Wednesday, October 23, 2013

World Series... uh, yeah

Tonight the World Series commences with the Red Sox-Cardinals match-up I prophesized after watching the Tigers and Dodgers squander their excellent starting pitching with no ability to have the bullpen hold the lead or to get runners in scoring position across (it's not out of the question to imagine both having gone up 3 games to 0 rather than be down 2 to 1 after three, making their odds of continuing on much higher). It's arguable whether the victors played that much better than the losers in their respective series but that they merely did what they needed to do in order to win (which, really, is what winning teams do). So we have a rematch of the 2004 Series, where whichever team comes out on top will have its third title in the past decade.

And the question is: Which team is more worthy of rooting against?

I don't know which direction I'm leaning in that regard, but I suppose as the series proceeds I'll have a certain response to the outcomes that makes me either slightly elated or slightly perturbed. Slightly.

Eh, I suppose at least now I don't have to choose sides between the two teams for which I was actively rooting in the LCS; were they facing each other it would be more difficult. Of course, I would have been okay with either team winning in that scenario.

And I suppose with the Series we did get, where I don't really care either way, I'm okay with either side as well.


It's tricky to say whether the Red Sox or Cardinals were more hateable—my kneejerk response is the Sox, but Cards have taken more titles more recently, and have consistently made the playoffs for many seasons whereas the Sox finished in last place last season so their ascendancy could be viewed as a plucky underdog story… even though that's not really it; last season they were plagued by injuries. But I'm no longer enough of a devotee to the game to muster up much emotion merely to have a preference… about which side I wished to meet with defeat.

That doesn't seem like the way it should be, but sports do tacitly require some level of allegiance in order to grant the outcome some level of importance so it's not surprising that paying any heed to the games carries a modest obligation of choosing a side.

I can say this: When the Yankees end up in the Fall Classic I have no difficulty deciding which team I do not want to win. Where are you, Bronx Bombers?


Fans lament that baseball doesn't get the popularity football does, with the World Series drawing ratings that are paltry compared to the Super Bowl. But in a way that suggests it is better, in that unlike the NFL's championship game (where people watch even if they don't have any interest in the sport otherwise) the MLB championship series draws mostly the attention of those who have some interest in the sport. That isn't what Fox, the network airing the Series, likes to hear, but perhaps they can take some solace in the thought they're getting those who at least kind of care.

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