This year there’s a good chance that the American elections and the World Series will end within a week of each other. And since nothing says America like baseball and apple pie, that’s good news. More than that, both of them have the chance to be doozies this time around. Baseball had it’s first play-in wild card game. The Presidential election has it’s first candidate who wears magical underwear. The whole world has turned upside down but luckily we just get to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Normally I’d spend quite a bit of time here explaining how we get to the end and who goes where. I’d predict the Yankees and Orioles while waxing rhapsodic on the Giants and Reds. I’d try to compare each one to a major figure in the two parties and then slowly whittle both sides down until we had a final face off. Somehow I’d work both Paul Ryan and Joe Biden in there, trying to set Biden’s propensity for off-the-cuff remarks (“He’s clean AND articulate!”) against Ryan’s propensity to rearrange the truth into a freakish facsimile of itself (“Yeah, bro, I totally ran a marathon in less than three hours despite having to stop to rescue a small child and his kitten from a burning tree”).
But not this year. This year is different. This year is already set. This is the year that Willard Romney and Barack Obama throw down for all the marbles. And this is also the year that my Tigers and Jeff’s Cardinals meet again for a rematch of the 2006 World Series.
That’s right folks, although it may not seem probable or even possible, you heard it here first. The World Series this year will be a Red State Blue State phantasmagoria. Justin Verlander vs. Adam Wainwright. Jim Leyland vs. the guy who replaced Tony La Russa. Prince Fielder vs. not-Albert Pujols. Triple Crown winner and likely MVP Miguel Cabrera vs. anyone stupid enough to actually throw to him. It’s a matchup for the ages.
So, how does this match up with the Presidential race, you ask? Well, like this:
Barack Obama, like the Cardinals, is the incumbent, and both find themselves in much shakier positions than when they last won. The Cardinals are playing with a ragtag team and no longer have master strategist La Russa at the reigns. Meanwhile, Obama is playing on a field that tilts a different direction each week depending on jobs reports and the unemployment rate. The Cardinals come in on the high of winning the inaugural Wild Card play-in game while Obama has been surfing the wave of Bin Laden’s death. But both of them have come crashing back to earth in the last few days with Obama’s performance in the first debate and the Cardinals’ dropping game one of the Division Series at home. But you’d be stupid to count either one out just yet.
Willard “Mitt” Romney, just like the Tigers, almost made it to the finals last time but fell just short in the end. And both of them seem to be getting hot at just the right time. The Tigers finally found that next gear they had been missing all year as they sped past the White Sox and then took a quick 2-0 lead over the A’s in the Division Series. Willard seemed to do the same as he used an excellent debate performance to make up ground in the polls. Sure, he may not have been anyone’s top choice coming out of a field that included a man whose name is now synonymous with the “frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex,” but he did pull it out in the end (no pun intended) and now has the parties elites linded up behind him (again, no pun intended). Similarly, the Tigers probably didn’t top anyone’s list limply sliding out of an impressively putrid AL Central (seriously?) but here they both are.
But, the answer you’re all dying to know is, “Who wins?” And it’s a tough one to call. On the one hand, I’d love to see my Tigers finally pay pack the Cardinals for ruining our run in 2006. On the other hand, although I realize there aren’t that many differences between the Republicans and Democrats, I really don’t think that Romney’s indebtedness to the Christian right and the Tea-Party are good for our country’s future our for our role as a leader in the international community. As I’ve said before, it’s great to have your team win but what happens in politics affects not just us but the rest of the world…
…which is why I will celebrate with a heavy heart when the Tigers win the World Series. I’ll cheer my Tigers during the first week of November but I’ll grieve for my country in the second.
Don’t hate me because I called it right last time. Hate me because I’m right this time.
What’s your biggest fear?
St. Charles, IL
Right now? Oh, that’s easy…
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
I like the extra wild card playoff. Obviously. My team (the reigning WORLD CHAMPIONS) are in because of it. But I am not a fan of the umpteen ulcers currently destroying my insides as we face a do or die situation against Kris Medlen and the Atlanta Braves.
To prove it, I was going to post a picture of myself suffering from said anxiety before I realized that doing so would drive people away rather than draw them in, so instead I give you a wet and bouncy Michelle Jenneke.
One of the things I’ve always appreciated about my buddy Jeff is his ability to admit when he’s wrong. And despite what he may say at the end of every post, there have been plenty of times that he has had to admit to errant predictions or inappropriate accusations.
That doesn’t make it any less refreshing when it happens, though. For instance, his recent mea culpa for getting the AL Central race so wrong came as a breath of fresh air. And if anyone should know about never counting a team out you would think that it would be the guy who supports the Cardinals, a teams whose 2006 season was the ultimate story of lucking into the playoffs and then getting hot at the right time.
Now, I’m a much more cautious person than Jeff. I’m not going to make any wild predictions about the Tigers winning the pennant, much less the World Series. However, the 2006 Cardinals (and the 2011 Cardinals, for that matter) proved that anything is possible and the Tigers definitely have a team that, if everything clicks, could do some damage.
Hey, what could be better than Jeff taking a bath? Or a shower, as it were.
To say that this season was disappointing for the Philadelphia Phillies would be an understatement, and many Phillies’ fans put the blame for this season directly on the shoulders of Charlie Manuel. That’s not really too surprising considering the notoriously horrible Philadelphia fanbase and their willingness to scapegoat anyone for the slightest straying from what they consider to be the true path. They’re a horrible cult gone even more horribly wrong. It’s like a bunch of David Koresh’s all got together and made Philadephia their own personal Waco. At this point, we’re just waiting for the FBI to torch the place.
But I don’t think we should feel sorry for Charlie Manuel. Why? Here’s one reason:
Thanks to Young Charlie Manuel’s soothing presence and weather-predictive hinge joints, he remains to this day the world’s only certified Tornado Whisperer.
Yeah, and that’s just the beginning.
Personally, I think the only way this gets better is if Charlie climbs up to the announcer’s booth and sings “Don’t Cry for me, Philadelphia.” I’m pretty sure young Charlie Manuel would do it. Maybe even in Japanese.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. There is nothing there. That whole thing about the White Sox winning the AL Central and the Tigers nose-diving at the unlucky hands of my delirious and oft thwarted colleague, Mr. Krause? I know not that of which you speak.
Also, please don’t hate me ‘cuz I was wrong.
And don’t get used to it… me, being wrong that is. It doesn’t happen often. Of course, you already know this.
It’s just that this baseballing… it’s a fickle pastime. One day you’re up, the next day you’re the White Sox.
(Seriously though, the White Sox tanking like this? WTF? How can one team be so bad at fundamental baseball so quickly? I don’t get it.)
Naturally, by falling back into the trend, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Tigers lose three in a row as the Sox win three in a row. If that happens, just shoot me — but wait until AFTER the one-game playoff.
Meanwhile, bring on the Bravos…
And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m (usually) right.
Are the Giants better off without Melky?
Oak Park, IL
On August 15 the Giants were 64-54 after losing to Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals. That same day they found out that they would be losing Cabrera for the rest of the regular season due to a 50-game ban. Since then, the Giants won 27 games and only lost 11 on their way to clinching the division with a couple weeks left to go. Now, there’s no doubt that Cabrera, juicing or not, can hit. In reality, the drugs just made him better. And it’s also pretty evident that he was on track for the NL batting title. But when you look at the record compared to what the expectations were following news of Cabrera’s ban and one thing becomes obvious.
The Giants are a good team.
And they might be even better without Melky.
Look at the numbers. With Melky the Giants were 10 games over .500 and doing well in the West but still not a sure thing. Without Melky this same team is 26 games over .500 as of Friday and simply blew away the rest of the division.
What that tells me is that something changed in the collective psyche of the Giants when Melky got the boot. The knew they could no longer depend on one guy to come up with the clutch hit and, as a result, it has been a whole bunch of guys who have had to come up with the hits and catches. This makes them a team as opposed to a collection of players brought in as a supporting cast for the one star.
I don’t know if the Giants have the magic to make a run this year like they did in 2010. If I had to guess, I’d probably say no since baseball is so wildly unpredictable. But they seem to be coming together as a team more now than they did with Melky leading the charge so anything is possible. Throw in the fact they don’t have to worry about facing Strasburg in the postseason like they did back on August 15 and it means that their chances are just a little bit better.