Mr. 1973, you can come in now. It’s time for you to meet your grandseason. His name is 2016. Do you see the resemblance? Yes, right there, it’s in his trajectory. Pick him up. Hold him. Have a gander at his late August. Normally for a bouncing baby playoff team, it would be much higher. But on 2016 here, it was set much lower. Uh-huh, just like on you.
Don’t be alarmed, though. That’s nothing to worry about. You of all seasons should know. You had a very low late August, but you turned out Amazin’. So has 2016. Look closer. Look at his September. Yes, it’s way up there, just like yours. I don’t think there’s been anybody in your family since you were born to have quite the kind of trajectory that you can trace upward so sharply from late August to the end of September to…yup, he has the exact same October 1 as you do. A Game 161 clinch and everything .
You gotta believe he’s incredibly healthy. I can show you reams of data you wouldn’t immediately grasp, but all you have to know is this key set of numbers: 27-12 from August 20 forward. For you, it was 21-8 from August 31 on. Like you, he had to pass through a very narrow canal of possibility , but we can see in hindsight that as long as you both kept pushing, everything was going to be fine.
He showed up just in time, as if he knew the gestation period wasn’t over until it was over.
I know you adore all the playoff seasons that came after you, but I can’t blame you for thinking this one is particularly special. Everybody fretted you weren’t going to make it, and I guess it’s fair to say there were some concerns about 2016 getting this far. Yet here we are, at the same stage of life, and we have every reason to kvell.
His arms? Frankly, I don’t think they’re quite as robust as yours, but sometimes you can’t tell at first glance. We took an MRI as a precaution…yes, we do that a lot these days. Anyway, in that space where you had a Seaver, a Koosman and a Matlack, we don’t see very much similar in him beyond the Thor. But don’t worry. They’ve done studies recently, and they’ve found a Lugo and a Gsellman can provide nearly as strong a foundation. And the Colon on this one is very durable. It can process innings sort of like the Stone that was never properly extracted from your system did for a while, assuming that it’s managed wisely and not ignored. It’s 43 years later, so we know a lot more about these things than they did back then.
I think what makes this youngster very special is his heart. You and I know where he gets it from, huh? Oh, and the guts. No, that’s not a sanctioned medical term, but you’re in all those scientific journals for the same reason he ought to be someday. Go ahead, place your finger in his palm. He Tugs at it. A kid like this should be able to handle anything. Doesn’t recoil, doesn’t give up. That indicates the presence of heart and guts not every season has.
The DNA suggests his hair could be a little Rust-colored eventually, but for now it seems to be coming in platinum blonde. Nature can be wild that way.
He leans a little to the left like you did. The shortstop, the third baseman and the left fielder are his dominant traits, kind of like yours when we examined your stretch run, except he generates far more power from that side. Those positions make all the difference for him, just like they did for you. I don’t know that his backstop is as sturdy as yours, but he’s blessed with a very resilient back end in his bullpen. Where you had one essential reliever, he has several. Why is that? Stretch runs simply didn’t require as much relief when you were born, but seasons come out differently today. Attribute it to evolution.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention that he was nearly born without an optimally functioning Bruce. It wouldn’t have necessarily harmed him, but having a good one, if I may use a technical term, surely couldn’t hurt. All in all, 2016 is made up of a lot of parts that are easy to take for granted: a Loney, a Rivera, another Rivera, a Granderson…put them all together and you find yourself hugging an absolutely beautiful playoff season. Just another miracle brought into this world when we could definitely use one.
Would you get a load of that? He’s making a little fist, as if he’s going to be ready for anything or anybody who stands in his path in the coming days. Another family trait. It’s too soon to project much about where he’ll go from here, other than he can go home on Wednesday, but he’s definitely got the autumnal gene.
We’re as excited as you are to welcome 2016 to the postseason, Mr. 1973. We’ve been waiting for another one like you for a long time. But we better let him get a little rest now. Pretty soon he’s gonna have to say hello to America.