Giants And Rangers Will Play “Good Baseball”

By: Alex Reimer

The Giants haven’t won a World Series since they’ve relocated to San Francisco (in 1958). The Rangers have never won a World Series, and prior to this season, had never even won a postseason series.

The Giants have largely done it with pitching, holding a strong Phillies lineup to a scoring average of fewer than 3 runs per game in the NLCS.

The Rangers have largely done it with a little bit of everything, outplaying the Yankees in all facets of the game in the ALCS.

To quote Giants’ closer Brian Wilson, this World Series match-up for true baseball fans promises to be “delicious.”

It’s a yearly paradox for Major League Baseball. Baseball has become a far more regional sport than national sport. Though attendance numbers and revenue continues to increase, national television ratings continue to plummet. The NFL has replaced baseball as the true “national pastime.”

Naturally, each postseason is a chance for the game of baseball to expose itself to a national audience once more. Which is why the game benefits when the more recognizable teams (namely the Yankees) are involved deep into October.

But the paradox comes into play when the Yankees make the World Series. The ratings are usually strong (last year’s World Series between the Yankees and Phillies was relatively highly rated), but people bemoan the fact that a baseball championship can essentially be “bought.”

People rally around cries for a salary cap, demanding that Bud Selig employ more parity into the game.

But when a team like the Tampa Bay Rays makes the World Series, as was the case in 2008, ratings plummet. Game 3 of the 2008 World Series didn’t even surpass 10 million viewers nationwide.

So fans demand parity, but yet when they get it, they don’t watch.

The Giants and Rangers may not set ratings records. Though they could, as Dallas/Fort Worth and San Francisco are major media markets.

Frankly, they should do well in the ratings. Who wouldn’t want to tune-in to a Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee pitching match-up?

Who hasn’t invested themselves in the mantra “Giants Baseball: Torture?” Juan Uribe hit the go-ahead home run in the 8th inning of game 6 of the NLCS. Who doesn’t like role players stepping up and performing when the pressure is on?

Who wouldn’t want to watch Buster Posey? Who can’t celebrate the fact that the “prime steroid era days” appear to be over, and a team like the Giants, who win by pitching, can once again capture a championship?

Who can’t respect what the Rangers have built? Who can’t buy into the story of Josh Hamilton?

The Giants and Rangers will simply play “good baseball.” Baseball without storylines of Derek Jeter’s upcoming free agency, without speculation over who the next Yankees’ skipper will be.

Oh yeah…and Bengie Molina, no matter what, is guaranteed a World Series ring. If that doesn’t get you excited, then nothing will.

Alex Reimer is the host of the Red Sox podcast, “Without a Curse.” “Without a Curse” is available on both www.thesportsstuff.com and in the iTunes store. Alex is also the host of “The Alex Reimer Show,” which airs Saturday’s from 4-6 PM EST on 1120 AM WBNW Boston and www.moneymattersradio.net. Alex can be reached at, [email protected]

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