Wednesday, October 22, 2008
SUS Predicts the World Series Part III: White Boy South Bronx Edition
The Who Gives a Flying Fuck World Series
I love baseball, and it takes a lot of heat for being slow, boring and not requiring athleticism to play. In baseball's defense, consider that commercials only come between half inning and during pitching changes and that there is no intermission. The amount of commercials in the NFL, (still the best sports league anywhere) and the halftime aspect combine to make me quite frustrating. I much prefer the cyclic nature of the commercial breaks in a baseball game Secondly, its timelessness makes it unique from every other team sport this side of its cousin Cricket. Whether you like baseball or not, this cannot be denied. All of this being said, this series does very little for me.
I have very little emotions for or against either team. Yea I don't like Philadelphia sports fans but I only really hate them when they are dressed in shit green and puke white on Sundays. Tampa fans are front runners but Yankees and Sox fans are rewarded each year with a competitive team so I can't really hate on Tampa fans for being into their team for the first time ever. The Rays are technically a division rival of the Yankees so maybe that should get me all riled up? No sale. But maybe I can root for one of these two teams instead of just picking one team to hate on? I kind of appreciate the Phillies for torturing Mets fans again. On the other hand, the Rays took the heart out of Sox nation by shocking its beloved team in game 7 which included a stunning bases loaded strikeout of J.D. "I'm suddenly Mr. October since I've been with the Sox" Drew by young phenom David Price. I do hate the Sox significantly more than I hate the Mets so perhaps this should make me side with the Rays? But the Phillies have a more star studded team with big sluggers so maybe I can latch on to them? No sale. In the end, none of these 4 angles gets me jacked up to root for either side.
Does this series do anything for pure baseball fans like myself? Sort of. Tampa's great rotation taking on Philly's great lineup is exciting. However, another big reason why I love baseball is its classic and/or beautiful stadiums such as Fenway, Yankee Stadium (R.I.P :( ), Wrigley, Camden Yards and Citizen's Bank park in Philly. However, the first two games of this series are played in the worst stadium in the sport by leaps and bounds. (Editor's Note: Why would the Tampa Rays play their games in Nassau Coliseum?) There is no excuse at all for any team not to have a retractable dome. It is downright depressing to me to watch the World Series played indoors if it is not horribly cold and/or raining outside. Tampa not only plays in a non-retractable dome, its a dump. It is aesthetically nauseating and has no character. If that wasn't annoying enough, those cowbells are irksome to say the least. Unless Christopher Walken is walking through that door, I don't want to be anywhere near a cowbell.
So while the baseball itself is intriguing, the series' complete lack of anything sexy in terms of entertainment value makes it a tough watch even for a big baseball fan like myself. Still, I feel obligated to make a pick so I will. The Phillies have taken over the baseball world almost as much as the Obama campaign has taken over the direction of the election. Its lineup is excellent and its closer, Brad Lidge might as well as paint his skin dark and put a 42 on his back because he is pitching as well as Mo ever has/had in any season. Although its only truly excellent starter is its ace Cole Hamels, it boasts a hot 2 and 3 of Brett Myers and Joe Blanton. Tampa's rotation is the best in baseball and its lineup, although not scary, is perfectly opportunistic. Neither team has any significant World Series experience but Philly has an older and more experienced team. The last team to win the world series without the best or hottest starting rotation in the league was the 1996 Yankees, 12 years ago. I have to go with the Rays in a competitive and long series.
THE PICK: Rays in 7