With Game 1 of the World Series starting in mere hours, I had a few things I wanted to get off my chest.
For starters, the reaction of most in the baseball community thus far has been that this series isn’t unique, or interesting. Most people couldn’t have picked two less interesting teams to be playing in the fall classic. Clearly, I’m going to disagree with that entire notion, but I also realize that I “have a horse in this race”, so my thoughts towards it are going to be a bit skewed.
I myself would have preferred a Dodgers or Pirates vs. Red Sox World Series. I think those more historic match-ups would have been more interesting. But, interesting to who? Does the St. Louis fan base deserve a title shot less than Los Angeles or Pittsburgh or Atlanta? Numbers wise, there are less fans of the Pirates nation wide than there are of the Cardinals. Does that discount what they did this season? Of course not.
That’s also the entire point of playoffs; to determine finalists. So, when people say “this World Series is going to suck, I’m not watching it”, simply because their team isn’t in it, it’s doing a disservice to the entire sport. If you’re a fan of baseball, in general, you should enjoy at least a little bit of this series. These are the two best and/or luckiest teams in baseball, for October of 2013, whichever way you choose to look at it. There may have been better teams in June, or August, but this is October. There are great players on both sides. Exciting line ups, great hitters, remarkable closers. This should be very interesting to watch. It’s ok to “not like” the teams playing, but you should be able to at least appreciate the talent on both sides for what it is.
So, don’t give me this Debby Downer crap about how this series will suck, I’m tired of it. You don’t like the teams? Fine. But don’t tell me it will be “bad baseball”, because that’s just a flat out lie.
I also have a huge issue with cocky ass Red Sox fans. Yeah, you heard me. I have issues with my own team’s fan base. Every pink beard I see in the stands makes me want to hit people. Every idiot who thinks “we deserve this” and “this is our year” is incredibly misguided. These are the fans that jumped on board in 2004, NOT the fans that were crying in 2003. I’m old enough to have watched several “curse filled” self-destructions, several post-season endings that didn’t go our way, and to remember the pain of each and every one of them. Most people won’t understand it, but bonding through shared grief is a real thing. I remember watching in ’86 and wondering why my dad, my uncle, and my neighbors were so upset. Now I understand. I saw it and felt it first hand.
That didn’t get wiped away in 2004. For all we know, as Red Sox fans, 2004 and 2007 were complete freak accidents, but ones that went our way for a change. It could very well be another 86 years before we raise another World Series banner. ANY Red Sox fan that tells you otherwise doesn’t understand their history. Any cocky, sideways hat wearing, fake beard buying, douche-canoe from Gloucester, MA that says “We got this, this is our year” is a fucking idiot. On behalf of true Red Sox fans, I apologize for “those” people. If that’s the impression you’ve received online or in person, please disregard anything they said.
I also have to take issue with major sports media. Apparently they didn’t get the match up they wanted, so outside of Boston based media, I’ve yet to actually hear any coverage of the World Series. An entire two hours of sports radio/tv this morning, on THE major network for such things, was devoted to college football happening THIS SATURDAY. There were analysts, experts, call in guests, all talking about Oregon football. Fuck you. No, seriously, fuck you. That’s ridiculous. I’m sorry, it is. I don’t know anything else to call it. We’re on the eve of a major sporting event and it’s being entirely ignored. That says something about the state of the game and it’s relationship to national media. We are so far removed from “America’s Pastime” now, we should really just stop using that expression.
I’m so glad I live in a society were I can get BETTING numbers from nationally syndicated hosts, but can’t get a single thought on the World Series with the exception of the commercials for it on the same exact station. Sadly, it’s not just radio, the TV coverage is even worse. The single saving grace is that this is Tim McPumpkinhead’s last year. I’m sure they’ll find someone equally aggravating to replace him, but at the very least they won’t be unabashingly obvious Cardinals fans. They’ve almost over-compensated this year. They were making things up, Madden style, during the ALCS, just to have something to fill the dead air with. I swear I heard one of them say “the team the scores the most runs usually wins”.
I digress. All this is merely pent up anxiety over all sorts of things, both baseball and non-baseball related. I’ll save the non-baseball for another time.
In the end, I’m going to enjoy watching this series. Win or lose, the Red Sox have proven that with hardwork, and copious amounts of facial hair, you can recover from a fairly dismal season. They’ve exceeded all preseason expectations, and for that I’m already considering this a successful year.
I hope you all enjoy watching it. I hope, even if you don’t have a team in the series, that you can find something to root for, even if it’s merely baseball itself.
I don’t make predictions, they’re always wrong, but I know my team is hard working, scrappy, and very very clutch, I hope that’s enough to bring another one home.