It’s Bad – in All the Right Ways

By Benn Hodapp, SacMidtown.com

I know, ok? You wanted the Yankees-Phillies. You probably didn’t know that the Giants were a team until two weeks ago because their games start at bedtime for a lot of you. You don’t care about the almost unholy pitching matchup of Lee vs. Lincecum in all likelihood. You wanted the big cities, the big names, the big contracts and you got … this.

Nothing I say will make you want to watch the series because you have made up your mind one way or another. But what if I told you that despite the sure-to-be sagging television ratings, that this is the best possible outcome for baseball and its fans?

The ratings will be devastatingly low, we know this. Bud Selig hid under his desk the minute the Rangers won the ALCS. The rampant, albeit confusing, appeal of the Yankees and Phillies is undeniable. But to the real fans of the game, the people who will watch a Pirates-Nationals game in June, will love this series. There is just so much that could happen.

Will Cliff Lee allow a hit in the series? Will the clueless Giants lineup care about the mystique of Lee and proceed to light him up? Will the unfathomably ridiculous Texas lineup sprint by the Giants or will the superior San Francisco rotation cancel it out? How many shots will we get of Lincecum in the dugout shoving fistfuls of chew into his mouth? How many snot rockets will Jonathan Sanchez blow while on the mound? Will Josh Hamilton subject us to more ‘glory of God’ shenanigans in postgame interviews?

Many of those questions are silly, but my point remains valid. The importance of this series is that no one predicted that this would be the World Series matchup back in April. To be honest, no one predicted this series two weeks ago. The importance of this series is that it gives every fan of every team hope.

Before this year there were three franchises that had never reached a World Series: the Expos/Nationals, Mariners and Rangers. Cross one of those teams off forever.

Fans of teams like the Nationals can have faith that they, too, can build a team like the Giants and Rangers have. They didn’t do it by writing blank checks to power hitters and power pitchers. They did it by assembling the quintessential teams necessary for October success.

I know what I’m talking about on this, because I am an Oakland A’s fan. Teams like the A’s and Twins and Rays have built winning teams almost out of nothing in the past years. If you decide to watch this mystery of a series, I hope you put some thought into the fact that there are 30 teams in baseball. Twenty-eight of them are not the Yankees and Phillies. When the same teams win every year the product gets stale for everyone not immediately involved.

Give it a chance. These teams are extremely talented and a whole lot of fun to watch. Watch as a fan of the game. Watch two teams play without egos, spoiled fans and absurdly gargantuan payrolls.

Many of you won’t, but in the end this is exactly what baseball needs.

About Jimmy Spencer

Jimmy Spencer has extensive experience in journalism and new media. As the founding editor of SacMidtown.com, Spencer combines his writing, reporting and editing skills to produce a "pretty good site about midtown." During the day, Spencer covers government and also covers the NBA. At night, he watches T.V. and plays on the Internet. Every now and then, he walks around his midtown neighborhood. Spencer began his professional journalism career with The Sacramento Bee, finishing his tenure with the McClatchy-owned newspaper in the new media department. Spencer moved to Connecticut where he continued his growth in new media as a writer/content producer for NBC Sports. Spencer also worked in media relations with the Sacramento River Cats, Minor League Baseball Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland A’s. Spencer graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from California State University, Sacramento where he served as Editor-in-Chief of The State Hornet campus newspaper. Spencer was raised in Marin County and currently lives in Sacramento, Calif. Spencer works in the community as a high school basketball coach in the Sacramento area.

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Posted by on Oct 26 2010. Filed under 49ers/Raiders/A's/Giants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Comment for “It’s Bad – in All the Right Ways”

  1. I am so fired up, this has all the makings of an amazing series. The best pitching staff in baseball against the best lineup in baseball. And, as a topper, it’s Fox’s worst nightmare. Humm Baby, Go Giants!

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