Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Three Baseball Guys: 2010 World Series
LCS Results (and Totals)
Tom: 2-0 (6-0)
Aaron: 1-1 (5-1)
Eugene: 0-2 (1-5)*
*EDIT: Or as Carrie quipped on Twitter -- "Luckily for Eugene, the domain '16percentsports' is still available!"
America certainly got the most compelling World Series match-up -- a true hitters vs. pitchers archetype that leans heavily on the respective league stereotypes. But, the country's collective yawn is already the storyline. An unwatchable Monday Night Football game between Tennessee and Northern Florida State out-Nielsened game three of the ALCS. ESPN -- one of Major League Baseball's broadcast partners -- has crapped all over the Texas vs. San Francisco series.
In a few days, ironically enough, it'll be the sports networks lamenting the inevitable ratings crater with insincere apprehension. After all, they're the ones who spend six months promoting the same 6-8 teams at the expense of legitimate talent on teams who don't have a "national following". It's your loss, America.
Texas Rangers v. San Francisco Giants
Aaron: Texas manager Ron Washington is a former coach with my Oakland A's, sounds JUST like pro wrestling personality Theodore Long and inspired the phenomenal "UncleRon" hash tag/theme on Twitter. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy was at the helm of the Padres when I first moved to San Diego in 1995. He was underrated and underappreciated by fickle locals who expected him to consistently win with Dennis Tankersley and Ruben Rivera, but still guided the Friars to four playoff appearances and an NL pennant. Yet, Bochy's postseason pedigree will endure another World Series defeat.
In 11 playoff games this year, the Rangers have scored less than five runs just twice. The Giants have scored more than five runs just once in their 10 playoff games. San Francisco's pitching could steal one or two wins at home – without the DH – but, to paraphrase legendary manager C. Montgomery Burns, the only way the Rangers lose this series is if all nine of their hitters fall victim to nine separate misfortunes and are unable to play in the Series. But that will never happen. Three misfortunes, that's possible. Seven misfortunes, there's an outside chance. But nine misfortunes? I'd like to see that! Pick: Rangers in 6.
Eugene: Call this the precursor to defeat for the Rangers, but I like them better in this series. Their hitters have been more consistent in October and they have the luxury of throwing Cliff Lee 3 times -- on short rest, he could pitch games 3 and 7 each on 3 days rest -- if the series goes the full 7 games. I think the Giants would be a little more hesitant to do that with Lincecum. Either way, Bengie Molina wins; he'll be getting a ring and playoff share either way. Pick: Rangers in 6.
Tom: I'll go ahead and say that if Ron Washington didn't pitch Cliff Lee on 3-days rest against the Yankees, I don't see any reason that he's going to suddenly decide to do it in the World Series. The funny thing about the Giants going in to the World Series is that, in the first season the NL has won the All-Star Game in forever, their best line-up/defensive combo is the one that gives them the opportunity to have Pablo Sandoval hit and Juan Uribe play third base... and in every other year they'd be able to get that line-up four times.
Personally, I was excited to see this series because it's the best pitchers in the NL vs. the best hitters in the AL. I don't know if I buy the argument about the Rangers' post-season run totals for this reason: The Yankees' and the Rays' games are based on having one ace and a bunch of slightly-above mediocre pitchers who win by the offense beating the bejesus out of the opponents. The Yanks were the top run scorers in the AL and the Rays were 3rd. That's not the Giants' game. The Giants' game is to scrape out a run and shut down the opposing offense. Isn't that the perfect format to face Cliff Lee and a bunch of other pitchers we've retconned in to aces? If the Giants scrape out two or three runs a game against guys not named Cliff Lee, you're telling me I should bet on Lincecum, Sanchez, or Cain giving up 4+ runs in multiple starts? In a ballpark where Josh Hamilton has to pull the ball 9,000 feet to hit a home run? Why? Because The American League Is So Much Better? We'll see, I guess. Giants in 6.