The vast majority of baseball fans, as TV ratings will surely indicate, have no clear rooting interest in a World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers.

However, that won’t stop me and several others from jumping aboard a bandwagon prior to and perhaps even during the first games of the series.  It’s a baseball tradition, created out of necessity for the many fans whose teams didn’t make the MLB playoffs.

Say what you will about the NL Central, but this isn’t basketball or hockey where a sub .500 team can hop aboard the playoff train without paying for it during the regular season.  Only a very elite eight teams make it through to the championship deciding rounds in baseball, meaning that the supporters of 22 other teams have to make a new allegiance or wait for Spring Training (or else wait for the Winter Meetings to drive themselves crazy with every Scott Boras created rumour that the hacks write about).

The matchups in the ALCS and NLCS made things easy on the free agent fan.  Unless you’re a Yankees or Phillies fan, you likely hate the the last two winners of the World Series, and so naturally, the Rangers and Giants were being cheered on in bars across North America.

The decision was made even easier by the stories behind these two teams:  the Rangers, recently purchased by new owners in bankruptcy court, are an intriguing mix of young talent and veteran know how; the Giants, with their exciting young pitching, claw their way to victory with a lineup rife with of other teams’ rejects.  Both clubs were underdogs coming into their respective championship series, and both clubs prevailed despite the odds against them.

But now they face each other, and all of us who cheered for both teams only days ago are going to find ourselves being swayed toward the Giants or Rangers.  Despite Cliff Lee and claws and moose, I find myself leaning toward sweet torture, Brian Wilson’s beard, panda bear costumes and Tim Lincecum.  But I know I’m going to find it impossible not to cheer for Vladimir Guerrero with every at bat.

As Sam Miller of the Orange County Register tweeted just before the final out of the NLCS, “Baseball FTW.”

And The Rest

Vladimir Guerrero will start at least one game in San Francisco as an outfielder, a position he’s played 20 times over the last two seasons.

Chase Utley and Jonathan Sanchez have a history of not being pleased with each other.

While Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos will remain tight lipped until his third season with the club, Red Sox owner John Henry has already confirmed that John Farrell is the new manager in Toronto.

The always wonderful Wezen Ball takes us through the parallel lives (and baseball cards) of Bruce Bochy and Ron Washington.

Newsflash: Cliff Lee is having a good postseason.

The Cody Ross anagram that seemed to delight fans after he hit two home runs off of Roy Halladay (Ssory Doc) was apparently news to the Giants outfielder.  I wonder if anyone asked Halladay if he knew about it.  I’m sure that would go over well.

Phillies players don’t expect to see Jayson Werth next season.  And no one ever expects to see him looking like this again.

While pundits are forecasting low TV ratings for the World Series, both the ALCS and NLCS did extremely well on television.  In fairness though, it’s pretty much impossible to look away from Craig Sager’s clothing.

Dallas and San Francisco aren’t the small markets everyone thinks they are.

Pat Burrell would just as soon forget about his time in Tampa Bay.  This works out well, because so would Rays fans.

Since we’ve got a couple days before baseball starts back up, let’s waste some time talking about whether or not a curveball curves.

T-Ball pitch f/x.

Logan Morrison would do well to learn a thing or two about leaving your car in a tough neighbourhood from Sylvester Stallone in Cobra: