The Book of Mike

"This is no junior college. This is the notorious University of Miami.” -- Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis, after getting knocked around for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Canes.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

SABer-metric World Series

The SABer-metric World Series will come to spectacular conclusion tomorrow with Pedro Martinez facing off against Barry Zito at the Oakland Colesium. As a SABR member, it's been interesting to watch some of the SABRen debate whether they should cheer for the Theo Epstein led and Bill James influenced Red Sox or the Moneyball A's run by Billy Beane.

Personally, I'm torn. I'd hate to see the A's fail to get out of the first round again. Their run over the last three years has been amazing. But if they lose tomorrow's game, I'm sure they'll be beat up in the press like the Bills after losing four straight Super Bowls or how the Braves accomplishments are allegedly diminished since they have won only one title (to date - and they're losing to the Cubs right now) in their run of twelve (12!) consecutive division titles (and yes, I know they might have had the streak ended in 1994 if not for the strike, but even I, as an Expos sympathizer, don't think that does much to diminsh what they've accomplished.

I would also like to see Rich Harden get a chance for redemption in game 5. It would be a shame for this young phenom to spend the winter with his last on the mound recollection of his debut season being looking up to watch Trot Nixon's rocket soar over his head and into the seats at Fenway.

But at the same time, I'd also like to see the Red Sox win. Pedro seems intent on winning and a Red Sox - Yankees ALCS is about all that anyone could hope for (especially the folks at Fox who have to be happy they arne't going to get a Marlins - Twins matchup. While that might make for good baseball, it doesn't sound like it would generate the viewers that the Yankees, Red Sox, or Cubs would in the Series).

Regardless of who wins tomorrow's game, they'll be the team I cheer for in the ALCS (since my White Sox aren't in it, I need a team to cheer for). I was disappointed to see the Yankees knock out the Twins today, but at least it freed up the after-work game for A's - Red Sox, Zito - Martinez. It's hard to cheer for the Yankees. A team with a $180 million payroll... well, for that money you could just about buy yourself the Red Sox, Athletics, and Twins this season. That's amazing.

Now, I don't mean to say that I hold it against the Yankees. They run their business well and can afford to put an expensive team on the field. But that doesn't mean I have to root for them. I'd rather root for the "little guy" - if any team with athletes making an average of $1 or $2 million a year can really be considered a little guy...

Well, I'm rambling on all sorts of playoff topics now, so I'll stop. Hopefully this won't be a trend of this blog...


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