There are lots of times in sports when scribes have to “invent” a storyline for a playoff series, when you’ve got to stretch and pull and inflate the smallest connections or controversies to generate interest. Trust me, I’ve done it plenty in my career.
But with the World Series that started Tuesday night, man, there are about 32 storylines that make me excited, which is why I’m hoping this becomes an epic World Series. (Game 1 was a 6-0 rout, but that won’t be the norm.)
You’ve got the two incredible droughts, with the Cubbies not having won for 108 years and the Indians “only” failing to win a title for 68. You’ve got the manager of the Indians, Terry Francona, going against the Cubs’ front-office mastermind Theo Epstein, who oh-by-the-way is the guy who, along with Francona, helped the Red Sox end THEIR 86-year drought (My million-dollar idea: Can we send Theo Epstein to California to help them? Because between the Red Sox and the Cubs, dude is really good at ending droughts. Thank you, I’ll be here all night.)
You’ve got the Cubs’ ace, Jon Lester, pitching against a manager (Francona) he won a Series with. You’ve got Cleveland, with 3/5th of their pitching rotation hurt, making an improbable run to the series. You’ve got the city of Cleveland, which didn’t win a title in any sport for 52 years, now possibly winning two just in 2016. You’ve got Cubs manager Joe Maddon, the coolest dude in the sport, trying to finally win a crown.
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. One of these teams is going to end decades of futility in the next two weeks. They’re evenly matched, the crowds will be nuts, and I think it’ll go seven games.
Sometimes, baseball really deserves to take center stage again. This is one of those times.
**Next up today, I believe I’ve written about this before but I’m pretty darn excited about the “Gilmore Girls” reunion movies coming to Netflix on Nov. 25. The network has done a great job teasing out bits and pieces of the reunion stuff, but now finally we’ve gotten the full-scale trailer for it. If you’re a fan like me, you’re psyched, but also a little saddened at how old some of the characters look (Kirk, you haven’t aged well, but Miss Patty and Dean basically look the same.)
Man, I really, really hope these new episodes are good. So far, it looks very promising (though the Richard Gilmore painting is a little frightening).
**Finally today, a pretty horrifying story out of Texas. Fantastic reporting and investigating by the Houston Chronicle has discovered that schools across the state “have ousted children with disabilities from needed services in order to comply with a Texas Education Agency decree that no more than 8.5 percent of students should obtain specialized education. School districts seeking to meet the arbitrary benchmark have not only made services harder to get into but have resorted to removing hundreds and hundreds of kids.”
The story, part of an investigative series, talks about how educators were pressured to “weed out” students with certain forms of autism, dyslexia, and other disabilities.
We’re talking tens of thousands of students, not getting the help and extra attention they desperately need, because a stupid agency decides on an arbitrary, cost-saving idea. The weakest and most in need of help get shunted aside.
This is from Part 1 of the series:
“Over a decade ago, the officials arbitrarily decided what percentage of students should get special education services — 8.5 percent — and since then they have forced school districts to comply by strictly auditing those serving too many kids.
Their efforts, which started in 2004 but have never been publicly announced or explained, have saved the Texas Education Agency billions of dollars but denied vital supports to children with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, epilepsy, mental illnesses, speech impediments, traumatic brain injuries, even blindness and deafness, a Houston Chronicle investigation has found.”
What an incredibly important story, that sadly will get 1/100th of the attention whatever stupid thing a Kardashian or Trump said will get. The TEA leadership should be prosecuted for treating these students and families so shabbily. Check out the story here.