Saturday, October 25, 2008

The World Series

World Series 2008
As a baseball guy, I feel that it would be criminal for me not to post at least once on the current World Series. Now since baseball doesn't have much mass appeal these days, I'm not going to analyze obscure sabermetrics and launch into prolonged discussions regarding whether Chase Utley is a better complete player than Evan Longoria.

So the 7-game series is tied 1-1, which means the two teams will basically play a best-of-5 from here on out to determine who is crowned World Champions. (Quite a coincidence how the two teams playing for the WORLD championship are both from the east coast of the U.S., isn't it?)

Well without further ado, here are 5 fearless predictions for the remainder of the series:

1) One of the announcers makes a B.J. Upton joke, then gets fired
Chances are it goes something like this:
Announcer 1: "It's back...way back...and it's gone! Home run, B.J. Upton!"
Announcer 2: "B.J. Upton has really played well in this postseason. He's going to be a terrific player for the Rays in the next few years."

Announcer 1: "You got that right. He's the best B.J. Upton since that time I picked up a hooker on the Upper East Side last year."
(Cut to "technical difficulties" screen as a TV executive comes over and tries to choke Announcer 1)

Tony and Evan2) Tony Parker sighting!
As most of you probably know, San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker married Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria in 2007 in San Francisco despite major protests from the religious right.

Chances are Tony shows up to a game or two to cheer on his beloved in his first season in the big time.

3) America gets a "Hot Carl" at some point or another
There are three players in the current World Series named "Carl" or something starting with "Carl": the Phillies' Carlos Ruiz and the Rays' Carlos Pena and Carl Crawford. One of these players is bound to break out with a game-changing performance at some point? Who will it be? I'm going with Carl Crawford, the only real Carl on the list.

This season was rather disappointing for proponents of crude sexual maneuvers, as the "Cleveland Steamer" ran out of gas early (Indians finished 81-81) and the Reds failed to pull of a late-season "Cincinnati Surprise" (instead finishing 74-88). What's going to happen now? My guess is that the Phillies take a two-run lead into the 9th inning of Game 7 and seemingly have the series in hand, but then pull a "Philly Fakeout" as closer Brad Lidge allows Crawford to defecate on the Phillies' faces (figuratively speaking of course) with a huge bases-load triple that drives home the winning run.

4) Rays pitcher Grant Balfour gets into a confusing exchange with the umpire after allowing a walk
Chances are it will go something like this:
Ump: "Ball four! Take your base!"
Balfour: "What do you mean 'take your base?' I'm the pitcher."
Ump: "Not you. The hitter. That was ball four."
Balfour: "No, I'm Balfour."
Ump: "I know."
Balfour: "Then what's going on here?"
Ump: "Ball four."
Balfour: "What?"
Ump: "I'm not talking about you."
Balfour: "Then who are you talking about? My brother?"
(and so on)

Balfour and Navarro

Left: Rays catcher Dioner Navarro settles down pitcher Grant Balfour by saying something along the lines of, "Settle down, dude. The ump's not trying to call you out. You just walked the guy."

5) 99% of America won't care what happens
Who's playing again? The Yankees? No. The Red Sox? No. The Cubs? No. That zapping sound you just heard was the simultaneous turning-off of approximately 200 million TV sets across America. There are really only three teams in baseball as far as most of the nation is concerned.

America is about as bummed about this year's world series matchup as Michael Vick would be if he showed after being promised an exciting dogfight, only to find that the "fight" was really just a heated argument between two of the miniature purse-jockeys from "Beverly Hills Chihuahua." Unless you're in Philadelphia or Tampa, don't be surprised if your local sports bar opts for bowling, poker, midget tossing, or the World Series of Darts.

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