The last time the World Series was played at Wrigley Field, the Detroit Tigers defeated the Chicago Cubs 9-3 in Game 7 of the 1945 World Series, becoming World Champions for only the second time in franchise history. Sid Feder wrote a story about that game for the Associated Press the day after, which included Tiger greats Hal Newhouser, who set a record (at the time) with 22 strikeouts in a World Series, and Hank Greenberg, who hit two home runs in the series, including a game-winner. On the Cubs’ side, Phil Cavarretta and “the National League’s best center fielder” Andy Pafko were the stars. Ed Mierkowicz, the last remaining member of the 1945 Championship team at 92 years of age, recounts that series as his only appearance game in the 9th inning of Game 7 as a replacement for Greenberg.
Fast forward 71 years and the Cubs are back playing in the fall classic at Wrigley Field against the Cleveland Indians. Game 3 will feature Kyle Hendricks against Josh Tomlin. However, this time the DH rule is interfering with both teams’ rosters. Kyle Schwarber, the unlikely hero in Game 2 with a home run after missing most of the season due to injury, is not medically cleared to play the field. On the Indian’s side, the team is seriously considering playing DH/1B Carlos Santana in left-field.
People are tuning into the World Series
When something extraordinary happens in baseball, people tend to tune in. The Cubs being in the World Series would certainly qualify and as a result, the ratings are at 18.3 million viewers, the most since 2009 and up 27 percent from last year.
Gold Glove Tigers
Gold Glove finalists are in and the list includes four Tigers, the most out of any team in the American League. Pitcher Justin Verlander, second baseman Ian Kinsler, shortstop Jose Iglesias, and catcher James McCann will try to win the first Gold Glove of their respective careers. It could be the first time since 2006 that the Tigers have had multiple Gold Glove winners, when Kenny Rogers and Ivan Rodriguez won. Yoenis Cespedes was the last Tiger player to win it, just last year.
Tigers analytics department is growing
One of the first things Al Avila did as the Tigers new general manager was create an analytics department. With the recent announcement that the Tigers are going to go “leaner and younger” and possibly cheaper as payroll will likely stay stagnant or lower, the analytics department is going to have to play a bigger role. They are developing an in-house software system called Caeser.