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'From Phenom To The Farm:' What It's Like To Play In The World Series



“From Phenom to the Farm” releases new episodes every other Tuesday featuring players whose experiences vary across the professional baseball spectrum. Players will discuss their personal experiences going from high school graduation to the life of a professional baseball player.

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With a Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay Rays World Series now set, it’s easy to see the vast narratives that might play out over the coming week and a half of Fall Classic baseball.

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While it’s near impossible to accurately predict what the main takeaway would be or who the star was from a World Series that hasn’t yet been played—because sometimes after the dust settles you’re staring at a World Series where Steve Pearce is your surprise MVP—at the outset there are potential storylines galore.

After years of near-misses and splashy acquisitions, is it finally time for the Dodgers to break a three decades-long drought? Will the Rays complete full proof of concept that elite scouting, player development, and shrewd transactions can compete with big spending and lead to a title?

Player-driven narratives are also in the mix with an upcoming series to be played. Can Clayton Kershaw add that long sought-after title to his Hall of Fame career (and perhaps get that negative “playoff Kershaw” chatter off his back). In two weeks will Charlie Morton be cemented as one of the best playoff pitchers of all-time? Could Randy Arozarena cap off the best single-player postseason run since perhaps ’04 Carlos Beltran?

For the past few months on our podcast ‘From Phenom to the Farm’ we’ve talked to former players about their experiences in the postseason and what it’s like to play in a World Series.

For Brandon Guyer, his first postseason run came with an Indians team for whom he was a mid-season trade pickup to help with the playoff push. Guyer had to quickly work to fit in with a new clubhouse and focus on keeping his emotions in check during an electric World Series atmosphere in the 2016 showdown between the Indians and the Cubs.

Billy Butler spent the first seven years of his career in Kansas City on team’s that usually knew that they were free to make plans for October vacations by the first week of August. As the longest-tenured member of the Royals during the team’s 2014 run to the World Series, Butler could appreciate more than anyone how much that postseason opportunity was a longtime coming in Kansas City.

After years of bouncing around between AAA and the big leagues for various organizations, and getting to the point where he was wondering if he’d ever be a big leaguer again, Chad Durbin found himself as an essential part of a dynamic Phillies bullpen on a loaded team. He was able to dive in on what kind of mentality a team needs to create a winning culture capable of playoff success.

A veteran of multiple post-seasons, Russ Ortiz (full interview dropping on November 3rd) didn’t have the kind of World Series debut that he’d have hoped for when squaring off against the 2002 Angels (1.2 IP, 7 ER, 0 K’s). Russ took us into his focus in the days leading up to his next start in Game 6—how he planned to make his second World Series outing go smoother than his first.

On today’s episode of ‘From Phenom to the Farm’ former players tell us in their own words what it’s like to take the field during the postseason. Full interviews of each player featured on previous episodes are available on the ‘From Phenom to the Farm’ podcast feed, and tune in on November 3rd for the full talk with Russ Ortiz.

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