Reporting Matt Spiegel
By Matt Spiegel, mid-day co-host, The Danny Mac Show.
I hope the hotel reservations are as organized as can be, since that’s the bullcrap reason Bud Selig has provided as to why the World Series is starting on October 27th. But here it finally is, and I stand up and salute the matchup in front of us.
It’s been 6 weeks since the White Sox were relevant, and 3 months since the Cubs still had a realistic shot, but don’t let the changing of the seasons rule out the option of baseball entertainment in your living room. In the words of Digital Underground, “Do What Cha Like;” I won’t tell you to watch if you don’t care. (Should I have gone with Blind Faith and “Do What You Like?” Decided to skew slightly younger).
But, if you want to know why a baseball guy like me is watching…here’s what I have for you:
1) The Giants are great theater. They are torturous drama. Their pitching keeps them in every game, and their bats don’t let them blow people away. All their games are tight, so every little managerial maneuver and base running play is wonderfully magnified.
2) They’re also, in my opinion, filled with guys who are easy to root for. There are reclamation projects like Cody Ross and Pat Burrell, a brilliant young player in Buster Posey, young stud starting pitchers from 1 through 4, and the weirdest closer in the business.
3) The Rangers are playing an incredibly aggressive, running style; watch for the antlers. It is perilous, reckless, and very exciting, and it usually works. Guys steal third with 2 outs, take an extra base at all costs, challenge the defense to make a play. The Giants defense has been an issue all season, so this should be a dangerous clash.
4) Buster Posey is NL right-handed Joe Mauer minus 5 years. This is a rookie catcher, handling that great pitching staff, and hitting cleanup. He’s their most essential player, at age 23. No rookie catcher has won a world series since Andy Etchebarren in 1966 with the Orioles. Yadier Molina was the last one to get there with the Cardinals in 2004.
5) Josh Hamilton, no matter how you feel about his “comeback” story, is the best player in baseball right now. He can field, throw, run, hit, and hit for power. The Giants would be wise to walk him as much as the Yankees did, and it still might not work.
6) Vladimir Guerrero will play right field tonight, and in most of the N.L. games; they can’t not have his bat in the lineup. You’ll hopefully get to see that great arm, but can also expect entertaining adventures if he has to chase down a ball.
7) Let’s finish with what ought to be the lead: Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum is as good an ace matchup as anyone could ever have dreamed. If Lee continues on the path he’s been on lately, he could end this postseason being considered the greatest playoff pitcher in baseball history.
I’m in for the series, sacrificing some focus on Bulls and Hawks early season games. With them, I’ll catch up. Giants in 7.