2011 World Series Picks and Preferences

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.

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3 Responses to 2011 World Series Picks and Preferences

  1. Nice post, Bryan.

    I’m curious why you say “Naturally, four of the six fans of the Mets or Yankees are rooting for St. Louis”?

    I’m a Yankees fan who’s (kind of) rooting for Texas. Am I supposed to be mad at them for beating my team last year? I don’t really get that philosophy. Every team tries to win, so to be mad at someone for beating you is silly. Obviously, I understand rooting against your biggest rival (Cubs fans rooting against the Cardinals, for instance, not to mention that other big rivalry).

    Anyway, I know being a northeastern guy as well, my thoughts don’t add any diversity to your discussion, but there you have it.

    • Bryan says:

      Charles, the sentence you reference doesn’t make sense without the sentence before it. Since Red Sox fans are rooting for Rangers, it seemed to make sense that Yankees fans would root for their opponent. I threw the Mets in there because I happened to interview three fans of each team and it fit the narrative. A little lazy on my part, I suppose. Thanks for weighing in.
      Jonathan, I’m a fan of parity too, and I think this Ranger team needs its first title more than the Cardinals need an 11th.

  2. I am from Tampa, and a Rays fan, and am rooting for the Rangers for two reasons. First, I like parody and the Cards already have a title in the past 10 years. Second, they beat my team and I would rather say my team lost to the World Champions not the runners up.

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