It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The leaves are falling, it’s getting easier to justify wearing clothing that hides your spare tire and you’re only four to six weeks away from the landlord actually turning on the heat to your place when the threat of the pipes freezing becomes overbearing. But most important of all: it’s World Series time.
It’s been a long season. Odds are that your team hasn’t played a meaningful game since the end of July. You probably got really sick of baseball by mid-August, and while the excitement from the final day of the 2011 regular season won’t soon be forgotten by even the most neutral of observers, those of you without a real stake in the outcomes of late September games were likely left with a taste in your mouth similar to those mornings when you wake up fully dressed on the floor beside your sofa . . . wait, that’s not your sofa . . . but that is a burrito in your pocket.
It’s okay. Don’t fret. The World Series offers all of us a chance to start over and watch our baseball souls get born again. Just let The Getting Blanked Guide To The World Series wash over you like baptismal water and you shall be redeemed.
Cheering For A Team That’s Not Your Own
Let’s get it out of the way. If you’re going to enjoy your World Series experience to the fullest, you’re probably going to have to pick a team. I know what you’re thinking: How can I possibly cheat on my favourite team by jumping on a bandwagon at this point in the season?
You have to stop being so puritanical. Try some French sophistication on for size.
Look at the World Series as a holiday, and consider yourself a Frenchman, or rather a better smelling version of a Frenchman, who has intellectually unshackled himself from the arbitrary laws of society. Your team isn’t on holiday with you, but two very attractive temporary options are throwing themselves at you.
It’s just baseball. You told your team that you’d be watching the World Series, what did it expect. It would probably want you to blow off some steam. I mean, everybody does it. Most fans have two favourite teams already. Maybe it means that next season you won’t be so hard on your guys. So really, it’ll work out well for everyone involved. Do it. No one will care.
If you can’t bring yourself to do that, I highly recommend placing a wager on one team or the other with a large amount of money that you can’t afford to lose. It will be amazing how much more intense this will make things for you.
Last year, for the first time in a long while, Major League Baseball scheduled a World Series game before 7:00 PM ET as part of an attempt to appeal to the younger generation. They even had Justin Bieber release his music video sing along before the firsts pitch. This year, they decided to forgo the obligatory attempt to reach the screaming teenage girl market, and instead scheduled every single game is scheduled to start at 8:05 PM ET.
This is good because the teenage girl market will trick you into thinking they like you, and you’ll believe them because you’re new to the school and don’t have any other friends, but then you’ll find out that the teenage girl market is only hanging out with you because you have pool and the teenage girl market likes to invite all of its friends over to swim in it while ignoring you and saying that you could be its secret boyfriend but nothing more.
Game 1: Wednesday, October 19, Texas at St. Louis.
Game 2: Thursday, October 20, Texas at St. Louis.
Game 3: Saturday, October 22, St. Louis at Texas.
Game 4: Sunday, October 23, St. Louis at Texas.
Game 5: Monday, October 24, St. Louis at Texas.
Game 6: Wednesday, October 26, Texas at St. Louis.
Game 7 Thursday, October 27, Texas at St. Louis.
Tolerating The Commentary
The great many of us who aren’t lucky enough to be traveling to St. Louis or Arlington over the next week will have to resort to the television broadcast to watch the action. It’s nearly impossible to be a baseball commentator and be appreciated. They use such an enormous amount of verbiage over such a relatively short span of time that they’re almost guaranteed to say something stupid or mess up their delivery. Of course, Vin Scully is a rare exception, but in truth, he’s quite likely a talent that may not even come around once in a generation.
For FOX Sports, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver will be calling the game. It wouldn’t be a stretch for me to believe that Buck, who is every bit as enthusiastic about baseball as McCarver is sensible, would rather be preparing for a Sunday afternoon NFL broadcast than calling any game in the World Series. Meanwhile McCarver’s outlook on the game is so outdated, viewers don’t bat an eye when he starts referring to the starting pitcher as Christy Mathewson.
In Canada, Rogers Sportsnet will broadcast MLB’s international feed, meaning that instead of Buck and McCarver, viewers will be treated to the rambling meanderings of Gary Thorne and Rick Sutcliffe. While Sutcliffe is prone to being more critical of players and managers than McCarver, his love of sacrifice hitting gets to be a bit much when advancing the runner becomes more highly praised than getting a hit or drawing a walk. Thorne is, at best, inoffensive and unremarkable.
Personally, I’ll be watching the FOX feed because of the snark ammunition it provides and the broadcast’s uncanny ability to act as a catalyst for Twitter worthy jokes.
Where To Watch The Game
Do yourself a favour. Or wait, let me do the favour of telling you that the greatest favour you can do yourself is finding a local pub at which to watch the game. Don’t go near the terrible chain pubs that have fake Irish sounding names and laminated menus with terrible logos. If you’re in Canada, they’re more than likely going to only show hockey on the big screen anyway, and the idea of turning the sound on during a baseball game is as foreign to them as listening to a Korean radio station.
Find a place that’s a little bit off the beaten path, where they won’t feel as though they’re losing customers, but rather gaining a patron by showing the game with the sound on. If you’re in Toronto, you’ve lucked out, because Opera Bob’s near the corner of Dundas St. and Ossington Ave. promises to not only show baseball over hockey (an extremely rare thing in Canada), but do so with the sound on.
Watching the Fall Classic at a bar has a multitude of benefits: 1) You get more into the game when there are “others” around. 2) Spending money is good for the economy, and be honest, you’re probably going to end up moping around the house for most of the winter anyway. 3) If you’re anything like me, first of all, congratulations, and secondly, you’re probably not going to drink as much knowing that it’s costing you $5 a pop, which will make getting up the next morning extremely easier. 4) You can yell, holler and act like Fredrick Exley in A Fan’s Notes without worrying about your neighbours. 5) It also lets the world know that despite the stereotype, baseball fans can party just as hard as any other sport’s supporters. We’re just a bit more sophisticated is all. We get sherry monocles instead of beer goggles.
Fans for the week of the St. Louis Cardinals will enjoy reading:
Fans for the week of the Texas Rangers will enjoy reading:
Fans for the week of the St. Louis Cardinals will enjoy tweeting with:
- Matthew Leach writes about the Cardinals for MLB.com.
- Derrick Goold writes about the Cardinals for the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
- Matt Sebek writes about the Cardinals among other things for Joe Sports Fan and will act in the role of special contributor for Getting Blanked throughout the playoffs.
Fans for the week of the Texas Rangers will enjoy tweeting with:
- Anthony Andro covers the Rangers for FOX Sports Southwest.
- Evan Grant covers the Rangers for the Dallas Morning News.
- Jason Parks writes for Baseball Prospectus and knows everything there is to about Rangers prospects.
- C.J. Wilson is the guy pitching tonight for the Rangers.
As always, you can interact online with The Score Live Blogs during each game of the World Series and follow me on Twitter so that we can chat during the games. And once the games are over, join us back here at Getting Blanked for in depth summaries that include nerdy break downs, graphs, GIFs, charts and heavy doses of sarcasm.