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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The One Where I Rant About the World Series

If I'm remembering right, I haven't talked here about baseball all season--an epic feat because I love the sport. Since I've been good this year, I hope you'll indulge me with a bit of a rant now that it's World Series (WS) time.

I'm writing this on Sunday afternoon and am posting this for Tuesday, so by the time you're reading this, the fall classic might be finished. I hope it is and I hope the Giants are having a parade in San Francisco. At the moment, they are up 3 games to 0 in a best of 7 series.

But on to my peeve with coverage of the WS.

It's been annoying listening to the analysts all through the playoffs. I know, they're paid to give their opinions and just because I think they're wrong doesn't negate what their job is, but MLB Network did five hours of pre-game coverage before Saturday's game that just flat-out left me irritated.

Let me start by saying that I am not a Giants fan. I root for the Dodgers and San Fransisco is their arch rival. I am a fan of good baseball and I'd like to see only good teams in the World Series. Last year the very mediocre St. Louis Cardinals eked into the playoffs on the Braves collapse, got hot at the right time, and won it all.

This aggravates me greatly because I believe the 162-game regular season should mean something. That if a team has a mediocre regular season, they shouldn't be in the playoffs at all. Unfortunately, Major League Baseball disagrees with me.

So with that as background, maybe you can understand why I got peeved when every analyst I've heard has gushed about how awesome the Tigers are. It started before game one of the WS. Their pitching ace, Justin Verlander was going to dominate. The Giants might as well just concede the game because there's no way they can win it. But oh, look-ee, the Giants did win it.

Even when the Giants won the second game, all I heard was how everything would be different now that the awesome, tremendous, unstoppable Tigers were back in Detroit.

Not one analyst has mentioned that the Tigers were LUCKY to be in the playoffs. Sorry, Tigers fans, but it's true. If Detroit wasn't playing in the worst division in baseball, they'd be home, watching the WS on television. And even playing in the American League Central, they still wouldn't have made the playoffs if the Chicago White Sox didn't have a complete collapse the last few weeks of the season.

If you check out the 2012 standings on MLB's website, you'll see that the Tigers would have finished fourth in the NL East and been seven games behind the division-winning Yankees. If the Tigers were in the AL West, they would have finished fourth and been six games behind the division-winning As. Just because they got hot at the right time, doesn't mean they're a good team and it doesn't mean they belong in the World Series.

If you were to eliminate all the divisions and just take the top five teams to go to the playoffs, Detroit wouldn't be there. Their record put them at seventh in the league. Six other teams in the American League had better records. Six!

But to listen to the analysts, you'd think the Tigers had won 140 games and had been lights out all season. Poor San Francisco, so outclassed.

Just in case the analysts haven't checked the standings for the National League West division, the one the Giants play in, let me fill you in. The Giants were six games better than Detroit. SF won 92 games, the Tigers only won 88.

Why won't even one announcer/analyst mention the mediocrity of the Tigers' Season? Just one and you wouldn't have had to read my rant.

Quite frankly, I don't care that Detroit has Verlander, Prince Fielder, and Miguel Cabrera. This is a mediocre team that didn't manage 90 wins during the season, even playing most of their games against weaker AL Central opponents. They are lucky to be in the World Series and someone needs to say it, even if it's just me on my blog.