Let it be known, I love baseball, I’ve watched and followed the game faithfully for over 20 years and count moments as far back as Sid Bream’s slide and Joe Carter’s home run among the defining memories of my fan life just as any major moment on the hardwood or gridiron.
Also, I’m far from saying that no one should watch this year’s Series between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals — hell, I’m going to. As a baseball sympathizer I feel bad for the sport. In what is its showcase period of the year, it still falls woefully short of regular-season NFL as a ratings draw. For example, the recent Sunday Night Football battle between Washington and Dallas had over 11 million more viewers than that night’s ALCS game, which featured David Ortiz’s dramatic, game-changing grand slam (source: LA Times).
Please, watch the Series, watch what very well could be the best Series in quite a while. As it has been duly noted, this is the first MLB championship affair in 14 years that features the top teams from the National and American Leagues, it also features the only two teams with a chance to win their third world championship in the past 10 years. Also (and very much an edge for me) it features two teams who didn’t face each other in this first season of season-length (and insufferable) interleague play.
Emotionally, though, I couldn’t be more distant from this series. To get to the heart of it, I’m sick of both these teams. Well, mostly the Cards.
The Red Sox are actually a real good story — only one year out from one of the franchise’s worst year’s ever, the Beard Gang spent money, picked itself up, regained the offbeat, yet winning mentality the franchise ran through the mid-aughts with and got back to baseball’s biggest stage.
If the Red Sox were the same group of jackasses who torpedoed their 2011 season then I wouldn’t feel them as much. As it stands, it is still hard to classify this Red Sox team as an underdog or a mystical team of destiny, they’re just a good team. Given all the franchise’s resources the Red Sox are supposed to field championship-contending teams every year.
That brings me to the crux of my negative feelings, represented by my status as a Chicagoan and follower of the 2013 Cubs (66-96) and White Sox (63-99): should either one of these last-place teams make the turnaround next year that the Sawx did this year, you could truly count it among the early signs of the apocalypse.
Neither the Cubs or Pale Hose have any chance and they rarely do. Consistency has never made a home at 35th and Shields or at Clark and Addison, it knows whats up in Boston and St. Louis though.
Especially St. Louis.
The Cardinals really are the team that’s ripping my heart out. You can’t help as a Cubs sympathizer but to feel embarrassed while pitted against your supposed “rival” — say, for instance, if the Cubs were in the position the Cards were and chose not to up the money on Albert Pujols, the 100-loss seasons would still be racking up, not consecutive seasons reaching the League Championship Series. Given the Cubs’ luck and Pujols’s recent output, it would probably would have been an “L” regardless for the slugger and the Cubbies.
Yes, the Cardinals are really, really worth our admiration, but it bores me to see them with another chance to win. Same to the Sawx.
The possibilities were pretty rich at the beginning of the postseason, but instead of the Cinderella Pirates, the Rallyin’ Rays, the gritty A’s or the endlessly entertaining Dodgers we get these two teams once again — ’04 it’s not, there’s no true story to root for this time out, unless you’re really into facial hair or judgmental diamond etiquette fundamentalists.
Luckily, the baseball season ended at least five or six months ago in the Chi — and October? As always, just another month to worry about the Bears, Bulls and Hawks.
Follow Regal Radio on Twitter @regalradio1 and Kyle Means @Wrk_Wrt