This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.
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"The World Series, as you know, was clinched by the road team, the seventh game of seven won by the visitors. Looking back, that was the theme of the month; just three of nine “rounds,” counting the wild card games as such, were clinched at home: the Nationals in the Coin Flip Round, and the Astros in the Division Series and ALCS. Home teams went just 17-20 in the playoffs all told, 5-12 from the LCS round on. It was an October during which we mostly watched teams celebrate on the field while the crowd walked glumly towards the exits.
"I can’t quantify this, but I am certain that this contributed to how this postseason felt. Sports are theatre, dramatic action set against the background of a crowd gleefully cheering its heroes. We rarely had that this month, and almost not at all in the World Series -- Nationals fans who attended the three middle games in D.C. had nothing to cheer for. There was a strange, muted energy to the Series, and it was due to the absence of home wins."