Major league baseball had some great storylines this year.


Unfortunately, they were almost great stories that just didn't quite materialize.


 


Major league baseball had some great storylines this year.

Unfortunately, they were almost great stories that just didn't quite materialize.

In July, during the Home Run Derby in Yankee Stadium, Josh Hamilton almost became a great story. 

He was the first player picked in the 1999 draft. But injuries and a serious drug addiction took him out of baseball and into the gutters and back alleys of life.

After kicking the habit and getting his life straight, the slugger got a second chance. A good first year with the Chicago Cubs led to a trade to the Texas Rangers. 

As a Ranger, Hamilton took his place in the home run derby. 

His place was almost at the top. 

He hit more balls out of the park in the first round than anyone in history. He faced Justin Morneau in the final round. But his huge preliminary totals were erased and both hitters started on level ground.

Hamilton's offensive output took its toll on him and Morneau beat him in the finals.

From maybe the greatest story in baseball history to "the first Canadian to win the Home Run Derby." 

I think it is safe to say that was almost a good story.

The almost factor continued into the World Series.

The Tampa Bay Rays went from the worst record in major league baseball to the World Series. But instead of riding off into the sunset after being crowned world champions, the Rays lost in five games to the Philadelphia Phillies.

They were almost a great story.

Their pitching staff were all under 26 years old. There have been years when teams in the Little League World Series couldn't make that claim.

But being a great, young second place team just doesn't excite the masses.

Hamilton and the Rays will go down in history as two of the best stories that ever almost happened.

Maybe next year's big stories will make it to the top and not fall just short of making history. 

I almost can't wait.