Roman numeral one:
Expect Joe Maddon to be the latest manager / GM / player to unfairly serve as the face for the un-truism that analytical, bookish-looking guys can't win the big one. That probably won't happen after this season considering all the genius points he scored from the Rays' drastic improvement, but if the Rays go down in the LDS the next two years, there will no doubt be those calling for the ghost of Gene Mauch to replace him. Having said that, please do not keep tabs on this absurdly hypothetical and needless prediction.
Roman numeral two:
I think it's kinda funny how fans of a certain baseball team that plays near my house slumped into pathetic self-pity in the fifth inning of the first game of the LDS when things got slippy, but the Phillies fans never wavered in Game 5--not even while getting drenched and watching their stud ace give up a lead in an inning that should have never started in a clinching game of the World Series. Granted, this is the most unfair and slanted comparison ever, but I think my point still stands.
Roman numeral three (the long one):
Here's a shock--The World Series got low ratings. I get on this soapbox at least once a year, but here it goes again:
I will always find it hilarious / ironic / sad social commentary that approximately everyone cares about the outcome of the baseball season--especially their own team's fate--but precisely no one cares to watch the freaking game. Call me old fashioned, but to me if people don't care to watch the most critical games played by the best (loosely speaking) players of a sport that they profess to love, they're imposters who are only in it for that moment when they can circle-jerk around a pile of World Series Champions t-shirts with the home team's colors on it.
And if anyone cares, it's on that high horse where I stand up for the old-school curmudgeons who detest the analysis-obsessed Nate Silver wannabes, even though I'm fascinated by the actuarial perspective of baseball. As freely as we create and rip apart fan stereotypes like the reactionary old man, drunken blowhard, and rah-rah fratboy**, I would just as well ally myself with them as with the pompous speculator who'll never understand why I turn to Youtube clips of anything baseball-related to pull me through depressing winter nights or why I visit ballparks.com and fantasize about watching a game at Shibe Park. Whether it's the loudly ignorant or the smugly detatched, I don't appreciate phonies hijacking the game that people like Bob Costas and me worship like nine year-olds.
Being a supporter of a team alone does not make you emotionally invested in the sport. It's not quite total crap, but it's next to crap. If your computer desktop is a picture of Ryan Howard, but you didn't watch any of last year's Series, you might as well be flushed out the universe.
**Tangential rant: Can we please can the term "fratboy" as code for "shallow," "simple-minded," "boorish," etc.? This is such a tired and horrible cliche which has persisted mostly because the types of people who take time to criticize the use of cliches are the same who enjoy using this term to elevate their intellectual cred. Neil Armstrong--first man on the moon Neil Armstrong--was a "fratboy," okay? I know this fact because my cousin is an alumnus of the same fraternity and drops this into conversation liberally. The point is--I think we all know some very intelligent, articulate, perceptive people who belong or have belonged to a fraternity. So let's cut this shit already. If you're gonna be condescending (which I fully condone), at least don't be so lazy about it. Or at least don't use a term that screams, "I still haven't gotten over being bullied as a kid." Jesus.
Tangential rant over.