Monday, October 21, 2013

This just happened

A lot of baseball followers may complain about the respective Boston and St. Louis fan bases and the respective cities' media, but I think what they're really saying about this upcoming World Series is this:

"This just happened."

People, now more than ever, want something new. They want to be interested, intrigued. They want to be constantly stimulated. A Red Sox-Cardinals World Series does not do that. Look at the two players celebrating on this card. They're both still on the team! It's from last year! Granted, Jason Motte's out for the season, but there are two people who were on the 1988 World Series champion Dodgers team who are DEAD.

How is that fair?

Yes, "fairness" enters into the equation, too. "What about my team?" lies under the surface of "this just happened," which lies under the surface of "those Red Sox and Cardinals fans are so smug."

I can only imagine if the Yankees and Dodgers were facing each other in the World Series for the sixth time in a 10-year period this week as they were in 1956. There would be protests in the streets -- MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL IS OUT OF BALANCE! DO SOMETHING!

But I admit, I am not thrilled about seeing the Red Sox play the Cardinals in a couple of days. I'm bored with it and resigned to rooting for the Red Sox because I do not like the Cardinals and there is a family connection to the Red Sox.

Whether the reasons for my disappointment over this matchup are valid or selfish, the fact is the feeling is pervasive among fans (just check Twitter). And it's not a good sign when malaise hits the baseball landscape before the Series even starts (for what it's worth, I think it's going to be a knock-down, drag-out series).

This is the fourth time the Red Sox and Cardinals have met and they just played each other in 2004. Since that time both teams have appeared in the Series again, the Red Sox once and the Cardinals twice. Meanwhile, it's been a long time since a lot of other teams have even made it to a World Series.

How long?

This long:

The last time the Cubs were in the World Series, there were no African-Americans playing major league baseball.

The Cardinals and the Red Sox -- there are those teams again -- played an all-white World Series in 1946 a year after the Cubs last made the Series. That would change in 1947 when the Jackie Robinson-led Dodgers reached the World Series.

The last time the Pirates were in the World Series, all four Beatles were alive. John Lennon, sadly, would die the very next year. And George Harrison has been gone awhile, too.

The last time the Brewers were in the World Series, no one had ever heard of "The A-Team." There were no soldiers of fortune who were sent to prison for a crime they didn't commit, escaped a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground, and were wanted by the government. The A-Team didn't appear on TVs until 1983.

Associated Press

The last time the Orioles were in the World Series, not many people had heard of synchronized swimming, because it wasn't an Olympic sport. Synchro debuted in the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles in 1984, one year after the Orioles were in the Series. You can blame the O's if you like.

The last time the Royals were in the World Series, nobody knew that Abe Froman was the Sausage King of Chicago. He didn't reach regal status until 1986. Now, the man is a legend.

The last time the Dodgers were in the World Series, "Batman" was a TV show from the 1960s, or a comic book. It didn't launch its big-budget movie series franchise until 1989. Oh, and when the Dodgers celebrated in 1988, the Berlin Wall was still a thing.

The last time the Reds and the A's were in the World Series, nobody knew what teen spirit smelled like. The song showed up in 1991.

The last time the Twins were in the World Series, Johnny Carson was hosting the Tonight Show and Barney was Fred Flinstone's neighbor. I don't know how kids used to torture their parents before the Twins were in the Series in '91.

Associated Press
The last time the Blue Jays were in the World Series, O.J. Simpson was a former football player who ran through airports in commercials.

The last time the Indians were in the World Series, you couldn't "google" anything because Google didn't exist until 1998 (Well, I suppose you could still "google" something but it meant something else).

The last time the Padres made the World Series nobody even thought about having sex with an apple pie. And don't you tell me that they did. IT NEVER HAPPENED UNTIL THIS MOVIE. Ugh. Just contract the Padres now.

The last time the Braves made the World Series, there was no "Survivor." If people wanted loads of money, they went to the grocery store and scratched off a lottery ticket. It was a lot more pleasant than wandering around in the wilderness eating rats.

Associated Press

The last time the Mets reached the World Series, Ichiro was playing pro ball in Japan. And everyone in the U.S. thought Japanese players couldn't hit major league pitching.

The last time the Diamondbacks were in the World Series, there was no "Moneyball." The concept was there, but the book and the title didn't appear until 2002. And there were a whole bunch of GMs evaluating talent using -- cover your ears statisticians -- batting average.

The last time the Angels reached the World Series, nobody had a camera phone. And nobody could make a duck face. Those were good times.

The last time the Marlins made it to the World Series, no one had heard of Carrie Underwood. This is tragic. Let's all stare at the lovely Ms. Underwood and ponder the injustice of a world without Underwood's pipes. Sigh.

The last time the White Sox and Astros were in the World Series you could have a bad day without anyone SINGING ABOUT IT. OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

The last time the Rockies were in the World Series (my brain still refuses to acknowledge this), there was no Kung Fu Panda.

The last time the Tampa Bay Rays were in the World Series, there were no pre-teens telling you how amazing Journey was and how you should really listen to this song "Don't Stop Believin'" because it's really, really amazing and it's soooooo much better than what you're listening to and blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarghhhhhhhhhhh.

The last time the Yankees and Phillies were in the World Series, there were no little yellow minions.

The last time the Rangers were in the World Series grumpy cat wasn't all over Facebook. He was still grumpy, but people just ignored him -- AS IT SHOULD BE.

Associated Press

Finally, the last time the Giants and the Tigers made the World Series, foam fingers were used for rooting for your sports teams. ... in a large crowd of sports fans. ... pointed up in the air. ... not down there.

So, now it's the Cardinals and Red Sox again. Bloody hell.

What horrible Pandora's Box are you going to unleash on the world by playing in this Series?

I mean besides Joe Buck and Tim McCarver.


  1. Someone asked me today if I planned to watch the Series and I said I might but you just remended me that it's on Fox with Buck and McCarver. Nevermind

  2. The only thing worse than watching Buck and Pumpkin-head announce a World Series is watching them announce a World Series that includes their beloved Cardinals.

    By the way, you forgot Washington in your post. The last time Washington was in the World Series, Willie Mays was TWO YEARS OLD!

    1. I didn't forget Washington. The Washington you refer to is now the Twins and they're mentioned.

      Washington to me is the Nationals, which were the Expos, who never went to the Series.

  3. The Mets are eternally forgettable.

  4. Entertaining post, what a good movie that Despicable Me is!

  5. I completely agree. Baseball has had a lack of parity for much of it's existence. That has hurt it's popularity with the casual fan in the last decade versus the NFL which, outside of the Patriots, has had tons of parity.

  6. Ugh. I wish it could have been the Reds, Pirates, Dodgers, really anyone except the Cardinals yet again. I'm not watching the series because I don't care for either team - and all I can do is root for one team to lose worse than the other (maybe 7 errors for the Cardinals vs. 5 for the Red Sox or something like that). Terrible.

  7. Awwww... sounds to me like...


  8. It isn't the same thing again. The only two players that are still with the Cards or Sox from before is Ortiz and Molina and Molina was a backup in his rookie year. (Technically, you could say Matheny also)

    1. You're skewing it a different way. But the fact that anybody is still playing from the last Red Sox-Cardinals Series matchup means it "just happened." The most frequent Series partners are the Yankees and Dodgers. Since the last time they played in 1981, everyone has retired and three guys are dead. For the next most frequent (Yankees-Giants), the last meeting was in 1962. Next most frequent, Cardinals-Yankees, was in 1964.

    2. You are impling that 1988 has so long ago, it wasnt that long ago ,and the 2 dead Dodgers from that team (Crews and Sharperson),both died in tragic accidents.

    3. Read the blog post. Twenty-two different teams have been in the World Series since the Dodgers have. Unless you're a Cubs fan, it's been a long time.

    4. I knoww I was skewing it a different way because I'm estatic my team is in it again no matter who it is against. Really I wished that Pittsburgh had made it instead of St Louis because that is myy second favoite team. I also really really wished that the Dodgers made it because once the Sox and Dodgers both made it to the AlCS/NLCS I talked my wife into a 7 hour drive to see the Sox play in LA.

      Also - I fogot that actually Carpenter is still on the Cardinals so there is another guy, sort of.