The Baseball Desert

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Series? What Series?

OK, so each fan wants his / her team to be in (and hopefully win) the World Series, which means that at the end of every season, fans of 28 or 29 teams are going to be disappointed, and I understand that die-hard fans of certain ballclubs (notably the Red Sox and the Cubs, in the case of this year's playoffs) feel like they've been through emotional hell (no, I take that back - as I said the other day, I've been a die-hard fan of a sports team, so there's no 'seem' about it) and thus have no real interest in what goes on after their teams have been eliminated. So I can understand yesterday's post by Ed Cossette over at Bambino's Curse, and others I've seen like it over the past few days (at Do They Still Play The Blues In Chicago, for example). Do They Still Play The Blues, however, pointed me in the direction of an article on ESPN's Page 2 on the World Series being played out in an alternate universe (on ESPN, no doubt, rather then FOX, who only have the rights to the real, actual World Series being played out in New York and Florida). I have no problem with the article - a brief look back over the Baseball Desert archives will show that I really wanted this alternate universe Series (which I dubbed my "Field of Dreams Series"), but we didn't get it, so let's move on, huh, guys?

I think my reaction to this comes from being in the baseball desert we call France. ESPN's Jim Caple has probably seen more baseball games than I've had hot dinners, so I can understand that he's not really excited about a Series between the Yankees (with their 26 World Series wins) and the Marlins (with their 26 fans), but, from my 'outsider's' point of view, this is a great series - two contrasting styles of play, two contrasting franchises, two contrasting histories, two contrasting ballparks and even two contrasting payrolls. All I see, when I look at the Series, is the possibility of 7 good baseball games between two good ballclubs. The neutral fans of the game - and those who write about it for a living - were maybe in a sense spoiled by the Championship Series (notably the New York-Boston one) - it was possibly the best postseason series in history, and it was unrealistic to expect this World Series to come anywhere close to that. Still, if anyone is really bored by the prospect of the remaining Yankees-Marlins games, then I'm willing to propose a trade: my life for yours, until Sunday night.

It's a good deal - you get to live near Paris for a week, eat lots of great French food and drink some good wine, but be warned - don't get a sudden craving to turn on the TV and watch some baseball, because there isn't any... Instead, you're going to have to plan your whole day (and life) around the game - you need to get away from work fairly early (without the boss noticing), in order to beat the rush-hour traffic (which, in Paris, is terrible); when you get home, grab a quick bite to eat; go to bed around 10pm (not forgetting to set the alarm); get up again at 2am, switch on the computer and hope that your broadband connection is not going to suddenly crash; then spend the next 3 1/2 hours peering at a six-inch-square image of the World Series game on your computer screen. With a bit of luck, the game won't go on too long, and you can go back to bed around 5.30am and grab a little more sleep before heading off to work again, fresh and rested, at 7.30am... Then, when the Series is over, you can take two weeks off work to recover from the gruelling ordeal of watching the games.

So - anyone interested, or would you rather just watch this boring ol' Series on TV after all??