Are You Series? Get Real!

The World Series is over, leaving us staring into the bleak off-season. Four months with nothing to console us but the occasional trade, free agent signing, or contract extension. *sigh*

But before we go there, let’s talk about the series. I made a few requests to the Baseball Gods regarding the way I thought the World Series should go. Let’s take a look and see if the gods were listening.

  1. The Royals should win the first three games. Nope. The Giants won the first game, ending the Royals’ post-season winning streak at eleven games. That’s a major disappointment. I was really looking forward to them taking a record away from the Yankees. Maybe next year–though there aren’t any long streaks currently active, so any new assault on the Yankees’ record would require the challenger to duplicate the Royals’ impressive–and record setting–assault on the first three rounds. It could happen, but I’m not going to hold my breath.
  2. The series should go to seven games. Nailed that one. Nobody’s unhappy about that: the Royals’ rooters are unhappy they didn’t win Game Seven, but they’re not sorry the game was played.
  3. Game Seven should go to twelve innings. Didn’t get that. Almost, though. The Royals had the potential* tying run on third in the ninth inning, but didn’t manage to bring him one. On the bright side, Game Seven was close all the way through. That was a pleasant change in a World Series notable for blowouts. Consider: the average margin of victory in the first six games was 5 2/3 runs. Throw out the Royals’ 3-2 win in Game Three and the average for the other five games was 6.6. A 3-2 game is a thriller. A 10-0 or 11-4 shellacking is not.

    * Broadcasters: a runner on base is not the “tying run” or the “winning run”, he’s only a potential run. Washington Nationals’ announcers, I’m especially looking at you, but this year almost everyone was guilty of this offense against logic and the English language. It’s almost as bad as “walk-off walk”.

  4. The Giants should win the series. Yup. If you can believe the polls, that’s only good news for inhabitants of the Bay Area and a few Orioles fans upset by the way the Royals manhandled their birds. For the other 95% of baseball fans, well, there’s always next year. Expat Royals fans in the Bay Area, note that local radio stations are once again playing Lorde’s song again. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether that’s a good thing or not.

So I went 2-2 with my requests. Not bad. I’ll take a .500 average any day.

Moving on.

The Giants’ win is their third World Series victory in five years, and of course the newspapers are throwing around the word “dynasty”. Sorry, I don’t agree. Look, I root for the Giants, and I’m pleased for them but what they have is not a dynasty. According to my dictionary (MW, of course), a dynasty is “a powerful group or family that maintains its position for a considerable time”.

I’ll grant the Giants “powerful group” but they fall on their faces on that “maintains its position” bit. Remember last year’s 76-86 finish, fourteen games out of the second Wild Card? Or 2011, when they missed the playoffs by four games?

The Yankees won three consecutive World Series between 1998 and 2000. The As did the same from 1972 through 1974. I’d accept those as dynasties. Even more impressively, the Yankees won four straight (1936-1939) and five straight (1949-1953). No question those were dynasties. Giants? Not so much.

Guys, break the curse of the odd years and win it all in 2015 and again in 2016. Then we can talk dynasty, OK?

9 thoughts on “Are You Series? Get Real!

  1. Announcers’ use of the language is an assault. lots of red pencil lead required to take on that topic.

    But I can and should save for another day. Today is joyous for Giants fans. We should simply be happy. It’s that simple.

    I look forward to tour next baseball predictions. Like the topic of Sandoval’s 2015 uniform.


    • I can’t afford to buy enough red pen[cil]s to correct every wrong thing announcers say. But when they’re wrong and stupid, I feel an uncontrollable urge to hook up a fire hose to the red ink canister.

      I’m almost most happy (would be fully there if it were the Mariners celebrating…), but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t or can’t do my humble part in improving the universe.

      As for that particular prediction, well, I’d argue that there are only three teams that won’t be looking for a third baseman this off-season: Oakland, Texas, and Seattle. Note that all three are AL teams. Oakland isn’t going to to pay the price the Panda will demand to turn him into a DH–hell, they’re not going to pay those dollars for him at all. Based on past performance, Texas and Seattle might be willing to throw some TV revenue in his direction.

      So that means there are going to be 29 teams going after him. Any prediction would be pure guesswork. So, my guess: San Francisco. They’ve shown a willingness to factor sentiment into signing decisions (see Lincecum) and their budget has some flexibility given the number of this year’s rookies who will be back next year. I say they’ll overpay to lock him up–but the contract will require him to wear a Fitbit 24/7.


      • I too won’t be surprised if he is reassigned. Sentiment is part of the SF business model. Given Sandoval’s strong finish, the “what about the fans?” Factor will get some attention from the front office. I’m good with that. It’s their money.


  2. I remember when your dad and I were kids and he was a major Giants fan. He’d instruct me to substitute “Root, root, root for the Giants” for “home team” when we sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Among the many things I’d do to deliberately annoy him was to substitute “Yankees” or “Dodgers,” also NY teams then and whom your dad hated!


    • I’ve never approved of “home team” either. Cheer for the team what brung ya to the park, damn it!

      I’m sure he had some way of getting revenge on you for your perfidy.


  3. Hmmm. As to Aunt Kate’s (true) comment, I now am the only person at the Mariner games who sings “Root…for the home team”, having gotten heavily into old-time music, and damn it, that’s the way it was written. When I go to Mariner games in Oakland, I have a major moral conflict, not nearly fully resolved.

    As to your hoped-for results: there must have been dozens of people in Vegas who would’ve given a bundle to have called the serieses the way you did. You got every one right, even down to getting a seven-game WS, even though the distribution of wins wasn’t in accord with your wishes.

    No game today. Damn and blast.


    • Of course, it was written that way from the crassest of commercial motivations. But that’s beside the point. I suffer no pangs of guilt in changing it to a specific team. That’s the folk process at work, albeit in a small, tightly controlled fashion.

      True enough on the Vegas point. Wish I had taken a chance and put a couple of dollars down. Maybe next year.


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