Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Midseason Update

Happy Bastille Day!

Also, happy All-Star Game day, although, really, I don't think anyone cares anymore. However, the Midsummer Classic does mark the official half-way point of the season, and, now that we're finally getting some sunny days that faintly resemble July, and now that I have finally gone to a White Sox game (a 10-8 loss to the Indians), I'm finally getting into the spirit of things.

Back in April, I made some outrageous claims about this year's MLB season. But now, halfway through the season, those claims are looking pretty, um, stupid. For starters, my pick of Arizona as the eventual NL champs is looking a little bit like a stretch right now. Also, the Cubs are the very definition of mediocre right now, at .500, although I don't feel as bad about that prediction, given that pretty much everyone thought that they would run away with the NL Central. Plus, the Cubs losing keeps the drunken douchebags off of my front porch.

So who is, in the end, going to come out on top and get to the World Series? I have no idea. But here is a list of some possible match-ups that also might be intriguing to watch.

1) New York Yankees (51-37, 2nd in AL East) vs Los Angeles Dodgers (56-32, 1st in NL West): Boo. At least that's what I would say at this match-up, pitting the Evil Empire against a team that would be hoping to bring a second championship to L.A. this year. But this would be a network exec's dream, brining together the two biggest TV markets in the country, along with a whole slew of juicy subplots. Torre returns to the Bronx. A World Series in Yankee Stadium's first year. The steroid and tabloid troubles of both Manny and A-Rod. It would also be the 12th World Series match-up between these two franchises, dating back to 1941, which the Yankees currently lead 8-3.

2) Boston Red Sox (54-34, 1st in AL East) vs San Francisco Giants (49-39, 2nd in NL West): I would much rather watch this East-West match-up than NY-LA, plus it would have the added bonus of having a (likely) wild card team in it, which 9 of the last 11 World Series have had. It would be the first meeting of these two teams in the World Series since 1912, a 4-3-1 victory by the Red Sox. (Game 2 ended in a tie when the game was called due to darkness.) It could also be a great Series because both teams have such good pitching, with Tim Lincecum for the Giants and Josh Beckett and Tim Wakefield for the Red Sox.

3) Detroit Tigers (48-39, 1st in AL Central) vs St. Louis Cardinals (49-42, 1st in NL Central): This would be a re-match of the 2006 World Series, won by St. Louis, and would be the 4th time in history that they played each other, with the Cards currently leading 2-1. I personally don't really like either of these teams right now, but the Tigers could have what it takes, and St. Louis has always had a habit of doing more with less. Plus, a win by the Cardinals would give them a reasonable claim to team of the decade, as they would have a 2-1 record in the World Series since 2000, compared to 2-0 for Boston and 1-2 for the Yankees. (Of course, that one loss was a sweep hand the hands of the Red Sox.)

4) Tampa Bay Rays (48-41, 3rd in AL East) vs Florida Marlins (46-44, 2nd in NL East): OK, this one is a bit of a stretch. The Fish are 4 games behind defending champion Phillies in the East and also 4 behind the Giants for the wild card, while the Rays trail the Yankees by 3.5 and the Red Sox by 6.5. But both of these expansion franchises have made a big splash (punny!) with the Marlins winning championships in 1997 and 2003, and the Rays being the defending AL champs. It would also be interesting to see how both MLB and Fox would handle/market an all Florida Series. After all, despite their success, both of these teams continue to struggle to get butts in the seats during games. Plus, there would be the very real possibility of having to relocate the entire Series to AAA Knights Stadium in Fort Mill, SC after Hurricana Zapato hits and causes severe damage to both Tropicana Field and Dolphin Stadium.

And here is your treat for reading this far:

Viva la France!

1 comment:

Rick said...

Vive La France!!! who cares who wins the world series. they are obviously all on steroids, or "peds", which is the new accronym. cute, huh?