1. Astros Win World Series- Not only was I wrong about this series (because I predicted the LA Dodgers to win) but I was impressed with this Houston Astros team who won their first World Series Championship in their 56-year history after beating the Dodgers 5-1 in LA. This was the second consecutive World Series that went & games.
  2. CF George Springer wins WS MVP-He tied the World Series record in Home Runs with 5 (Along with Reggie Jackson -1977) and Chase Utley-2009) and for his efforts, Spring was named MVP. What a series by this young man, who along with All-Star Jose Altuve forms a core group that can probably go for it again next year.
  3. The Best Astros Team in Their History? Could be. But there were a lot of other great teams who had exceptional players like Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan, Joe Morgan, Randy Johnson, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell and All-Stars JR Richard, Lance Berkman and Roger Clemens and some of them made the World Series in 2005, but they didn’t get the ring like this current team, so this 2017 team may be their best in history.
  4. Verlander Earns His First Ring-After a storied career with the Detroit Tigers, which included 2 World Series losses, P Justin Verlander was acquired by the Astros for the stretch run, went 9-1 and is now a World Series Champion. Stories like this are priceless. It’s a reminder of when NHL’s Ray Bourque left Boston to win a ring in Colorado.
  5. Former Pirates Earn Rings-You can’t help but feel good for P Charlie Morton who pitched several years with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and was traded to Philadelphia after major struggles and then given another chance by Houston and he ended up getting the Game 7 win. Morton shut out the Dodgers Wednesday night with pitches hitting 98 miles per hour. Incredible. Former Pirate Francisco Liriano pitched an inning in Game 7 and will also earn his first ring.
  6. LA Dodgers-Game 7s are tough because a team will always know that they were just a game away from winning it all, and this Dodgers team were that close, after tying the series the night before. Led by HR sluggers Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Yasiel Puig and All-Star P Clayton Kershaw, this team needs to be commended for their efforts. Although they lost, they certainly aren’t losers. When they get that NL Championship Ring, they should wear it with pride.
  7. Postseason Awards-Several World Series participants should win a few of these awards. Kershaw should get NL Cy Young, Bellinger-NL Rookie of the Year and possible NL MVP, Houston’s Altuve-AL MVP, AJ Hinch-AL Manager of the Year.
  8. Pirates Offseason Plans-Along with more over-the-top explanations/excuses by GM Neal Huntington, the focus on this team will be whether they pick up the $14 million option on OF Andrew McCutchen. The 2013 NL MVP had a bounce-back year with 28 HR and 88 Runs Batted In. He doesn’t have to prove his worth to the Pirates, but they need to prove their loyalty to him. If they don’t, teams will be lining up at the door to sign him.
  9. Angels Ink OF Upton to extension-The LA Angels certainly showed their loyalty by signing OF Justin Upton to a 5-year $106 million extension after he hit 35 HR and knocked in 109 RBI this season. It’s just a shame that the Pirates won’t do this with McCutchen, because like Upton, he deserves it.
  10. Pittsburgh Steelers-After beating the Detroit Lions Sunday, the 6-2 Steelers are on a Bye in which they’ll get much-needed rest and healing before resuming their season against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, November 5th. I think they’re looking pretty good right now as they continue to find ways to win. Sure, they need to work on their Red Zone offense, but they can keep doing that while getting the wins.
  11. Are the Steelers The Best Team In the AFC-If the season ended today, they would get Homefield Advantage Throughout the Playoffs, but we know those stats mean nothing if you can’t get to the Super Bowl from there, which is the Steelers goal. I think their focus is to win the AFC North Division first and then they can go for playoff positioning.
  12. JuJu Smith-Shuster Gets Honor-He set a Steelers record with a 97-yard TD pass and had 193 yards on the night, and the NFL awarded the Steelers rookie WR with the AFC Offensive Player of the Week Award. Much deserved.
  13. Martavis Bryant-Since he wasn’t traded, it’s obvious that the Steelers still have plans for their somewhat-disgruntled WR who was suspended for a game for his social-media exploits, and I hope he gets his act together and is ready to wreak havoc on the field. Hopefully, Big Ben can get his accuracy issues together and connect with Bryant on some deep passes.
  14. LB Vince Williams-With Steelers defense continuing to get better, I would say that Williams is the unsung hero of this group. Folks forget that he’s been with the team since 2012 and was back up to Ryan Shazier and former Steeler Lawrence Timmons and when Timmons left, they lured Patriots LB Donta Hightower before he returned to the Pats. Williams was given the start and has not disappointed as he has 4 sacks and 61 tackles. And Hightower is now done for the season with a PCL tear.
  15. Andrew Luck Done for the Season-Speaking of fallen players, the Indianapolis Colts QB has had problems since last year and now the Colts have decided to put Luck on IR, which will end his season for the 2nd year in a row. Sad to hear.
  16. Texans Rookie Foster Done for Year-What’s even sadder is the news that rookie Houston Texans QB Deshaun Foster is also done for the year after tearing his ACL in practice. This young man was on a tear after getting the most TDs (19) in the NFL up to this point. Houston has also lost DE JJ Watt and LB Whitney Mercilis as well.
  17. Pitt Football-This team is also on a bye as well one week after stunning Virginia 31-14. The team is now 2 wins away from another Bowl berth, but they must beat North Carolina (whom they play next Thursday) and get a win against either Virginia Tech or Miami, who are both ranked to get that bowl game. Can they do it? I think they can if they can keep playing like they did against Duke and Virginia.
  18. Darrin Hall-I said he couldn’t find the end zone without a GPS and the Pitt RB has proven me wrong as he has run for 365 and 4 TDs the past 2 games. He has taken the ‘bull by the horns’ and I hope he keeps it up because Pitt needs him.
  19. College Football Playoff Top 5-The Surprising Georgia Bulldogs is #1, followed by Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson, and Oklahoma. For those who are upset (especially Alabama fans) relax folks, this is just the first poll. I think it will change as the weeks go by.
  20. Cleveland Cavaliers Struggles-The Defending Eastern Conference Champions are 3-5 and the team talks about being depleted. Folks need to relax here too: It’s still early in the season and this team is still learning proper chemistry and of course, are hoping that Isaiah Thomas will join them in January as planned. With 72 games left, I think they will be fine, especially with the NY Knicks at 3-3. it’s way too early to worry folks.

 

Please e-mail me at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

 

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