Column: 2016 World Series features a historic matchup
The Lanthorn's editor-in-chief and assistant sports editor debate which team deserves the MLB championship more
Editors’ note: This column was written after Game One of the World Series, but before Game Two, due to the Lanthorn's publication schedule.
No matter which team wins the 2016 Major League Baseball World Series, a long championship drought will end for one team. The Cleveland Indians have not won a World Series since 1948, while the Chicago Cubs have waited over 100 years for another championship. For both teams’ devoted fans, a great deal is at stake over the coming weeks. With so much on the line, both Tribe fans and Cubbies loyals are ready to stick with their teams until the end.
AG: Look, I’m as much a fan of ending a century-long drought as the next person, but the Indians have got this one in the bag. It’s Cleveland’s year.
JP: Cubbies all the way. Kluber looked good in Game One, but I would be worried about the rest of Cleveland’s rotation, especially if they keep hurting themselves playing with drones (Trevor Bauer).
AG: Bauer’s finger isn’t anything a couple of stitches and some super glue can’t fix. And with Danny Salazar back in rotation, Cleveland’s rotation couldn’t be better. Unless, of course, Ricky Vaughn wants to come out of retirement. Plus, with Jason Kipnis, Mike Napoli and Carlos “Slamtana” Santana, the Cubs should be more than a little concerned with figuring out how to stop the Tribe’s lineup.
JP: I would be worried if the “Wild Thing” was in the rotation, but consider Cleveland lucky that Henry Rowengartner (Rookie of the Year) isn’t in the Cubs rotation. Although, Cleveland can match Rowengartner with Ryan Merritt, who is actually 12-years old. The Tribe’s lineup is cute, but the Cubs have MVP candidates Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, not to mention recently-off-the-disabled-list Kyle Schwarber, who hit five home runs in seven games last postseason.
AG: I’d agree there are some heavy hitters in the Cubs lineup, but when even your catcher (Roberto Perez) can hit a three-run homer in Game One, you know Cleveland isn’t messing around. Each and every member of the Tribe team this year is scrappy, and they’re digging in deep. There’s no way they’ve come this far just to give in to some baby bears.
JP: The Cleveland lineup did get under Jon Lester’s skin last night, but the Cubs have the reigning Cy Young winner (Jake Arrieta) pitching in Game Two, followed by this year’s Cy Young front runner (Kyle Hendricks) in Game Three. And the Cubs are the most menacing mascot the Indians will face this postseason. The Tribe has beaten a bird and a red article of clothing, not very impressive, while the Cubs have beaten Giants and Dodgers, whatever that is.
AG: The Cubs may be more menacing than the Blue Jays or the Red Sox, but they’re no match for Tito Francona’s jaws of steel. All those years of massive amounts of gum have prepped Francona and his team to chew out the Cubbies this World Series. Francona has done an excellent job this season cultivating an outstanding bullpen, with ALCS MVP Andrew Miller and Cody Allen. The Tribe starters have done an excellent job getting the ball rolling, but much of the Indians’ success can be attributed to Allen and Miller coming in clutch in the latter half of games.
JP: I will admit, Miller has been lights-out all postseason, but he looks like a little-league pitcher compared to Aroldis Chapman. Miller’s fastball averages in the low-90s, while Chapman’s fastball tops at 105 mph. The time it takes Chapman’s fastball to reach the catcher’s mitt is faster than it takes someone to blink—science. Cleveland hitters better not blink as they are trembling in the batter’s box when Chapman is on the mound.
AG: I’ll admit there’s some serious talent on the Cubs team, but the Curse of the Billy Goat isn’t going to be broken yet. Cleveland’s too strong of a team all-around, and they’re not about to give up without a fight. It’s #Believeland’s time to shine, and the Cubs can go ahead and crawl back into hibernation for another 100 years.