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Friday, July 11, 2014

Basic Biittner: What World Series?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Isn't the fall season wonderful? Look at those beautiful colored leaves ... Gorgeous !

And how 'bout them Hawkeyes/Braves/Bulldogs/Cyclones/Eagles/Packers/Chiefs/Vikings (oops, scratch that last one- this is a family paper, after all!) Isn't football great?

Oh, and the NHL is back this fall, too - and with a bunch of new rules! (Who do they think they are - Iowa High School Volleyball ? )

Other fall staples - a new school year, new TV season, a lot of great new movies in the theaters! Boy- DO I LOVE AUTUMN!

I remember the old days, too, when baseball used to have a World Series in the autumn. The National League Chump, er I mean, Champ, against the Yankees (yeah, the Bronx Bombers would occasionally let another team represent the American League, but, as the late Frank Miller, the venerable front-page cartoonist for the Des Moines Register would say: "An official World Series must have the New York Yankees in it.")

Well, guess what, folks - we haven't had an official World Series for five years now - not since Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling were pitching in the National League! I won't mention that Schilling, the current Red Sox hurler, and Johnson, the current Yankees' ace, were pitching the OTHER team to victory in that 2001 Series.

So, I guess they've played the Series the last four years with a "wild card" team often as not taking home the trophy. That's what I hear, anyway. I wouldn't know for sure, 'cause I've been in mourning for that period, and I'm guessing my period of mourning will continue for at least another year.

I'm guessing the White Sox will be this year's media and fan favorite, as they haven't been in the Series since 1959, and haven't won the thing since 1917, which was one year before the Red Sox last won.

What's that you say? The Bosox won LAST year! Yeah, right. You're just trying to get me out of my funk. That was a nice try. If the Astros end up making the series, it may be a tough call to determine which team is the sentimental favorite. They have NEVER been to a World Series in their forty-three year history.

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If the Cardinals end up going, I guess they'd have to play the "Yankee" role this year (i.e., the villain). The Cardinals, like the Yanks, are a long-time team with a bunch of success in their past. However, I'm not sure there are many Cardinal haters out there, like there are Yankee haters. Oh, maybe some Cubs' fans have a mild hate worked up for them, but... St. Louis is probably THE best baseball city in the United States, they have a passionate fan base, including Jerry Nammany, Jim Mohn and other locals, and they have a "sentimental" angle too - the last game in Busch Stadium will BE the last game in Busch Stadium. It will be demolished right afterwards, and the Redbirds will play in their new park next spring.

So, you see, the World Series NEEDS the Yankees to provide someone for fans to root AGAINST- Steinbrenner, A-Rod, Sheffield, and on and on.

As for me, I think I'll probably watch all the games. If Houston and Chicago are the opponents, after all, many of the games will have ex-Yankees (Clemens, Pettite, Contreras) as starting pitchers. Way to go, Yankee "brain trust!"

Dan Whitney
Basic Biittner