Jorge Soler was named the World Series MVP. He hit three home runs, including the back breaker in the clinching Game 6, drove in six, and had an OPS of 1.191.
But there was another Brave who deserved MVP honors more than Soler. It’s Braves GM Alex Anthopolis.
With his team floundering under .500 the the end of July, having lost their best player in Ronald Acuña, and other outfielder Marcel Ozuna, as well as their best pitcher in Mike Soroka, he went to work at the trade deadline to remake his offense.
He traded for Soler. He traded for Eddie Rosario, who was MVP of the Championship Series. He traded for Adam Duvall, who wind up leading the N.L. in RBIs. And he traded for Joc Pederson, who energized this team with clutch home runs all throughout the post-season and made it fashionable to wear pearls with a jock strap.
That’s how a team that won only eighty-eight regular seasons games stormed through the post-season and beat the Houston Astros in six games to win the 2021 World Series.
It’s a great story.
The Atlanta Braves are World Champions for the first time since 1995.
Brian Snitker, who has spent more than forty years toiling away in obscurity in the Braves system, managing his way up the minors, sees a lifetime of sacrifice pay off. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. And it couldn’t be a better lesson that experience matters in the job of major league manager.
It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy than Freddie Freeman as well. He is a free agent now. He is the heart and soul of this team. Atlanta would be foolish to let him get away over something as trivial as a few hundred million dollars.
The Braves won Game 6 by the score of 7-0. They got a three-run homer from Soler. A two-run homer from Dansby Swanson, and the dagger-in-the-heart solo shot from Freddie Freeman.
After that, all that was left was the breaking of Astros hearts.
In the end, it was a thrilling World Series chock full of offense. And it further proved the value of starting pitching. Max Fried was well rested and dominating. He prevented the Parade of Relievers.
There are many ways to digest it. But in the end, it was just fun baseball. With the pure joy of Atlanta winning it all comes the sadness of the 2021 season now being over.
Like Dr Seuss said, don’t cry because it’s ending, smile because it happened.