First, I take personal responsibility for your sudden plunge in fortune.  I can’t begin to guess the millions you folks lost betting on the Houston Astros, my choice to win the World Series.  Yes, your own trusted baseball guru failed you for the first time to give you winners in October’s playoffs.  (I’m letting the hoots and boos die down…awaiting the applause for my being so honest and forthright to drown them out.)

Know that I was not alone among the failed oracles who knew the Houston Astros were the best team.  The Washington Nationals?  Lucky.  A fluke…one of those cases where one team gets hot and the other can’t score after the sixth inning.  (In a universe governed by chance, all things that can happen will happen.)

Here I add another mea culpa for picking the Dodgers to win the National League pennant.  They let me down again, they let you down again, just as the Dodgers always let everybody down.  When will we learn?

Not to be too defensive, but it was a tough year for handicappers.  And I think my picks held up rather well, overall.  Review my final-six in each league (correct picks are in bold face).

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I continued my winning ways by picking New York over Minnesota and Houston over Tampa Bay, then completed my mastery of the American League by taking Houston over New York.  Why, that’s downright perfect.

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Make that five out of six in the final six in the Senior Circuit, with the feckless Cubbies folding first, followed by the Braves and Dodgers bowing out early.  Then the Braves and Dodgers betrayed me big-time, and the rest is sad history.

(Note though, I did have the newly crowned champion Washington Nationals among my teams in contention.)

OK, I’ve fired my last alibi.  Wait ’til next year!

To ease your financial pain, just remember my guarantee is still in force.  My picks for next year’s baseball season will come to you absolutely free!

P.S.  Houston’s departing pitching ace Gerrit Cole, the former Orange Lutheran High School and UCLA Bruin star, is now a free agent and in the Scott Boras fold.  Rumor has it that he wants to move west.  If true, the Dodger and Angel owners might want to dust off their checkbooks.