Friday, October 16, 2015

TWTW's 2015 ALCS Preview

Danville, Kentucky -- A trip to your local Great Clips for a routine haircut and side-burns trim is often a humiliating experience for all parties involved. As you look at yourself in the mirror, your poor decisions and wasted opportunities stare back at you. As you gaze at your own inadequacy, reflecting on your dire financial circumstances, your hair is being massacred by someone equally humiliated to be employed at a Great Clips. As you sit in the spinning leather chair, your eyes may wander to the employee's nametag, prompting you to wonder where they came from; what their story is. As you gaze at what's left of your hair in the mirror, it's only natural to contemplate the series of choices that brought your hairdresser to this Great Clips, where they now trim the locks of people who are too cheap to buy a real haircut but too proud to ask somebody to hack away with a bowl and scissors. The scent of hair product and humiliation hangs in the air like the smell of cheap vodka lingers in a trashed hotel room after a night spent trying to escape the grind of the proletarian lifestyle.

October is a month of humiliation; and not just because the arrival of Autumn causes otherwise alpha-men to sip pumpkin flavored lattes whilst wearing emasculating fuzzy scarves and wooly sweaters. October is the month when the dreams of baseball fans are slashed by the cold, unfeeling steel hair-scissors of fate. Many dreams have already been crushed; like some forgotten follicles, carelessly thrown onto the barber-shop floor until somebody has the decency to sweep them up or donate them to a hair-drive or something. The Houston Astros seemed ALCS-bound until the baseball gods intervened, reminding the Royals of the magic of 2014, when the boys in blue won games by hitting singles and running the bases. Elvis Andrus of the Texas Rangers will wear the shame of his multiple 7th-inning errors like a schoolboy wears a bowl cut as the head that his mother lovingly groomed is lowered into a garbage can.

With the dust settled from the ALDS, the board is set and the pieces are moving. Here's what to look for.

American League Championship Series - Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals

Folks, I could've told you this would've been the ALCS matchup back in Spring training. I've always believed in the Blue Jays, and I've always believed in the Royals. There's alot to like about both these teams. They have swagger. They stick up for their teammates. They brawl.

The Blue Jays hit bombs, and the Royals throw flames. Yet, I think the likely winner is obvious: the Kansas City Royals, a team of companions who have been through hell and high water -- a fellowship that was battle-tested in the crucible of back-to-back playoff runs, will triumph. On paper the Blue Jays have better starting pitching and a better offense. But this is a clubhouse of strangers; of flashy deadline acquisitions like David Price and Troy Tulowitzki share no bonds of camaraderie with their teammates. Kansas City has also made blockbuster deals for Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist, but the Toronto Blue Jays have no comparable wellspring of playoff experience to draw upon. Unlike Moose and Hosmer's clique, the Blue Jays did not defy the nerds and haters in a miraculous postseason Cinderella story last October.

Am I 100% sold on the Royals? No, especially given the absence of field general and master tactician Omar Infante. But we've seen before what happens when America's best faces Canada's best; and that's why we pronounce Detroit: "Dee-troy-t" and not "Deh-twah." Price will dazzle; but Cueto will put the team on his back. Bautista will bat-flip; but Morales will put the ball in play and drive in runs. Royals in 6.


Autumn is a glorious season; a season of splendid red, orange, and brown hues. A time of Hallowed Evenings, and a time where thanks are given. But it is also a season of decay; of dead leaves, where the crisp October air gives way to winter's chill. Yet spring brings new life to all, just as biology dictates that even the worst trips to Great Clips can be undone by the steady passage of time and Men's hair-loss products. Expect the Royals to have an autumn to remember, long after the cold of winter has come.