Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Blog vacation is over

Sorry for the blog vacation last week. I took the family to Disneyland and Legoland, which means I missed most of the baseball games last week. However, I did watch the last two Sox-Angels games. Those were tense, hard-fought games, and I hope the Rays-Red Sox series at least matches the tension.

It is unimaginably great for the baseball fan in me to see the Rays in the post-season and the Yankees watching from home -- though New York fans and many casual fans would disagree. I mentioned to my wife that there was a possibility that the World Series would feature the Rays and Brewers, and she wondered why anybody would even bother.

Even though TV ratings would stink if the Rays beat the Sox, it's still great for the game when a team can come back from last place in the toughest division in baseball to win at least a share of the pennant. It (temporarily) shuts up all the whiners who claim that their teams "can't compete against the big-money franchises" because they don't have a huge TV deal or they don't have a new stadium.

Not that people will ever stop whining. And guess what? It's going to get worse. With the new Yankee Stadium, the Bombers are going to rake in even more revenue and buy up even more free agents. It's going to make them competitive for at least a generation. But as we saw this year, it doesn't guarantee anything. The Yanks haven't won the World Series since 2000.

As a fan, I lean toward the Red Sox and Dodgers, mainly because of the history and tradition of the two franchises. (They met in the 1916 World Series, when Babe Ruth helped pitch the Sox to its second consecutive championship.) Yet if it's the Rays-Phillies, it could help usher in a new era of parity -- or, at least, perceived parity -- in which more teams, as long as they have smart decision-makers, can compete. That's good for the game.

No comments: