Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Fall (anything but) Classic

What is going on with the World Series? Umpires are admittedly blowing calls, Bud Selig is changing rules and not telling anyone, and Las Vegas already declared the Phillies the Game 5 winners. Did I mention that Selig has now postponed Game 5's completion to Wednesday?

Poor Major League Baseball. Look at the other major sports championship games/series over the past year.

The NFL had 18-0 New England, vying for the first ever 19-0 perfect season against a team from nation's largest market that snuck into the Super Bowl after winning three road playoff games. Super Bowl XLII (that 42 for the Roman Numeral impaired) was a back-and-forth affair full of drama until the final game-winning drive. The helmet catch. The end of the Pats dynasty? Eli Manning winning MVP one year after Peyton. One on of the greatest championship games of recent memory.

The NHL pitted it's "New York Yankees" franchise, the Detroit Red Wings, against the face of the league in Sid the Kid and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Ratings were near pre-lockout levels as a team that hockey fans love to hate faced off against a player that is truly entertaining to watch. A six-game thriller that hockey fans really got into. Detroit won it's fourth cup since 1997.

The NBA and televising partner ABC received their wet dream Finals match up when the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers renewed a coast-to-coast championship rivalry so full of history that the series needed every bit of the six games it lasted to cover all of it. Home teams won 5 of the 6 games, keeping the series close. Could Kobe win with Gasol and without Shaq? Will this be KG's year? What about Paul Pierce's injury and dramatic return? And Garnett let the world know that ANYTHING'S POSSIBLE!

What is Major League Baseball getting?

It missed out on the dream series of Manny Ramirez taking his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, to its first World Series in 20 years against the defending champions and Ramirez's former team, the Boston Red Sox. Two of the nation's biggest markets. A championship grudge match to follow up the NBA's LA vs. Boston series. Joe Torre once again managing against the Red Sox in the playoffs. It never materialized.

The consolation prize?

Tampa Bay versus Philadelphia. And now, the supposed "True Baseball Fan's Series" is being so mishandled, it's starting to make the tied 2002 All Star game look like the highlight of Selig's tenure. I think I'm going to watch the rest of the series the same way that people slow down on the freeway when approaching an accident. You can't not look. It's becoming so bad that with each inning the drama builds of not who will win the game, but what could go wrong next.

And now, thanks to a 48 hour weather delay that now includes snow, we won't know until at least Wednesday. This might be one of those series that no one outside the winning city remembers who won. All anyone will remember is what a mess it's been.


David said...

I disagree...people will remember who won this series because of how crazy it was. I'm not gonna lie, I can't tell you which year the White Sox won because that was a boring, forgettable series with a boring, forgettable winner. This, however, will go down in history as one of the most weirdest World Series in a long time that is more proof as to what a horrible Commissioner Bud Selig is. It pisses me off how ESPN is defending him.

Kate said...

I respectfully disagree with you, Josh. I think David's right: a suspended game, the driving rain (though interestingly enough, the forecast seems promising for the parade), the gritty, basic baseball--all of these things are memorable. I realize it wasn't the Red Sox/Dodgers series that the media really wanted, but I think it was memorable nonetheless.

Then again, I am a Phillies fan. Clearly, I'm a little biased. And at least, unlike Buck and McCarver, I can admit it. :-)

Josh said...

@ david / kate
thanks for the comments. when it is your team, you'll always remember every little nuance about the game, the week, the time in your life. where you were. what you were eating, wearing. who you were with. enjoy it all. it's one of the greatest feelings ever seeing your team win it all

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