Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Giants-Rangers, Game 1 Tonight

I've heard a lot of chatter about how this World Series isn't interesting and will suffer from lower-than-usual ratings. On the latter point, I agree. The San Francisco and Dallas markets are large, but they aren't as expansive as say, New York and Philadelphia. On the former point, however, I strongly disagree. This World Series is a battle between two moderately-financed clubs enjoying dividends from good scouting, strong coaching, and shrewd trades. Much as I wish this series included the Phils, it could be good for baseball.

We've been hearing about the strong Rangers' farm-system for some time, and now we're seeing it develop. Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, and Tommy Hunter are young, homegrown guys that made the Rangers a much better club. Enter the Josh Hamilton trade, the cheap Nelson Cruz pickup, and of course, the Cliff Lee deadline move, and you have a contending team. Give John Daniels, their 33-year-old GM, a lot of credit.

The Giants, for many years, did quite a bit wrong. They declared a youth movement in the shadow of Barry Bonds, but went ahead and signed Edgar Renteria, Aaron Roward, and Barry Zito to some of the worst contracts in MLB. But since those moves, the front office deserves credit. During the course of the season, it has built at least a league average lineup by calling up Buster Posey, signing a seemingly-washed up Pat Burrell, claiming Cody Ross off waivers, and replacing Rowand with Andres Torres in center. Combine this with the best pitching staff in baseball --- almost all home grown by the way --- and you have a 92-win team.

In this interesting match-up of two teams never to win the World Series (at least in their current cities), I am rooting for the Rangers. I typically root for the NL team if it isn't the Phillies, but a few factors have altered my calculus:

1. I have a man-crush on Cliff Lee. Recently, Lee was criticized for saying he "kind of" enjoyed watching the Phillies lose the NLCS because they got rid of him. I don't find this offensive at all. Lee was treated poorly after pitching his lights out in last year's playoffs, and he ought not to like our franchise too much. The feelings, however, are not mutual. I would love to see him win.

2. Tim Lincecum is a d-bag. And, yes, so is Pat Burrell. And so is Jonathan "I can't hit water when I fall out of a f&%kin boat" Sanchez.

3. I love the Rangers line-up. And in the end, I'll take mashers over pitchers.

4. The Giants just beat us! Yeah, I'll admit it. I'm bitter. I watched them celebrate at CBP (on TV, at least). I'd like to see them dejected.

Anyways, that's my take. Enjoy the Series --- it should be a good one.

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