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Column

Baseball is over, settling into football

Wow, what a World Series!

The Washington Nationals and Houston Astros played an historic World Series. Neither team won a home game in the seven-game series for the first time in the history of the World Series. Not one.

The Nationals capture the 2019 World Series championship by winning four games in Houston. It’s the second World Series title for the city of Washington, D.C. but the first for the Nationals’ franchise, which were the Montreal Expos until moving to Washington in 2005.

The Washington Senators (Nationals) were an American League charter franchise in 1901. In 1924 with the Hall of Fame pitcher Walter “Big Train” Johnson, the Senators won the World Series. A note of interest Johnson was born in Humboldt, Kan., a southeast Kansas community I used to cover when I worked in the area from 1984-2013. That Washington team left to become the Minnesota Twins.

An expansion team of Senators played in Washington from 1961 to 1972. That team left Washington D.C. to become the Texas Rangers.

I wasn’t glued to the games. I really didn’t care which team won. I leaned more to the Astros because they are from the American League, where my Kansas City Royals are and I’ve always been an A.L. person. There are a few American League teams I don’t cheer for but that’s another story.

As for the Nationals, congratulations to their fan base. I’m glad they won it the year after Bryce Harper left the team for Philadelphia. Didn’t care for the “star” and his star attitude. Again, another story.

After what I thought was an entertaining World Series, the business of baseball settled in quickly. Free agents and new managers.

Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon became a free agent Thursday, a day after homering to spark Washington's seventh-inning comeback in Game 7 of the World Series.

Houston pitcher Gerrit Cole also went free after warming up in the bullpen but never getting into the season finale.

My Kansas City Royals hired Mike Matheny as manager.

The 49-year-old Matheny was manager of the cross-state St. Louis Cardinals from 2012-18, going 591-474 and becoming the first manager to reach the postseason his first four seasons. The Cardinals reached the World Series in 2013, losing to the Boston Red Sox.

Matheny was fired in July 2018 with the Cardinals 7 games out of the NL Central race at the time. He was hired last November by the Royals as a special adviser for player development, putting him in place to succeed Royals manager Ned Yost.

Just as MLB finished up, the start of the NBA season was up and running. I’ll stick to football. Not an NBA fan.

First, let’s talk a little college football, especially my favorite — the Kansas State Wildcats. Playing at home against then No. 5 Oklahoma not many gave the Wildcats a chance. I’m always looking for a victory but I’m also a realist — first-year head coach and all.

Man, oh, man, the Cats pulled it out against the Sooners on Oct. 26. There were a lot of college football experts bemoaning how the K-State win hurts the Big 12 Conference and of course the Sooners, who were projected to be in the top four for the college football playoff.

Well, it’s the reason we play the games to win. The Cats played better than the Sooners on that Saturday in Manhattan. Not going to apologize for the victory.

Then all my University of Kansas friends were sure the Jayhawks were in line to upend the Wildcats last Saturday in Lawrence. The Jayhawks played tough against Texas and beat Texas Tech, so the Sunflower Showdown was going to be a close one.

Not so — the Wildcats went to Lawrence and took care of business. We’re bowl eligible now at 6-2 and ranked No. 20 in the AP poll. There’s still plenty of games left including this Saturday’s trip to Texas.

Now, the NFL and my Kansas City Chiefs. Finally, notched a win at home after several home losses. It was a big win on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings with the backup quarterback and all. I still want more in the run game and better defense although the Chiefs shut down the NFL-leading rusher Dalvin Cook to 71 yards on 21 attempts.

Love me some Wildcat and Chiefs' football!

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