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Old 2012-10-15, 10:35   #1
NBtarheel_33
 
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Default Any baseball fans?

Anyone following the Major League Baseball playoffs? As a longsuffering fan of the Baltimore Orioles, it was somewhat amazing to watch them qualify for their first postseason in 15 years after having endured consecutive losing seasons since late last century. From 2011 to 2012, they managed to improve from 69 wins, 93 losses to 93 wins, 69 losses. Alas, they reside in the same league division as the dreaded New York Yankees, which edged them off for the divisional title, and also eliminated them from the playoffs in the strangely-named Division Series (if the Yankees have already won the division, what does the Division Series decide? Then again, how do you have a "World" Series, when its participants are two North American squads?) on Friday night, due to the Orioles suddenly becoming allergic to bat-on-ball contact. (To be fair, the Yankees had the same allergy, but they got more reprieves, and got them when it mattered.) So I'm now rooting for the Tigers, who are halfway to wiping the Yankees out of the surprisingly sensibly named American League Championship Series, which would be the tier of play one step below the "World" Series championship.

Any other baseball fans out there? Any other *Orioles* fans out there?
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Old 2012-10-15, 13:13   #2
chappy
 
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Cardinals fan here. Apparently my team can't be counted out no matter how bleak the outlook. Kind of makes up for my Tottenham Hotspur. (the Universe seeks homeostasis.)

I too am pulling for the Tigers. Because I always, and no matter what, root against the Yankees.

Last fiddled with by chappy on 2012-10-15 at 13:15 Reason: other thoughts.
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Old 2012-10-15, 14:56   #3
NBtarheel_33
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chappy View Post
Cardinals fan here. Apparently my team can't be counted out no matter how bleak the outlook. Kind of makes up for my Tottenham Hotspur. (the Universe seeks homeostasis.)

I too am pulling for the Tigers. Because I always, and no matter what, root against the Yankees.
The Cardinals are amazing these last couple of years. It was shocking to see how they sneaked up on the Nationals in Game 5 last week, though numbing to us folk in the Baltimore-Washington metro to have the Orioles *and* Nationals handed their walking papers within mere hours of each other after such epic seasons. It looks like the momentum is carrying over into the NLCS against the Giants.

I thought it would have been interesting to have a "battle of the Birds" - Cardinals vs. Orioles - especially given the Orioles' historic connection with the St. Louis Browns.

What of the other Missouri baseball team - the KC Royals? They seem like they may be awakening from their long slumber in the next couple of seasons. They did a nice job putting on the All-Star Game this past summer.
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Old 2012-10-15, 18:49   #4
ewmayer
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I grew up in NE Ohio, home of a team which is probably 2nd in historic haplessness only to the Chicago Cubs. (To be fair, Cleveland did have a good run in the 90s, but always found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory when it came down to the end.)

Been living in the SF bay area since '99, too old to really become a fan of either the SF Giants or Oakland As, but enjoy when either of them makes the postseason. Brief thoughts:

o The 4 division series all went the full 5 games this year, apparently the 1st time that's ever happened since the start of the current playoff format;

o Both SF and St. Louis must be feeling a bit of "team of destiny" after their respective highly-improbable comebacks in their respective NLDS;

o The main difference for SF this year vs last is return of catcher (and short-list NL MVP candidate) Buster Posey, who was a quasi-rookie (he had some insignificant #appearances in 2009) but instantly a key player in 2010 went they won the whole thing, had his 2011 season end early due to serious (and surgery-necessitating) ankle injury resulting from a nasty home-plate collision, but is back at full strength this year;

o Agree that on the AL side, if you don't have any favorite team to root for, next-best thing is to root for whomever is playing the Yankees. (While they can't outright buy championships, the MLB rules allow them to in effect buy as many lottery tickets as their massive payroll allows, which I find execrably undemocratic. :) Interesting little playoff mini-drama going on with the NYY and ARod, though;

o Detroit already being up 2-0 on NYY, without having had Verlander pitch (he pitched games 1 and 5 of the DS, and if Detroit continues to follow the same 4-man rotation, which it appears they are doing, especially since they are leading the CS, he will start game 4), and heading to Detroit for the next 3 games (or 2, if they sweep) bodes very well for the Tigers.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2012-10-15 at 18:53
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Old 2012-10-15, 20:57   #5
Dubslow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NBtarheel_33 View Post
As a longsuffering fan of the Baltimore Orioles, it was somewhat amazing to watch them qualify for their first postseason in 15 years after having endured consecutive losing seasons since late last century. From 2011 to 2012, they managed to improve from 69 wins, 93 losses to 93 wins, 69 losses.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
I grew up in NE Ohio, home of a team which is probably 2nd in historic haplessness only to the Chicago Cubs. (To be fair, Cleveland did have a good run in the 90s, but always found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory when it came down to the end.)


How many of you have heard of Steve Bartman? It's not really his fault, but that game was a spectacular demonstration of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chappy View Post
Cardinals fan here.
Boo!!!!

At least your not a Packers fan though. I have a friend who grew up in Wisconsin, went to high school in Illinois, did first two years of college in Missouri, and is thus a Cardinals and Packers fan. I was so disgusted when I found out. (His second two years of college are here with me.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by chappy View Post
I too am pulling for the Tigers. Because I always, and no matter what, root against the Yankees.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
o Agree that on the AL side, if you don't have any favorite team to root for, next-best thing is to root for whomever is playing the Yankees.
So true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NBtarheel_33 View Post
Any other *Orioles* fans out there?
My mother moved from New York to Baltimore when she was 10, and within a month of the '69 world series. She was probably the only person in the stands wearing an Mets cap and Orioles foam finger. She is a fan of both teams to this day, but doesn't really follow baseball.

Last fiddled with by Dubslow on 2012-10-15 at 21:04
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Old 2012-10-16, 02:59   #6
ewmayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
if Detroit continues to follow the same 4-man rotation, which it appears they are doing, especially since they are leading the CS, he will start game 4), and heading to Detroit for the next 3 games (or 2, if they sweep) bodes very well for the Tigers.
I stand coorrected - according to the announcers for the ongoing SF/StL game 2, game 3 of the ALCS will feature the dream matchup of Sabathia vs Verlander.
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Old 2012-10-16, 05:37   #7
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Baseball is by far and away my favorite sport.

Being from the Kansas City area, I hate the Cardinals because of the way they acted after the '85 World Series. But being the oddball that I am, I love the Yankees. (Not too many K.C. fans are also Yankee fans but I am one.) That is because I like tradition and long term excellence when it comes to sports. The long term aura of the Yankees has always impressed me even before the huge payrolls of the current era. After all, the Mets are in just as big of a market yet rarely win much simply because they refuse to spend the money.

Unfortunately for me at this point, the most likely possibility for the World Series is Detroit vs. St. Louis, the matchup that I least wanted to happen before the playoffs started. I would have also very much enjoyed a Baltimore or Oakland vs. Cincinnati World Series. That would have made it a nice powerhouse retro 1970s matchup. :-)

My favorite possible championship matchups in the 3 professional sports that I follow excluding the hometown Kansas City teams:
Baseball: Yankees or Red Sox vs. Dodgers, Giants, or Reds
Basketball: Lakers vs. Celtics (hands down; nothing else comes close)
Football: Raiders or Steelers (and more recently the Patriots) vs. Packers, Cowboys, or 49ers

I always root for the traditional powerhouses come playoff time because they usually make for the grandest theater. For me, a lot of the enjoyment of championship-level sports is the pomp and circumstance. I usually find myself in a small minority of the rooting interests come playoff time in the major sports. But I have to admit I go away happy more than the average person does.

Oh, I also enjoy college basketball. My favorite teams to root for come March Madness:
Kansas
Kentucky
North Carolina
Duke

Once again, the traditional powerhouses. I was in hog heaven this year although a little bummed that my hometown Jayhawks lost to Kentucky. To me...Kansas vs. North Carolina in the regional final followed by Kansas vs. Kentuky in the national championship...it does not get much better than that (unless of course Kansas wins it all)!

Last fiddled with by gd_barnes on 2012-10-16 at 05:43
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Old 2012-10-16, 18:19   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NBtarheel_33 View Post
Any other baseball fans out there? Any other *Orioles* fans out there?
Yes; yes.

It's been a long period of mediocrity (and worse!), but I've been watching 100+ games a year for as long as I can remember. Good or bad, I love 'em. Much easier to love this year, of course.

I was born the year we won our last World Series, though we did have periods of success since then. (And I think "World Series" is/was named after a newspaper called 'The World', not an attempt to claim that the winner is the "world champion".) Cal Ripken was my sports hero growing up.
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Old 2012-10-16, 20:00   #9
ewmayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
I stand coorrected - according to the announcers for the ongoing SF/StL game 2, game 3 of the ALCS will feature the dream matchup of Sabathia vs Verlander.
And now they (the Fox Sports announcers) stand corrected - according the NYT preview, Game 3 will feature Phil Hughes vs Verlander. Dang - I would have loved to watch Sabathia vs Verlander.
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Old 2012-10-16, 20:24   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKurly View Post
(And I think "World Series" is/was named after a newspaper called 'The World', not an attempt to claim that the winner is the "world champion".)
http://www.snopes.com/business/names/worldseries.asp
Quote:
Claim: Baseball's championship competition is known as the "World Series" because it was originally sponsored by the New York World newspaper.

FALSE

. . .

... Somewhere along the way (the earliest citing we've found so far is from 1991), people have picked up the notion that the fall classic, baseball's World Series, is so named not because the victors are considered the world's champions, but because the contest was originally sponsored by the New York World newspaper. Perhaps this belief springs from today's hyper-commercial sporting climate, in which nearly all athletic championships and sports stadiums are named for corporate sponsors, or perhaps it springs from the incongruity of the winners of a contest featuring only teams from North America being declared "world champions," but so prevalent is this erroneous belief that it is now regularly cited as a "fact," despite a complete lack of any supporting evidence.

... The New York World never had anything to do with the World Series, however, other than being one of the many newspapers to report the results. The modern World Series (like its predecessor series waged between National League and American Association teams from 1884-1890) was so named not because of any affiliation with a corporate sponsor, but because the winner was considered the "world's champion" -- the title was therefore simply a shortened form of the phrase "world's championship series."

Negative evidence is easily uncovered by reading accounts of the first few World Series in the major newspapers of the era. The first several contests between the two league champions were reported under a variety of titles -- "championship series," "world championship series," "world's series" -- before eventually becoming standardized in name as the "World Series." If the name had derived from the New York World's sponsorship, it would have been nothing but the "World Series" from the very beginning (and as far back as 1884).

. . .
http://roadsidephotos.sabr.org/baseball/name.htm

Quote:
. . .

... As the editor noted, the two leagues "both entitle their championship contests each season as those for the base ball championship of the United States," so a more grandiose name was required to describe the postseason showdown between the two "champions of the United States."

But the Spalding Guide -- which, after all, was published by one of the world's largest sporting goods companies, with a vested interest in bringing baseball to other lands -- had grander ambitions. By 1890, the Spalding Guide was explaining that "[t]he base ball championship of the United States necessarily includes that of the entire world, though the time will come when Australia will step in as a rival, and after that country will come Great Britain; but all that is for the future."

This didn't happen, but the name "World's Championship Series" stuck. ...

. . .

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2012-10-16 at 20:28
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Old 2012-10-17, 02:53   #11
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Quote:
I grew up in NE Ohio…
We did as well, from the late 70's to the mid 80's. (And, as you know, mere miles from where you were, just a few years later.)

The total failure of our teams at that time probably explains our total lack of interest in baseball or football. Perhaps that is a good thing because we have time for other things.

We never understood how a person could get so wrapped up in a team, as a fan. If you like a sport, play it! Watching it is living through someone else. Very weird.

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