As I did last year, I asked friends and family to weigh in as to which team they’re rooting for in this year’s World Series and which team they expect to win. I got 19 responses, and a few themes were present throughout. Here’s how things broke down:
Which team would you rather see win?
Eight responders are rooting for the Rangers, while seven prefer the Cardinals. Four couldn’t pick a favorite, either because they’ll decide while watching the games or because they intensely dislike both teams.
Seven people mentioned their distaste for Tony LaRussa, his “ugly mug”, and the way he slows the game down with endless pitching changes and substitutions.
Nine mentioned George W. Bush and/or a general disgust with the state of Texas. Gary A. put it best:
“What don’t I like about Texas? The actual state of Texas– Rick Perry, George W. Bush, Josh Beckett, John Lackey, cowboy hats and boots, and the love of hunting and NASCAR.”
Although I’m also partial to Jill’s “I hope George W. Bush chokes on a nacho chip while watching the game.”
I may be alone in rooting for Texas primarily because I don’t feel like the Cardinals should be here. The Cards have had some very good and very likable teams in my lifetime (’85 and ’04 come to mind), but the ones that win (I’m looking at you, ’06) feel like NCAA titles that were vacated because the team that actually won was later declared ineligible. “Tigers’ pitchers couldn’t throw to first? Phillies couldn’t get their bats going? Let’s just forget about this season and say the Cardinals won.”
A few people did cite something positive. Justin likes Josh Hamilton’s inspiring story, while Joe likes Anheuser Busch. Three people rooting for the Rangers cited liking Nelson Cruz, and Michael is still grateful that the Rangers knocked off the Yankees in last year’s ALCS.
Among nine Red Sox fans, five are rooting for the Rangers, while only Joe (one of several “former” Red Sox fans), is pulling for St. Louis. Naturally, four of the six fans of the Mets or Yankees are rooting for St. Louis, with only Pat (a Mets guy, of course) pulling for Texas. Two Rockies fans are split, as are the two responders who cited other favorite teams.
Which team do you think will win?
12 responders picked the Rangers; 7 picked the Cardinals. Those who picked the Rangers typically think they’re just the better team, with a deeper lineup, deeper starting pitching, and a stronger bullpen. Multiple people think the Cardinals’ bullpen will have a hard time holding up for another long series after all the innings they pitched in the NLCS.
Those who picked the Cardinals cited various reasons, from momentum to multiple Chris Carpenter starts to LaRussa’s tactical advantage. The most common feeling, though, was that, like in 2006, the Cards are in the right place at the right time, and feel like a “team of destiny”, even if they’re not the better team. Several who picked Texas expressed gut feelings that they may be wrong. I think Dave puts this sentiment best:
“Rangers have the most talent and should win, but cosmically this could be another case where the worst team in the playoffs gets hot, spooks the better team, and cruises to a series win, making us all wonder why we went to the trouble of playing 162 games.”
So there you have it. Either Texas will win because they’re better or St. Louis will win because the playoffs are random. A fall classic indeed.