World Series 2010: 10 Reasons You Need to Watch
News Corp. wants you...to watch the 2010 World Series!
OK, so maybe helping the interests of a large multinational corporation isn't the best incentive to get people to watch the World Series. Do you really care if you help line Rupert Murdoch's pocket?
Of course not.
However, reasons abound for taking in this particular World Series; from facial hair to missing elements of drama, this matchup between the Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants offers something for everybody.
So tune in to FOX tonight at 8 P.M.
No. 10: Because Not Everybody Can Watch the World Series
I can't watch the World Series. Seriously.
It's not because I'm an embittered Yankees fan either.
It's because I subscribe to Cablevision, just like millions of people in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area. Currently, Cablevision and FOX are in a standoff over the network's contract demands.
As is usually the case in situations like these, it is only the little people who suffer. Sure, I could go to a bar or a friend's house, but it's a Wednesday night. I'd rather just stay home and bemoan the corporate greed that has robbed me of watching the game I love.
The suit in that picture, if you must know, is James Dolan, Chairman of Cablevision, owner of the New York Knicks and, presumably, Isiah Thomas' bitch.
So watch the World Series and enjoy it for me, please?
No. 9: Brian Wilson's Beard
If that is not the greatest playoff beard ever, I don't know what is.
That thing has to be dyed, right?
Wilson denies it. Hopefully he is telling the truth. Because after the whole steroid scandal in baseball, I'm not sure I can handle artificially enhanced playoff facial hair.
That would be the last straw, baseball.
No. 8: To See What Team Logo Adorns Bengie Molina's Ring
No matter what happens, Bengie Molina wins.
Since he played for the Giants before they traded him to Texas, Molina will receive a World Series ring even if the Rangers lose.
While he would probably rather win it with the team he is actually on when the series is played, chances are he is not going to gripe if he has to settle for a ring with the Giants insignia on it.
Some people are just lucky.
No. 7: Redemption
You've probably heard all about Josh Hamilton's life story.
Can't miss prospect that throws away all his talent because of drug addiction but gets his act together and comes all the way back to the pinnacle of success. Well, maybe, if you consider stealing the show at the 2009 Home Run Derby the pinnacle of success.
The truth is, this could be the culmination of one of the greatest redemption stories ever told. From down and out to world champion—hey, that sounds like a good title to a biography!—Josh Hamilton is on the cusp of becoming one of the great American sports stories.
Similar to Hamilton's story, but dwarfed in stature, is that of Rangers manager Ron Washington. Before the season even started, it was revealed that Washington tested positive for cocaine in 2009. The Rangers chose not to fire him, and several months later he is on the same path to redemption as his star center fielder.
No. 6: To See the Stars of Tomorrow
Josh Hamilton, Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum are already established superstars in the sport of baseball.
But this World Series features two teams that each offers up a future Major League Baseball superstar: Elvis Andrus of the Rangers and Buster Posey of the Giants.
Elvis Andrus, the 22-year-old shortstop of the Rangers, is exciting to watch. On top of his slick fielding, Andrus has stolen seven bases this postseason and is hitting .333. Already in his second complete major league season, Andrus should be a fixture at shortstop for the Rangers in the foreseeable future.
The Giants traded Bengie Molina so that 23-year-old Buster Posey could take over full-time at the catcher position. At the time Posey took over for Molina, the Giants were third in the NL West with a 25-22 record. Since then, the Giants went 67-48 to win the West and now find themselves in the World Series with Posey batting cleanup.
No. 5: To Answer the Question: Does Good Pitching Really Beat Good Hitting?
Though Cliff Lee might have the edge in the head-to-head matchup against Tim Lincecum, the Giants have the best overall pitching staff in major league baseball.
Lincecum leads a staff that boasts four pitchers that might be better than any other option the Rangers have. It's why the Giants' 3.36 team ERA was the best in the majors this season.
Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner round out the Giants' rotation of starters all under the age of 27, with Sanchez, 27, the oldest and Bumgarner, 21, the youngest.
This is not to say the Rangers don't possess fine pitching; it's just not the Giants' pitching.
The Giants will need it to slow down the hot bats of the Rangers. As a team, the Rangers hit .304 in the ALCS with a .512 slugging percentage.
The Giants were able to stop the Phillies dead in their tracks, as the Phillies hit just .216 with a .635 OPS.
The old adage says good pitching beats good hitting. In what has been deemed a new year of the pitcher, the Giants rotation will have to show that the old adage is true once again.
No. 4: To Watch the Greatest Pitching Matchup Ever
Maybe it really isn't the greatest pitching matchup ever, though that's certainly how the media has been hyping it, but it is certainly an incredible pitching matchup that should make for several really intense games.
Cliff Lee vs. Tim Lincecum.
The tall, All-American-looking Lee against the skinny, alternative-culture-looking Lincecum. Could these two represent the cities they're pitching for any better? Texas against San Francisco. The state that gave us George Bush against the city that gave us the Grateful Dead.
This postseason, Lee is 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA in three starts; Lincecum is 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA in three starts and one relief appearance.
Whoever gets the better of this pitching matchup gives his team a distinct advantage.
No. 3: To Prove Bud Selig Right
Bud Selig has come out and said that this matchup is good for Major League Baseball, as it proves that money does not buy championships and that parity is not some mystical concoction of the league that the Steinbrenners regularly flip off as they ride by wearing their newest championship ring.
However, this is only true if people watch the World Series. Because if they don't, then baseball suffers from low ratings, and that, no matter how detractors of the Yankees sugarcoat it, is not good for baseball.
Honestly, though, it doesn't look too good. Baseball has games scheduled for Sunday and Monday night, meaning they will be going head-to-head with Sunday and Monday Night Football. When Cliff Lee faced Andy Pettitte in Game 3 of the ALCS, baseball lost out in viewers to the Tennessee Titans' 30-3 trouncing of the Jacksonville Jaguars!
So it is up to us, baseball fans. Go watch the World Series to prove that the sport doesn't need the Yankees or Phillies to thrive on television.
No. 2: Because Neither Team Has Won a World Series Since 1954
The Giants are 56 years and 3,000 miles separated from their last World Series victory, when the then New York Giants captured the title on the effort of Willie Mays' catch in 1954.
The Rangers haven't won a World Series in their organization's entire history! It's been 49 years since the Rangers franchise was formed as the Washington Senators in 1961.
The potential for a team to win a title for the first time in 56 years, and for the first time in their current city, or a team to win a title for the first time ever has to get true baseball fans excited.
No. 1: Because There Is No Antagonist
An antagonist is a crucial element of drama, so maybe this won't make the World Series as compelling as it would be if this were a matchup between the Yankees and Giants or the Rangers and Phillies.
But in the world of sports, the lack of an antagonist is not the death knell of entertainment! On the contrary, it can signify one of the more pleasurable viewing experiences.
With nothing on the line, you can sit back, relax and enjoy good baseball being played by two great teams. No matter what the outcome is, you'll be happy, unless you're a Rangers or Giants fan; then the outcome is definitely important.
For all the previously stated reasons, how can anybody really be upset with either team winning this series? And even if you need the drama of an antagonist or the joy of a rooting interest that badly, can it really be so bad if the bad guy wins this time?
Because neither of these teams really fits the profile of the bad guy.