It's 2014, another even-numbered year, and the San Francisco Giants are in the World Series. They'll win, if form holds. They won in 2010, 2012 and . . . the Giants have built a formidable, playoff-toughened franchise under manager Bruce Bochy and should beat the upstart though so far amazing - and unbeaten in the playoffs - Kansas City Royals, who only win in odd-numbered years (won in 1985, lost in 1980) . . . both the Giants and Royals are wild-card teams, a far cry from when baseball was a two-league, one-division setup, no playoffs, and the league winners advanced to the best-of-seven World Series. That all changed in 1969 when the one-league, two-division format was adopted, playoffs were introduced and nothing was ever the same again. Get two hot pitchers and a relatively mediocre team can beat an elite regular-season squad over one, five or seven games.
It's just the way it is as baseball has gone the way of most other sports and introduced many levels of playoffs. So the best team during the (always, in all sports, disrespected in my view) regular season does not necessarily win it all.
BERKOBITS: U2 took lots of abuse for various reasons upon the iTunes release of their new album, Songs Of Innocence.
But you know what? I bought the physical CD over the weekend, and it's damn good. Which is what you will always get from a dependable band like U2 and I'm not even a monster fan, though been 'with' them since Boy in 1980. . . . Led Zeppelin has lost the first round in its lawsuit vs. the estate of Randy California, whose band Spirit wrote a song called Taurus which Zep ripped off for at least the intro to Stairway To Heaven. Good. Zep is arguably a great band, but nobody has stolen - and been sued (and had to pay, hello Willie Dixon, etc. ) like they did. Then again, there's that saying, sometimes under dispute, that good artists copy, great artists steal. Yet more fodder for my 2007 Led Zep as ripoff artists post and a sort of Ian Anderson (of Jethro Tull fame) rebuttal in line with what many think. . . . you know, my favorite band is, was, and always will be The Rolling Stones but wow sometimes I listen to The Allman Brothers Band and there is no better. It helps that I am currently reading Gregg Allman's book, Not My Cross To Bear, but I just love the Allmans. Who are in a state of flux BTW, no definitive word it seems as to whether the band will continue after the departure of guitar gods Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks. Regardless, it makes me laugh when people talk about Aerosmith (great band) as America's best-ever rock band. Hmmm, no. Certainly not compared to the Allmans.