Is it even really a question that Dodger fans ought to be rooting for Texas in the World Series, which starts with Game 1 tonight? (If this sounds familiar, it’s because we said the same thing last year, and look how well that turned out.) With the possible exception of wanting to see an NL team win, it’s hard to find a good reason to cheer for St. Louis over Texas.
Let’s break it down.
Former Dodgers. Texas features Adrian Beltre at the hot corner, and who doesn’t like Adrian Beltre? Not only were Dodger fans upset when he left following 2004, he was the top name I kept hearing in each of the last two offseasons as far as wanting to bring him back. (The Rangers recieve minor demerits for employing Brett Tomko, though he pitched in just eight games, and none since May.) While the Cardinals do have Rafael Furcal and Edwin Jackson, they also have Ryan Theriot and Octavio Dotel, and I just cannot abide by that. Advantage: Texas.
Pissing off Joe Buck & Tim McCarver. Buck, as everyone knows, is the son of legendary Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck and grew up a self-professed Cardinal fan. McCarver played for the club for parts of 12 seasons, mostly in the 1960s. They are both awful. If you’re rooting for Buck or McCarver to be happy, you hate freedom and America. Advantage: Texas.
Managers. Ron Washington played in ten games for the 1977 Dodgers and had one of the funnier lines in the “Moneyball” movie. Tony LaRussa is Tony LaRussa, perhaps the most annoying manager in baseball. I suppose you could also make your decision on the simple joys of “coke vs. booze“. As for me, I can’t root for LaRussa under any circumstances. Advantage: Texas.
Story. St. Louis has a pretty good one here, I’ll admit. Losing Adam Wainwright before the season started, dealing with the Albert Pujols contract situation (and his injury) all year, making the controversial Colby Rasmus trade, staging a furious comeback to steal the wild card from the Braves on the last day of the season, then beating the supposed class of the league (Philadelphia and Milwaukee) in the playoffs? Hard to argue with that. On the other hand, Texas does have the well-known histories of Washington and Josh Hamilton, plus they had to deal with the tragedy of a fan falling to his death during a game this year, leading to the late fan’s son throwing out the first pitch before Game 1 of the ALDS. Advantage: push, but screw the Cardinals, so Texas.
Michael Young levels. St. Louis with a huge edge here in “not having Michael Young“. Nothing personal against Young, of course, who is a fine player and one of the best in Texas history, and who had a very good (though massively Texas-inflated) season after a winter’s worth of trade rumors. The narrative around him has just been infuriating, however, as people keep reciting the myth that he is such a great teammate who graciously agreed to move from 3B to DH after Beltre arrived. That sounds lovely, but it’s in no way true: he fought the move and demanded a trade, just as he did when he was moved off of SS to 3B when Elvis Andrus took over after 2008. Meanwhile, we had to be subjected to people claiming he was actually an MVP candidate, when he was only fifth on his own team in wOBA (behind Mike Napoli, Beltre, Hamilton, & Ian Kinsler) while offering negative defensive value. If Texas wins the World Series and Young does anything other than commit a felony along the way, he’ll win World Series MVP. This isn’t a vote against Young, the person. It’s a vote against Young, the ridiculous narrative. Big advantage: St. Louis.
Championship history. This is the third trip to the World Series for the Cardinals in the last eight seasons, losing to Boston in 2004 and defeating Detroit in 2006; overall, they have 10 championships and 22 pennants. Last year was the first time the Rangers ever made it out of the AL, and they clearly have never won a World Series. Are you ready for the Cardinals of the last decade to be some sort of mini-dynasty? Me neither. It’s time to get the trophy to a new team. Advantage: Texas.
Hope for the Dodgers. Just over a year ago, the Rangers also entered bankruptcy thanks to their deadbeat owner, and look where they are now – a second consecutive pennant. Sure, that filing was designed specifically to expedite a sale that was already in place, the process wasn’t 1/100th as nasty as the Dodger situation, and the Rangers already had the core of the team in place thanks to their respected young GM, Jon Daniels… well, maybe it’s not that similar. Still, it’s something. Advantage: Texas.
Let’s go, Rangers. After last year, you owe us.