction ranged from “Huh, that happened?” to “I don’t have any thoughts on it.”

Senior Zan Srinivasan explained why so many people had tuned out this season. He said, “You have these unexpected teams that no one expected to make it as far as they did. They are filled with young players. I mean, if you aren’t a fan of those teams, why would you tune in? This Series had one of the lowest viewership in its history, averaging 9.11 million viewers, a 23% decrease from last year. The games were fine, especially game one, but it was also an incredibly short series, so it was hard to get invested either way.”

Senior Chase Engstrom disagreed. “I think it’s great to see younger and more unexpected teams play,” he said. “Every year, we see a team like the Astros play, which isn’t particularly interesting to watch. The games themselves were interesting, especially game one, even if the series itself was short. I hope that next year we see the Dodgers, but this was still a good Series.”

The Series itself seemed to be forgotten for a variety of reasons, the quality of play not being one of them. The history of how both teams got to the Series is rich and interesting, and it deserves to be covered in depth.

The Texas Rangers clinched their first World Series title in the franchise’s 63-season history, defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks in a 4-1 series. Their journey to victory included a Wild Card Series win against the Tampa Bay Rays, a triumph in the Divisional Series against the Baltimore Orioles and a nail-biting 4-3 victory over the 2022 champions, the Houston Astros, in the Championship Series.

The World Series commenced with a thrilling first game, where the Diamondbacks took a 5-3 lead in the fifth inning. However, the Rangers rallied in the bottom of the ninth, tying the game 5-5 and eventually securing a dramatic 6-5 win in the 11th inning. Despite Arizona’s dominant 9-1 win in Game 2, the Rangers took control, winning Game 3 with a 3-1 score. On Halloween, both teams engaged in a slugfest, and the Rangers emerged victorious with an 11-7 win in Game 4.

In Game 5 on Nov. 1, pitcher Nathan Eovaldi’s stellar performance, lasting six gutsy innings, set the stage for the Rangers’ triumph. Arizona’s Zac Gallen held a no-hitter until the seventh inning, when Mitch Garver broke the scoreless tie with a pivotal RBI single in the seventh inning, giving the Rangers a 1-0 lead. The Rangers then sealed their victory with a four-run ninth inning, finishing the postseason with a perfect 11-0 record on the road and the title of World Series Champions.

The 2023 World Series MVP, shortstop Corey Seager of the Rangers, etched his name in history as the fourth player to win multiple World Series MVP titles and the first to achieve this honor in both the National League and the American League. Seager had previously secured the title in 2020 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Manager Bruce Bochy, in his first season with Texas, clinched his fourth title exactly 13 years after winning his first in 2010 with the San Francisco Giants. Bochy’s return from retirement proved instrumental in the Rangers’ success.

The Rangers’ path to victory was not without challenges; they overcame injuries to key players such as Seager and pitcher Jacob deGrom. The Rangers showcased resilience by overcoming a 0-1 defeat in the regular season finale and facing a challenging postseason journey that involved defeating the Astros in the seven-game American League Championship Series.

The victory marked the Rangers’ first World Series title after five stadiums, numerous managers and 10,033 games since their establishment in 1961 as the Washington Senators.

The Diamondbacks, despite an impressive postseason run, fell short in the World Series. Manager Torey Lovullo expressed regret for not leading his team to victory but remained optimistic about the future.

It seems a shame that nobody tuned in for this World Series, but when the beloved Dodgers or hated Astros aren’t playing, it can be hard to justify watching it.

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Kiki Iribarren-Alvarez, Staff Writer
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