Well, we've got a Texas Rangers versus the San Francisco Giants World Series. Even acknowledging that I'm nothing of a baseball history buff, it's hard for me to imagine what the Rangers franchise is experiencing right now as their team enters the first World Series ever. The Cardinals are such a storied franchise and with titles in the 80's and the Aught's (has anyone decided what we're calling the 2000s?), there hasn't been a generation of Cardinals fans that lacked a postseason title.
The Rangers are going to be favored going into the World Series over the epically dull Giants. I get a good laugh out of the Giants roster construction -- it's the kind of team Brian Sabean and Tony La Russa can both love. Aged to perfection if you will.
One of the more intriguing storylines for the Giants in the post season has been Barry Zito. I haven't read much about it so maybe it's gotten more publicity than I realize but Zito was left off of both the Division Series and the NLCS rosters in favor of Madison Bumgarner. That, to me, is rather astounding after Zito put together a good year with ~200 innings and average pitching metrics. Bumgarner certainly seems like the better option but I'm still surprised that it takes place.
In the end, I have a hard time getting excited about the Giants. Their pitching is fun to watch but I can't stand the idea of a Juan Uribe, Edgar Renteria, Freddy Sanchez and Aubrey Huff infield being vindicated in any fashion.
Meanwhile, in Texas, I can only assume that the $ signs in front of Cliff Lee continue to rise. How much additional compensation has he earned himself in the last two weeks by showing that he can overcome the mythical postseason pressure and still perform. I've got a feeling that a control pitcher like Colby Lewis will have a much easier time making his way through a Giants lineup than the more patient lineups of the NLCS. So long as Neftali Perez can get the same postseason mojo that Cliff Lee has in his first postseason (omg! what do I do?!?! I'm supposed to pitch!?!?!) the Rangers have a potent arm at the back of their pen with a live fastball.
My favorite player among the Rangers is, without question, Elvis Andrus. Besides the fact that his skillset reminds me of Brendan Ryan -- heavy on defense, short on offense -- he's a joy to watch in the field. He's quick on the bases, not afraid to steal, and the glove work is on par with the best shortstops in the league. While the small sample size performance of the World Series lends itself to quick and easy narratives, I think you'll get good odds on the personal history of Josh Hamilton making an appearance in many a writer's article. Aside from the inspiring personal story, Hamilton (.359/.411/.633) has been a heck of a baseball player on the field this year.
If it's not obvious yet, I'm rooting for the Rangers. None of the teams I originally wanted to make the World Series have survived the playoffs but it's more fun to watch baseball if you've got a side to root for. Go Rangers!
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I've got another movie recommendation: Red. It's a combination of over the top action flick with a heavy dose of comedy. Bruce Willis plays a retired CIA operative who comes under attack from unknown assailants. With the help of Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren, he sets out to discover who is acting against him. The plot was thin but substantial enough to support a good script. The acting makes the movie though as the cast is simply terrific. Consistently a laugh out loud movie and worth seeing in theaters.